Rwot Owiny Akullu was a Langi chief who defeated the Acholi in the battle of Minakulu and captured the land between Kamdini and Bobi in present-day Gulu District in late the 1880s.
As the Acholi fled, Owiny is said to have shouted after them, “Pe dok utem tuku keda tyen me aryo, mina Akullu” (Do not joke with me again, for my mother is Akullu). Henceforth, his fighters started calling the area Minakulu, a name that has stuck to date.
When the British launched an attack against Kabalega, the omukama sought help from Owiny Akullu who counter attacked the British at Kijunjuba in Masindi District, forcing them to withdraw towards Buganda and halted their attacks on Bunyoro until 1898.
Kabalega rewarded Owiny with three Banyoro women, guns, pigs and a potato vines which made him to be remembered as the one who introduced the potato crop in Lango.
Kabalega also pledged to fund the building of a six-roomed palace for his friend and construction was completed in 1935.
The house (pictured above) still stands in Kamdini.
Kabalega also named one of his sons, Prince Tito Owiny, after his friend. Tito later succeeded his father as omukama.
After regrouping and deploying superior weaponry, the British subsequently over powered Kabalega, and Owiny helped him flee. They linked up with Kabaka Mwanga who had also himself fled to escape colonial persecution.
Owiny led his friends into Lango and hid them at the bank of River Abalang in Kangai, Dokolo, as he continued northward. The British forces later followed Kabalega and Mwanga and captured the two; Mwangas location was betrayed by his own chiefs- apollo kaggwa and his relative semei kakungulu.
The British lured Owiny him with a car and he became the first Langi to own one. He was later appointed the colonial chief of Atura sub-county and his administrative unit was at Loro.
He then helped the British colonise the whole of Lango within a short time.
Author: Bakko Lillian