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Agatha and Nelson met again years after they had been at university together. After falling in love, it became difficult spending time together without getting intimate. However, they decided to keep themselves pure, which they say helped them build a strong foundation for their marriage.
“As I held my wife Agatha Nshabohurira Turinawe on March 24 while we celebrated 15 years of marital bliss, I broke down. Even after giving birth to our three children, this amazing queen is more beautiful today than she was the first time we met in Kabale Town on August 30, 2005,” says 44-year-old Dr Nelson Turinawe, a pharmacist.
One evening, as Turinawe, a teacher of Chemistry and Biology then, was riding his motorbike from work, he saw this young woman who seemed to be looking for something. On approaching her, he noticed that it was Nshabohurira, a woman he knew from the Mbarara University Christian Union fellowship.
Nshabohurira had just returned home after finishing her university course and had come to town looking for an internet café.
“After exchanging pleasantries, I offered her a ride to a café in Kabale Town,” says Turinawe.
“Although I had seen her before, it felt as if I was seeing her for the first time. I can tell you without a doubt that the 10 minute-ride to the café was the longest of my life. I had fallen in love,” Turinawe recalls.
Turinawe had been in prayer and fasting for two weeks and had among others things presented his request for a wife to the Lord. After developing feelings for Nshabohurira, he went back to God to ask whether this was his answered prayer.
“I was excited to see him and grateful he had taken the time to show me where the cafe was. We also exchanged phone numbers on this day. My love for him grew with time as he consistently communicated via phone calls and messages,” Nshabohurira says.
After about two weeks of consistent communication, one Sunday, Turinawe took her out for lunch at a nearby restaurant. This was their first date.
“We shared a lot about our dreams and visions and realised we had common aspirations, especially when it came to ministering to the youth,” Turinawe says.
Four weeks later, Turinawe took Nshabohurira to a nearby resort and there, he proposed marriage.
“Although I was pleased, I asked for time to pray about it and thankfully, he was understanding and told me to take all the time I needed,” Nshabohurira says, adding that 10 days later, she gave a definite yes to her future husband.
“We were in love and attracted to each other but we had one commitment; no sex before marriage. We jointly set tough conditions for ourselves to keep our sexual purity. For instance, any violation would automatically lead to the end of the relationship. For example, there was no kissing or touching certain body parts. Only a peck was acceptable,” says Turinawe.
“On days when we could not control those strong urges, one of us would excuse themselves and literally ‘flee’ the scene and say bye on phone later. We also kept meeting in public places and I always dressed conservatively,” Nshabohurira says.
Being born again Christians, the couple maintained a discipline of joint prayer and fasting every Thursday. Here, they would pray for their relationship and future. They were also accountable to Christian fellowships they belonged to and opened up to some elders for help in their walk.
‘‘We kept our physical meetings objective, majorly focusing on planning for the future. We agreed on many things during our courtship such as the church to fellowship from, the desired number of children and how we would handle our finances, among others,” Turinawe recalls.
According to the couple, purity in a relationship is achievable and should be pursued passionately because it breeds trust in courtship and marriage and also honours God.
At the time, Turinawe worked as a secondary school teacher earning a meagre salary while Nshabohurira had just completed her medical internship.
“However, we agreed to organise the ‘Kuhingira’ and wedding parties within our financial means. For Instance, our decoration for the wedding cost Shs300,000 and I only paid Shs100,000. We also used cars from our friends and made sure the reception venue was affordable. We knew that there was life after the wedding and thankfully, our parents and friends were supportive,” says Turinawe.
Nshabohurira introduced Turinawe first to her parents in April 2006 and later to the extended family at a Kuhingira in Karubanda, Muyebe, Ndorwa East.
Mr and Mrs Turinawe tied the knot at St Peter’s Cathedral Rugarama on March 24, 2007 and held a reception at Kirigime Guest House, Kabale Municipality.
The couple is blessed with three children; Jeremy Ayebare (13), Joel Nomwesigwa (11) and Nicole Natangaza (six).
“One month after the wedding, my wife got a job in Kampala while I stayed in Kabale,” says Turinawe.
Sometimes, Nshabohurira would leave Kabale in her nurse’s uniform and travel with the early morning bus to ensure that she arrives on time and ready to work.
“To reduce the strain, we agreed that one of us leaves their job. God helped us in a rather miraculous way that I got a transfer to Kabale on the very day I was supposed to hand in my resignation,” says Nshabohurira.
To advance their careers, Turinawe was able to become a licensed pharmacist and managing director at Palace care Pharmaceuticals. Nshabohurira has been supported to master in public health and is now the assistant district health officer, Mbarara District.
Their ministry to the youth continues to grow to include the marrieds and they offer premarital counselling at their home in Mbarara.