It is not everyday that you find yourself living next door to a King. But friends, and neighbours on a Sale West housing estate, are having to get used to the idea.
Emmanuel Bushayija, a 56-year-old father of two, has been named as the new exiled king of Rwanda. He is currently living in a terraced house on the estate.
He has lived in Britain since 2000, and was named King Yuhi VI, according to an official decree by the late king’s chief courtier.
The announcement caused an immediate worldwide reaction on social media.
Boniface Benzinge, Chancellor of The Rwandan Royal Council of Abiru, said in online press release: “The Rwandan Royal Council of Abiru Hereby informs all Rwandans and friends of Rwanda that in keeping with the ancient custom, it has Acclaimed His Royal Highness Prince Emmanuel Bushayija as the Successor of His Late Majesty King Kigeri V Ndahindurwa, who passed away on October 16, 2016, in the United States.
“The Royal name of His Majesty Emmanuel Bushayija shall be His Majesty King Yuhi VI.
“His Majesty King Yuhi VI Bushayija is the son of His Royal Highness Theoneste Bushayija and grandson of His Majesty King Yuhi V Musinga.
“He was born in Rwanda on December 20, 1960. He is married and is the father of two children. He grew up in exile in Uganda, where he studied at Iganga Secondary School and worked for PEPSI Cola in Kampala.
“He also lived in Kenya, working in the tourism industry, before returning to Rwanda in July of 1994.
“His Majesty King Yuhi VI Bushayija left Rwanda in 2000 and has resided in the United Kingdom since then.”
The new King was keeping a low profile and not talking to the press for the moment. One neighbour said:”This has been a complete shock. He is a lovely man, but nobody suspected he had royal connections”.
Another said”He’s a normal guy and so down to earth.
“He works nights and listens to reggae music.”
She added: “It’s not every day you find out you’re living next door to a king!”
She said he lived with his wife and two children – a young daughter and son of about 21.
Other neighbours described Mr Bushayija as a private person and “nice guy”.
He was said to have gone away since news of his appointment broke.