|Ugandan princess with fiancee|
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 certificates. 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 $500,000
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.