As Busoga Sub-region gears up for the highly-anticipated royal wedding, the head of traditional healers in the kingdom, Mr Patrick Mudungu, has called upon married couples in the monarchy to avoid having sexual intercourse on the eve of the historic day.
Kyabazinga William Gabula Nadiope IV is set to tie the knot with Ms Jovia Mutesi on Saturday, November 18, at Christ’s Cathedral Church, Bugembe, Jinja North City Division. Thereafter, their guests will be treated to a reception at the Kingdom’s headquarters, also in Bugembe.
However, Mr Mudungu urges married couples to vacate their matrimonial beds on November 17, and sleep on the floor separately to avoid any temptation of getting intimate, warning that any such attempts by “errant couples” may result in “doom”.
“This is a precaution to all people that the spirits will be watching everyone on that night (November 17) and those who will go against this, will experience a ‘change’ in their lives,” Mr Mudungu said in an interview with this publication.
He added that on the wedding eve, all Kyabazinga’s subjects, especially married couples, are supposed to reflect on their different beliefs instead of sharing beds.
Mr George William Kisule, 78, an elder, said traditions have far-reaching effects and when not followed, bring “disaster”, adding that by forfeiting their matrimonial beds to sleep on the floor, the Kyabazinga’s subjects will be showing respect to him, not to compete with him.
“After people have wedded, they go for a honeymoon in a far place, where they concentrate on making love and producing children as accountability that they have consummated their marriage; so, on the eve of the royal wedding, all men should leave it to the Kyabazinga as a show of respect,” he explained.
Mr Kisule said traditions of long ago were meant to protect and advance the now scientific practices such as when a wife conceives, the man was not supposed to love another, while women were not supposed to have extramarital affairs.
He added: “When your wife is pregnant and you philander, you may bring venereal diseases and infect the unborn baby. The other aspect was to strengthen marriage and infidelity; you can see how rampant DNA tests are. Ours was cultural and involved bathing the contested child in rituals.”
Mr Henry Mitala Woira, the leader of the royals (Isabalangira) of Bugabula chiefdom, said the royal wedding has made Busoga to rediscover its heritage, honour and revive its traditions, values and norms; but above all, bring the people together in line with the Kingdom’s motto; “Unity is strength”.
The Busoga Kingdom’s Minister for Culture, Mr Richard Mafumo, said this royal wedding will be “unique”.
“It is not a wedding that normally happens because it involves royals. The last wedding took place in 1956,’’ he said.
“The late Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki’s wedding took place on January 21, 1956, while for Kyabazinga William Gabula Nadiope IV is expected to take place on November 18. The churches, too, are completely different,” he said.
“Kyabazinga Muloki’s wedding took place at St James Church in Jinja, whereas Kyabazinga Nadiope IV will say his vows at Christ’s Cathedral, Bugembe, presided over by the Bishop of Busoga Diocese, Rt Rev Paul Moses Samson Naimanhye,’’ he added.
Other differences Mr Mafumo pointed out are that Kyabazinga Muloki’s wife was from Iganga District, while the incoming Queen of Busoga (Inhebantu Mutesi) is from Mayuge District.
Mr Mafumo, however, said Kyabazinga Nadiope IV’s best man has not yet been unveiled.
However, he said everything that will take place on the wedding day will purely be traditional, including the food that will be served such as sweet potatoes, matooke, and groundnut sauce, among others.
“The dress code will be traditional, clan heads and royal chiefs will be dressed in traditional attire,’’ he further explained, adding that the bride and groom will be prepared by clan heads due to prior cultural rituals to be fulfilled.
Previous royal weddings
Mr Wilson Kalikawe, 84, an elder from Busiki chiefdom, who belongs to the Baise-Mukose Clan, to which Ms Mutesi belongs, witnessed Kyabazinga Muloki’s wedding to Alice Muloki.
“Before the royal wedding day, each chiefdom had traditional parties for about a week and everything which was done on that day was traditional. Traditional food and dances were the order of the day,” he said.
He added: “By then, televisions were very few, but the photos of the Kyabazinga and the Queen were guarded by the palace guards. I did not watch the royal wedding because I had no television but saw their official wedding photo.”
Mr Mulondo Isabirye Kagoye, another elder from Kigalama Village, Namutumba Sub-county in Busiki chiefdom, who belongs to Baise-Mugosa Clan, said Kyabazinga Muloki’s wedding day was declared a public holiday.
“On that day, people didn’t go to the garden, while civil servants who were working in Busoga Sub-region by then were told to remain at home and schools were closed. All churches and mosques brought people together to pray for the royal couple to be blessed,” Mr Kagoye said.
He added that the day was a fun-filled moment of traditional music, and dances, while local brew and traditional foods were served to those who failed to make it to the palace for the reception.
“Those who attended the reception were not allowed to return home until the following day as they were still guarding the Kyabazinga and his newly-wed Queen,” he further explained.
Mr James Kawanguzi, an 81-year-old elder from Ssabagabo Village in Namutumba District, recounted that nobody was allowed to hold a parallel wedding on the royal wedding day, while burials did not take place.
Dr Frank Nabwiso, the former Kagoma County Member of Parliament, who was 15 years old when Kyabazinga Muloki got married, said he was one of the members in the school choir of Busoga College Mwiri who sang on that day.
“The wedding took place during holidays but we were brought to St James Church to sing. Two other schools; Buckley High and Bishop Willis Primary Teachers’ College, sang on that day,” he recalled.
Dr Nabwiso, however, added that the Kyabazinga Muloki wedding was conducted in the same liturgy as those that are not royal.
“The liturgy, prayers, and songs were similar to those of ordinary weddings,” he said.
He added that the best man, who was the Kabaka of Buganda, Sir Edward Muteesa, was dressed in a suit, and so was Kyabazinga Muloki, who also had his emblazoned with a cultural attire, while the Queen was dressed in a bridal dress.
Dr Nabwiso further said the reception was held at Bugembe, where the present Christ’s Church Cathedral was built.
“It was Kyabazinga’s palace at the time (between 1919 and 1962). The land was later given to the Anglican Church where the Christ Cathedral, Bugembe was built,’’ Dr Nabwiso said, adding that the King of Bunyoro and that of Tooro Kingdom were among the royals in attendance.
Dr Nabwiso added that all the 11 chiefs of Busoga Kingdom attended the wedding, unlike in the forthcoming one where royal chiefs from Bulamogi and Luuka are unlikely to attend due to leadership wrangles.
Busoga Kingdom is constituted by 11 hereditary chiefdoms that include; Bugabula where the current Kyabazinga comes from, Bugweri, Bukooli, Bukono, Bulamogi, Bunhole, Bunya, Busiki, Butembe, Kigulu and Luuka.
Dr Nabwiso said singing at the royal wedding as a student excited him. “I was also excited to come into close proximity to Kabaka Muteesa,” he said, adding that Kyabazinga Muloki got married at the age of 34, while Kyabazinga Nadiope is getting married at 35 years.
Dr Nabwiso concluded: “Kyabazinga Muloki was born in 1921, and wedded in 1956 when he was 34 years old. His father, Ezekiel Tenywa Wako, was still alive.’’
Kyabazinga Nadiope IV, who was born on November 1, 1988, lost both parents, starting with the father Wilson Gabula Nadiope II, who was once a Minister of Tourism in 1991 and later the mother Josephine Nadiope in 1993.
The Kyabazinga (Nadiope IV), who was at such a tender age at the time, was eventually raised in Jinja by his maternal grandmother.
His paternal grandfather, William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Nadiope III, ruled as Kyabazinga between 1949 and 1955, and from 1962 to 1966. Nadiope III was also the First Vice President of Uganda from 1962 to 1966.
Since 1939, Busoga has had four queens, with Ms Mutesi destined to become the fifth.
Previous queens include Yunia Nakibande, Susan Nansikombi Kaggwa, Yuliya Babirye Kadhumbula Nadiope, and Alice Florence Violet Muloki.
About MS Jovia Mutesi
Born in St Matia Mulumba Zone, Mayuge Town Council, Mayuge District, Ms Mutesi was announced as the Inhebantu of Busoga on September 7 at the Kingdom headquarters in Bugembe, Jinja City.
The announcement followed a private traditional ceremony at which Kyabazinga William Gabula Nadiope IV paid a visit to her parents’ ancestral home in Mayuge District.
Her father Mr Stanley Bayoole, is the Bulambuli Resident District Commissioner and belongs to the Baise-Mugosa clan.
Before joining the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) in 2015, Mr Bayoole was a top Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) official in Busoga Sub-region, and presided over Mayuge Town Council as the Mayor prior to his defeat in 2011.
Ms Mutesi studied at Mt St Mary’s College, Namagunga, before joining Makerere University where she acquired a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Economics.
Busoga Kingdom Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muvawala, has previously stated that details of the Queen will officially be disclosed during the upcoming Busoga Lukiiko, which will precede the royal wedding.
Compiled by Philip Wafula, Abubaker Kirunda, Sam Opio Caleb, Ronald Seebe & Tausi Nakato
sub editor: johnson mayamba