After days of anticipation, the ‘royal give-away of the year’ occurred in Kampala on Saturday as Andile Ramaphosa, son of South African President Cyril, wedded his long-term fiancée Bridget Birungi at the Plum Kololo surburb.
Bridget is a foster daughter and relative of former Ugandan Prime Minister and 2016 presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi.
Businesses, transport activities and other events were interrupted in the Ugandan capital as security was heightened and some roads closed as Ramaphosa’s entourage and their host President Yoweri Museveni, who also was accompanied by First Lady Janet, attended the traditional ceremony, locally referred to as enshagararano (escorting the bride).
The guest list also included political bigwigs such as Ugandan Central Bank governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebire, Chief Justice Bart Katurebe, former Minister Jim Muhwezi and several high profile businessmen, including Gordon Wavamuno.
“We met almost ten years ago. I was in Beijing where I worked there as an expert while she was finishing her studies in engineering. Then she went on to do her masters. We went on to live in South Africa. She is my best friend. She knows all my secrets, even how my feet look like,” the groom said in a recent interview.
Political rivalries were put aside as Museveni and his long-term friend cum nemesis Mbabazi met and seemed to chat heartily for the first time since the Head of State temporarily detained his former trusted political aide in the run up to the 2016 elections.
The couple is now expected to plan an elaborate wedding in South Africa later this year.
By David Kwalimwa