Kisizi Falls is in south western Uganda, Just next to Kisizi Hospital that was started by John Sharp a Christian missionary. The Hospital brought new hope and new life to the community especially to un married pregnant girls who were considered to have brought disgrace to their families and the entire community. The hospital welcomed every one with open arms.
However before the hospital was started, Kisizi Falls acted as a punishment centre of pregnant girls for both Rukungiri, kabala and Kisoro. Getting pregnant while still in your father’s house was considered and is still considered a disgrace to the Family. A girl would be taken to Kisizi Falls and in presence of community elders and other witnesses, she would be thrown from the top of the falls by his brother.
The girl had to be pushed by her brother, whether the brother was willing or not. By allowing the girl to be pushed by a brother into the Falls, It also acted as a punishment for the brother because It meant that;
A brother did not teach her sister good morals and how she should have behaved. It was a rule that a pregnant girls be thrown by a brother, whether a brother wanted or not.
It also meant that the brother will not get the bride price(cows) from the girl because she will never get married. Which cows would in turn be used by the brother to also pay as a bride price to the family from which he want to marry from.
Andrew at Kisizi Falls Monument
This act of throwing Pregnant unmarried girls over the Falls stopped in 1940’s. Whenever a pregnant girl was going to be thrown into the Falls, She would be given an opportunity to say her last words. And also advice the other girls. One day when a girl was given this opportunity, She whispered to her brother to come closer as if she wanted to tell him something special or some secret. When the brother got close to her, she tightly grabbed the brother and they both fell into the Falls and died. Since that day, there was no more throwing of the girls into the falls. The punishment of pregnant unmarried girls was now transferred to the punishment island of lake Bunyonyi, where there was a tall tree on the island and the pregnant girls would be left with two options. Either to hung herself on the tree or to starve and die on the island. Some lucky girls would be rescued by fishermen who were poor and didn’t have cows to marry