After weeks of hype, scintillating reviews and speculation, Queen of Buganda Nnaabagereka Sylvia Nagginda Luswata’s new autobiography finally hit the shelves today.
The book was unveiled at a glamourous event at the Kampala Sheraton, and graced by dignitaries from Buganda and other kingdoms, the central government, players in the business sector, her family and friends among others.
The book chronicals Nnaabagereka’s childhood and education, her love affair and subsequent marriage to the Buganda Monarch and the works she has done during her tenure as the Nnabagereka spanning over two decades.
Addressing the guests at the event, the Queen started by acknowledging the effect of her unprecedented public communication in the book, which she said might have had unintended consequences to the Kingdom.
“Writing an autobiography can be a daunting process… reexperiencing steps taken at different stages of your life; reflecting on experiences and events that have shaped you, some of them exiting while others not,” she said.
“In the process of telling your story, you may inadvertently affect other people; it is also a highly sensitive process and therefore I have indevoured not to be detrimental.”
One of the highlights in the autobiography which sent shockwaves around the kingdom was the mention by the queen of her two twin daughters erstwhile unknown to the Kingdom.
The twins, she revealed on Page 205, were born on December 6th 2010 in Kampala.
“I was blessed with two more girls Jade Nakato and Jasmine Babirye born in Kampala… They’re two amazing kids who are mostly happy and are passionate about people which, at their age, I find astounding…” she wrote.
With many speculating that the queen secretly gave birth and raised twins in the palace, the Palace was compelled later to come out with a statement clarifying that the girls were adopted.
Mr Abdul Malik Migadde, the Kasujju Lubinga of Buganda Kingdom (caretaker of the King’s children) issued a statement clarifying that Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi had not sired the twins.
At the book launch today, (where one of the twins, Jasmine Babirye read excerpts from the 6thchapter in which her mother recounts experiencing racism at a US university), the Nnabagereka, without mentioning any particular section of the book, sought pardon from the public.
“If I have disappointed or hurt anyone in the process, I ask that you forgive me because it was not the intention,” she said.
“My intention was to share information with a little bit of humor; to educate, engage inspire and encourage you, and to share information that would make a positive difference in your life; I ask you yok look at it that way because I love you all very much.”
The Queen also took time to thank the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II for being supportive of her work.
“I would like to extend deep appreciation to the Ssabasajja Kabaka of Buganda for having allowed me to lend a hand to the progress and development of our region and people, as you will read in the book and for being supportive to me while doing so,” she said.
“I am grateful to the people of Buganda who have loved and supported me and our family during my time as Nnaabagereka.”
At the event, Nnabagereka’s first born Katrina Sarah Ssangalyambongo hailed her mother as a “cultural icon for her people” and one who upholds the ancient guiding traditions.”
“She will always be remembered as a champion for the less privileged, particularly the children,” Katrina said.
US Ambassador to Uganda Natalie Brown thanked the Buganda queen for acting as a bridge between Uganda and the US, by sharing her experiences as an exchange program student in the US.
“I am delighted that you chose to share your story; you have inspired so many people within Ugandan and outside” she said.
Sylvia Mulinge, the MTN Uganda CEO described the Nnabagereka as “an ordinary woman who has embraced a strong traditional institution and made it part of her life.”
“You have done it so effortlessly with such grace and dignity. We celebrate your courage and boldness and we thank you for sharing your story”
Meanwhile, Robert Kabushenga, the former head of Vision Group encouraged men in Uganda to seek out the book and use it as a manual for building stronger relations with their daughters.
“The greatest contribution of this book is to the men of the of this country; go and read it and understand your daughter. It is not too late if even if your daughter is 50; you might get a lesson to reconnect with her,” she said.