‘Gayaza High School. 3rd from left, Irene Drusilla Namaganda who became Queen Namasole of Buganda.
3rd from right, Sanyu Mulira who became Mrs. Paulo Mukasa’
Irene Drusilla Namaganda was born in 1896.Irene Drusilla Namaganda became the Nnabagereka (Queen) when she married King Chwa II. After his death she was the Queen Mother (Namasole) of her son King Mutesa II. The title of Nabagereka was new, created by Chwa II. Previously the wife of the King was called the Kaddulubaale. The Kaddulubaale had no official role, the First Lady was the Lubuga, a sister of the King. The Namasole was, however, a powerful person at court from ancient times.
Sanyu is wearing a suuka, the traditional dress of a maiden. It was an ankle length backcloth (later a length of cotton) wrapped around the body and belted at the waist. At the request of the headmistress of Gayaza High sch, a Goan tailor named Gomes modified the suuka to create a school uniform for Gayaza. By adding sleeves to the suuka the elegant robe recently some people(Otto Patrick & Co) dont want to call it a Kiganda dress- was invented. It was thus called the Gomesi, or the ” boarding” (after boarding school) or busuuti (the name of the robe worn by male VIPs over their kanzu).
I am sure Namasole is Queen Mother. The role of Namasole was really given its greatest focus when Mutesa I’s mother died. Alex Mackay was asked to make a coffin for her. The first coffin in Uganda’s history is said to have been that of Mutesa’s mother. Mutesa had asked Mackay what arrangements were made in royal burials the UK. Mackay’s explanation of Westminster Abbey arrangements led to Mutesa to ask Mackay to make a coffin for his mother and the Baganda royal builders to erect Kasubi Tombs to equal Westminster Abbey in stature and grandeur.