Veteran bee whisperer mesmerises M7 trekkers

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Sam Njuki takes selfies with trekkers as soldiers look on

President Museveni has his crowd of trekkers Saturday made a stop at Masuliita in Wakiso district on their journey to Nakaseke district.

Among the key features of the day was a bee whisperer who mesmerised onlookers with his skill in tapping bees.

Donning a blue trouser and gumboots with no shirt, an able bodied middle-aged man posed for the cameras with bees swarming allover his body from the head covering his right arm.

Trekkers took selfies with him while soldiers looked on visibly impressed.  

Victoria University

Uganda Media Centre tweeted: “On the #m7trek, we found this guy who showed @kagutamuseveni his extraordinary.”

Muzukulu Michael Ssekyanzi quickly recognised the man of the moment.

“That’s Sam Njuki. He developed passion for bees. Actually some bees can be tamed just like any pet,” Ssekyanzi noted.

Who is Njuki?

In its 2003 article titled “The man and the bees”, the state-run New Vision relayed the story of Veteran Sergeant Sam Serunjogi renown for keeping bees in Wakiso district.

According to New Vision, President Museveni christened him “Njuki”, a Luganda word for bees. That is what most people call him now.

In 1997, Museveni visited Masuliita in Wakiso District and was told that Veteran Sergeant Sam Serunjogi was minting money from the honey trade.

Museveni was curious about Serunjogi’s bee project. His passion for honey dates back to the early 1980s.

Then, Masuliita was overrun by marauding government troops who wanted to smoke out Museveni’s guerrillas.

The troops rampaged through the countryside, charging at enemies and threatening to kill the civilians.

Serunjogi was only 14. He had just completed senior two at Masuliita secondary school.

Serunjogi and his parents Margaret Namatovu, 55 and Ssemakula Salongo, 75, fled from Masuliita.

They took refuge in Kindeke village, Singo, where Serunjogi joined the rebels.

Food was scarce in the bush, sometimes honey was a substitute.

For four months, Serunjogi underwent training in guerrilla warfare. Thereafter, he was deployed to Mubende in 1984.

Mubende had been captured. He manned road blocks.

In 1985, he was transferred to Kabale. While in Kabale, Kampala was captured by the National Resistance Army (NRA).

In 1987, Njuki was posted to Jinja Army Training school where he trained as a platoon sergeant for nine months.

From Jinja, he went to Nakasongola, where he worked as a detach commander at Kasira.

Afterwards, he was sent to Pabo in Gulu to fight against Alice Lakwena’s forces.

Serunjogi was shot in the leg and was taken to Nakasongola. Later, he was transferred to Mbuya Military Hospital.

After recovery, he asked for a transfer to Mbarara Kadogo School. He was promoted to a military inspector.

One day, Serunjogi reflected on how he used to get honey in the bush. This idea would later change the course of his life.

Serunjogi was posted to the production unit in Wabisojo barracks in Luweero, where he found other bee-keepers.

In 1994, he resigned from the army and took to bee keeping using Shsh150,000 from his retirement package.

By 2003, Njuki had 130 local hives and 10 modern ones. He also owned one-and-a-half acres of pineapples and 18 cows.

He built a four-roomed brick house in Masuliita, where he lives with his family.

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