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The princess and her… slay king?

Gareth Onyango is said to have bought the engagement ring during a trip to London. He popped the question during Nkinzi’s birthday celebrations in London. FACEBOOK/NET PHOTOS

The princess and her… slay king?

IN LOVE WITH ROYALTY: Two weeks ago, Gareth Onyango and Princess Victoria Nkinzi were the talk of social media. Onyango had put a ring on it, yet many trolled him, accusing him of being a social climber by hooking himself a princess. Tony Mushoborozi traces the journey of this relationship and how this guy, tagged a socialite, ended up finding the missing glass shoe. Is Gareth Onyango legit enough for royal corridors?

Victoria Nkinzi, a princess of Buganda, said ‘YES’ to a marriage proposal about two weeks ago. The video that appeared on Snapchat on November 6, soon spread to all other social media platforms like a wildfire. The comments were a bag of mixed reactions. While some congratulated the young couple, others perceived Onyango to be a clever social climber — a sharp shooter of legendary proportions. Buganda loyalists were pissed off. They called him a jobless commoner, who also happens to be a non-Muganda, and accused him of tricking their princess to say yes to a marriage proposal. Thank God for political correctness. Who knows what names he would have been called, had we lived in another era.

It became quite apparent that a great number of the general population had neither ever heard of Princess Nkinzi nor of Gareth Onyango. Including yours truly. It also emerged that Onyango was fairly known in the corridors of social media and Spark TV’s Live Wire. His classification, socialite.

Think about it. For a young man who is neither a Bryan White nor a musician nor a TV personality to become famous on social media is nothing less of a fit.  Social media is a mean jungle of narcissism and self-promotion. By the time you catch the attention of such a lot and rack up a massive following like Onyango did, you are a legend in your own right.

And Onyango seems to have done exactly that. Still, that is no qualification to hitch a princess, clearly. So how did Onyango find the missing glass shoe?

A source who talked to Sqoop magazine and requested anonymity, said Onyango is an exceptionally nice guy; the kind of ‘nice’ that when applied at a hangout, patrons flock there in droves.

Onyango worked as a manager at Club Rouge at the height of the Kampala Road-based night spot. That was between 2012 and 2015. Whether his good manners were responsible for the success of the club or not, is debatable. What is obvious is that while there, Princess Nkinzi and her closest circle would become regulars. One order led to another and the princess and the manager became acquaintances. Then they became friends. Then they were very close friends.

Defining things

To anyone who has just learnt about the relationship between Onyango and Princess Nkinzi from social media, it might feel like the chap is being too sharp. Get a princess, play nice, get her comfortable and put a ring on it. Because which man wouldn’t propose to a princess on a whim, right? By default, it is assumed you become a rich man with the best insurance policy in the world. Plausible scenario, but wrong.

In 2016 (that is a long time ago when it comes to relationships), Onyango had a candid interview with a tabloid about his friendship with the princess.

“Nkinzi and I are just best friends… She is just my best friend and that’s all… She is a wonderful and intelligent woman.”

If your maths is good, Onyango has been in a close friendship with the princess for at least four years. Not the kind of duration a mere social climber would sacrifice in the name of hitching a princess. That would be too much work and faking it that long is practically impossible.

Four years is a pretty good time for anyone to figure out anyone’s true colours. And gauging by how that engagement video went, the princess believes Onyango is not a fake. Plus, she is a princess with endless options. The who is who in Buganda’s bachelor world are practically at her disposal to choose from. She does not have to say yes to a marriage proposal from ‘some guy’. For that reason alone, Onyango must be legit or she would have said no.

Bye bye anarchy

“But he’s not a royal,” you say? Well, we admit that this concern holds water. After the disastrous fiasco that became of Toro Princess Ruth Komuntale’s marriage, we are all shaken to the core. (My eyes are filling with tears). But isn’t it possible that that is one bad apple?

The 21st Century and its open-source access to knowledge has broken down the walls between the royals and the commoners. Until the second half of the 20th Century, royals were privy to information that was truly out of reach for mere mortals like us. This afforded them opportunities to gain wealth and status that only a handful of commoners could only dream of. But those days are gone now. Today’s commoners are anything but… Some of them have more wealth than entire monarchies. Social status has become a democracy. That is the case in the UK as it is in Uganda.

The most prolific monarch on the planet, the Queen of England, is obviously aware of the new dynamics. She changed the rules of engagement (literally) a few years into the 21st century. That is how it became possible for Meghan Markle, a Black, Catholic, divorcee to marry a royal like Prince Harry. All the three characteristics were taboo 20 years ago. Prince William, second in line to the largest throne in the world, would never have married the wife he has. Kate Middleton’s family lineage would not have cut it.

The point we are driving at is that Princess Komuntale’s case may have had nothing to do with breaking this ancient rule. (Does that Christopher Thomas guy still roam Kampala Road?) Sometimes things happen. It is not reason enough to cause the disqualification of Onyango.

Our source, who is a very close friend to Onyango by the way, insists that the young man did not orchestrate anything. According to him, Onyango was innocently going about his work, busy earning an honest wage when a friendship blossomed between him and an important customer. This kind of friendship happens all the time. Before long, Onyango would become close to the princess’ friends, including her brother, Prince Junju. It appears that while the friendship grew deeper, the two realised they liked each other in a romantic way.

Lovers and friends

It shows a natural progression in the friendship of the two. Those close to the princess (mostly royalty, of course) also seem to like him. Makes you suspect that Onyango’s behaviour is far from being that of a mukopi, don’t you think?

“But he comes with baby-mama drama,” you go on? LOL. So? You really think Princess Nkinzi has not thought of that? Clearly, she has known him for years. It is quite obvious that Onyango had the child while the two were already friends. That Princess Nkinzi can still want to be Onyango’s queen is not only testament to Onyango’s possible good-naturedness, but also the strength of their love. For all we know, this is a happily-ever-after story.

From what the sources say, the two have been living together for about two years now. The boy having reportedly moved into the princess’ apartment at Mirembe Villas in Kigo.

Now thanks to Onyango’s cool-guy behaviour, the story of their romance has only come to the fore because of that romantic proposal in Thailand on Nkinzi’s birthday. Any other dude would have been splashing it on his Facebook page to show off and gain a following. On Onyango’s Instagram feed is barely a photograph of them together. Just one back view shot of the couple in Dubai, UAE.

No wonder the princess chose him.

Who are these people?

Gareth Onyango: He is the 4th born out of five children and went to Newfield Primary School, Nakasero Primary School, Bat Valley and St. Jude Primary School for his primary education. He then attended Wanale View in Mbale for O-Level, Standard High-Zana for A-Level, and later pursued a journalism diploma at UMCAT.

Gareth was part of Kombart dancers, although it is claimed he had a brief stint with the Obsessions. It was from here that he joined the nightlife business as a marketer at Club Rouge in 2005, where he rose to marketing manager. From Rouge, he joined Club Venom in Kabalagala and then Cayenne Bar and Lounge. He is a father of two girls. Before Nkinzi, Gareth was in a relationship with Nikitah Bachu and together they were one of Kampala’s socialite couples. Together they run a company known as Flames Marketing and Events, which offered theme night services to bars. The story of their separation remained shielded until last year on his birthday when a photo of Gareth and Nkinzi appeared at a party the princess had thrown for him.

Victoria Nkinzi: Details about the Buganda princess are scanty but what we hear is that she used to frequent Cayenne Sunday pool chill nights and that is perhaps where her relationship with Gareth brewed.

Compiled by Isaac Ssejjombwe

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