Cover Photo: Twaha and Rukia during their prewedding photo shoot
It is a cultural norm and practice among the Baganda that any man who intends to marry someone’s daughter first visits his future auntie in-law. This process that is almost as old as the tribe itself, dictates that when a boyfriend asks his girlfriend to meet her parents, he has to first meet with this soon to be marital auntie, also locally known as “senga owe nsonga”.
Modern times have however seen a change in practice that most couples ignore this step. Some girlfriends introduce their suitors to such an auntie in an official capacity at family gatherings and random run-ins anywhere while others do it behind secret corners on the D-day of the Kukyala.
For matters of culture, any man has to pay a visit to his soon to be auntie in-law. It is during this visit that he then declares his intentions of wanting to do the Kukyala (first visit) to the girl’s parents. During this visit, he hands over an official letter that is addressed to the girl’s parents about his kukyala intentions. This letter is then delivered to the girl’s parents by the auntie (senga).
It goes without saying that so many couples out there still follow this customary order of doing things, the right way, according to the great grandfathers and mothers of the Baganda. Nonetheless, many get certain things wrong as they go for this very important visit with a pool of gifts after a well-dissected budget. Well, you’re doing it all wrong. According to experts, a simple budget of UGX 200,000/= in this day and age is enough to get the job done. Just two hundred thousand, yes, you had that right.
Like the old adage goes that Omuganda asanyukila yetise (which translates that a Muganda happily welcomes he/she who comes carrying something), it is important that you don’t go empty-handed. Also note with keen attention that this visit is a two-man job, for a boyfriend and his girlfriend. So here are some of the simple gifts you and your partner should carry as you go to visit your auntie;
- Blue-band or Zesta
- Tea leaves
- Tomatoes and onions
Top all that with a brown envelope with some money that you‘ll give to auntie for her transport as she goes to meet with her brother (the girl’s dad, mother or respective guardian) to deliver your message. Period, yes that’s all you need. It’s this visit that will set things in motion prior to your kukyala.
Please note that it is absolutely wrong to carry any clothes like a gomesi for the auntie or anyone else at this point in time for that matter. Save all this for subsequent events where this shall be done should your request for Kukyala be granted.