Africa's youngest tribal leader completes a decade in power
Thousands of Ugandans flocked to the hilltop palace of Africa's youngest tribal ruler, for two days of noisy parties marking a decade in power for the 13-year-old boy king.india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 14:47 IST
Tens of thousands of Ugandans flocked to the hilltop palace of Africa's youngest tribal ruler on Saturday, for two days of noisy parties marking a decade in power for the 13-year-old boy king.
Dancing, singing and blowing trumpets, they strained for a glimpse of Oyo Nyimba, who sat before a throng of guests on a throne covered in lion skin, under an arch of elephant tusks, witnesses said.
Since his coronation as a three-year-old, when he was pictured crying for a fizzy drink, the youthful Omukama(King) Oyo has had to grow into his role as leader of western Uganda's one million-strong Batoro tribe.
When he is not in class at an international school in the capital Kampala, the heir to the country's centuries-old Toro Kingdom plays football and video games and goes to the cinema like any other well-off Ugandan teenager.
But at weekends and during the holidays, he is courted by ambassadors and presidents making the four-hour drive to his imposing Karuzika-- "palace" in the local Lutoro language -- above sleepy Fort Portal town.
The three-story home, which looks out over lush green tea plantations and banana groves, was renovated by one wealthy visitor: his "good friend" MuammarGaddafi, the Libyan leader.
Chief guest this weekend at Oyo's Empango(moon) accession parties is expected to be Uganda's President YoweriMuseveni, who was re-elected last week for another five years in power.