Fort Portal is home to the most gracious tribe in Uganda, the batooro. From the way they speak to the way they carry themselves, you can always tell when you find a mutooro.
According to the Tooro Kingdom website, the batooro have ten endearment names known as empaako in their local dialect. These are only unique to the batooro and the Banyoro in Uganda.
In addition to one’s name, every mutooro is given a endearment name which is picked among these;
Amooti,Abbala, Atwooki, Abwooli, Araali, Abbooki, Ateenyi, Adyeeri, Apuuli and Akiiki.
The batooro however, have a special mpaako reserved for the King of Tooro locally known as the Omukama. The special pet name, Akaali is only used to refer to the king during traditional celebration as a sign of exalting and worshiping him. On a daily, the Omukama of Tooro goes by the endearment name Amooti.
Calling an elder by their name an not pet name in Tooro can be seen as a sign of disrespect or poor upbringing.
The interesting fact however is these endearment names do not have specific meaning because they are not originally picked from the Tooro diction. Over time, people have attached certain meanings to the pet names.
For example, Abwooli means cat, Akiiki is associated with savior of the nation, Ateenyi legendary serpent of river Muziizi among others.
It should be remembered that the batooro pride so much in their pet names. If you haven’t been calling your mutooro friend by their praise name, you better start, they might love you for that.