Who are the lucky friends of the Nnaabagereka?
- Written by Malita Wamala
I am currently reading The Nnaabagereka, the queen of Buganda Sylvia Nagginda Luswata’s autobiography and I can’t help but wish I were friends with this woman.
I got the same feeling recently when I heard former Finance minister and Radio One general manager Maria Kiwanuka speak of her so eloquently at a function. Even then, I wondered what it was like being in her intimate circle of friends, where each conversation is possibly so enriching!
Mind you, the Nnaabagereka and Kiwanuka are close friends. Women with beauty and amazing brains I would love to pick. Some of my best times are when I hang out with my girlfriends – they are not many, by the way – and we just talk about things many people cannot believe we even talk about at all!
Women that see my vulnerabilities and allow me to see theirs. Women that lift me up and let me lift them in turn. Whenever I leave such meetings, however brief, I feel all the richer.
So, as I combed through this well-written hardcover – I always start with the photos – I wondered who those lucky women are. The ones that the Nnaabagereka often invites to the Kireka palace for tea; the ones she possibly goes away with for a holiday in Mauritius; the ones she is most comfortable around; the ones that have seen her laugh with abandon and cry in frustration. What do they even talk about?
As I read about her very privileged upbringing in Omutaka Nelson Ssebugwawo’s home in Nkumba and that mysterious dove that sat on her crib in a UK hospital as a newborn baby, as if announcing the greatness that lay in her future, I wondered what she was not telling us.
The truly juicy details of her life, marriage, motherhood, which only a very close-knit circle of friends would know, are what I wondered about as I looked at the book’s beautiful cover. The Nnaabagereka’s stepdaughter Joan Nassolo describes her as “stunning both outside and inside...I call her my support system.”
“Nassolo is the one who makes me lean back, close my eyes and really dream about what it would be like to sit down with this woman, not as my queen, but as a friend. If dreams were horses...!
“She represents a fresh, cool way of doing royalty. She is truly a modern African queen,” Nassolo is quoted as saying.
I couldn’t agree more.
It seems like those who have read the book, and know her, expected her to behave different....C´mon people! That is what is expected of her.
An excited chief thought he was doing the Kingdom a favour by denying the twins that call this lady mother. Why the schism? How does it help the Kingdom when these officials attempt to set a record straight?
The careless statement achieved one thing: it gave Buganda's enemies a fresh opportunity to see the Kingdom implode. How unwise!