Thursday March 3 2016

‘I have asked God to never wake me from my dream’

Charles and Gladys Kabogoza with their

Charles and Gladys Kabogoza with their children, they got married eight years ago. COURTESY PHOTO 

By Edgar R. Batte

His story:
How would you describe yourself to a stranger?
Well, my humility would help the stranger judge me even before I say a word. I am so down to earth.

What other character traits describe you?
I am a go-getter, I am very daring and I dream so big. I always wake up and live my dream. I am also crazy when I am around good company. I love to laugh a lot.

What is the last conversation you had with your wife?
Funny, I chased her away. I was working yesterday and she did not want to leave my sight. I was distracted and I asked her to go. Okay, that is not romantic.

Well, tell us about your romantic side...
Hmm…I love to be free with my lady. I blush when she makes fun of me. Trust me, I insist. I am just one crazy excuse of a gentleman. I won’t forget the time I took my wife camping at Kaazi.
It was only the two of us in the wilderness. She was nine months pregnant.
To me, that was a proverbial extravaganza of romance.
What did you two do while in the wilderness?
Ha ha ha…parental guidance is advised in this interview but my father did teach me well is all I can say.

Away from the private stuff, how do you show affection to your wife?
Well, I must admit, women are very complicated. Sometimes it is hard to quantify or even classify affection. Sometimes when you are very nice, she will wonder what you are covering up. So, I have learnt to live every moment with my wife like it is the last time I am going to see her. That is why I got so hurt yesterday when I chased her away...oops.

What complications does she have?
No, she is not complicated. I just haven’t learnt her well. I am still trying, and I am sure I am not the only man in this predicament.

When and where did you two meet or hook up?
Wow. I love how I met my wife. It was a Christmas production at St Francis Chapel, Makerere. I was called to do a lead role in the play. A new girl had joined the drama group, and they needed a person to do the role of her husband.
That was the first time I set my eyes on Gladys. I quickly accepted the role. When the production was over, another script had been written in my heart. It is now 10 years. I guess we shall do this script for the rest of our lives.

What was written on that script in your heart?
The opening lines were simple… “I love you”. When she replied that she loved me too. We were married two years later. Today, we live man, wife and three lovely children. I have always asked God never to wake me if this is a dream.

Was it love at first sight?
Yes, it was.

Was it the outer beauty you fell for?
Yes she was and is still very beautiful, but her humility swept me off my feet. I remember escorting Gladys to her hostel one day after practice. I was thirsty, and she served me water from a pot. I was shocked, to see a campus girl who fancied no fridge or flat screen but so proud of who she was. She is that woman today. And my love for her has continued to grow.

As you drank water from her nsuwa (pot), what went through your mind?
I am telling you, I judged her there and then and I was so right. This woman was raised-well, she lives within her means, she is kind hearted and the best choice for a mother to my children. That is what that one glass of water from ensuwa did to me.
What had been your experiences in the previous relationships?
To be honest, I don’t regret any of my former relationships. I have always been true to all the people I related with. I guess I impacted them as much as they impacted me; to be the best I can be when we all meet the people we were destined for.

What lessons have you learnt in relationships?
Relationships are simple if you be what you wish of your partner. But we always keep pointing fingers at our partners forgetting our own imperfections.

What has made your relationship work?
My wife is very patient and she has taught me this virtue. I was never patient. And also, we truly love each other in spite of our imperfections.

What imperfections has she tolerated?
I am very impatient, and I am trying to work on that. When I am working, I usually go beyond normal hours. Sometimes times, I work 18 hours a day, even while at home.

What imperfections have you tolerated from her?
She is very slow.
In what way is she slow?
She takes her time at everything even when it is not necessary

When and how do you talk about all this?
Well, I accepted I can’t change who she is but then adjusted my attitude and actions. Sometimes when I ask her for help, I finish the task before she starts. That annoys her.
Sometimes, I am deliberately slow, like when we are to live home together, just to make her feel the pain. It is working. These days it is improving.

You are a committed man as an actor in the local drama Deception. How does Chris differentiate from Charles?
Chris is laid back, and boring while Charles is aggressive and crazy. However, there are some traits of Chris in Charles, like when the two choose to love, they mean it.

Has your wife ever found issues with you over your acting role?
Not at all, she trusts me and I have given her no reason to worry. She knows how much I love this. It’s my ministry.

How do you balance between life as an actor and as a husband and parent?
My mind set is my first weapon. I love what I do. Secondly, I make time for my children, and I become a child like them. That way, they understand me better and faster.

What things do you do together as a couple, and then as a family?
As a couple, we have our childish way of enjoying our company, like going for ice cream. Yes, ice cream.
We hang out some times. We eat out, and we surely love our evening walks, and of course what old people do. With the kids, they always dictate what they want.
Most times its jajja’s place, and bouncy castle wherever they find one.

How important is the time you spend away from home?
Responsibility keeps me away from home, to earn but also to catch up with friends.

Do you trust friends with your secrets?
Never. I actually don’t believe in secrets. Presence of secrets means absence of trust.

How important is trust between you as lovers?
Trust is our foundation, but beyond trust, love sustains you even when trust is lost. Sometimes trust is lost.

What is your idea of love and how does it play out the reality of your relationship?
Love is when you listen, especially when you disagree and say sorry. When you are right, you apologise. When you are wrong, you understand. When you are doubted and you forgive when necessary. That is exactly the reality of my marriage.

Have you had cold wars as a couple?
Ha ha ha, yes and I love them sometimes. The make-up point is magical.

How do you normally make up?
The way Adam and Eve compromised.

What is your message to you wife?
The way we walked down the aisle eight years ago, I will walk with you all my life. What I felt for you then has grown and continues to grow. How I wish there was a sweeter way to say I love you. Nkwagala nyo.

Dedicate three love songs to your wife...
Can’t help falling in love by Elvis Presley, Keeping My faith in you by Luther Vandros and Tonefulira by Sylver Kyagulanyi.

Her story:

How would you describe Gladys to a stranger?
I am a humble and jolly person. I love to laugh a lot especially with friends

When and how did you first meet Charles?
It was 10 years ago and during a Christmas production

What was your first impression of him?
Believe me, it was strange. He came to church for practice wearing gumboots, in a pickup with animals. He looked strange though I admired him at the same time.

What did you admire about a man in boots?
It explained a lot. He did not pretend about who he was. I saw a hard-working man who put God first and loved ministry.

What were his first words when you two spoke?
It was a normal conversation. I just remember he was cool and smiled a lot. He said ‘hi’ and he said that he loved my afro

What was your response?
I thanked him for the complement

When next did you meet?
It was at church for a while

At what point did he confess his attraction for you?
I really don’t remember

What did you love about him?
His jokes really caught my attention. He was very funny and very interesting. He is a very caring, loving father and husband. He is a man of his word and he loves to work hard, so down to earth and always puts a smile on my face when I am not well or even stressed.

How do you express love and care for him?
In many ways. I always make sure he is happy and well taken care of. I surprise him with presents, take him out once in a while for a drink, support him in his acting ministry.

What meal does he enjoy most?
He enjoys beef, posho and rice. I have my secret recipe.

What do you wish you changed about Charles?
I think it is not a wish anymore because he is now getting better. That is impatience

What makes him impatient?
He is a perfectionist and he expects everyone to work at his pace

Are you too slow or he is too fast?
No. I am normal. His pace is just too abnormal but I guess I am used now.

Have you talked about your shortcomings?
We do that all the time

How important is communication for you as a couple?
Communication is what makes a marriage. It keeps us together and we are always happy

What do you do when you have fights as a couple?
We always talk about it, away from home at times or at home

How important is it to get away?
It helps you calm down. Otherwise, you might end up saying things that you will regret later

What issues do you normally fight or argue about?
In marriage, any small issue is an issue so there are many issues that keep coming up. Sometimes he will want me to do something and I delay a bit. It gets him pissed

Do you then apologise or simply laugh at him?
No way. It annoys me too because most times when he asks me to help him with something, I am also doing something else.

How does he calm you when you get annoyed?
He always makes his funny jokes and believe me, I immediately forget and move to something else

How would you describe your husband?
He is a good man, loving, understanding and caring. He is God-fearing, funny and a very loving father.

How do you balance parenting and career?
God has given me the grace. I always find time for both and I have my principles. When I am home it is time for family and nothing else and time for work is time for work. So that is not a problem for me.

How do you balance parenting with Charles?
He has his own time though at times he is just like the children so they all end up getting the same attention. He is not that complicated and I love him for that.

What message do you have for your husband?
I love him so very much. He has made me very proud. Keep up the spirit of being the good husband, father and son that you are. May God bless you, always.

Dedicate two love songs to your husband…
I love you by Celine Dion and Anjagala by Lyto Boss.