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The Wonder Nkejje Fish

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This traditional, broad-bodied fish has scale all over its body. It lives in both the deep and shallow parts of lakes, in relatively low number compared to other types of fish.

Today, over-fishing, pollution and the introduction of Nile perch into Lake Victoria have led to a drop in the nkejje population and the destruction of their habitats.

Mature nkejje fish is about 6cm from head to tail and about 3cm wide depending on the breed. For example, the madoola are the largest and shiniest type of nkejje.

In many communities, especially among the middle-class and elites, nkejje is considered an inferior fish with lots of bones. However, its high protein and calcium content helps to prevent malnutrition.

Nkejje is dried directly under the sun immediately after being caught, then pinned on sticks in horizontal rows.

After several days of drying, the nkejje is then taken to the market on the same sticks used for drying.

The nkejje is commonly served with groundnut paste. This type of fish also plays an important cultural role, especially in Buganda, during child initiation ceremonies.

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