By Edward Sserinya
The mystery is over. The mother of Prince Richard Ssemakookiro born to Kabaka Ronald Mutebi last July and unveiled last week has been named.
Investigations have revealed that Rose Nansikombi, 24,a daughter of elder Ssalongo George Edward Sserebe and Nnaalongo Christine Nalubanjwa, of Nswanta village, Bamunanika county in Luweero district, the mother of the prince.
Nswanta is 20 miles away from Bamunanika where the Kabaka has a palace. When the Katikkiro of Buganda, Eng. J.B Walusimbi announced the birth of Prince Ssemakookiro, he did not name the mother but only said she was from Nseenene (grasshopper clan). A picture was released showing a jovial Kabaka carrying the baby.
The prince was named Ssemakookiro like the Kabaka’s great-grandfather Semakookiro Wasajja Nabbunga who was Buganda’s 27th king. He reigned between 1797 and 1814 and remembered to have fought fierce wars that expanded Buganda’s boundaries to the west.
In an interview over the weekend, Sserebe narrated that he first heard through discrete rumours that his daughter had mothered royal child with the Buganda monarch. He said he had never imagined that such an occurrence was possible to have a grandchild as a prince and exalted God for his grace.
“I am overjoyed,” Sserebe said. He explained that Nansikombi was brought up at the home of her grandparent, the late Kezekia Masembe of Monde, a distance of five miles, in Bamunanika County.
Nansikombi went to Gulama Primary School and Tweyanze CU P/S. After that his parents could no longer raise school fees. Nnaalongo Nalubanjwa described her daughter as well nurtured and hard working. Nansikombi spent most of her holidays with her aunt Alice Nakimenya Tebalindya.
“When she first told me that she was carrying a baby for the Kabaka, I doubted. However, when her brothers confirmed this I also believed,” Nakimenya recalled. “I had a sleepless night when I learnt that indeed she had given birth to a royal child. I was overwhelmed with joy,” she added.
Nakimenya says with a benefit of hindsight that signs that her family could come close to the royal family appeared during the Kabaka’s visit to Ssempa village in Bulemeezi County in 1996. The king visited the home and toured farming activities and Nakimenya had fond memories of how she was photographed shaking the monarch’s hand.
During that historic visit, Nansikombi was still a girl and was not present. Separate anonymous sources revealed that Nansikombi had a friend among the palace entertainment troupe and occasionally visited the Bamunanika palace.
Prossy Babirye described her sister as a “quiet person who keeps secrets.” “I am happy she has had a child from Buganda’s royal family,” she said. Nansikombi stays in an undisclosed place. She regularly contacts her family on telephone.
Under Buganda culture princes are brought up in seclusion especially the ones with a chance at the crown.
The head of the Nseenene clan, George Nsozi Kalibbala announced over the weekend that rituals performed to welcome the birth of a prince will be performed soon. He said the rites will include slaughtering of a sheep and goat at the palace of late king Kintu palace in Busujju County, in Mityana. Other rituals will be performed at Mengo palace. He said such ceremonies are performed by every clan head from which a prince is born.
“It’s good news. We were all delighted when it was published that a prince has been born by a grandchild in our clan,” Kalibbala observed.
The Kabaka is married to Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda with whom they have a daughter. Some religious leaders have expressed apprehension about the Kabaka having a child outside wedlock while others have given a stamp of approval said every born child must be celebrated as a new life brought forth.