By Kizito Musoke
Whatever could have led Gerald Mayanja to disown his daughter? The story is both bemusing and rather absurd. Gerald Mayanja is father to singers Joseph Mayanja aka Jose Chameleone; Douglas Mulindwa (Weasel), Emmanuel Seguya (AK 47) and Juliet Nalwanga.
For Juliet Nalwanga, 45, Mayanja's eldest child, the heartbreak of her father disowning her for not being like her younger siblings is unforgiveable and has demanded that he apologises and takes her back as his daughter in public, in the same measure he disowned her.
However the old man insists he cannot do something of the sort because she embarrasses him, is poor and uneducated and not fit to be his child. He argues that she is in a deplorable state!
Mayanja's musician children are famous, have money and are travelled thanks to the inspiration of their elder brother Jose Chameleone.
This is Juliet's story:
I am mzee Mayanja's eldest child. I was two years old When my father married Chameleone's mother. Life had always been good till the day my father disowned me and presently even my siblings don't want anything to do with me so I also gave them space.
In my childhood we lived at Acacia Avenue in Kololo in Coffee Marketing Board apartments because my father worked there. I recall at one time mother left the home and left me to take care of those children. She told me then: "You, look after your father's children for me I have gone!"
Then Weasel was three months old and I looked after him till he was one year when the mother returned. When I came of age I introduced a man on October 10, 1987. My brother Henry Kasozi gave me away and even my younger siblings attended the function.
The beginning of my nightmare
Misunderstanding started when Jose Chameleone wedded Daniella Atim in 2008. His mother did not want me to be the sister to hand the bride the flower. She told me I looked so bad and had no money.
However Chameleone insisted and even gave me money to shop. When mother saw me going for the introduction she asked Chameleone, "You are still stuck to that woman? I told you she will infest you with poverty," she said.
Julie (R) with Daniella at the latter's introduction
At the introduction I am the one who handed Daniella a flower. After the introduction I went to Kawempe at my father's place to pick my clothes. When Chameleone's mother saw me she barked at me and asked what I was doing in her home. She warned me never to step there again.
When Chameleone broke his legs in Tanzania I went to his home in Seguku to check on him and they welcomed me. However while I was carrying his child his mother grabbed him from me and told me to go to my mother and she tells me who my real father was because Mayanja was not my father.
"I don't want to see you again intruding in my children's homes you will make them poor! I told you a long time to ask your mother who your real father is but you don't listen!" Those are the words Chameleone's mother told me. When it got too much I left.
Father disowns me
One time my father was hosted on a radio programme called Gye Nvudde and he was asked how many children he had. He replied that among his children he had only one girl, Josephine Nabukeera.
Daddy's girl Josephine Nabukeera
I later called him and asked him if I was not his child. He said I was his child but there was no way he would introduce me since I never went to school like my siblings.
I asked him how many times he had gone to Makerere for any of their graduations and he said the important thing was that I was very poor and in a deplorable state so he could not introduce me as his child since I was different from the others.
Since then I decided to give him his space and I no longer go to his home. To date whenever he is asked about his children he never mentions me even though I am his eldest child and grew up in his home. If I am to ever set foot in his home again he has to organise a function and formally take me back as his child.
Siblings desert me
At this moment even my younger siblings do not want anything to do with me even though I looked after them in their infancy. Chameleone, Weasel, AK 47 and others only speak of one sister, Josephine. Even when we cross paths they pretend they do not know me. But the important thing now is that I am at my own home and living my life.
Gerald Mayanja's story
Truth is she is my child and since childhood I have wanted her to be well off like any parent would wish for their child. I took her to school and she got pregnant in form three. I was very heartbroken because I had wanted her to have a bright future. I then got a house maid to look after her child so she could go back to school. But she shocked me out of my skin when she once told me:
"Dad you know what I have found out; however much someone goes to school up to university they later get married. So for me at the moment I have found a man to marry me!'
While I was still absorbing the shock her mother vouched for her and said she should get married. I also decided to host her introduction and she brought her man home officially. However as you know marriage is not a bed of roses things did not go well for her and in the end her world became a tiny box!
I cannot therefore be responsible for her problems because I did my part as a parent but she opted to do otherwise. She is now a big person so she can choose to do whatever she feels makes her happy.
Julie refused to go to school to be different from her siblings and in the end she is living a distasteful life. It is also true that that I said on radio I had one daughter, Josephine Nabukeera. I did not do this out of spite but I intended it. I cannot introduce her as my own in her state!
Even to date I do not talk to people about her even though she is my biological daughter. Introducing her as my daughter in her state will raise a lot of questions as people will wonder why she is so different from the others who are successful.
That is the price she paid for not heeding my advice and listening to me. She caused her own problems!
I have no problem whether she comes to my home or not. I don't really care so there is no way I can organise a function to officially recognise her as my daughter. Of what use is that?
After all she is a big person now and can choose to do what she feels makes her happy. When a child grows the responsibility is no longer with the parents. And at this moment life is hard for her while her siblings are okay.
Nalwanga's mother speaks
Julie's mother, Rehema Nansubuga, says the problem is with Chameleone's mother who still has issues dealing with a step child. On several occasions she has sent Julie to me to demand that I show her who her real father is.
But she needs to know that Julie was not born in her clan but in the Mayanja clan so he is the one she should be asking. Let her back off me!