Otunnu funeral service brings Oxford City to a standstill

By Twaha Mukiibi

Acholi dancers at Somerville College, Oxford during the funeral service for Mama Josephine Otunnu.
Acholi dancers at Somerville College, Oxford during the funeral ceremony for Mama Josephine Otunnu.

The City of Oxford was at the weekend brought nearly to a standstill as it witnessed a rare occasion during a funeral service for the mother of famous Ugandan politicians. Large crowds watched in amazement as Josephine Amato Otunnu, often referred to as ‘Mama Otunnu’ and mother to Ambassador Olara Otunnu, the current leader of one of Uganda’s oldest political parties, the Uganda Peoples Congress and Amii Omara Otunnu, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut, USA and current leader of the recently formed Freedom and Unity Front was interred. Mama Otunnu was 85.

In a glittering ceremony where scarcely a tear was seen to have been shed, hundreds of Ugandans and friends of the Otunnu family gathered at the Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford on Saturday for what was truly a thanksgiving service for the life of Mama Otunnu who passed away on December 22nd at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

In a rare show of traditional pomp and ceremony away from home, Mama Otunnu’s casket was accompanied by a troop of traditionally dressed Acholi men and women armed with spears and shields dancing and singing the processional song “Wek Lalworo Odok Ingeya-CER” Revival song in the procession across the quad. Entering the Cathedral, the escorting troop was joined by the congregation in singing the “Wilobo Kulu Wupak Lalar-Lubara me CER” Revival song.

7 thoughts on “Otunnu funeral service brings Oxford City to a standstill

  • January 16, 2014 at 8:19 am
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    Ki pak Lubanga adek ma tic gi acel Amen. Mama Josephine Amato Otunnu otoo i kit me kom me lobo man ento pe otoo i kom me cwiny entye mere mot makow labongo kit ayela mo doki bot wone lubanga makwo ma pi loke tin ki diki ki nino ma mito bino.
    Kop bot wan luleyo me CER ducu omero walubu lane maber pe mama ki Baba, dok omero walubu obot koo tyen Baba Yusto gin ki Mama Josephine labongo winyo pwony mogo mawelo-welo ma balo dano abala. me agiki ne omero wan CER wane ni kodi ma dong Baba ocoyo ikom jok (jogi), onyo mac ma la dit ocwinyo ni mero wamede kwede nioo ka wa cobo wot wa bene. an kigen madit bot rwot won wa yecu. Wer ( Ocito ka yubo ka bedo won wa tye wa ipol)
    Lakwaro me CER.

    Reply
    • January 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm
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      Can someone please be kind enough to translate this comment for our readers? Please Mr Okonya, you are reminded that this is an English online newspaper and as such, we expect all comments to be in English and no other language. We have taken the risk of posting your comment. For all we know, you could be saying bad things about the Otunnu family. Please readers, do not send comments in any other language other than English. We will not post them. Thank you.

      Reply
  • January 16, 2014 at 8:21 pm
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    So the editorial team up loaded what they can read?? When are you writting about Dr Aggrey Kiyinji who also wants to lead our beloved country of Uganda.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2014 at 11:43 am
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    Thanks “Mama Otunu”, Josephine Amito for giving has such an inspirational son May your soul rest in peace.

    Reply
  • January 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm
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    Nga kitalo nnyo!

    Reply
    • January 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm
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      Let’s once again inform our readers that all comments must be submitted in English. Starting Monday 20 January 2014, we will no longer accept any comment written in any other language other than English.

      Reply
  • January 23, 2014 at 10:51 pm
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    Buganda was represented by a few ‘Basajja ba Kabaka’ (King’s men). As our King always encourages us to be leaders in accommodating and respecting others, we couldn’t leave the Acholi mourn alone.

    Wapoyo!

    Reply

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