Juliet Lubega

A day out to forget

2 Comments

Ayesha has invited by her friend Sanyu to go with her to a kwanjula/introduction ceremony in Greenwich.

Her friend from Kampala High School in the 1980’s is getting married.

Little does she know that the groom to be is Sanyu’s  ex fiancé, Waiswa.

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Waiswa and his family left Uganda to take refuge in the UK during the 1985 war. Sanyu never heard from him again.

She has been living in the UK as a student for six months. After she won a scholarship to do an MBA at the London School of Economics, her mother introduced her to Ayesha’s family in the neighbouring village, and requested for Ayesha’s assistance once Sanyu arrived in London.

Ayesha  and Sanyu did not know each other until they met at London Heathrow. She lives in a foreign student’s hostel and Ayesha keeps in touch for support as her parents requested.

Today, they are going to a kwanjula and a chance to see more Ugandans and eat some matooke. It is an opportunity to get away from the hostel and to speak Luganda. She is excited.

Sanyu didn’t think she will ever need a busuuti while in London. She didn’t pack one but Ayesha has lent her for the occasion.

Dressed in smart busuutis, the girls set off from Upton Park through the Blackwall tunnel to Greenwich.

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“Here we go, all these Toyota cars packed around here show it is a Ugandan function” says Ayesha

”There are two men dressed in Kanzus” a surprised Sanyu exclaims.

“Why are you surprised”

“I didn’t expect to see Kanzus in London”

“ It is a kwanjula, the dress code stays the same, whether here or in Uganda”

“Where do they get them? Back home?”

“You can actually buy them on-line in. That is where I bought these busuutis”

“Wow, really?”

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They join two other ladies, dressed in blue and white busuutis at the door to usher in those attending and get them to their seats.

Everyone coming into the hall is on the bride’s side; family, friends and well wishers.

Sanyu doesn’t know anyone here, but is impressed by the colourful display of traditional wear.

Even the young girls who can’t speak a word of Luganda are dressed up in busuuti and kikoyi.

She looks on curiously as they swing on top of very high platform shoes. Most of them  pulling up their waist bands to avoid tripping over them and emulating the older women graceful walking in busuuti.

She feels the buzz of the kwanjula atmosphere in her stomach.

Abako batuuse” the words echo in her ears as the Master of  Ceremony announces the arrival the groom’s party.

The party walks past her in a single file. The women looking elegant and stylish. The men dressed in sparkly white kanzus and black jackets.

The groom is flanked by a woman and man. He is looking shy and has his eyes on the floor.

As he approaches the entrance where she is standing, he lifts his face up to enter the hall and their eyes meet.”Waiswa”, the man she was supposed to marry!

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Author: lubega1

Among other things an aspiring UK based African writer with particular interest in African/Western cultural divide..

2 thoughts on “A day out to forget

  1. Thanks for reading and commenting Emma.

    Like

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