What you need to know:
- Love story. Elvis Wataka, a driver at Commercial Court in Kampala and Finah Mbeiza, a teacher at North Road Primary School met in church during overnight prayers. The two had met each other but had never talked to each other, writes Phoebe Masongole.
Being in the publicity department at Gift of Heart Apostolic Centre and attending the Friday overnight was a stepping stone for Elvis Wataka to interact with Finah Mbeiza. Finah had been invited to the overnight service by her friends from Destiny Performers, a teen dance group.
“I used to see her in Mooni Village, Bungokho-mutoto sub-county, Mbale District as she passed by our home with her friends to the neighbourhood where they used to gather while practicing their dances,” Wataka says.
“I used to see her on her way to school. There is a day I was going to pick the car from parking yard and I met her on the way and we shared a bodaboda ride but only exchanged pleasantries. Deep down I resisted the urge to express my feelings towards her,” he adds.
Whenever Finah saw Elvis, she greeted him but it never occurred to her that at one point they would turn out husband and wife.
One day, during an overnight at church he asked for her contact and became Facebook friends. They then started chatting more often.
“One morning I told God, ‘please let her be mine....’ and then I sent her a text message saying ‘I love you’,” he says.
Mbeiza could not believe it because she thought they were just friends.
“The message came through while I had gone for a short call. I was startled and left the washroom business,” she says.
Having been away from Mbale because of work for three months, Wataka had made sure he returns home for the Christmas holidays to have an opportunity to propose.
Proposal and courtship
When he proposed, she asked for one and half months to spiritually and critically think about it.
“I was so patient and calm because, I was positive about her forthcoming response. I felt she was only testing my patience and, before the given period elapsed, she said yes,” he recalls.
According to the couple, their courtship was great except the tumultuous times along the way.
“What we learnt is you can still date and love one another for a given period amid temptations and still remain faithful,” she says.
They had set terms.
“I pledged that I would marry her in our fifth year of our courtship,” he says.
Mbeiza agreed to the five-year courtship proposal because she believed they would have known each other better. They sought guidance from their spiritual parents and family and five years was good enough.
Pre-visit and dowry
Before the five years elapsed, the couple organised a pre-visit so that they would know each other’s family. This was one of the key pillars of a strong marriage. Also to cut the cost that comes with marriage ceremonies, they had a kukyala and paid bride price.
“I did not have enough money since Wataka was not working after his contract with Sogea Satom had ended.
“The parents kept calm but only the chairperson seemed to be too serious. The negotiations were tough but the Lord’s favour upon me created harmony. Then, the consent letter of customary marriage was written and given to us,” Elvis says.
On the kukyala, Elvis with a team of 12 took the gifts and cash.
“We were so humble but at the end of it all, after negotiations, we only surprised them with gifts and cash that they were expecting in future. We cleared everything on that day,” he adds.
“Among the requirements was one cow that they came with since they knew our home,” she says.
The couple had their kukyala on July 23 at the in-laws’ residence in Mbale. They then set their wedding date for January 14, 2023 but later changed to October 15, 2022 due to the church schedule.
On their first wedding meeting Bishop James Malele helped them to establish a wedding committee to help them in their preparations since he was going to India for ministry.
“The selected committee worked so well and everything was in order and they only held two meetings,” she says.
In fact the couple was not involved in any meeting. Their best man and preparatory committee did everything on their behalf. They were there for consultation where necessary.
They used their local service providers from their church such as the catering department, decoration and bakery cakes.
“Jemi Sounds, our friends gave us the public address system while their tents and chairs were from someone known to the committee. Then, North Road Primary School also supported us in various capacities,” Wataka says.
Their wedding was presided over by the Rev Peter at Gift of Heart Apostolic Centre in Mbale.
“One thing I cannot forget about our wedding is how much God favoured us. We saw family, church, friends and society supporting us,” he says.
They also planned for 300 guests but managed to prepare enough food for 500 people.
“When I heard the applause from the congregation after being pronounced husband and wife, I was overwhelmed with happiness,” she says.
Date: October 15, 2022
Groom: Elvis Wataka
Bride: Finah Mbeiza
Main celebrant: Rev Peter
Gown: Shs500, 000
Suit: Shs450, 000
Rings: Shs50, 000
Church: Gift of Heart Apostolic Centre
Reception: Friends Inn
“One thing I can’t forget about our wedding is how much God favoured us, we saw family, church, friends and well-wishers selflessly supporting us,” Elvis says.