Cyril's son to pay five cows, five goats as lobolo for wife

Cyril Ramaphosa's son Andile, left, with lobolo negotiators. Andile plans to marry his Ugandan fiancée this year.
Cyril Ramaphosa's son Andile, left, with lobolo negotiators. Andile plans to marry his Ugandan fiancée this year.

Andile Ramaphosa, the first son of President Cyril Ramaphosa, will pay five cows and five goats in lobolo for his Ugandan fiancée Bridget Birungi Rwakairu.

The okushaba [asking for marriage] ceremony in Uganda was attended by close family and friends at the weekend.

Those who attended the ceremony included prominent Ugandan businessman Charles Mbiire, who was also spokesman for Ramaphosa's family, businessman Amos Nzeyi and businessman and honorary Consul of Hungary in Uganda Gordon Wavamuno.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who is also a close friend to the bride's family, led the proceedings of the ceremony.

Rwakairu is the niece of Uganda's former prime minister and presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi.

The 37-year-old hails from the Kigezi region in western Uganda. Cultural aspects of marriage for the Banyakigezi are essential before a girl or woman is married.

Usually, a big number of cattle is asked as bride price [lobolo].

One of the delegates displays the picture of Andile's wife-to-be.
One of the delegates displays the picture of Andile's wife-to-be.

After discussions that lasted almost 20 minutes, the elders from both sides agreed on what would be offered.

Andile will have to pay five cows and five goats as a show of appreciation.

"The position of the clan is to retain the cows and goats. An appropriate statement will be made on the matter at an appropriate time. But given the progress made and interest of moving this forward, we accept your request [for marriage]," said Rugunda, who chaired the ceremony.

Andile and his fiancée have been together for almost 10 years and they have a two-month-old baby girl.

Andile will, however, have to pay a fine of a goat for fathering a child before marriage. It is a taboo in several Ugandan cultures for a girl or woman to have a child before marriage.

Andile was kept away from the negotiations and only appeared along with his
mother Hope Ramaphosa for the lobolo announcement.

There will be one more traditional function (okuhingira)], with Andile introduced to his fiancée's family. The wedding is planned for later this year.

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