Folk performances, re-presentation and Drusilla Namaganda

Ekyalema Nakato


In 1945, Ssekinoomu, a Muganda professional musician made two recordings, Ekyalema Nakato and Wayelesi that Samuel Kasule writes “develop a conversation on questions related to female sexuality, modernity, and culture.”

In his paper, “’Don’t Talk into My Talk’ Oral narratives, cultural identity and popular performance in colonial Uganda”, Kasule describes Ekyalema Nakato as a “multilayered text that narrated the extraordinary encounter between Mulinnyabigo, an allegedly promiscuous man, and his mistress, Nakato.” Nakato of Kawanda.

This is the part I found most intriguing:

Oral informers told me that the song alludes to a 1940s event in Buganda when the Queen Mother, Drusilla Namaganda, broke custom and remarried. Hence, the song portrays her as an oversexed person. Notably, contemporary performances of the songs are more explicit. For instance, in 2010 when Busuulwa performed a variation of the song at Makerere College School he intercut the original scene between Nakato’s plea to Mulinnyabigo with a general comment on women’s experience of public wrath with the following stanza:

Drusilla Namaganda yalya ekibe

Bali bakibabuza ssanja emmuli zabula

Bakirya mu kiro nga abaana beebase

Bamusindike agwe eri aseseme bye yabba

Bamusindike agwe eri atomere ebifunvu

Drusilla Namaganda killed (ate) a fox

They roasted it using dry banana leaves for they could not find dry reeds

They ate it at night while the children were all sleeping

People should push her away, don’t care whether she stumbles and falls

Push her/ let her knock against the walls.

This direct comment on the Queen Mother’s relationship is Busuulwa’s own creation, is his own re-presentation of the event. His rendition directly names Namaganda but still uses the metaphor of the fox to refer to the undesirable sexual relationship between the two lovers.

FROM: Kasule, Samuel. “’Don’t Talk into My Talk’ Oral narratives, cultural identity and popular performance in colonial Uganda” in African Theatre 9: Histories 1850-1950. Suffolk: James Currey, 2010. 72-89.

(Psst: You can access the entire paper here.)


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