How and when did you meet?
Maureen: We met in Masindi during training. We became friends but I did not think it would lead anywhere. At first, I thought he was joking because I was used to policemen and their flirtatious ways. So I thought he was one of them. But he seemed serious about the relationship. He pursued me for six months after the training, and that is when I knew he meant it.
Jimmy: The truth is I was not looking for a companion at that moment but her smile and her beauty captivated me and refused to let go. A police training is the last place women look their best since they cut off their hair and wear unflattering uniforms all the time, but somehow Maureen looked so striking.
When did the relationship become serious?
Maureen: After training, I was posted to Malaba border post while he stayed in Kampala. This is when I got to realise that he was serious. He would endure the long journeys just to come and visit and, he was always ready and willing to help me with everything I needed.
Jimmy: The relationship was serious from the beginning. I only had to convince Maureen to see this. However, my conviction that I had made the right choice grew when I saw her interacting with my child.
What qualities did you find endearing in each other?
Maureen: Jimmy is principled and focused; when he sets out to do something he gives it 100 per cent. He is also smart, kind and respectful of me. And I came to realise this during our courtship that he is a man of his word. He is the kind of man I had always wanted.
Jimmy: Maureen is jolly and brings joy to those around her. She is honest, hardworking and intelligent. She somehow knew how to help me whenever I felt frustrated. She is beautiful and her smile is still the best thing that I have ever seen.
How did Jimmy propose?
Maureen: Jimmy did not propose to me the traditional way. He just called me out of the blue and told me that he wanted to introduce me. After one week, he took me to his home in Kasese where I discovered that his family was already in advanced stages of planning the introduction; all they needed from me was a date.
How did you react?
Maureen: The way he said it sounded like a joke. I in fact asked him if he was proposing marriage but he said he was serious. When it dawned on me that he meant it, I got concerned about how his family would receive me. I had heard them referring to people from my tribe as bakooko I was afraid I would be segregated against. But he reassured me and when I got to their home I was warmly welcomed, which calmed my unfounded fears.
How did you propose?
Jimmy: At this point we had been together for two years and some eight months, so I told her that since we were virtually a couple and I had no interest in finding another woman we should get married.
How did she react?
Jimmy: At first she thought I was joking and then she was concerned by our tribal differences but she managed to come round and even enjoy herself.
What did you like about the introduction ceremony?
Maureen: We had our introduction on October 31, 2017 it was a good ceremony although it took some chunk of our savings. Since I was the first girl in my family, my parents wanted to do something that would inspire my other siblings to do the same. They invested Shs 14m in the ceremony. I felt very special and proud to be able to give my parents such joy.
Jimmy: I enjoyed the music and the food. But I disliked the long journey from Kasese to Iganga District. To make matters worse, our in-laws fined me Shs 100,000 for being late.
How was your wedding?
Maureen: Prior to the wedding, his ex-girlfriend had sent me nasty threats and even told me we would never wed as long as she was alive. So, I did not enjoy the ceremony because I was worried that she somehow would cause commotion. When we were pronounced husband and wife, I shed tears of joy; it could also have been pregnancy hormones since I was already expecting but it had not yet started showing.
Jimmy: Unlike the introduction, the wedding held in Kasese at Bwera Church of Uganda, on March 31, 2018 enabled my relatives to attend and they enjoyed themselves. There was enough food and entertainment for all our guests.
How much did it cost?
Jimmy: It cost me Shs 25m for food, transport, attire, rings and the other costs involved in such ceremonies.
Maureen: The costs were mainly on Jimmy’s side. I remember he even hired a bus to transport my people to the wedding venue. The wedding dress, which would have been my expense, was donated by a friend who lives in Turkey. My friend Eva who lives in Malaba offered to tailor my changing dress and bridesmaids’ dresses. My friend Julie did our make-up.
What did you not like?
Jimmy: The organising committee upset my wife when they started hustling us, claiming we were delaying the guests. We had to remind them that this was our day and we would do whatever we wanted. The emcees of the day also demanded to be given two cakes which we had not planned for and we refused.
Maureen: It rained heavily. They say rain is a blessing but it was too much and it almost ruined everything.
Did you go for honeymoon?
Maureen: No, I was already pregnant which would have made travelling difficult.
Jimmy: No, I had to return to work.
Who were your special guests?
Maureen: Jimmy’s parents Hadiah Kyakimwa and Julius Bagonza from Bwera- Kasese District.
Jimmy: Maureen’s parents Rovis Sebina and Edward Nkumiro from Nabitobo, Iganga District.