She refused to move in with me before the traditional ceremony

Mary Kusiima and her husband show off their engagement ring during their kuhingira ceremony. PHOTO CREDIT/ COURTESY

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It was a Saturday and I just decided to go for the retreat as I didn’t have any other plans for the day. I am glad I made that decision to attend because I was able to meet her. That day changed my life in a special way.

When Wilber Ahimbisibwe, a procurement officer was invited for a retreat at Aero beach in Entebbe, he did not think much of it. The outing was for former students of Sheema Premier School, a secondary school located in Bushenyi District that he attended years back. He did not have any special interests in the meeting as he did not have many friends from that school but he decided to attend because he did not have anything planned for that day.

“It was a Saturday and I just decided to go for the retreat as I didn’t have any other plans for the day. I am glad I made that decision to attend because I was able to meet her. That day changed my life in a special way,” Wilber says.

“When I arrived at the beach, I immediately noticed her. She was with an old friend called Penlope Ainembabazi. I had attended Sheema Premier School with Penlope but had taken long without seeing her. I asked Penelope who her friend was and that was the first time we talked. She told me she her name, Mary Kusiima and I also found out that we were from the same district, Bushenyi.

Although they came from the same district, the two had never met and didn't know eachother. At the end of the day, they exchanged phone numbers and officially started dating. At the time, Wilber was already working while Mary was still at the university studying for her degree in Human Resource Management.

“After that first meeting, I knew I wanted to be with her for a long time. She looked very beautiful, was very polite and friendly at the same time. I also learned that she was a very caring person in the months that followed,” Wilber adds.

According to Mary, their meeting was purely by fate. Since she was not an old student of Sheema Premier School, she did not have any plans of going for that retreat but was persuaded by her best friend Penlope who needed some company.

“I thought it was going to be a boring day as I would be the odd man out but I went anyway because I did not want my friend to go alone. I was attracted to Wilber because he seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me and I found him very attractive as well. He is a generally caring and friendly person and that was one of the reasons why I decided to share my number with him before we left the beach,” she said.

The couple dated for seven years before Wilber proposed to her at Benrich lounge in Kisaasi, Kampala Uganda.

"When she got pregnant in 2021, I wanted her to move in with me and we start a family but she completely refused. She had put a condition that she will only move in with me after the traditional marriage ceremony. I had to organize myself fast enough to go and meet her parents so that we can start the process which includes deciding on the dowry, paying it and preparing for the introduction and give away ceremony," he said.

“Coming from a religious background, I wanted to do things formally that is getting married before moving in with each other. Although we were not able to have a wedding immediately, I insisted on a traditional wedding first because I did not want to disappoint my parents. I am happy that Wilber understood my point and put in extra effort to make sure that the function happened,” Mary said.

The couple held their giveaway and introduction party on October, 2  2021 at Mary’s home in Rushonga Kyeizoba, Igara Bushenyi.

“My introduction ceremony was very special. Although I was heavily pregnant, I enjoyed the day very much. I had all my family and special friends around me. The atmosphere was perfect as well. The visitors arrived at around 11am which was a bit early but my family appreciated their punctuality as the party was started and ended early. I loved my dress code as well,” Mary says.

A month after the ceremony, on November 28 2021, the couple welcomed a baby girl.

They are now planning for a church weeding which they say will happen next years.

“The family wanted us to have the wedding immediately after the traditional marriage ceremony but I couldn't agree to that because it was during Covid-19 times when there were restrictions on how many people can attend the party. I have so many friends that I would not want to miss our wedding so I had to push to push it forward. No that times are back to normal, I want to give to plan a good wedding for us. I want to seal our relationship.  I now love her more than I did before,” he said.