Imagine a three-year-old boy ‘falling in love’ and ‘d_ating’ someone’s three-month-old baby girl. And imagine such a boy tying the knot with the ‘love of his life’ on his ninth birthday in an elaborate ‘wedding’ presided over by adults, including parents. Now stop imagining because such a couple, from Uganda’s Baganda and Basoga tribes, is on its ‘honeymoon’ in Buyende District, eastern Uganda.
In one of the most bizarre cultural events in modern history, the two children ‘got married’ on Monday at Nakapyata Village, Buyende Town Council in Buyende.
The elaborate traditional wedding, complete with snakes “to protect the young couple”, was presided over by village elders.
The boy, a pupil at Buyende Light Primary School and the girl— who were both reportedly born with ‘two teeth’— were given ‘matrimonial hut’ to live in as a couple.
Under the laws of Uganda, it is illegal for persons under the age of 18 to get married or engage in s_x.
It is alleged the two children started ‘dating’ when the boy was three years old and the girl was just three months of age.
The development would later galvanise the bond between both families, with Mr Delifazi Mulame, the boy’s father, repeatedly referring to the baby girl as ‘my son’s wife’.
“My son was born with two teeth and his wife was also born with two teeth,” Mr Mulame said.
“His birth came with overwhelming blessings and his name should unite both Baganda and Basoga [tribes].”
Ms Barbra Namulesa, the boy’s teacher, described the pupil as a disciplined, social, soft-spoken boy who speaks like an elder.
“I think this is the Kintu our forefathers talked about (in ancestral history). This one advises me despite being his teacher,’’ she said.
Ms Mwadi Mutesi, 38, the girl’s mother said her daughter has been a revelation since she was born.
“She started speaking immediately after birth! When I went into labour, I asked what baby it was and I was told it was a girl. However, the midwife stunned me when she said my baby had been born with two teeth and nearly dropped her,” the mother of seven said.
“My immediate fear was how to breastfeed a baby with teeth. I was, however, comforted by my sister-in-law who was with me at hospital.”
One of Ms Mutesi’s enduring moments, she said, is when the daughter, then aged one day, changed position by herself, causing visitors to flee the hospital ward.
“Two days later, she started crying uncontrollably and an old woman appeared in my dreams dressed in old tatters. It was at this moment that I told my husband that I had had enough of this girl,” she recounted.
The ‘marriage’, marked by Baganda na Basoga with dances, left scores gripped by seizures as the boy and the girl sat adjacent to three-feet long snakes.
Their elders said the scary reptiles were meant to protect the ‘couple’.
Busoga North Regional police spokesperson Michael Kasadha said marriage must be between people who are 18 years old and above.
“Below that, you cannot marry. We want to find out the real facts of what it is all about.”