King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi is the youngest ruling monarch in the world. At 3 and-a-half-year-old he ascended the royal dais to become the undisputed titular head of the 180-year Toro Kingdom. He is the youngest ruling monarch worldwide. In the Guinness Book of records, he took the spot of youngest king from Mswati III of Swaziland who was crowned king when he was 18.
This September 12, 2016 will mark 21 years since the youngest monarch in the world, ascended to the throne following the death of his father Patrick Olimi Kaboyo in 1995.
He holds an annual event known as “Empango” usually thronged by the king’s subjects from the 3.5 million strong Toro tribe whose kingdom is centered in the pristine town of Fort Portal locally known as Kabarole in Western Uganda.
The event is marked by prayers led by the representative of the Seventh Day Adventist in Uganda. The event will normally have a theme yet to published.
Rukirabasaija (meaning greatest of all men) ascended the throne on September 12, 1995, a week after the passing of his father king Patrick Olimi Kaboyo, to become the 12th king of the 185-year-old kingdom.
At only 3 years of age, this meant that the toddler king had to wait until he turned 18, leaving 3 regents to oversee his growth and the cultural affairs of the kingdom. These included Queen Best (the Queen Mother); his aunt/godmother, Princess Elizabeth Bagaya; and President Museveni.
The late Colonel Muamar Gaddafi of Libya, who had funded the re-construction of the king’s palace in his grandiloquent scheme of uniting kingdoms in Africa, was made patron and later defender of the kingdom.
The Kingdom is ruled by the Babiito dynasty, whose history dates as far back as the 14th century. According to oral history, Prince Olimi Kaboyo Kasunsunkwanzi, son of the King of Bunyoro, annexed the southern part of his father’s kingdom in 1822 and founded what is known as Toro today.
The post card town of Fort Portal is reputed as the cleanest town in the country with pristine meadows, tea estates, scenic crater lakes, Kibale Forest National Park, and the snowcapped “Mountains of The Moon” in the backdrop.
Uganda remains a republic, although since pre-colonial times, the former British Protectorate was ruled by sovereigns and loose chiefdoms whose role is now limited to cultural as enshrined in the 1995 constitution of The Republic of Uganda.
King Oyo is a 2013 graduate from University of Winchester, UK.