By Titus Serunjogi
Meet Kabaka Muwenda Mutebiâ€™s illustrious brothers. Many of them have a fetish for the sport of shooting. And they are always sure to hit right into the bullâ€™s eye â€“ such excellent marksmen!
Those princes who shunned the gun ended up engrossed in books and are now world-class intellectuals. Only nine of Kabaka Mutebiâ€™s brothers are well-known today. But one cannot be sure how many sons a Muganda king like the late Sir Edward Frederick Muteesa had
To this day, Kabaka Mutebi cannot do away with the obsession of shooting. At least he will go hunting wild birds and small game in the bushes near Bamunaanika Palace.
A few years ago, the Kabaka would go about it with his brother George Michael Ndawula. But the latter is now mildly blind, although not from old age. Ndawula has just clocked 50 years, but today, his pupils remain permanently fixed towards the sky.
You can hardly believe that this is the guy who was once notorious for brawls with revellers at Suzaana Nightclub and Silver Springs Hotel in the 1970s. Ndawula once called upon himself the fury of then President Idi Amin when he crept upon soldiers during lights out. Luckily for him, he was only locked up at Central Police Station for a few days and set free.
â€œIt seems Aminâ€™s soldiers wanted to prove something to themselves â€“ why else would they gather and beat every Muganda prince they met? We had to learn to fight back,â€ says Ndawula.
At the height of the grudges, the prince decided to join the army. But he immediately got â€˜issuesâ€™ with the recruiting officers and they threw him out of the barracks without enlisting him.
Born to the late Sir Frederick Muteesa and Eriosi Nalwoga in 1956, Ndawula first became fascinated with shooting after watching his mother aiming at animals in the butikkiro.
He grew up to become one of the most formidable marksmen in Mengo, never missing the bullâ€™s eye. Like many old Budonians, he was fascinated with cricket. But his life went pretty off-the-hook after Senior Six. Abandoning the city, he went to live in a remote village in Kifampa (Mpigi) and had â€˜many wives and many childrenâ€™.
Although Ndawula has finally been brought back to town and reunited with the Kabaka, everyone remains tight-lipped about how he lost his sight.
Royals instead prefer to sing praises for David â€˜babyâ€™ Wasajja, who is perhaps the most vibrant of all the Kabakaâ€™s brothers. Being a popular socialite, he frequents late-night jams in Club Silk and Obbligato. Need him on weekends? Catch him at Bat Valley or Pride Theatre. He is also an ardent Arsenal fan (he used to hang out at the Highbury Stadium while on vacation from Nottingham University).
Wasajja only returned home in 1996. With his Bachelor of Arts degree and a positive outlook towards life, he was immediately appointed executive underwriter for Pan World Insurance. Later, he moved on to become the retail regional manager for Celtel. Isnâ€™t it a pity that the illustrious prince could give up such a juicy job and instead go about bargaining for federo? Well, perhaps not.
â€œBy virtue of my birth, I feel more obliged to contribute to Bugandaâ€™s development,â€ he says. So besides sitting on the Buganda Land Board, he has also resigned himself to representing the King at high-profile functions, like the Muhoozi Kainerugaba-Charlotte Kuteesa wedding.
The youngest son to the late Kabaka Muteesa and an Ankole princess, Wasajja did not enjoy any of the luxuries his elder brothers and sisters had had. No English nannies, no drives in the Kingâ€™s Rolls Royce, no free flights to the United Kingdom, nothing.
In fact, he was still in the womb when Milton Oboteâ€™s soldiers raided the Mengo Palace in 1966. They took his pregnant mother, the late Winifred Keihangwe, and locked her in Luzira Prison for several days, only releasing her a few hours before she went into labour.
But shut out the hideous past! Today, Wasajja is one of the eccentric Hash Harriers, a group of Kampala socialites who regard themselves as â€˜happy people with a running problemâ€™ (he ran in the MTN 42km marathon).
He also makes it a point to jog a whopping 18km every week and revels in shooting contests at Kabira Country Club often. Ladies get within firing range of the most eligible bachelor in town, who also has a large estate at Buziga. At 40 years, Wasajja is still single.
And, believe it or not, so is Robert Kimera, the 50-something-year-old brother of the Kabaka! Have Bugandaâ€™s princes also got a fetish for living single, or what? Kimera is perhaps the least known of all Bugandaâ€™s princes since he has lived in Canada for over 25 years. He did not even show up for the coronation fÃªtes at Naggalabi.
But this eldest son (Kiweewa) of the late Sir Muteesa and Nesta Rugumayo is said to have been such a bookworm while studying at St. Maryâ€™s College Kisubi. He has dabbled in various professions including teaching and veterinary medicine, but today he is engrossed in his Geophysics profession in Canada.
Herbert Kateregga, 42, another of the â€˜lonelyâ€™ princes, works for the local administrations sector in London. Son to the late Sir Muteesa and the Ankole princess Kaakako Rwanchwende, he grew up at the home of his elder sister.
Kateregga once had an affair with a Masaka businesswoman and they had a baby boy. But shortly after he had flown to the UK, the Masaka businesswoman handed over the baby to the royal family and went on to hook another man. It is no disgrace at all. Many Baganda princes have grown up with anyone else but their mothers.
Daudi Golooba, for example, had to grow up at the home of a Ssaza chief, even while his own mother was alive at Makindye. Having studied at Kingâ€™s College Budo, Golooba is no exception to the royalsâ€™ obsession with cricket.
He did not immediately go abroad after Senior Six but first studied accounting at Makerere. Today, he lives in London with his wife Marion Lubogo and their four children. He is also chairperson of the Buganda Heritage Association, which, among other things, teaches Luganda to children born to Baganda who are British citizens. Thumbs up for him!
Henry Kalemeera (51), on the other hand, is more interested in flying. Elderly Baganda remember him as the prince who was so obsessed with sorting every piece of paper into an aeroplane.
Kalemeera flew out of Entebbe in the 1970s and ultimately settled in San Francisco. There he met Eva Zake, moved in with her and together they had a couple of daughters.
Last October, he came home and broke the good news: â€œFinally we have a baby boy!â€ And it was no little joy going around among the royals.
Kalemeera had first studied Aeronautical Engineering in Ethiopia and is now living his flying dream, working as a flight engineer for the American Airlines. He is the son of Queen Damalie Kisosonkole.
But Damalieâ€™s sister Sarah also bore sons for Muteesa. One is Kabaka Mutebi himself. The other is Richard Walugembe (RIP), and Buganda has never had a lovelier prince!
â€œHe was a very down-to-earth person,â€ Hope Mukasa of Sabrinaâ€™s Pub reminisces. But what else would you expect of the world-class socialite that Walugembe was?
Having studied Journalism in Ghana, he worked in fashion and advertising. He often had to alternate between New York and London. He is said to have been a close associate of Diana Ross as well as dozens of British aristocrats. And his return to Entebbe was always a reason for celebration among the Baganda. But today, Walugembe lies atop Kasubi hill, near the tombs of his father. So do Nakibinge Patrick (RIP) and Fred Ssuuna (RIP). The latter was gunned down on duty at the northern military outpost of Bondo. But just like his brother Michael Ndawula, he was a most formidable marksman.