Colonialism and the Reshaping of the Nubian Identity: Unpacking the 1940 Nubian Tax Riots in Uganda


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




The study seeks to examine the consolidation of the Nubi ethnic minority in Uganda. By analysing the Nubian tax riots of 1940, the study will show the ways in which colonial taxation policy shaped the construction of the Nubian identity in Uganda from the colonial to post-Independence period. As former British colonial soldiers, the Nubians who emerged from a conglomeration of Sudanic ethnic groups in the 1890s formed the core of the British colonial soldiery system. They considered themselves as a unique and privileged African group compared to other indigenous societies like the Baganda of central Uganda. The Nubians considered themselves non-natives who were not duty-bound to some colonial policies like payment of native taxes. Drawing on archival materials and oral histories, the study will contribute to the scholarship on how some colonial policies contributed to conflict and identity construction among some societies in Africa.