It’s sometimes amazing to realize how little we know about the people with whom we work. Like the nurse down the hall who is an accomplished jazz pianist. Or a colleague who graduated from culinary school. But how about a nurse’s aide who holds the position of king in Uganda?
It’s a true story and came to light recently in a Pennsylvania newspaper article. Charles Wesley Mumbere, 56, was a nurse’s aide at Spring Creek Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Harrisburg, PA, where he is reported to have lived and worked for the last nine years. During that time, no one suspected his royal origins in the East African country, colleagues at the facility said. In the 1960s, Mumbere’s father led a small ethnic revolution against the Ugandan government, according to an interview Mumbere gave to The Patriot News, of Harrisburg. With that, Mumbere became the heir apparent to the mountain kingdom of Rwenzururu.
While Mumbere attended business school in America in the 1980s, Uganda underwent another revolution, and the government stopped recognizing his kingdom—and paying his tuition. To make ends meet, he trained as a nurse’s aide. Supervisors at facilities where he has worked over the years have described him as loyal, hard working and a very nice person, according to The Patriot News, which caught wind of the story from a professional acquaintance of the king’s daughter, who attended college in the area.
With much of the strife in Uganda subsiding and the government possibly ready to recognize the smaller ethnic kingdoms within its borders, Mumbere returned to his native land at the end of July. This time, he hopes for good.