Brenda Nantongo, the slain daughter of outgoing Works minister Gen Katumba Wamala, will be buried today in Kikandwa village, off Mukono-Kayunga road, dressed in a wedding gown, the family said yesterday.
The 32-year-old died in a staccato of bullets alongside driver Haruna Kayondo when masked gunmen riding on a motorcycle attempted to assassinate Gen Katumba in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb, on Tuesday.
Brenda’s mother, Ms Catherine Katumba, said they decided to bury their daughter in a gown because she looked forward to a wedding and they had broached up the subject of marriage multiple times during informal conversations.
“I don’t usually speak at functions, but I had committed to speak at Brenda’s wedding and she would say ‘I would wear a gown of this make’ and she would say ‘I don’t like a certain make’ and, so, we knew exactly what she would wear [on her wedding day],” she said.
Speaking in Luganda at a funeral service last evening, Ms Katumba added: “And, so, I decided that my daughter had to wear a gown. Even if she is dead, let her wear it in a coffin, let us throw this wedding as her last celebration.”
Indeed, Brenda’s body in the glittering hard-wood casket at their urban home in Bulabira, Wakiso District, was dressed in a sleeveless and round-necked cream American satin gown with white pearls to the chest and a cocktail hat clipped to her trimmed hair.
Make up was visible on the face, the eye brows were drawn and the eye lashes were darkened with mascara while red lipstick textured her lips.
Emotions rose and fell with each speaker and Brenda’s younger sister Belinda Katumba, who is currently in Canada, in a message read by their brother Julius Katumba, spoke of how Brenda spoke of her plans to start a family.
And the brutal bullets of assailants abruptly cut this blooming dream short on Tuesday morning. “I cannot believe that my sister is gone. Just yesterday (Monday), we spoke the day crying about the death of our (maternal) grandmother not knowing that I would spend the next day (Tuesday) mourning Brenda,” Ms Belinda noted, “I will miss your laugh, our weekly drives with mom to visit grandma.”
One of her aunties said they often teased Brenda about getting married and the good thing with her, unlike other girls, was that she never answered them rudely or barked at them, often responding that she would be wedding at the appropriate time.
“I would ask her when she would bring a man home and whether we would not fall while greeting [guests] during the marriage [due to old age is she continued delaying to marry],” Gen Katumba’s elder sister told mourners, speaking in Luganda
Ms Stella Kisekka said: “I had to pick out a gown for Brenda. I had to do her make-up,” speaking of Brenda, she posthumously described as a “loving and lovable, hard-working.”