Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, King Oyo, the reigning Omukama of Tooro is today April 16, 2015 celebrating his 23rd birthday.
According to Wikipedia, he was born on April 16, 1992 to King Patrick David Mathew Kaboyo Olimi III and Queen Best Kemigisa Kaboyo.
Three and half years later in 1995, Oyo ascended the throne and succeeded his father to become the 12th ruler of the 180 year old Kingdom of Toro.
He is currently the world’s youngest ruling monarch, taking the place of previous record holder, King Mswati of Swaziland, who was crowned at 18 years of age.
Oyo has been in the headlines for exhibiting “swag” at Buganda King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s 60th birthday celebrated in Monday this week.
The young monarch came under severe criticism for sitting cross-legged (which say was not inappropriate) and offering his hand to the Buganda Prime Minister, Peter Mayiga, without even looking at him.
Some people claim that Oyo should have showed some humility being a visiting monarch in a “foreign land”.
But youthful Ugandans see nothing wrong with Oyo’s posture which has since attracted various internet trolls and memes as Ugandans try to imitate what they termed as #OyoChallenge.
The youth say the king was simply showing some “swag” expected of someone in his age group.
Originally from the Scottish slang word “swagger” which was a description of the way some Scots walk (in a swaying motion), the word was then misinterpreted by the English as “the way someone presents themselves”, e.g, whether someone looks cool.
It is now taken for the appearance of being very cool, smooth, looking good, dressing nice and often having lots of money to flash which draws them the attention of others or way of carrying yourself like a star.
We are told Oyo’s friends have already organised some “small” party at Sky Lounge bar in Kisementi, Kamwokya Kampala.
Oyo is considered the sovereign leader of the Batooro but his power is limited to cultural duties.
According to Wikipedia, the death of his father King Kaboyo in 1995 meant the Crown Prince had to assume the role of King during his toddler years.
At 2 a.m. on 12 September 1995, a week after the late king’s burial, the rituals to hand over the reins of power to Oyo began.
They included a mock battle at the palace entrance fought between enemy forces of a “rebel” prince and the royal army, and a test of Oyo’s divine right to the throne, in which the Omusuga, head of the royal clan, called on the gods to strike Oyo dead if he was not of royal blood.
On passing the test, Oyo was permitted to sound the Nyalebe, a sacred Chwezi drum, as his forefathers had done. He was then blessed with the blood of a slaughtered bull and a white hen.
At 4 a.m, Oyo was crowned King amidst a jubilant crowd and entered the palace as the new ruler of the Kingdom of Toro.
He was served his first meal as King, which consisted of millet dough.
He sat in the lap of a virgin girl, and he swore allegiance to the Crown while lying on his side on the ground.
The cultural rituals were followed by a religious ceremony presided over by the Anglican Bishop, Eustance Kamanyire.
President Museveni attended the coronation celebrations and paid tribute to the new King.
Three regents were charged with overseeing King Oyo’s growth into the role of King and with handling the cultural affairs of the Kingdom during the King’s youth.
At the time of his coronation, the three regents included his mother, Queen Best (the Queen Mother); his aunt/godmother, Princess Elizabeth Bagaaya; and President Museveni.
The late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, was a patron of the Kingdom of Toro with close ties to the royal family.
The young King Oyo named Gaddafi the “defender” of the Kingdom and invited him to attend the 6th coronation anniversary celebrations in 2001.
Gaddafi had made donations to the Kingdom, helping pay for refurbishments to the Palace in Fort Portal.
Oyo spent two years in London and attended preschool there and would later go to the university in London.
He went to the International School of Uganda and says he enjoyed art, music, math, and swimming.
In October 2013, King Oyo graduated from the University of Winchester after studying there for three years.