What you need to know:
Ronald Lotet has a fondness for good food and hanging out in exclusive places. It is no surprise that he met his soulmate in such a place
It is now seven years since Ronald Lotet, the Ag. Senior environment office for Mubende District local government met Grace Mwesigwa, a professional caterer. Ronald has always loved spending his alone time at hotels and other hangout spots. Here, he would take time to have a cup of coffee while browsing his social media pages, catching up on the latest news.
One day, he was impressed when at a certain hotel, a light skinned and humble girl (Grace) prepared for him hors d’oeuvres (a small meal served as a starter). He adds that he was further impressed because Grace exhibited a lot of professionalism and impeccable customer care. From this day, they started a friendship that has lasted to date.
Despite meeting often at Grace’s workplace, one day, they decided to go out for dinner and used this opportunity to learn more about one another. During the dinner, Ronald discovered that Grace was not only caring but also quite funny; characters that pushed him to reconsider their friendship. He wanted more.
“Ronnie would frequent Panorama suites where I used to work. He would sit and work on his laptop while enjoying a cup of coffee. He would occasionally crack jokes as I served him. He was such a humorous person although he seemed aloof at times,” Grace says.
Despite meeting often, Grace says, they did not have each other’s telephone numbers. But one day, Ronald asked her to keep his bag as he headed for field work, and asked for her number to enable him contact her should he return late. With the number, they started communicating more often and sometimes Ronald would call and place an order ahead of time. But as the friendship grew, they both developed feelings for one another and started to date.
“One day I asked her out on a date. I was prepared and ready to ask for her hand in marriage although I was scared that she might say no. I was nervous but I remember her telling me to be free and tell her whatever it was that I wanted to say. After gathering the courage, I proposed, assuring her that she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,” he says.
Because Ronald was uncertain of Grace’s response, he asked her to take time and think about her decision but he did not have to wait long because she said yes minutes before they departed.
“I was speechless for a while but since I had suspected that he was going to propose and was already attracted to him, I accepted,” says Grace.
The marriage preparations, which normally take place in three phases; the visit to bride’s aunt (senga), the introduction and then the wedding were not as smooth, according to Ronald.
“I did not know where to start, given the different customs. However, I reached out to my Uncle, Rev Canon Titus Baraka, a friend, spiritual guide and a mentor. Despite my fears, he was happy about the step I had taken and it is during this meeting that we laid strategies,” Ronald recalls.
Telling his mother was made easier when Grace visited his family home. During the visit, Grace was the perfect example of a daughter-in-law as she assisted his mother with the house chores and preparation of the day’s meals. During this time, the two women also got a chance to interact. On Grace’s side, her senga did most of the talking, informing her parents of their daughter’s pending nuptials.
In the meantime, Ronald discussed and agreed on the dates with his uncle. Their first visit was held in Karuguuza, Busaana village in Kibaale District in January 2018.
With the preparations for the introduction and wedding in full gear, the couple disagreed on where to tie the knot from. Grace was a choir member at Kasenyi Church of Uganda in Mubende District and preferred to be wed there. However, after discussions, the couple agreed on Mukono, where it was easier for all their relatives from different places to meet.
The couple held a number of meetings where friends and family generously contributed funds, which they believe made their function a success.
The Lotets held an introduction on June 23, 2018 in Busaana Village, Karuguuza, Kibaale District and exchanged their vows on June 30 at St Phillips and Andrew Cathedral in Mukono District. The couple, who settled in Mubende, have three children; Mark, Mathias and Micah.
Coming from different backgrounds, one of the biggest challenges was harmonising interests.
“We approach challenges differently, which might create disagreements. However, we always sit down and have a discussion about the different aspects of our life and come to an agreement as a couple. Where we find it hard to agree, we involve couples that are older and have been married for a while since we believe these have a lot of knowledge to give when it comes to marriage,’’ Ronald says, adding that compromising on a few things and ignoring those that are trivial has helped them maintain a good relationship.
Grace says her biggest challenge has been how to stop being self-centred. But slowly, she has learnt that putting her husband and children ahead of her own desires by recognising that it is no longer her own needs that are important but their needs.
To Ronald, Grace is particular and passionate about children, very caring and has an admirable level of tolerance. To Grace, Ronald is a man who adores his family.
The couple agree that patience, forgiveness, effective communication and a little tolerance will go a long way in keeping the fires burning.