Totem Enswaaswa
Akabbiro Ggoonya
English Monitor Lizard
Clan Leader  
Clan motto
Mayengo Itutu

This clan came from Masaaba in Bugisu and went to Kavirondo. They went to Buvuma through Busoga. The fore-grandfather of this clan is Mayengo and he is the clan head. These people settled permanently in Buvuma never to leave and fishing is their way of life. Their clan seat is on Buvuma Island in a place called Bugabo.

Mayengo, Kisuule, Muyingu, Kimbirye, Kawundo, Yihara, Mwavu

Namayengo, Nakisuule, Nakawundo, Namwavu, Nayihara, Kiwalu

This reptile is 1-1.8 metres and weighs 4-7kg. It lays 20-60 eggs which can take up to a whole year to hatch. Its lifespan is between 10-20 years. In Africa, it is the largest lizard. It has claws, powerful limbs and an exceptional tail which is longer than its body. It has a mesh pattern ornated with somewhat black and yellow spots forming bands. There are 30 species of monitor lizards in the world but only three occur in Africa.

Males are territorial and vigorous fights are regularly seen to determine dominance.
Their diet includes crabs, mussels, frogs, fish, insects and sometimes raid crocodile nests to steal eggs while the layers are away.

They excavate burrows in termite mounds where they lay up to sixty soft shelled eggs and termites repair the mound which provides constant and adequate temperatures for incubation. The termites do not damage the eggs and almost after one year, the young hatch and dig themselves out.
These lizards are preyed upon by crocodiles, martial eagles and pythons. In Uganda, this lizard is mainly killed for its skin which is used in the making of a special high-pitched drum called engalabi among the Baganda tribesmen.