What you need to know:
On the last day of the term, Bridget and her friend were stuck at school because they had not been picked. Realising this, Dickens offered to pay for two boda bodas to take them to the old taxi park and then transport for the journey home. This act of kindness endeared her to him
By the poolside in Mombasa, Kenya, they held hands and laughed. In this moment, nobody else existed. After 17 years together, a holiday at Neptune Hotel for Dickens Samula and Bridget Kalungi was a deserved treat to celebrate their journeys as lovers. On their last night at the South Mombasa beach facility, management had surprised them with a romantic dinner.
They were winners of a love story promotion that was jointly organised by NBS Television, Twende Uganda and Uganda Airlines.
Dickens met Bridget in 2005 while she was in Senior Four. On the last day of the term, it was getting late and her parents were nowhere to be seen. Because she was with one of his friends, Dickens decided to help not only his friend but Bridget as well. He ordered two boda bodas to transport them to the old taxi park from where Kalungi would board a taxi to her parents’ home in Buziga, Kampala. From then on, he purposed to learn more about her. He was smitten by her beauty. She was also open to knowing more about the friendly stranger as well as his intentions.
“In the past, my relationships were all about sex. However, Bridget taught me that love was beyond this. I learnt to communicate better by working together and sharing knowledge. We also found a strong connection in knowing that we wanted the same things,” he explains.
In 2008, Bridget was a member of the Watoto Youth Choir which used to meet in Downtown Kampala for practice and from here, they would go on dates. For him, it was the risks she took while they dated.
“Bridget would sneak me into her parent’s home and I would do the same. This was risky, but it kept us going and it is something I can never forget,” says Dickens.
Soon, he planned to propose to her and she made it simple for him.
“Because she hates surprises, she had told me never to propose in a public place with so many people present. So, I lied to her that my brother and sisters were coming around to help us plan our introduction,” he says. In the meantime, he told her to go out with her girlfriends, giving him and his siblings enough time to plan the proposal. When she joined them, he got on one knee and proposed. She said yes.
Bridget says their journey thus far has had its challenges such as becoming parents at a young age; she was 22 and he was 27. It was important to understand and be patient with each other. However, she says, he was supportive and often helped her out with home chores, went with her to hospital and did the routine shopping.
The lovebirds mutually and openly handle the finances in the home. “We know how much each of us earns and usually plan for the money together. Although many couples fight over money, we do not,” Bridget says.
The two also emphasise the importance of communication in a relationship. For example, Dickens says, there are times Bridget will comment about say a T-Shirt he is wearing saying it is too tight. This way, he knows she is encouraging him to hit the gym.
Likewise, he is also truthful when he needs to tell her something. They have learnt not to react negatively to positive criticism which they say has helped them build a strong foundation for their relationship.
“Beyond this, we also create time for each other, work hard and focus on achieving our goals together,” she adds.
Dickens says they are supportive of each other, especially when it comes to work.
“Since we are self-employed, it is easier to help each other and as they do this, they are able to spend more time together,” he says.
Bridget says each couple should write their own script because the relationship is between just the two of them. Sit down with your partner and talk about things instead of involving third parties who might not necessarily support your relationship.
“Do not invite so many other people, especially your relatives and friends, into your relationship or marriage because at the end of the day, it is only you who understands your partner. Above all, always put God first,” she tips.
To Dickens, it is good to always sieve what people say about your relationship.
“Sometimes we share too much with third parties who will take our words and twist them to their advantage. So, a couple should know what advice to take and what to ignore,” he say.