It was not a typical proposal but it was proof of his love

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Because he is shy, Joel did not really propose to Berus. Instead, he playfully asked for her hand and while the two were discussing their academic work, he placed a ring on her finger. Since she knew her man, Berus also knew that he had done this out of love.

Who could imagine that a chance meeting at the entrance of Makerere University library would amount to anything? For Joel and Berus Ananura Musinguzi, it led to marriage.

One day, as Berus walked to the library with a group of her friends, they met Joel on the way. All Joel did was stare at Berus but all the while, the smile he had was telling. Later, by coincidence, they sat next to each other in the library.

“We could not read anything although we actually avoided talking to each other. Days later, we met again in Makerere Kikoni, a neighbourhood in Kampala. After a brief discussion, I learnt that she resided in one of the hostels in the area and this time, we shared contacts,” Joel says.

He also found out that they were undertaking the same course.

“Being a year ahead of me, I would often ask him to discuss concepts that were hard for me to grasp. One day, he invited me to his hostel for discussions,” she says.

Joel says the first day she went to his hostel, the moment he saw her, a voice in him said, “She is your wife. I then became stubborn, dating other girls because I felt covered.”

During that time, Berus says she was unmoved since she was not in a rush. However, her heart said something different. “Thoughts and images of him kept flashing in my mind. However, we were both shy although his expression and conduct were signs that he loved me,” she says.

Despite Joel dating other girls, she continued going for discussions with him.

“There was something different and special that I felt for him to the extent that even after spending the whole day together, I would not hesitate doing the same the following day. In all that, I did not care that he had made his intentions known since his actions said it all; that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me,” she says.

With time, although they were still students, Joel knew that Berus was the woman for him. ‘‘I love her because she is beautiful, humble, caring and respects me,’’ he says.

Proposal

Joel says because he was shy, the two rarely spoke save during discussions. “We would instead chat a lot through WhatsApp messages and calls and during these conversations, we would confess our love for each other. To date, I do not remember how I proposed,” he says.

Berus laughs when asked about the proposal saying, “Aahh, I do not remember anything like, “Will you marry me?”” She adds that by then proposing was not as complicated as it is today. “He simply bought a ring, and invited me to his room one afternoon. While there, he asked for my hand and placed a ring on it. Therefore, while I wore an engagement ring, he never popped the question,” she says.

Proposed to or not, Berus loved the ring because it was from the person she really loved and treasured.

“Deep down, I was the happiest person because it was a sign that he loved me. However, I did not like that my friends laughed at me for not having a classy engagement ring. They would describe what a nice ring looked like and I have to admit this hurt. However, knowing that this ring was given to me out of love, I ignored their comments,” she says.

Wedding

For their introduction on November 28, 2015, Joel was glad that he had saved Shs12m for bride price.

“Some people had discouraged me from wedding immediately after graduating from university. However, I was determined. I graduated in 2014 while Berus graduated in January 2015. We had our wedding on December 5, 2015,” he says.

Joel is forever thankful to the friends that generously contributed towards their wedding. “The contributions were beyond our expectations that we bought our first car using the remaining money. That was also because we chose to get the food from the village, hired cooks and the reception was held at Old Kampala Senior Secondary School playground. That way, even when we hosted 600 guests, our budget was only Shs10m,” he shares.

Challenges

The Musinguzis, like any other couple, say there have had disagreements but believe that if you work together, you will always find a solution.

Joel adds that as a couple and family, they put God first. “Through prayer, we are able to take all our troubles to God and in the end, He provides solutions. We have a family altar and create enough time to talk to our God.”

The couple also says that it is important to understand the person you are living with so you know how to compromise.

“We understood one another so it is easier to steer clear of what will annoy the other, more so if it is avoidable,” he adds.

Lessons

The priest who officiated the Musinguzis’ wedding advised them on finances and they took every word to heart.

They put all their resources together and plan how to spend and save.

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