Jinja, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Jovia Mutesi, born on June 15, 1992, at the age of 31, recently assumed the title of Inhebantu (5th Queen) in the Busoga Kingdom, one of Uganda’s four constitutional monarchies. Her marriage is to Kyabazinga William Wilberforce Gabula IV, the reigning King of Busoga, with whom she shares two children.
On November 18, 2023, Jovia Mutesi and William Gabula IV celebrated their official wedding at Christ Cathedral Bugembe in Jinja City, following a traditional ceremony at her ancestral home in Mayuge Town Council, Mayuge district.
The ceremony drew thousands of attendees. President Yoweri Museveni was represented by Vice President Jessica Alupo, adding an official blessing to the ceremony. Other prominent figures included President Museveni’s First Son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, and dignitaries from Uganda and beyond.
Notable guests also included the Prince Sicalo of Swaziland, Nabagereka of Buganda Sylvia Nagginda, Tooro queen mother Best Kemigisha, and the Omugo of Bunyoro. Political figures such as 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs Rebecca Kadaga, former Vice Presidents Specioza Kazibwe, and Edward Ssekandi were also present.
During the event, the couple exchanged vows and rings, receiving blessings from Archbishop Samuel Kaziimba of the Church of Uganda. Festivities included cutting a cake and dancing to a mix of traditional and modern music, broadcast live on national television and social media platforms.
This union marked a significant historical moment for the Busoga Kingdom, which had been without a queen for over 50 years since the passing of Irene Drusilla Namaganda in 1969. The Kyabazinga had long sought a suitable partner and found one in Jovia Mutesi, a woman he described as “beautiful, intelligent, and humble, with a deep love for God and her people.”
The wedding also symbolized a celebration of the cultural and developmental strides made by the Busoga Kingdom. Under the leadership of Kyabazinga and Inhebantu, initiatives have been pursued to enhance living standards, education, health, agriculture, tourism, and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, they have championed the preservation and promotion of Basoga culture, language, and heritage.
Early life and birthday
Born on June 15, 1992, in Mayuge district, Uganda, Jovia Mutesi is a dedicated Christian and active member of the Anglican Church of Uganda. Beyond her religious commitments, she is a committed philanthropist and social worker, advocating for various causes, particularly focusing on women and children.
Family background and tribe
Jovia Mutesi, from the Mayuge district in the Busoga region of Uganda, is the daughter of Stanley Bayoole, a civil servant and politician serving as Resident District Commissioner in Bulambuli district, and Florence Bayoole, a homemaker and farmer. Her siblings include Lydia Bayoole, a nurse and mother of two in Kampala; Isaac Bayoole, a businessman and father in Jinja; and Emmanuel Bayoole, a student and musician in Jinja.
Jovia excelled at St. Mary’s College Namagunga, graduating in 2009. She pursued a Bachelor of Laws degree at Makerere University, completing it with honors in 2013, followed by a postgraduate diploma in legal practice at the Law Development Centre in 2014. Additionally, she holds a Master of Laws degree in human rights and democratization in Africa from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, earned in 2016.
Career of the 5th Queen of the Busoga Kingdom
Beginning as a legal officer at the Uganda Human Rights Commission from 2014 to 2016, she focused on human rights violations, particularly concerning women and children. She later joined Katende, Ssempebwa & Company Advocates, specializing in corporate law and civil litigation. Transitioning in 2021 to fulfill her royal duties as the Inhebantu of Busoga, she now oversees welfare programs for women, children, and the elderly and chairs the Busoga Women’s Council.
Relationships and marriage
Jovia Mutesi married Kyabazinga William Wilberforce Gabula IV on November 18, 2023. Their relationship began while both worked as lawyers in Kampala. They got engaged in 2020 and have two children, Prince David Gabula (2020) and Princess Sarah Gabula (2021).
Renowned for her legal and human rights work, Jovia received the Uganda Law Society Pro Bono Award in 2018, the African Women Leadership Award in 2019, and the Golden Jubilee Medal in 2020 for her contributions to the nation and the Busoga Kingdom.
Jovia’s estimated net worth of $5 million (2023) stems from her legal career, royal duties, and investments in real estate, agriculture, and tourism. Her assets include a $2 million mansion in Jinja, a $500,000 farm in Mayuge, a $1 million hotel in Kampala, and a $500,000 vehicle fleet.
Jovia Mutesi’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming the queen of Uganda’s influential Busoga Kingdom serves as an inspiration to many. Balancing her roles as a wife, mother, leader, and advocate, she continues to work for the welfare and development.
The title of Inhebantu of Busoga, also known as the Mother of Busoga, is bestowed upon the queen consort of the reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Busoga – the Kyabazinga of Busoga in Uganda.
The previous holder of the title was Alice Muloki, who passed away on November 6, 2005. On September 7th, 2023, the Busoga Kingdom officially declared Jovia Mutesi as the Inhebantu, marking her as the 5th Queen of Busoga.