As the first Ugandan Buddhist monk, the most venerable Bhante Bhikkhu Buddharakkhita has ambitions to train 54 novices, one for every African nation.
“I’m teaching Theravada Buddhism with African flavour to ensure people understand the Lord Buddha and don’t see it as something weird, foreign and Asian,” he says.
“I see a lot of people suffering in Uganda and Africa. I find this role as a game changer, or a paradigm shift from suffering to happiness in Africa.
“We have about 3,000 Buddhists in Africa. About 35 Ugandans. South Africa has the highest number because many people who came from Asian countries to work in the gold mines ended up establishing temples.”
Founder and abbot of the Uganda Buddhist Centre and temple, and author of Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism in Africa, Buddharakkhita was born Steven Jemba Kabogozza, and raised a Catholic. He converted to Buddhism in 1990 while studying in India,…