For the past one week, social media has been awash with pictures of a young woman proposing to her boyfriend at Cayenne Restaurant and Lounge in Bukoto, a Kampala suburb.
The proposal has attracted a barrage of reactions from the public. While some have praised the woman for being courageous enough to pop the question of marriage, others have condemned the act calling it an abomination.
“This is Africa where women do not propose marriage. This is a disgrace,” one of the Facebook users commented on one of the shared photos.
Another commented” “How desperate can some women get? How do you kneel down and ask a man to marry you? It is something unheard of and not the right way of doing things.” Meanwhile, others have dubbed it a joke and publicity stunt.
Speeding the process
Without a doubt, women proposing to men is something rare in this country and beyond. It may probably be happening but silently out of fear of the couple becoming a laughing stock among members of the public.
“Women engulfed in love always have tendencies of mentioning things out of the blue including asking the man to marry them,” says Leah Mbabazi, a 50-year-old mother of four.
However, sometimes after proposing, they may look back and ask themselves what they were thinking by asking a man to marry them especially when problems crop up in the marriage.
For other women, popping the question is a way of speeding up things in a relationship.
“This is especially in cases where the woman desires to settle down and yet the man is not expressing any serious interest,” Mbabazi says, adding, “But also, proposing marriage may be another tactic some women employ to legally and officially secure a man.”
Similarly, Mbabazi says some women hurry to make the proposal after realising the man is wealthy and several other girls are interested in him. “Making a man commit is a way of disconnecting him from these other women,” she says.
A woman who spoke to Daily Monitor on condition of anonymity says she almost proposed to a man in the past when her family members were putting her on pressure to settle down.
“I thought of a number of ideas which I shared with one of my closest friends. Unlike me, she was not excited about the whole thing of me proposing to a man after reasoning that it would be such a strange experience that I would regret later in life. That the man would never respect me if he agreed and we later wedded,” she says.
But what if the man never proposes? “Give the man hints or leads,” says Diana Kyomugisha, a psychologist, adding, “That way, he will be able to know you want to settle down.”
She is quick to add though: “If a man does not pop the question, do not do it.”
What do the men say?
But Regan Mugisha, a 30-year-old single businessman says times have changed. “In this day and age, I do not think it matters who proposes first. Personally, if a woman asked me to marry her. I would say yes,” he says.
Mugisha emphasises though that for such a marriage to work, he must be in love with the woman.
Meanwhile, men like Jackson Okello, also single, highly disagree with women proposing marriage.
“It would bruise my ego if a woman asked me to marry her. How dare she? We men love being in charge even in relationships. I will feel that I have earned the woman’s love if I proposed to her instead,” Okello says, adding, “Let no woman risk proposing to me because I will turn down her request.”
In addition, Okello dubs such women as desperate and having a hidden agenda to settle down with a man. He strongly advises couples to stick to tradition by letting the man lead in the relationship and propose marriage.
Famous female proposals
Pink, musician. She proposed to her then boyfriend now turned husband, Carey Hart by holding up a “Will you marry me” sign at one of his motocross events in 2005.
Jennifer Hudson, musician. When David Otunga, a professional wrestler proposed to Jennifer Hudson, a musician on her birthday in 2008, she followed up by proposing to him as well. Hudson gave Otunga a ring as his birthday gift in 2009 asking him to marry her too.
Zsa Zsa Gabor, deceased actress and socialite. She was a famous Hungarian- American actress and socialite who died in 2016 aged 99 years. Gabor was married nine times to men she claimed to have asked to marry her.