In a few months, it will be over a decade since Robert and Angel Tusiime Mayanja said ‘I do’. Meeting on a gospel mission ground in Kibale District in September 2006, they could not keep their eyes off each other.
“What struck me about Angel was her outgoing nature and wherever she was, people felt her presence. On the physical side, she has the most beautiful eyes and legs,” Robert says.
Cupid’s arrow had indeed struck Robert’s heart who spent the next three months trying to find the best moment and words to express his feelings. “I was scared because I thought she was already dating someone. Eventually, I gathered the strength and courage to tell her,” he says.
Unlike other men who ask for a date, Robert asked her to be his wife despite her being in her Second Year at University. “I knew that she was the right person and I did not want to beat around the bush. We were in courtship for about two-and-a-half years,” he reminisces.
Angel remembers Robert’s request like yesterday. “He did not ask me out to a date but instead asked me to be his wife, something I found rather shocking. Yes, a number of other men were interested in me but I had not yet made up my mind so he got lucky.”
However, from then on, things were not easy as Robert juggled books and work. “With the tight schedule, we would meet once in a while,” he adds. Despite time being a daunting factor, the lovebirds used the time to learn several things about each other.
“When I met Angel, I did not know that she was from Western Uganda because her Luganda was so fluent. I later got to know about about her origin, her likes and dislikes, what made her happy or sad. I made it my goal to enter her world and see if I can fit in.”
Angel adds that they took time off to attend church services together, pray, take pictures, visit friends as well as go for social events such as weddings and introductions.
“While it is very common, lately, that sex is part of the courtship puzzle, the Mayanjas chose sexual purity over pleasure. “Given the strong spiritual beliefs that weighed on our conscience, it was the way to go. We thank God who actually pushed us through,” Angel shares.
Three years later, the wait was finally over because on May 19, 2009, Robert paid Angel’s parents a visit in Rukungiri.
The wedding was held a month later on June 26 at Rubaga Miracle Centre Cathedral followed by a reception at Silverton Gardens in Kampala.
First year in marriage
Robert says it was tough. “We had exhausted almost all our finances but we managed slowly.”
Angel had a different challenge altogether. “My major issue was adjusting from being a single woman of 24, fresh from campus to marriage without a job. It was tight. Also, learning the other person because when you get married, the real person unfolds before you,” she shares.
Robert adds that to get even closer, they chose to have fun after their honeymoon. “We took time off to visit various places and since we had no maid, we decided to always do all the house chores together. What a good feeling!”
But the hiatus was cut short as their first baby came faster than they had expected.
“It became a challenge as Angel became moody and sickly. We later adjusted and prepared ourselves to receive our first born, Samantha, who came exactly nine months after our wedding,” Robert says.
Over the years, the Mayanjas have been blessed with three more children, Myrandah, Krystabbelle and Nirvana. The couple has taken to the very lessons that have kept them strong and imparted them to their children.
“We are intentional about teaching them the scripture and the way of the Lord, not forgetting to pray with and for them. We also talk to them about the right way to live life by sharing the good and bad. Apart from that, we also apply the rod, where necessary,” Robert shares.
Angel adds: “We also deny them privileges such as play toys, going to certain places, using particular gadgets, watching TV and plaiting hair. Interestingly, these hurt and drive the message home better than beating,” she smiles.
Robert says he is a workaholic and sometimes comes home late. “Because of the nature of my job, I keep very late hours but at the weekend when I am not working, we spend time going to church and taking outings as a family.”
Another issue could have been finances but they devised solutions early in time.
“As the family grows, you need to elevate your income inflow. That compelled us to start up several side businesses to top up the family income,” he adds.
Difference in culture also seemed to pose an issue. “I desired that Angel did things according to my culture. But I also had to understand that not everything will be done since she came from a different cultural setting. Therefore, I had to be understanding where she failed,” Robert mentions.
Young people regarding courtship
Robert says there is no need to make it expensive to win a woman’s heart, something that his wife agrees to. “Do things within your means as you also think about the future.”
Besides that, if you can stay sexually pure, then do so. “I waited and my honeymoon was worth the wait.” While many say it is not easy, he advises those who are dating to engage in activities that keep them busy such as being involved in church ministry.
Angel, believes that courtship should not take decades. “You cannot learn everything about the person. Just pick a few things to ride on but do not ignore any red flags.”