Sunday July 13 2014

Eddy proposed to me at the Jinja Road roundabout

Mr and Mrs Edward Forbes.

Mr and Mrs Edward Forbes. Courtesy photos 

By Lydia Ainomugisha

When and where did you meet?
Edward: I’m an Australian police officer but I hadn’t taken leave in three years. My work place forced me to take leave. Out of desperation of where to go, I called Peter Sewakiryanga (Diana’s brother), a man I had met at church; Turramurra Anglican Church and he suggested that I come to Uganda. Coincidentally, Diana picked me up from the airport as she had been assigned by her office.

Diana: we met at work in October 2012 when Eddy had come to volunteer for three weeks in the organisation I work for (Kyampisi Child care Ministries). He was on leave but before his leave expired, we had fallen in love so he extended his stay in Uganda.

In that period, there was a Sean Paul concert and everyone at work was going except me. Eddy beseeched me to go and he bought a ticket. I felt sorry for him because he had spent his money on buying the ticket so I agreed to go. While at the Nakumatt Supermarket junction, he held my hand and said, “Hey, you know I like you.” I never replied but from that day, we started dating.

For how long did you date?
Diana: We dated for a year but in between, Eddy travelled back to Europe. I also travelled to Australia to meet his family and they were so good to me.

What was your family’s reaction when you told them you were going to marry a black girl?
They were very supportive. Before she came to visit in Australia, she had been chatting with them on Skype and they preferred her to other Australian girlfriends I had had. They even took her for shopping when she went to visit in Australia.

What attracted you to each other?
Edward: The first thing that attracted me to Diana was her love for Christ and her outgoing confident nature. She is straightforward and humorous.
Diana: What attracted me to Eddy was his heart that loves God and his desire to serve others despite the risks. It is evident in his work in Australia as a police officer and here as he volunteers with Kyampisi Child Care Ministries.

When did you propose?
Edward: On November 9, 2013.
Diana: The proposal was my happiest moment because he proposed to me in the middle of the road at the Jinja Road roundabout. Eddy requested the police officers to stop all the cars and he lied to me that we were only crossing the road only to get on his one knee and he proposed to me.

Where was your reception held?
Diana: At The Lawns Restaurant in Kololo. We had five brief speeches and lots of dancing. We did not want to waste time talking.

How did you raise the money?
Diana: We had wedding meetings where our friends were very supportive. Being a mzungu I had thought people wouldn’t contribute but they greatly did. Eddy’s family also significantly contributed and then we also used Eddy’s personal savings.

Compared to the Australian culture, what strange thing did you find in the Ugandan wedding?
Edward: The introduction ceremony was weird because back home, we do not have introduction ceremonies but only engagement parties. Besides, the spokespersons spoke a great deal of Luganda. I was told to wear a kanzu, a cloth I had never seen.
Diana interjects: I had to convince him to wear a kanzu because he first insisted that it is not his culture but he then accepted and his sister brought me the flower while dancing. We made the kwanjula not too traditional. After the main function, the in-laws stayed at home and we all danced including my grandmother.

How did you feel in the kanzu?
Edward: I felt more handsome and daddy also wore the kanzu.

Where did you buy your clothes from?
Diana: We bought the maids material from around town and I ordered for my wedding gown from China. I never wore a changing dress because I wanted to maximise my wedding gown and besides, you wear a changing dress for a short time which ends up being a waste of money.
Edward: I bought mine from Australia and my parents came with them.

What was your most exciting moment?
Diana: Seeing Eddy in church excited me and we talked almost all the time. We did almost everything together so we were never apart except at night (before we got married). But because of the wedding preparations, we were apart for a full day which made me feel like I hadn’t seen Eddy in ages.
Also Eddy’s family came to Uganda and attended the wedding.
Edward: Taking vows was so intimate to me because to me that’s the wedding and we took ours amidst our close friends and family.

What was your biggest disappointment at the wedding?
Diana: None, why would one waste their time looking at small disappointments! Everything was lovely.
Edward: Nothing.

Who took your wedding pictures?
Diana: A friend of ours Wegner Wabwire took the wedding pictures because we had seen his work before. I’m dark-skinned and Eddy white and he knows how to balance our different skin complexion.

How much did you spend on photography?
Edward: We paid Wegner Shs1m for both the introduction and wedding photography. My father is a 3D lecturer and does documentaries so he brought his camera and we only hired someone to capture the video. My father is still editing the video.

Did you have any premarital counselling?
Diana: Yes, we had two counseling sessions at Bugolobi Church of the Resurrection and a private one at Mavunno Church at Oasis Mall.

What did you learn from the counselling?
Diana: I learnt that communication in marriage is vital. Whenever we get a disagreement, we talk and sort it out there and then. I also learnt that our families shape who we are but we should take out the positives and leave the negatives behind.

What advice do you have for young people planning to follow the same route?
Edwards: They should do a wedding within their means not lavish weddings for the sake of it. They should also love each other like Christ loved the church. In marriage, there has to be a lot of grace and incase of misunderstanding, talk about things rather than keeping them to yourself.