When and how did you meet?
Samuel: I met Winfred when I had just joined Islamic University In Uganda [IUIU], Kampala campus in 2005. She was a student at the same campus. I always met her whenever we went for lectures. With time we got to know each other. That is when I started sending her messages proposing to be in a relationship with her.
Winfred: I was in my first semester when he started sending me love messages. I wonder how he got my phone contact.
So, when did the two of you eventually become close?
Samuel: In August, 2006. That is when she started picking my calls and replying to my love messages. We first became friends as we were both at the same institution.
Winfred: We started dating in July, 2006 after I realised he was a good man.
How was the proposal?
Samuel: The proposal was not easy but as our friendship grew, we eventually picked interest in one another to make a family.
Winfred: He proposed to me after in 2006. He invited me at a dinner at Serena Kampala Hotel only to see him at meal time going on one knee, asking to marry me.
How did you react?
Winfred: It was embarrassing but the reaction was not bad since he was already my friend and I knew him as a good guy. Overwhelmed with emotions, I cried and said ‘yes’.
What attracted you to each other?
Samuel: It was her character, humble beginnings coupled with sincerity. She is beautiful.
Winfred: His understanding, the care he showed me when we first met and his politeness won me over. He was taking care of me both financially and giving me guidance at campus.
When did you start living together?
Winfred: We started living together in 2009. We decided to start staying together although we had just graduated. We began a new life, which was challenging.
What was your budget and how did you raise the funds?
Samuel: Between Shs 25 to Shs30m. We had saved some money and family contributed the rest. As a family, we had a long-time dream so we raised that money ourselves. We did not want to depend on other people.
Winfred: We discovered that depending on people is disappointing. We saved part of our salary and with the help from the family members from both sides, we raised Shs30m.
What was the most expensive item?
Samuel: I cannot recall but I guess it was food and attire. But I do not recall how much we paid.
Winfred: Decoration was the most expensive item.
It cost us Shs 2.5m although we had budgeted for only Shs 1.5m.
Did you involve a wedding planner?
Samuel: No, I have been attending my friend’s functions often. From the word go, we knew what we wanted and where to get it. Also our wedding organising committee was robust and all of them knew what we wanted.
Winfred: No, we started planning for our wedding the day we started staying together. There was no need of a planner.
What were you doing on your wedding eve?
Samuel: I was organising accommodation for my visitors from Kampala and western Uganda at Resort Hotel, Nampologoma in Butaleja District.
Winfred: It was not easy; I was just finalising our wedding preparations, such as buying clothes to make sure it was successful.
Were you disappointed in any way during the wedding?
Samuel: I was too excited to notice disappointments. However, the music system was not good. The microphone was poor and also people turned up late for the function.
Winfred: Yes, the cake was not worth the money I paid. I expected to get a beautiful cake.
Where was the reception?
Samuel: Namulo Church of Uganda Primary School a few metres away from my home.
What did you enjoy the most on that day?
Samuel: Many things but the most exciting were the big numbers that turned up for our function although others came in late.
Winfred: I enjoyed the church choir and music at the reception.
What was going through your mind during the wedding ceremony?
Samuel: I was saying, “Oh God, You are worthy to be praised. Finally, I’m here.”
Winfred: I had very many things on my mind. is it me in a wedding gown or just a dream. Even after everything I could not believe that finally I had made it.
Did you go for premarital counselling and what did you learn from it?
Samuel: Yes, we did it for a good time. I learnt a lot, for instance how to grow our family spiritually, to encourage our children to respect and love the lord, my roles in the home as the head of the family; I also learnt that marriage is all about carrying one another’s burdens.
Winfred: Yes, I learnt that a man has to be cared for like a baby and God should be at the centre of your marriage. Learn to forgive each other as well as, compromise and adjust in some situations.
Did you think that going for honeymoon was vital?
Samuel: No, we did not see any value in it. We decided to travel back to our home in Kampala to rest.
What is your advice to those planning to wed?
Samuel: They must be very patient and plan within their means. Before they embark on any wedding or introduction ceremony they must be in position to finance 99 per cent of the budget instead depending on people.
Winfred: To use the available resources they have and avoid getting loans. Ours was a stress-free wedding because we did it within our means.
Date: July 16, 2016
Groom: Samuel Hinapanda
Bride: Winfred Twashaba
Church: St Paul Church of Uganda, Namulo Parish, Butaleja District.
Reception: Namulo Church of Uganda Primary School
Debts: Shs 500,000