A language of Uganda

Alternate Names
Bakonzo, Bayira, Konjo, Olukonjo, Olukonzo, Rukonjo, oluKonzo

893,000 in Uganda (2014 census), increasing. Census based on tribal affiliation. Includes 16,000 Banyabindi, 10,000 Banyabutumbi and 16,000 Basongora (2014 census).


Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kasese, and Ntoroko districts in Ruwenzori mountains; Bundibugyo district (Olhughendera dialect).

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Sanza (Ekisanza), Rukonzo (Rukonjo), Rusongora (Lusongora), Olhughendera, Runyabindi, Rugabo, Rukingwe (Runyabutumbi). Nande [nnb] (Kinande) in Democratic Republic of the Congo and Konzo [koo] (Lukonzo) in Uganda are 2 varieties of the same language. Nande [nnb] is influenced by French [fra] and Swahili [swh]; Konzo [koo] by Tooro [ttj]. Lexical similarity: 77% with Nande [nnb].

Language Use

Home, market. Used by all. Positive attitudes.

Language Development

Taught in primary schools. Literature. Radio. Dictionary. Texts. Bible portions: 1914. Agency: Kikinzo Language and Culture Office.


Latin script [Latn], used since 1914.

Other Comments

Konzo (Bakonzo) in Uganda and Nande (Banande) in Democratic Republic of the Congo both feel very much one people, ethnic autonym: Bayira. They believe they originated from the Ruwenzori Mountains; the mountains belong to them and they to the mountains. This plays a very important role in their traditions and identity. Lusongora is the most important dialect. Traditional religion, Christian.

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