We know that by now you know that the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II celebrated his 23rd coronation fete about a week ago. But we also know that there are some interesting things that happened that you do not know about. Well, here is what you missed.
Traditionally, the Kabaka and selected delegates (abakungu) spend a night in his palace in a host county. And so this time round, the Kabaka spent the night before the coronation celebrations, at his royal palace that was constructed by Baganda Nkerettanyi, a group of Buganda loyalists, at Butambala Ssaza (county) headquarters in Kabasanda. The next morning, at around 7am on Sunday, the King started the day with a morning trot and later, walked down from the palace to Kaggulwe playground, a venue where the official celebrations were due to take place. Many people presented before him gifts like cattle, he-goats, chicken, food such as matooke, yams and cassava, and local brew filled in large gourds (ebita).
The Kabaka waved to his subjects amidst drum and xylophone being played as traditional dancing and cheering from thousands of his subjects covered the roadside. Many people were seen yearning to have a glimpse at the Kabaka’s entourage composed of Bangawa bikers, small cars with foldable and detachable roofs and a group of giant royal guards at such a historical event in the kingdom.
Putting on the cultural white tunics (kanzus) and gomesi as the day’s dress code, others covered their heads with brown caps made from bark cloth, waving flags decorated with the King’s photo, Buganda emblem and their clan symbols. When he got to Kaggulwe playground, the Kabaka performed the cultural activity of beating a set of royal drums called “Mujaguzo” and “Buganda bumu”. The jubilating crowds were amazed at the sounds made. The excitement continued when they saw the Kabaka carried by members of the Mbogo (buffalo) clan on their shoulders.
“Huh! Really these people are powerful. You may find that they consume a lot of posho and beans, or else eat a lot and they don’t miss any meal,” a young schoolgirl was heard saying.
Guests invited included the Kyabazinga of Busoga, William Wilberforce Kadhumbula Nadiope IV. Seen in attendance were also the Lord Mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago, and Judith Nabakooba, Woman MP for Mityana.
Handshake with the paparazzi:
It was a moment of joy as Kabaka, for the first time in the history of Buganda, shook hands with more than 50 journalists from different media houses who were covering the event.
The journalists were seen hurrying to greet the Kabaka and many of the cameramen (photojournalists) were seen putting their gadgets down to receive what they called “omukisa” (Kabaka’s blessing) of the year.
“You see the advantage of being a journalist! Who am I to feel his hands?” a certain local TV journalist was heard telling his friend. “I will not shake anyone’s hand before the end of this year because he or she may take away my blessings,” the journalist added. Unfortunately for some reporters, they failed to share this light moment with the king because the Kabaka’s security men blocked them citing time .
Beef ‘n’ dine:
After delivering his speech, the Kabaka sliced and served his subjects with a roasted bull (that acted as a cake). Many fought to have at least a piece of it but unfortunately, it was not enough for them all.
After the celebrations were done, the King and his guests headed to Professor Badru Kateregga’s home to have a dinner. It was all fun, eating and drinking whereby all kinds of foods and different sort of drinks were offered. Artistes such as Irene Namatovu of Da New Eagles Band and Messach Ssemakula from Golden Productions together with the young talented traditional dancers entertained the guests. After the dinner, many guests were seen taking “selfies” with their smart phones, uploading them to facebook, twitter and whatsapp platforms to act as souvenirs for the year’s coronation anniversary.