Role of a spokesman during Kwanjula – a Buganda wedding

This is part two of the article – Kwanjua, the wedding ceremony.  A guest post by Cathy from Uganda. In Part one we learnt  was all about the Okukyala. Before the “kwanjula” ceremony, the bride has to first take her husband to be to her parents for their approval in a mini ceremony known as “Okukyala”-home visitation.. and the role of Ssenga (the Auntie to the bride) in preparing the bride to be ready for Marriage, This section highlight the role of the spokesman during the Kwanjula

A spokesman at work

Spokespersons act as representatives for each family. They are supposed to be knowledgeable about the nature of the relationship between the man and woman including their family background, upbringing and education. The spokespersons speak for both families during the ceremony.

Spokespersons are either hired or can be a family member. Spokesperson from each family engage in a question and answer challenge basically following old Baganda norms and traditions. Any wrong answer by the grooms spokesperson is a fine, usually inform of cash. They have to be witty articulate, clever, bold and exciting and be able to engage or answer challenges from the hosts spokesman.

The verbal engagement is usually a friendly exchange of words. However the host’s spokesperson is the controller of the ceremony and he is referred to as Mussajja wa Kabaka (the Kings man). Speeches and Introductions follow.

The peak of the ceremony starts with the bride’s sisters who are smartly dressed in “Gomesis” dancing to the rhythm of the music to greet the visitors and also to be identified. “Gomesi” are cultural dresses for females in Buganda. The bride’s sisters kneel down and greet the visitors.

The host’s spokesperson then asks the groom spokesperson if he has seen the lady they have come to collect. If the spokesperson fails to identify the lady, they are sent away with a small envelope containing money which is commonly known as “transport”. Sending the sisters to assemble and be identified is all done to create tension and punctuate the proceedings.
Look out for part three which will highlight the explain what happens  after the bride is identified.
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One Response to Role of a spokesman during Kwanjula – a Buganda wedding

  1. Pingback: Kwanjula – Buganda Marriage ceremony | Slice of Life in Nepal

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