Rosette found love at 55

Asaph Mwebaze and Rosette Tumwikireize pose for a photo.PHOTOS/ PEREZ RUMANZI.


What you need to know:

  • FINDING LOVE. Rosette Tumwikireize, 55, a councillor and secretary at Kyamate Secondary School, met Asaph Mwebaze, a retired principal of Bukinda Primary Teachers College in Rukiga District and love blossomed. The couple talk to  Perez Rumanzi  about their love life.

Rosette Tumwikireize, 55, the Ntungamo District workers’ councillor, tied the knot with Asaph Mwebaze, a retired principal of Bukinda Primary Teacher’s College in Rukiga District on December 28, 2022. The two first met in June 2022. To Tumwikirise,  also a secretary at Kyamate Secondary School, it  is the best thing that has ever happened to her, especially  after enduring 29 years without any relationship.


Because She never had children from her past relationship which lasted two years (she quit it in 1994), she has been living alone. She, however, enjoyed political engagements alongside fostering her late sisters’ children and gave them an education.
On December 28, 2022, Rosette exchanged vows with Asaph, a resident of Rwakishakizi in Mbarara City, at St Mathew Cathedral Kyamate in Ntungamo Town and they later hosted their guests to a reception at Adit Mall Conference Centre Mbarara City. Rosette shares a story of her love life and how she met her husband.

How it all began
Rosette’s friend  gave  her phone number to someone. It was not before long when a phone call from a stranger came through.  The male voice on the other end of the line said he had lost  his wife and was searching for love plus a marriage partner. 
“When Asaph called, we neither knew each other nor had we ever met. He called to introduce himself and made his intention known right away. He called me frequently,”she  says.
Following several phone calls, the two agreed to meet and the man was to move from his retirement comfort in Mbarara to meet his love in Ntungamo where the latter lives and works.
Rossette remembers sharing a cup of tea and some good experience talk. This meeting turned out to be the first date.

“At the first meeting in Ntungamo, we took tea and some food. In our conversation he was depressed, traumatised by some past life events. I wondered if at my age, I could help him. He needed a lot of counselling because it was too much on him. On second thought, I was confident, I could be of help,” Rossette recalls.
Then, they met the second time and the third time she took the decision to be with him. 
“I travelled to meet him at Rwizi Arch Hotel. In all our meetings, I discovered he had invested in knowing who I am but I did not know anything about him. I started studying him and along the way, I discovered that I was his missing part in the puzzle. I would make him happy,” she notes.

Rosette could not get over herself as she had settled to care for her two sisters’ three children who have since graduated and got married. She was surprised that her turn had come and all this was happening. She had also built herself a home in Ntungamo Municipality near her workplace and became the LCI chairperson of  Kyamate Cell, Eastern Division Ntungamo Municipality.
“I never had children in my first relationship and that is why we broke up. My two sisters had had children but were not married. I took them up and one is a dental surgeon, another a homemaker and youngest of them got married recently. I have seven grandchildren and everyone believes they are mine. I had become content with that. I sometimes asked myself, ‘Why bother with marriage’?” Rossette says.

Asaph Mwebaze and Rosette Tumwikireize pose with their bridal party on their wedding day. PHOTOS/ PEREZ RUMANZI.

Marriage preps
Somehow Rosette did not believe that her time for marriage had come because of their age bracket, societal pressures and perception.
“Considering our age bracket, I, at first treated it all as a joke but later discovered Asaph was serious and knew what he wanted,” she reveals.
For the first time, she was set for marriage. Preparations for the groom to visit her home for introduction and Kuhingira (Ankole traditional wedding) were underway. Then, a wedding date was set as plans for the ceremony started.

Wedding was however the greatest gift of her life as she calls it ‘the thing every woman craves for’.
“I never thought I would wed, several men had approached me and I turned them down. At the time, I was even young. I had a home with children and considered myself very happy. I could not imagine I would ever get married, especially in church,” she says.
“I was so happy being given away and  at my age, it was a miracle. At some point it felt like a dream. I learnt that what God has prejudged for you, must come,”  the daughter of Yosamu and Constance Bamubara from Bujaga, Ndeija Sub-county in Rwampara District notes.

The party
The wedding was preceded by a giveaway ceremony held at Trendyz Hotel in Ntungamo Municipality on December 27, 2022. She was given away by her brother Dr Bruce Ayebare and  Bridget Byamukama and a section of politicians and church leaders who have been close to her for a long time.
A premarital counselling was organised for her and later a bridal shower organised by Ms Lillian Ahimbisibwe, wife of the South Ankole Diocese bishop at her home.

“I had spent long without being in a family and needed a lot of counselling too. The various meetings I attended took away my fears and my approach towards marriage changed. Mama Lillian was so instrumental in all these,” Rosette explains.
At exactly 7.45am a brass band played outside St Mathew Cathedral, Kyamate ushering in the bride, later the groom followed to the pulpit where they exchanged vows before Bishop Nathan Ahimbisibwe. At 8:20am, all the vows had been exchanged and the couple waltzed from the altar smiling.
“That is when I finally believed I had been taken. There was fun during the vows exchange, the most interesting part was when I saw the man putting a ring on my finger and I placing a ring on his finger,” she says.
After the church function, the couple and their entourage drove 65km to Mbarara for the reception.

A spacious indoor party at Adit Conference Centre had at least 300 people in attendance. The numbers were chosen from friends of the husband and his family, his children and former workmates, while the bridal entourage included workmates, politicians such as district councillors, members of parliament and her voters.
“I will always thank my children and my siblings for allowing me to fulfill my dream of a church wedding that many people yearn for. I will always be grateful to my husband because he could have chosen a young and energetic person to stay with.  My relatives, supported me much as some were skeptical but finally saw me leaving,” she says.

Asaph , a reserved man, notes that his marriage to Rosette was a new lease on life.
“When I lost my wife, I felt dejected, I thought my world had collapsed. I had actually sworn never to get married again but the world became too small for me. Every time I chose to live alone, the more I got hurt. Retirement became crazy and I was disillusioned. I am now reliving my life. I hope to live more years. I thank my children for allowing me to take this decision. I believe I chose the right person,” Asaph says.
Bishop Ahimbisibwe during the wedding ceremony, challenged the two not to expect new things from each other but rather to accept the will of God and know the reason why God chose them to live together.

While the couple chose Masters Studios Ntungamo to do their photo and videography, they had a single service provider for the rest of the wedding reception including decoration, catering, venue, and music. Children of the bride baked the cake.
“Everything went as planned and we had a successful day, party and what we now focus on is living together peacefully,” Asaph says.
The wedding and the giveaway parties fitted in the Shs50m budget of which they had surplus. 


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