Pastor Samuel Mayende and Margaret Kabasita first met in 1981 in Kalanamu Bulemezi, current Nakaseke District. At the time of their meeting, Mayende had gone to visit his aunt. It is then that he spotted a young energetic girl in the neighbourhood, who he says wore a smile despite the tiring farm work she was engaged in all day long.
Stalking her for more than a month, Mayende realised Kabasita was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Finding the right opportunity to whisper his sweet nothings into her ears seemed hard.
“Kabasita was friends with my aunt and cousins, it is them that played the role of match-makers between us,” he recalls.
However, when he approached Kabasita, she played hard to get, yet Mayende was not about to give up.
“At first, I was hesitant, but months down the road I accepted his proposal and it was not long before I became pregnant. This scared me, I was 17 years and he was 10 years older than me,” she narrates.
When her aunt started getting suspicious of her condition, she talked to Mayende and decided to leave Bulemezi for Mengo where she started living with her sister.
Taking the wrong turn
While in Mengo, the two lovebirds kept in touch and everything seemed to be taking the right direction with Kabasita looking forward to the day she would move in with her lover.
But in 1982 when she was about six months pregnant, her expectations were cut short when she learnt that the man that took her innocence had two other wives with five children.
To Kabasita, this was disheartening.
“I had never wanted to be someone’s second wife, and when one of his relatives told me about Mayende’s multiple relations, I confronted him about the issue. Instead, he seemed unbothered and suggested I join his two wives and start living in the same homestead where he would easily look after me and my child, an idea I rejected,” she smiles.
Mayende shies away, saying that despite him having two wives, he had found true love with Kabasita and had hopes of someday making her his wife.
This is an excuse Kabasita did not want to listen to, saying she could not bear competing with women older than her, yet she was the one at fault.
To clear her conscience, she ended the relationship with Mayende, and promised to hand over his child after she had given birth.
“I was forced to cut ties with him and went back to my aunt’s house in Bulemezi. To my surprise my aunt did not support the idea of me ending the relationship, but I had made up my mind,” she reveals.
However, unbothered by Kabasita’s decision, Mayende carried on with his other wives and children.
Kabasita says when their son turned a year old in 1983, she went to Kikuubo where Mayende was running a retail shop and handed over the child to him. This was an indication that there was no turning back. They both moved on and as months passed by, each got involved in other relationships.
Unfortunately for Kabasita, her new relationships somehow seemed to hit a dead end.
“I met and fell in love with two other men, but for each of the relationships there was something wrong about it. At some point I thought I was unlucky,” she remarks
Noting that in 1996 she gave up on relationships and decided to live a single life.
It is then that, she became a born again Christian.
Meanwhile, Mayende got two other wives, making a total of four and for one reason or another, he broke up with each one of them remaining with one, who he later on broke up with in 2000.
When his relationships came to an end and with no one to hang onto, Mayende found himself thinking about his Kabasita.
Grooming the family
“When my husband and I reunited, we agreed to groom our children from our past relationships together. Though not all, we managed to gather most of them into our new home. Accepting me as their father’s wife over their mothers did not come easily, but through prayer and constant counselling most of them started welcoming me as a member of the family,” she says.
Other than their first born, today the couple has two children aged between 10 and 17.
Getting back together after separation does not happen overnight, but to Mayende and Kabasita everything happened in a flash and to them this was a miracle
“When my last relationship came to an end, my heart started yearning for Kabasita yet it had been years since we last saw each other. It was then that I felt the need to look out for her,” he says.
His only hope of tracing her whereabouts was to visit her sister’s work place in Owino market.
“When we separated her sister, Rita Tumusiime and I kept in touch and once in a while she could come to Kikuubo to find out how Kabasita’s son was doing,” he recalls.
Ready to atone for his mistakes and rekindle his long lost relationship with Kabasita, Mayende found Tumusiime.
However, this did not mean he had once again won the race.
He says it took him a couple of months before he could meet the mother of his child, because according to Tumusiime,, Kabasita was said to have become ‘mad’ because she had joined a group of born-again Christians who moved around preaching the word of God and would spend days without going back home.
Without any telephone to reach out to her, Mayende kept moving back and forth until he finally got a chance to meet Kabasita at the beginning of 2001
“Years before Mayende started looking for me I had a number of visions of him and I reuniting, but this did not make sense because we had long been separated and had not been in touch for whichever reason, but when my sister told me about his frequent visits, I tried to reconnect to the initial dreams ,” Kabasita explains.
With the help of Kabasita’s sister, the two love birds were able to meet and settle their differences. Step by step the two found love again.
‘We fell in love with one another all over again and with a new respect. We vowed we would never take each other for granted.”
With the help of their pastors, families and friends Mayende and Kabasita made their vows on September 1, 2001 at Rock Ministries Najjanakumbi.
Looking back, Mayende nor his partner regret their breakup, “Our life experiences over the years were invaluable because they shaped us into two people that are right for each other now,” they comment.
Today, Mayende and Kabasita are residents of Kaziga, Katale, Wakiso District, occupying about two acres of land with their children and grandchildren.
It is here that they also built a church.