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Happy birthday King Oyo

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th April 2004 03:00 AM

THE Toro kingdom Karuzika (palace) in Fort Portal town was on Saturday a scene to a lavish party to celebrate King Oyo’s 12th birthday with his family and subjects.

THE Toro kingdom Karuzika (palace) in Fort Portal town was on Saturday a scene to a lavish party to celebrate King Oyo’s 12th birthday with his family and subjects.

By Raymond Baguma and Simon Mugenyi

THE Toro kingdom Karuzika (palace) in Fort Portal town was on Saturday a scene to a lavish party to celebrate King Oyo’s 12th birthday with his family and subjects.

King Oyo was born on April 16, but celebrations were postponed to the weekend to, apparently, avoid clashing with the weekday programmes.

The birthday became a kingdom affair as thousands of the king’s loyal subjects braved the tropical heat to honour their king.

“The number ‘12’ is of significance in Toro because I am the 12th king of Toro kingdom and I have made 12 years today,” Oyo declared.

However, conspicuously absent were King Oyo’s aunt, Elizabeth Bagaya and his elder sister, princess Ruth Komuntale, reportedly on studies in Libya.

This year’s celebrations were different because this time Batooro subjects too became beneficiaries of the royal largesse. Not to forget that king Oyo made a back-to-my-roots visit to show how he had begotten the wisdom that comes with age.

In a speech well read, Oyo thanked God for giving him life and thanked his mother, Best Kemigisa, for bringing him up. Concluding, he, in Rutooro, spoke to his subjects, “Ruhanga abe naiywe (God be with you).”

It was a perfectly read speech although it revealed the king’s inadequate mastery of his native language.

The function was characterised by the pomp and flair of traditional dances ranging from the graceful Amakondere dance to the rhythmic foot stumping of the Runyege.

Loyal subjects recited epics and odes, venerating the king and wishing him good health.

Women groups saw the function as a suitable moment to perform sentimental songs urging President Yoweri Museveni to go in for a third term.

The social was almost turned into a political rally, which may not have gone down well with Kampala Central Division chairman Charles Sserunjogi — a proclaimed reformist who led a team from Kampala.

As a Journalist, I am dizzied by the security details on functions at which the President is invited.

My dread became true when the Presidential Guard Brigade dispersed celebrants to carry out a thorough security check before the President’s delayed arrival.

Amidst singing of “Happy Birthday to you...” the President joined Oyo in cutting the cake and toasted to the health of the king.

As an appointed protector of the Toro kingdom crown, the Omukama of Bunyoro, Solomon Iguru and the Omugo (queen) graced the occasion. Also in attendance was Buganda’s deputy Katikkiro Godfrey Kaaya Kavuma, who represented the Kabaka.

The celebrations climaxed with a musical performance at Booma grounds by Kampala-based artists among whom were Ragga Dee, Chameleon, Red Banton and Toro’s son-of-the-soil Natty Dread, a photographer.

Happy birthday King Oyo

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