How Uganda’s Ankole cows won the Hearts of UK loyal family

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently embarked on a royal tour of Africa, the two have been camped in South Africa for the past two days

They ended their visit by meeting with the President of South Africa His Excellency Cyril ramaphosa and  First Lady Dr. Tshepo Motsepe at their home in Tshwane.

Although the royal visit was highlighted by a number of events and displays, such as Desmond Tutu’s blessing of the new baby prince Archie, one particular event that caught the eye of most Ugandans was the gifts that were exchanged between the two leaders.

The Prince thoughtfully carried with him a painting of the president himself amongst his cherished Ankole cattle and indeed, as if anticipating the African leader’s passion for the coveted indigenous breed, he too was presented with a book that the president co-authored titled ‘The Cow of the Ages’ based on none other than our very own Ankole cattle.

The two parties were blown away by the sheer magnificence of the long-horned bovines and as they appraised the cows, the president gave a brief history surrounding these Majestic beasts and how he came to bring them to South Africa.

Originally from Uganda, Ramaphosa first saw the cow when he visited President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, it was then that he decided he too would own the beautiful beasts with horns that reached the heavens.

Initially, the president thought he would buy the cows and transport them to his homeland but due to the importation laws that did not permit livestock from crossing the borders of South Africa, taking these bests home would prove to be quite a tedious affair.

However, with the help of Kenyan professionals, he could finally export his beloved cattle to South Africa by the means of ‘embryo-transfer’ from the Ugandan President’s herd.

Since then ramaphosa’s very own heard has grown to about 250 heads of cattle with two ranches in Kenya and South Africa.

The Ankole cattle have not only garnered him a lot of fame and prestige but further deepened his pockets as their become highly sought after for their low cholesterol meat and in 2017 his Ankole was auctioned off at a whopping 640,000 Rands (Shs155 million).

This has not only boosted the tourism industry as foreigners from all over the globe fly in to see the highly praised Ankole cow but it has also greatly added value to preservation efforts that have been put in place to save the breed as more local farmers opt for the commercial Friesians/Holsteins over the local breeds.

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Muwanga Ronald is editor in chief of the UGANDANZ news website. He was formerly editorial director of UGANDANZ.COM, overseeing the publication’s digital operations. Before joining UGANDANZ in December 2018, Ronald was managing editor of NILE HOST In 2014, he was a finalist for the UJA Awards for Young Journalists for his reporting on the women's emancipation. Under his leadership NILE HOST won Media Industry Newsletter's Best of the Web award in 2018. A graduate of Makerere University, Ronald speaks Luganda and French and lives in Kampala with his wife and two children.