Is Zake your husband's name? No please, but why can't my husband also adopt my name?

Mable Twegumye Zake's #BitsOfMe&You

I have always wanted to meet you…Mable Twegumye Zake!  Your English is…oh my God, I like how you articulate words, how you read news…but there is one question I have always needed to ask: who is Zake?

Bits of ME

I have encountered many a fan countless times and grown to expect the follow up question: is Zake your husband?

Some have even gone further to ask: “Is MP [Francis] Zaake  your husband!?”

My constant answer- has always been, ‘No, it’s my name’.

"What about your husband’s name?” they often ask.

I wonder, what about my name?

I have been probed about my name for ages now, to extremes of a phonecall conversation with a multiplex administrator one time who I had called for an inquiry and he ended up lecturing me about using my husband's name if the Zake name wasn’t his!

I was so pissed!

I am Mable Twegumye Zake of the Nvubu clan, daughter of Gideon Twegumye Zake and Mary Nalule (married to my father but never changed her name yet she has always been popularly known and referred to as Mrs. Zake....Ulala!)

Need I go on…?

Twegumye Mable, that is my given name and I added the family name, Zake.

The choice to maintain my name which is now my brand professionally is one my partner and I are at peace with and heartily joke about. For any offspring, to identify, or not, with a distinct name, ought to be an individual(your) greenlight.

That light should equally not be dimmed for girls that choose to carry their maiden name when they get married.

Bits of YOU

But how many couples have this conversation?  The historical underpins then that dictated upon women to carry their father's names or change to their husband's name upon marriage are still woven.

Can this generation look beyond that?

It’s all rosy if a woman's ultimate dream is/was to be called, "Mrs So and So" after all, common law which is applicable in Uganda, permits a woman to adopt her husband’s name.

However, this is enjoyable at one’s pleasure according to lawyer Ssekitoleko Abubakar from Lukwago and Company Advocates.

More light is shed when he says “marriage legislations in Uganda are silent about the right of a couple to adopt either’s name upon marriage."

Did you read that, ‘to adopt either’s name’ meaning- men can also choose to adopt their wife’s name.

It is unheard of in Uganda but Counsel Ssekitoleko says it is permissible in common law for it is presumed that both partners enjoy same rights upon marriage.

If this were to start happening, I would beg local Artist Mudra to add it in his song- Kiri Uganda Maama nyabo...muyayu....

For the girls tied on a name for fear to ‘Kowtow’ in their husbands pohoo, the good counsel says under the Constitution, parties to a marriage are entitled to equal rights in marriage and at its dissolution.

Failure to change name upon marriage cannot lead to nullification or dissolution.

My consolation pill for the wounded ego is: After all, reference to her by the husband’s name often occurs naturally with glowing references of "Mrs. So and So."

However, be humble when its applied because referring to a woman as ‘Mrs’ does not have any legal implication and/or foundation in Uganda.

Several women have maintained their maiden names on their official documents and in professional circles yet they are still known publicly as someone’s wife.

When ‘things fall apart’, the burden of a name rebrand after separation/dissolution falls on the woman.

Like they say, "that which gives you identity defines who you are and if it is in your name, it is your identity."

What is your name?

The Process that one needs to take to change their name

The process is specifically captured under the Registration of Persons Act and the Regulations made thereunder and other laws.

The steps are as follows;

  1. Depose and/or swear a deed poll showing the change of name.
  2. It should be sworn before a commissioner for oaths, justice of peace – for the inmates and/or notary public – for those deponing the deed poll outside Uganda.
  3. One must attach his/her passport size photograph and copy of any identification document – preferably national ID onto the deed poll.
  4. Register the deed poll with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) – since a deed poll is considered a public document.
  5. Publish the deed poll in the Gazette.
  6. Finally, submit copies of the deed poll, Gazette in which the deed poll was published and a properly filled form showing changes made in the name to the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) for purposes of obtaining another National ID reflecting the new name.


NOTE: There are prescribed fees at each stage; and, if one opts to engage a lawyer, he/she would have to pay professional fees. (Courtesy of Counsel Abubakar Ssekitoleko, Lukwago and Company Advocates)


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