Kabaka’s marriage proposal to me was a turning point in my life, says Nnaabagereka

The Nnaabagereka of Buganda, Sylvia Nagginda, has revealed that the Kabaka’s marriage proposal to her was the beginning of the realisation of her dream and the turning point in her life.

Nnaabagereka is married to the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, and they wedded at Namirembe Cathedral on August 27, 1999.

While appearing on NBS television in an exclusive  interview on Sunday night, Nnaabagereka said the Kabaka proposed to her via an email as she described it in her memoir titled ‘The Nnaabagereka of Buganda Queen Sylvia Nagginda Luswata.”

The memoir, which will be released this month on 23 2023, has already picked up interest not only from the Baganda but also from various members of the community across the country, following the shared excerpts by those who have read the pre-launch copies.

Nnaabagereka explained that prior to her marriage with the Kabaka, she didn't think a lot about what she was getting into at that moment although she was ready to get married.

“I was 35 and ready to get married. Looking back, it was the beginning of the realisation of my dream, coming back home and having an impact in my country. The proposal was very uneventful as you may have read,” she said.

According to Nnaabagereka the body of the email was disarming and it said something like: ‘Dear, Sylvia, I think I am ready if you are! What? Is this a proposal? Yes, it was. Ronnie was asking to marry me by email.”

Nnaabagereka, however, said perhaps that was not the ideal proposal for the girl who had waited for all her life and could it be that was a little bit unromantic.

But upon receiving the proposal, Nnaabagereka said she wrote back in reply and said, ‘YES’

“Somehow, I feel our destinies are predetermined. God has been guiding me through all this. If I had stayed in the United Kingdom, my life would have been different, how different I don't know. If I had stayed in Uganda and not gone to the UK, my life would also have been different,” she noted.

Nnaabagereka guided that in whatever position one is placed in his or her life, it is important that he or she doesn’t let privilege override responsibility.

“I got married when I was 36. The title (Queen or Nnaabagereka) describes what is expected of you. I was impressed by the love the people of Buganda have for Kabaka. He is held in high regard both in and out of the Kingdom,” she said.

She described the kingdom structure as being inclusive, adding that it enables the kingdom to organise and mobilise people for development.

“Kingdoms were restored in 1993 and our wedding happened six years later in 1999. I don't think orienting the Nnaabagereka into her role was something anyone thought about. I stepped into this role oblivious of the challenges ahead,” she said.

Looking back through her journey, Nnaabagereka said she was being guided by the hand of God and her innocence became her strength as she grew into the role of a Nnaabagereka.

“If I was to meet 36-year-old Sylvia Nagginda, I would tell her to be more patient. Most importantly, I would tell her not to let God out of her sight. I grew up in a Christian family, but I have been on and off with my faith,” she confesses. 

She explained that writing this book has helped her to reflect. Given the fact that her story is now out there, she is braced for responses both negative and positive but hopeful that it will work out for the good.

Her first child with the Kabaka  is Katrina-Sarah Ssangalyambogo, who was born on July 4, 2001, in London.

Their other children, according to the report, are Prince Junju Kiweewa, Princess Joan Nassolo, Princess Victoria Nkinzi, and Prince Richard Semakokiro, born in 2009.

Nnaabagereka was born in England in 1962 to John Mulumba Luswata and Rebecca Nakintu Musoke, according to Wikipedia. She is from a family of three brothers and three sisters.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University, started her formal education at Lake Victoria Primary School, then went to Gayaza Junior School, and Wanyange Girls School for secondary education.

She also has a Master of Arts degree with a distinction in Mass Communication from the New York Institute of Technology.

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