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Komuntale's wedding plans revealed

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th May 2012 07:29 PM

On Saturday, July 14, 2012; Toro Kingdom’s Princess Ruth Nsemere Komuntale will wear a barkcloth wrapping and be invited to sit on her paternal Uncle Charles

On Saturday, July 14, 2012; Toro Kingdom’s Princess Ruth Nsemere Komuntale will wear a barkcloth wrapping and be invited to sit on her paternal Uncle Charles


On Saturday, July 14, 2012; Toro Kingdom’s Princess Ruth Nsemere Komuntale will wear a barkcloth wrapping and be invited to sit on her paternal Uncle Charles

Kayondo Kamurasi’s lap. As the head of the Toro Babiito Royal clan — to which Komuntale belongs — Kamurasi (traditionally known as Omujweera Musuuga) will wish his niece well.

“It is a symbol of goodwill from the family — our traditional way of sending off a beloved princess,” Kamurasi says. And yet this will be the climax of a series of cultural ceremonies that will have been performed to prepare King Oyo’s elder sister for marriage.

Marriage celebrations kick off with an introduction ceremony called okwanjura. According to Kamurasi, it is on this occasion that the princess offi cially introduces her fi ancé to the entire royal family and friends. Culturally, this ceremony takes place at the Omusuuga’s residence and is not attended by the m king.

So, in keeping with tradition, Komuntale will ‘okwanjura’ her fi ancé Christopher Thomas at the Omusuuga’s residence in Gweri, on Kamwenge Road, 4 miles from Fort Portal town. The celebrations will take place on Thursday, July 12.

Komuntale, her mother Best Kemigisa — the Queen Mother — close aunties and other elders will spend the night before the big day preparing for the celebration.

“It will be a night of jubilation; of singing and dancing to the sounds of  makondere — the Toro cultural fl utes and accompanying drums,” says Kamurasi.

It will also be the time for the princess to receive pep talk about the intricacies of marriage.

“Her aunties and other elders will counsel her about the dos and donts of a good wife, how to handle her husband and how to be a good mother.”

The groom will show up at the Omusuuga’s residence to request for the hand of the young princess in marriage. Together with his entourage, they will be expected to turn up dressed in white tunics (kanzu) and jackets, holding walking sticks.

“Walking sticks are a symbol of an accomplished man,” says Kamurasi. The group will be received at the gate and relieved of their sticks while being ushered to their rightful place. All the while, they will be treated as visitors.

“People whose visit we will have known about but whose intentions for visiting we will assume to be ignorant about,” says Kamurasi. Once they have settled in, the ceremonies will kick off with a prayer and the Toro anthem.

A Milky affair dowry

Milk is a key food in Toro; it not only feeds the sons and daughters of this fair land. “It is offered to visitors as a gesture of hospitality,” says Rev. Richard Baguma, a regent in Toro Kingdom. Nine members of the groom’s entourage will be led to the house where a group of beautiful ladies will be waiting to serve them milk in scented clay jars known as emindi.

“We do everything in nines because in our culture it is a number of fortune,” says Kamurasi.

The rest of the visitors will be served milk in glasses and dried coffee beans. Traditionally, sharing coffee beans is the sign of an establishment of a new relationship that is meant to strengthen the bond between the two families.

Once all this has been done, visitors will go into serious discussions with the elders. “We shall ask them questions about their reason for coming and how they met the princess. We will also task them to identify the true bride from a big group of beautiful girls,” says Kamurasi.

It is not cultural for the princess’s family to be offered money, food and other gifts as dowry for their daughter, but the groom will be expected to offer a fattened infertile bull to the family as a sign of appreciation. In addition to this, they will
be expected to come along with two or three large gourds containing local brew (amarwa) to present to the princess’s family.

The groom will also be asked to present a certifi cate endorsing the marriage from Toro Kingdom headquarters, fully signed by kingdom offi cials. “There are a number of other requirements that we will ask them to meet but which I would not like to disclose now,” says Kamurasi.

After the requirements have been met to the royal clan’s satisfaction, the visitors will be invited to lunch. This will be followed by sharing of engagement rings and signing of the certifi cates.

The ceremonies will be crowned with the singing of the Toro anthem, national anthem, a prayer and a cocktail.

The visitors will then prepare themselves for the church wedding ceremony to be held at St. John’s Cathedral in Fort Portal. It will be followed by a reception at the Karuziika, hosted by King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru. It will be a fun fare where
the king will speak to his subjects and where guests will be entertained.

Such is the traditional marriage for a princess in Toro. Komuntale was not born when her aunt Princess Elizabeth Mpanja, daughter of Sir George Kamurasi Rukidi III married Col. William Ndahendekere from Ankole in 1965. The times may have passed, but the traditions remain.

Wedding to cost more than sh1b

Hope Mafaranga
Preparations kicked o_ with the renovation of Charles Kamurasi’s home in Gweri in Kalambi sub-county, Burahya county in Kabarole district. The house will get a face-lift ahead of Komuntale’s introduction and giveaway ceremony.

Many cultural dancing groups are already rehearsing the amakondere (the royal dance) to entertain the guests. Beautiful girls have also been selected to welcome the American in-laws during the giveaway ceremony.

Sources at the palace say the wedding will cost sh1b and more than 10 heads of state are expected to attend.

Despite the earlier heated debate among the Batoro regarding the choice of man the princess is bringing home, the Batoro seem to have changed their minds and accepted Thomas as their son-in-law.

“It will be the wedding of the century and one of the most memorable in the history of Toro Kingdom, I cannot wait,” Susan Basemera, a resident of Fort Portal said.

The bishop of Rwenzori diocese, Reuben Kisembo, is expected to join the lovebirds in holy matrimony.

Komuntale’s wedding plans revealed

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