What you need to know:
Dennis had fallen in love with Jane even before she knew he existed. Because she still stayed with her parents, the only time he would get to see her was when she came to this particular supermarket to buy groceries. One day, he gathered the courage to let her know how he felt about her and this started a romantic journey that has stood the test of time.
Even as a university student, Jane Nakatudde, a businesswoman, would help her parents with chores. Buying groceries at one particular supermarket in Mukono Town was one of them and it was during one of these outings that Dennis Ssendege, a teacher, noticed her.
“Although I met her often, I did not talk to her at first. However, because I loved admiring this beautiful girl with chocolate skin, I would purposely spend time near the supermarket just to see her. One day, I gathered the courage to speak to her but all I remember saying was that I was single,” he recalls.
Jane had never paid much attention to Dennis, who would never take his eyes off her, until one day when he actually approached her and made his intentions known. A few days after this meeting, Jane shared her telephone number with Dennis but since it was a landline, Dennis would always have to hang up after just one ring. To know that her parents were not home and she could talk to him, she would always call him back.
Different qualities attract one to their spouse but for Jane, it was the opposite. There was nothing special that attracted her to Dennis. They gave their love a chance to blossom and grow each day; there was no reason to hurry. The couple wanted to take all the time they needed to fully get to know one another and fall in love naturally. The fact that Dennis was not yet financially stable also strengthened their resolve to be patient.
“Her humility made me love her the more. Whenever she would visit my home, she would always leave my house so organised and sparkling clean. I also loved the fact that she would not spend a day without reaching out to me. We still check on each other all times of the day and our communication has just grown stronger,” says Dennis, adding that a phone call from his wife makes him stop all that he is doing because to him, this is a matter of urgency.
Although Dennis did not propose with a ring like it is nowadays, after five years together, he visited Jane’s aunt (senga) in 2012. After this visit, they started living together and she later conceived twins. The couple held their introduction ceremony in 2013.
This year Dennis suggested that they get married but because they had not made any preparations, Jane did not take him seriously. But in April, they registered at St Paul’s Catholic Church in Mukono District but even after paid the required fees, Jane was not convinced until they started attending the counselling sessions.
The couple exchanged their vows August 27 and later held a reception at Grand Praclos Hotel on Kayunga Road in Mukono.
“I saw this wedding as a reward to my wife for all she has done for me and gone through such as giving birth to all our children through C-section,” Dennis says.
Dennis recalls when his wife fell ill while expecting their fourth child. Because she was given bed rest for most of the pregnancy, he had to do everything for her.
“I had to carry her from the bedroom to the sitting room and prepare her meals, among other chores. It was not easy but I thank God and our Dr who would leave anything to come whenever we called,” Dennis says.
To manage their finances, the couple agreed to have personal accounts but also have a joint account as well as accounts for the different businesses they own. However, they each have 50 percent rights. This was agreed upon to avoid conflicts but also to offer a hand where possible.
Jane says in any relationship, it is good to be patient, adding that they started with nothing but with time, God has blessed them with a good home and a number of businesses, among other things.
“To escape regrets in the future, avoid making quick decisions. Put God at the centre of your marriage since nothing is impossible with him. Love and respect your husband and do not listen to rumours,” she advises.
Since no one is perfect, Dennis says, it is good to avoid looking at one’s weaknesses, but instead focus on their strengths. He adds that partners should avoid making comparisons with other couples since marriages are never the same. And since marriage is not a contract, be determined to live and love your partner forever. Avoid cheating or infidelity, rudeness, disrespect, being stingy as well as third party negative influence.
“Commitment, love, patience, care, respect, prayer, openness and good communication are the glue for a successful marriage,” Dennis says.
Dennis: I remember one day I had no money and no hope of getting any that day. As we walked home, my eyes landed on a Shs10,000 note by the roadside. I took this as a sign from God and all I remember is that we were able to get something to eat.
Jane: I cannot forget the so many times Dennis hid in the big mango tree whenever he accompanied me home. Because he feared to be seen, he would hide and wave just before I made my way inside the house.