We lost our bride price a week to the ceremony

The couple says trusting God and prayer have kept their union strong. PHOTO | OLIVIER MUKAAYA

What you need to know:

  • Andrew Maweri and Phionah Nanyama’s love story is one of perseverance. Their journey from the initial encounter to their marriage is filled with ups and downs, but ultimately, their love prevailed. Olivier Mukaaya presents the couple’s love journey.

Andrew and Phionah met unexpectedly. It all began in 2016 when Andrew went to visit a sick friend at a hospital in Mbale City. Little did he know that this visit would change the course of his life.

Phionah, a friend to his friend’s girlfriend, arrived at the hospital with food for the patient. Their paths crossed and during the brief meeting, they exchanged contacts, setting the stage for their future encounters.

Later, Phionah accompanied Andrew’s friend’s girlfriend to his workplace, where Andrew generously offered them Rolex, a popular Ugandan street food. This encounter marked the beginning of their romantic journey.

Despite initial hesitations, Phionah eventually agreed to start dating Andrew and their relationship blossomed over time. 

Andrew recalls that Phionah, with her beautiful dark skin, slim figure and great sense of humour, was not easy to win over, but he persisted in his pursuit of her affection.

As their relationship progressed, the couple spent time together at various hangouts in Mbale City and communicated frequently via phone calls.  Despite the challenges and uncertainties of life, including Phionah’s on-and-off status during her first year at university, their bond grew stronger.

Their love story reached a significant milestone on May 28, 2022, when they were blessed with a beautiful daughter named Mary Myrah Katisi, which further cemented their commitment to each other.


Andrew realised the importance of proposing to Phionah after a conversation with a friend made him realise their relationship might not be perceived as serious without a formal proposal. Determined to show his commitment, 

On August 21, 2023, at Fiesta Lounge, Mbale City, Andrew organised a simple yet well thought out proposal to Phionah. He cleverly convinced her to dress up by suggesting they would go on a date after a meeting. 

With everything set in motion, Andrew got down on one knee and asked Phionah to marry him. Without hesitation, she said yes, affirming their mutual desire to take their relationship to the next level. This heartfelt proposal also marked a significant milestone in their journey towards marriage, solidifying their commitment to each other in front of their loved ones.


Andrew and Phionah enlisted the help of their friend Hajjat Nuswaiba Namutebi as their expert event planner for their forthcoming functions. Together, they meticulously planned and budgeted for their perfect introduction ceremony, with a budget of Shs45m.

Their initial plan was to have the kukyala, a traditional pre-introduction ceremony, three weeks before the introduction ceremony. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the kukyala was held on November 25. Despite the sudden change, the function was a success, thanks to the efforts of their dedicated treasurer, Aminah Namweya, who stepped in to continue the planning in the absence of their original planner.

However, another unexpected twist occurred when their planner had to travel outside the country, leaving them to adjust their introduction ceremony from the initially planned date of December 2 to December 9. This last-minute change caused confusion among their guests, with some questioning the seriousness of their commitment and others assuming that maybe kukyala had also been their introduction ceremony.

Despite the challenges and adjustments, Andrew and Phionah remained resilient, navigating through the uncertainties to ensure that their introduction ceremony was a memorable and joyous occasion for themselves and their loved ones. Their ability to adapt to changing circumstances and persevere through challenges is a testament to their commitment to each other and their determination to celebrate their love the best way possible.


Phionah reflects on the challenges they faced while organising their event, acknowledging the role of faith in overcoming these obstacles. Just a week before their introduction ceremony, they encountered a series of setbacks, such as the theft of the cows designated for the dowry, the unfortunate deaths of three goats and her husband’s toe injury. However, despite these challenges, Phionah credits their faith in God for guiding them through the difficulties.

Andrew, on the other hand, emphasises the magnitude of the challenges they encountered. In addition to the theft of the dowry cows and the death of some livestock, they had to deal with their event planner pulling out at the last minute. 

Also, some service providers failed to deliver as per the agreed-upon plan, adding to the complexity of the situation. Despite facing these daunting challenges, Andrew and Phionah persevered, relying on their faith, determination and support from loved ones. 

Memorable moments

Andrew fondly recalls two memorable moments from their introduction ceremony. He especially cherishes the moment he was acknowledged by Phionah’s Senga. Secondly, he treasures the moment when he placed the ring on Phionah’s finger during the event as a promise of his love for her.

Phionah’s memorable moments include the joy of stepping out for the first time as a bride and seeing all her loved ones gathered to celebrate their union. 

The overwhelming presence of family and friends filled her heart with happiness and gratitude, marking the beginning of a new chapter in her life. 

Additionally, she fondly remembers the touching gesture when Andrew’s sisters presented her with flowers, symbolising their love and support for her as she officially became part of their family.


Andrew emphasises the importance of patience and friendship in relationships. He says despite facing numerous challenges during their dating period, their commitment to each other and their friendship helped them overcome obstacles and find solutions together.

Phionah stresses the importance of faith in God. She encourages young women to trust in God’s plan for their lives while remaining open to opportunities to meet compatible individuals. She adds that where you meet your partner is not more important than a genuine connection with them.