In a YouTube video clip posted on July 24, 2019 which has to date garnered about 53,105 views, one can see Margret Namirembe shivering, as she murmurs ‘I know that song’. The song, These Arms by All4One was the soundtrack on which Lambert Mulangira publicly proposed to her infront of hundreds of Miss Uganda 2019 guests as well as the general public, writes Joy Aheebwa.
“It was the longest walk I have yet walked in my life,” Lambert Mulangira confesses, as he remembers the time he walked up the catwalk at the Miss Uganda finals towards his unsuspecting girlfriend Margret Namirembe to propose to her.
All this time, their signature song, ‘These Arms by All4One’, was playing and he sang along as he took the long walk toward her in front of hundreds of viewers.
“I feared she was about to fall into the pool but somehow, I got to her, knelt down, reminded her of our walk thus far, and asked her, ‘Margret, will you marry me?’. She said ‘yes’ in front of relatives, friends and thousands of strangers and as you can see, the rest is history,” Mulangira, 27, says.
That was on July 18, 2019, at the Miss Uganda talent show at Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
“I had bought the ring two weeks in advance and left it in the safe custody of Betty Namayanja, Namirembe’s sister. My wife likes checking my bag and pockets so there could never be a safer keeper,” he says.
Margret’s mother, Harriet Ssemiggo was to make sure that she was set in the way he had requested and described.
“Margret and I had attended a similar event in 2018 and so it was easy for me to ask her out for the same in 2019 without raising any eyebrows. I told her I was inviting her sisters Namayanja and Ann Grace Nassaka to join us,” he says.
Unknown to Namirembe, who turns 25 on September 15, these two, and the other invited guests knew exactly what was going on.
On June 28, 2015, St. Peters Church, Kiwafu, Entebbe hosted the Namirembe Diocese Youth fellowship.
Mulangira, who was the chairperson youth department Entebbe Parish then, was one of the attendees.
Upon entering the church, his eyes caught Namirembe.
“I do not think I concentrated anymore. To my advantage, she was friends with a friend of mine, this made all things a bit easier,” Mulangira says.
He made sure to get her telephone number that day.
“She told me she stays on one of the islands and that the boat would leave her if she wasted any more time, in order to blow me off. Truth was, she lived just one kilometre from where the church was,” he says.
The two began talking and two weeks later, he opened up and told her how he felt.
“He kept on my case until I said yes to become his girlfriend,” she says.
“From February 2019, I was going back and forth about a number of ideas, anxious to make this day the most unforgettable for her. She is a girl of style and class and is usually the creative one so the stakes were high for me to blow her mind and give her a moment she would always be proud of,” he recalls.
He thought about taking her on a road trip and actually booked with a tour company to propose on the trip to Murchison Falls. Mulangira also considered a dinner with her sisters, friends, his siblings and a few friends but this was not anything unique.
Around mid-May, Mulangira decided to share it all with one of his friends, Kevin Zziwa. That is when the real deal popped up.
“I never thought I would have such a public proposal but the moment Zziwa pitched the entire plan I immediately bought it,” he recalls.
Mulangira rushed from Entebbe to Kampala where he was to meet Namayanja and Namirembe in order to proceed to Sheraton Hotel, the venue of the Miss Uganda talent show.
Jovia Gidde, a friend, had been tasked with mobilising the rest of the squad to be present while Zziwa, was at the centre of all the organisation and preparation.
Mulangira had invited other friends along with his uncle, Prof Joshua Rubongoya and his friend Dr. Diana Ntamu. At this point, everything was set.
“Contestants showcased their talents as I also waited for my moment; heart racing, knees knocking,” he says.
The emcee, who was in on the plan, pretended to ask her questions.
“I honestly had no idea, I was also looking to find out just like others,” Namirembe says.
Then the emcee requested her up the stage so that they could figure out the night’s surprise.
Without stalling, the emcee asked her to turn around to the big screen behind her.
When she turned around, he was there, on his knee.
“I was sure of the man on his knee in front of me; I was excited, happy, nervous, my heart raced, my legs almost failed me. It was too public so he was literally beating it in everyone’s face like, ‘She is mine’. Yes, I felt special,” she says.
“Days after, she told me how she almost peed on herself,” Mulangira laughs.
Did she suspect?
“I noticed something was fishy. He was not picking some calls in my presence,” she says. “At Sheraton, I found my entire circle there, hyped a little more than usual. He distributed the entry tags to the girls and that was all close to normal until I saw Uncle Joshua and Dr Diana among the attendees. But then he always has surprises for me so I thought it was one of those usual surprises. There is no way I would think it to be a proposal,” she says.
According to Namirembe, everything was so perfect, very romantic, well thought out she would not have done anything better except for eliminating the part where the proposal was viewd over 53,105 times on Youtube and other social media platforms.
Namirembe introduced Mulangira to her parents Mr and Mrs Ssemiggo in colourful function in Nakiwogo, Entebbe on September 5, 2020.
They then tied the knot on December 30, 2020 at Namirembe Cathedral and had their reception at Victoria Royal Hotel, Entebbe.
One of her friends, Jovia Gidde almost, nearly spoilt the surprise, with Mulangira, who hails from Kitagwenda District, threatening to ‘hit her head’.
Gidde upon being told about the day;s programmes got so excited that every time she was around
Margret, her mouth itch ed to say something.
Eventually she had to tell someone and ended up confessing to Murangira who then promised to hit her head, loud enough to frighten her into calmness and silence.