I asked her parents not to ask for much in bride price

What you need to know:

Before tying the knot, Fred and Monicah had spent half a year in a relationship but they had been hard pressed by the thought of legalising their relationship

By Alex Ashaba

“You know our love was meant to be.”Fred Mwebembezi, a journalist at Voice of Toro FM and Monicah Kyomugisha, a teacher at Good Shepherd Primary School in Kamwenge District, started out as friends and later grew to love each other intimately. The couple shared their story.

Fred Mwebembezi and Monicah Kyomugisha wed on December 7, 2019 at Kyabenda Archdeaconry Church of Uganda in Kamwenge District.

Before tying the knot, Fred and Monicah had spent half a year in a relationship but they had been hard pressed by the thought of legalising their relationship. Fred says he met Monicah in July 2018 and they struck a friendship later. In January 2019, she had gone to meet him for the third time at a restaurant in Fort Portal.

“Before we became close friends, she would spend a few hours with me and return home because at that time our relationship was not official,” he says.

Monicah says what attracted her to Fred was that when they met for the first time, he was charming, had good hair, great self-expression and was stylish. Equally, Fred says Monicah had a charming smile, was shapely and walked with a spring. She had natural hair and her conversation was focused on development.

However, he says it took him long to convince her into a friendship and then a relationship. His aim was to ensure that she accepts his marriage proposal.

Monicah adds that after accepting his marriage proposal, she also went ahead to use her tactics to convince him to accept her suggestion for  a wedding.

Because she was from a staunch Christian family, her parents wanted their daughter to leave their home after her wedding. She says it took them seven months to plan their introduction and wedding.

Fred says after accepting the wedding plan, they started planning.
“When I went for kukyaala, I was open to her parents. I asked them not to make high demands in terms of bride price. They obliged and most of my in-laws liked me and it became easy for us to plan for the wedding and introduction,” she says.
He believes that he paid Shs6m for bride price because her family loved him so much.

“Because my wife contributed some money for both the wedding and the introduction, I never wanted to disturb my guests. I paid the balance for dowry on the day of introduction,” he says.
Their introduction took place on December 6, 2021 while the wedding happened the next day.
“After setting our dates for introduction and wedding, we agreed to save some money and within a few months we had raised some money. My wife was optimistic and agreed to the plan. I thank her for that,” he says.
He says her family injected some money to make the introduction party colourful. I was only asked to contribute to buy meat and a few drinks.
Their initial budget for the introduction and wedding was Shs23m, but was revised to Shs16m because initially, Fred had planned to be sole financier of the entire budget.
He says later, Monicah’s parents also paid for some items on the budget.
“She paid for her wedding and changing gowns, and decoration. Other items on their budget were paid for by her parents which reduced our expenditure,” he says.
The couple’s respective parents held meetings in their home villages to raise more money to support their the marriage ceremonies.
He says at first he had decided to have their reception at his home in Rubingo, Ruhaama County, Ntungamo District but later changed plans and hired a venue in Fort Portal City.
“My home district is far away and I realised that our wedding in Ntungamo would not allow for majority of our friends in Fort Portal to attend,” Fred says, adding that he settled for transporting their guests to Fort Portal.

Tying the knot
The couple wedded at Kyabenda Archdeaconry Church of Uganda in Kamwenge District near Monicah’s home.
They wedded from that church because the Rev Moses Ampumuza, Monicah’s father is a priest at Kibumbe Parish Church of Uganda and he had asked to the couple to have their church service near his home.
“I wished to be in Kamwenge District because I feared that someone would raise a hand in church to cancel our wedding. We have enemies and someone could use the opportunity to disrupt our plans on such a day,” he says.
Monicah says the most interesting thing on her wedding day was when they entered church holding hands and when they exchanged their vows and rings.
“At times you are uncertain of the man’s motives but he started making vows to wed me in front of our parents and priests. I was so happy to see him place a ring on my finger,” she says.
It was equally the same moment that excited Fred.
The two say their day was a smooth sail.
The couple spent one week attending premarital counselling where they learnt how they would conduct themselves in marriage.
“The one-week counselling sessions were helpful to both of us; we were advised on how we can make marriage last and, it was during those sessions that I came to know many family affairs,” she says.
Every road has a bend and so do relationships.
“I advise newly wedded couples and those intending to get married to always solve issues amicably in case conflicts arise. Also, love and care for yourselves, build trust and be faithful to one another. Always respect one another, learn how to say sorry regardless of any mistake. Avoid sharing your marriage issues with other people; love many but trust few in your circles of marriage,” Fred says.
“Love each other, respect, trust, care for each other and avoid being dictatorial in a family if you want your marriage to last. Women should learn how to give their husbands TLC as many girls are outside there watching them,” Monicah says.

Quick facts
Date: December 7, 2019
Groom: Fred Mwebembezi
Bride: Monicah Kyomugisha
Celebrant: Can. Willington Musinguzi
Church: Kyabenda Archdeaconry Church of Uganda Kamwenge District
Reception: Mt Sion Hotel in Fort Portal City
Budget: Shs16m
Cake cost: Shs800, 000