It was love at first sight – Godfrey

Hope Cabrine and Godfrey Ssali met in a restaurant in Kikoni, Makerere. Photo/Courtesy

What you need to know:

A lunch break at a busy restaurant saw Hope and Godfrey share a table. The two strangers shared a glass of juice and talked for most of the meal but afterwards went their separate ways. Little did Hope know that Godfrey had fallen head over heels in love with her and was determined to marry her one day.

During a lunch break on March 7, 2020, Hope Cabrine and Godfrey Ssali met in a restaurant in Kikoni, Makerere. Because the restaurant was unusually busy, Hope decided to take up the only seat available on Godfrey’s table since she had little time left before returning to work at Network Marketing Company located at Ham Towers, Wandegeya.

Their initial meeting, though seemingly ordinary, sparked a connection that transcended the casual conversations they had had during the meal. Despite both living in Kikoni, Kampala, they had never met. During Lunch, Godfrey offered to buy Hope a glass of juice, which she gladly accepted.

“We talked all through the meal you would think we had known each other for years. He must have found my conversation engaging because at the end of the meal, he asked for my telephone number. After sharing it, we we went our separate ways,” Hope says.

Godfrey, who had graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication in 2017 and had been working at Radio One FM 90 in Kampala, started to seriously consider settling down with Hope. During lunch, from their conversation, Godfrey had been amazed by Hope’s integrity and intelligence.

“She was articulate as we shared a lot about many aspects of studies and life in general.  At the time, I was contesting for a political seat at youth level and when I asked her about my views, she challenged me with facts,” Godfrey recalls.

“I took her number and messaged her the same day. For me it was love at first sight but I kept it to myself since it was my first day to meet her. I convinced myself that if an opportunity came and she said yes, I would marry her,” Godfrey shares.


In May 2020, Godfrey invited Hope out for lunch at Café Javas restaurant in Kamwokya, Kampala. While Hope took it as a simple lunch, Godfrey knew he had begun a journey of loving her, even when he had not yet confessed his feelings.

“I was convinced that she was the one and the only woman I wanted for a wife. So, everything I did from then on was to show her that I was in for the long haul,” says Godfrey.

Hope recalls that even after finishing their lunch, they continued talking for more than three hours. When Godfrey confirmed that she was not dating anyone, he put plans in motion to confess his feelings to her. However, Hope was playing hard to get.

“He would continuously call asking that we meet. I realised he wanted to be more than friends but I was not ready to start dating anyone. So, I started ignoring his messages,” Hope says.

Godfrey was, however, persistent, an indication that he was serious. And after several requests for a date, Hope agreed to one after the 2020 Christmas holidays.

“On January 1, 2021 at Kingdom Kampala, we had our second date. I realised it was so easy to get along with Godfrey and when the date was over, he gave me money, insisting we had not exhausted the budget for the date,” Hope recalls.

Godfrey made it a habit to often send money to Hope and recognised big days and important people in her life. Her love for Godfrey was also spiced by the regular gifts she received from him.

Love grows

Godfrey and Hope met for another date in June, 2021 at The Lawns restaurant in Kololo, Kampala, where Godfrey made his intentions clear; he wanted to marry her.

“I gave her time to think about my request. I knew she was not ready because every time I would say ‘I love you,’ she would reply with a simple ‘thank you,’ which was very upsetting,” says Godfrey.

“I did not want to say “yes” to console him. However, my love for him started growing in August, 2021. I started creating time for him and knew losing him would hurt me,” says Hope, adding that on another date in October, 2021, she invited her mother to meet Godfrey.  And after her mother’s approval, in May, 2022, at Eureka Place Hotel, Ntinda, with the help of Hope’s best friend, Godfrey organised a surprise proposal, one month after the Kukyala ceremony.

Introduction ceremony

On February 4, 2023, Hope introduced Godfrey to her family and friends in Ibanda District, western Uganda. Godfrey’s unwavering support alleviated Hope’s stress, ensuring she remained focused on what truly mattered; enjoying their special day. The abundance of food and drinks was a testament to their thoughtful planning and the ceremony ended without them incurring any debts. The ceremony cost Shs55m.

Wedding day

At Sacred Heart, Rubaga Cathedral Parish, on February, 11, Monseigneur Charles Kasibante presided over Hope and Godfrey’s wedding. Godfrey fondly remembers the moment his parents, who have been married since 1985, walked into the church to watch their son start this journey.

A joyous reception awaited them at Hotel Africana in Kampala, where laughter, music, and dance filled the air.  The wedding cost Shs40m, with Hope’s wedding gown costing Shs5m and the changing dress Shs2m. And because they wanted quality wedding rings that would not fade, they imported them from Switzerland.

The presence of three Members of Parliament; Godfrey’s friends, added a touch of distinction to the event while the wedding convoy that comprised Mercedes-Benzes and V8 cars added a touch of class.

So far so good

Hope shares that Godfrey prioritises her happiness while Godfrey says it is unconditional love that has kept their marriage joyful so far.

“Being open is key. We do not hide anything from each other and communicate all our needs and frustrations so that together, we come up with a solution,’’ Godfrey says.

“We also do not hold grudges. Even when we are angry at each other, we talk it through and before long, we are back to normal.  We Have this banter that can only be understood by the two of us,” Hope shares, adding that they each know their roles in the marriage and perform them to the best of their abilities.