As early as 10am, the queues had started taking shape as hundreds gathered for the annual CBS FM gala, Enkuuka, at Lubiri grounds.
Those who had arrived early were seen searching the grass looking for the Shs 1m that was hidden for a lucky reveller to find, as others danced or saw 2012 off with tots of tonto [local brew] served in gourds. ?For another section of people, it was business as usual, selling Buganda magazines such as Entanda, T-shirts, gourds, caps and the Kabaka's portraits, among other things.
Food and alcohol vendors had the widest smiles as revellers ate roasted meats and knocked back waragi parked in buveera.
The music kept the crowd busy, as did in the annual Entanda Ya Buganda, a quiz about Buganda and Luganda, where six finalists - Juliet Nanteza, Harriet Namukasa, Christopher Nsubuga, Peter Ssebugwawo, Bwogi Kasumba, and Harriet Nakidde - tussled it out. ?Nsubuga won the competition, collecting the land plot from Jomayi Propery Consultants. Nakidde, who came in second, won a plot of land courtesy of Maama Fiina and cows from Joyce Kabatsi.
At 4pm, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi arrived and was welcomed by the Katikkiro JB Walusimbi, Ssabalangira Moses Kayima, Charles Peter Mayiga, Omutaka Nakirembeka Waliggo and Tofiri Kivumbi Malekweza, and inspected a royal parade mounted by his subjects, while Sophie Nantongo entertained him with her Kagiko Nattabula.
Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko came straight from Tororo prison where he had been confined, to Lubiri, where the Kabaka gave him a handshake as the crowd screamed. ?The NRM legislator looked really tired, but this did not stop him from flashing the V sign associated with opposition FDC.
Nsereko was accompanied by MPs Ssuubi Kiwanda, Mariam Nalubega, Moses Kasibante, Ken Lukyamuzi, Medard Sseggona and Gerald Karuhanga, whose prostration before the king drew wild cheers. The Kabaka's younger brother, Prince David Kintu Wasajja also arrived with his wife, Marion Nankya, and he knelt to greet his king, and Nankya followed suit.?Joyce Kabatsi, former DP president Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, Buganda ministers and chiefs also graced the event.
At 7pm, the Kabaka, using a symbolic key, locked 2012 and opened 2013 as his subjects jubilated. He advised them to work hard this year to live a better life and improve Buganda. He also launched K2 telecom, making a maiden call to Mayiga. Thirty minutes later, the Kabaka left, followed by most of his VIP visitors, and the party started in earnest for the rest, till dawn.
Joseph Ssenoga, from Kyabadaaza won a motorbike, Godfrey Ssemanda from Kabojja won a car by Peacock paints and Isma Bbale found the Shs 1m from the treasure hunt. Others won bicycles, radios, Star Times decoders and paint.
Afrigo band, Mathias Walukagga, Aziz Azion, Iryn Namubiru, Annet Nandujja, Fred Ssebatta, Zam Kaggwa and Lady Aisha performed.