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Most love stories start in ways that are unforeseen or surprising. Gerald and Joan’s love story is no exception.
Gerald Musoba, a Mugisu and medical doctor met Joan Nassali, a Muganda and social worker when she had escorted a relative for diagnosis at Case hospital where Gerald is employed as a doctor. As soon as Gerald laid eyes on Joan, his gut told him she was the one. Gerald would have to pool all the stops to introduce his manifesto to Joan, including going through her sister from whom he got her telephone number.
Thousands of calls, countless texts, and numerous dates later, here we are today. But how did we get here?
After understanding who Joan was, Gerald was very certain he had a lover and mother to his children. So he let her know he was in for the long run and wanted to settle down with her. However, Joan asked him to give her time to complete her bachelor’s degree at Kyambogo university. Since Gerald was also pursuing further studies at Aga Khan university within the same period, they agreed to proceed with the grand plan once books were out of the way.
As soon as Gerald had completed his final school paper, he organized an engagement party. Bent on one knee, Gerald popped the big question to which Joan said “Yes!”
With that assurance, Joan informed her family of a loving and committed man she had fallen in love with. Gerald’s next step was to visit her aunt (Senga) for “kukyala” and make his intentions known.
The next stage was for Joan to introduce her beloved fiancée, Gerald to her parents. A very important cultural marriage function known as “kwanjula” in Buganda.
The colorful function took place at Joan’s parents’ residence in Mbuya, Kampala. For the day, the Kiggundus’ – Joan’s parents -home was abuzz with excitement and ant-like activity as they prepared for their daughter’s kwanjula For décor, they chose some of 2019’s most trending colors including purple, lilac and peach.
After a long wait –partly because it rained heavily that day – the long-awaited guests from Bugisu arrived with “ekita kyo’mwenge” leading the way. Once they settled in, the festivities kicked off.
Although Gerald is a Mugisu and his culture differs, the ceremony was carried out in Buganda culture because he was being introduced in Buganda. This is the norm observed when it comes to cultural marriages in most parts of Africa.
After some entertainment from the various family member groups, Joan’s aunt (Senga) searched and identified the groom. This stage is different for the various cultural groups in Uganda. For example, in Ankole, it is the bride herself to search for the groom among visitors, and seat him at his set seat which is contrary to the Buganda culture.
This is also the beauty of Uganda. Because of a rich variety of cultures, every cultural marriage looks and feels amazingly unique.
For his introduction, Gerald wore a white kanzu and light blue jacket with a dark blue lapel. Like a few other grooms in the recent two years, he wore a light blue waistcoat underneath the jacket. Here at Parties and Events, we advise grooms not to make this fashion error. Wearing a waistcoat ruins the look and essence of a kanzu. In fact, if you have been observant, you must have realized that grooms who only wear a jacket on a kanzu look smarter than those who add in a waist.
Once the Senga had identified the groom, she led him to into the house (locally known as Kasolya) for the most important part of the function called “okuzalibwa.” This is a cultural part of the cultural wedding where the groom is officially accepted by the bride’s parents and born into the family as a son. Once this ceremony is done, the groom and a few members of his entourage are served a delish local meal called Oluwombo.
After the scrumptious meal, they all returned to the reception to join the rest of the guests and proceed with the ceremony. At this stage, Senga sat Gerald in his set seat and introduced him to relatives and friends as the official husband of her daughter Joan.
Escorted by her aunts, the day’s princess, Joan, later came through dancing amidst cheers and ululations from her excited guests.
For her first appearance, Joan wore a baby pink gomesi deigned with sequin patched netted material and a crystal purple sash. Joan accessorized her attire with a purple and gold chandelier necklace. A look that matched her décor theme.
As Joan sat in her mirrored gazebo, Gerald cheered her on as he splashed a few money notes to illustrate his ability to “spoil” her with money. Gerald’s sisters later came to the gazebo with gifts to welcome her to their family.
For the gift session, Joan changed into an off white net-over gomesi with turquoise flowerly embroidery. She also chose a turquoise sash and accessorized her look with a choker necklace.
What stood out for us:
Prior to the introduction, Gerald and Joan had been dating for less than a year. However, what is surprising is that Joan has already learnt Lugisu and she could construct Lugisu sentences almost fluently. She has also quickly learnt to prepare Gerald’s cultural meal, Amalewa. A typical illustration of her commitment and love for Gerald.
For cake cutting and the official engagement session, Joan changed into a long white dress with lace embedments but with a few accessories.
For the last session locally known as kabbo kamuwala (where the bride brings a bye gift for the groom), Joan changed into one of 2020’s trending gomesi colors, lavender. However, because her gomesi material was a shimmering type, she did not add a necklace as that would make her excessively shiny. She instead added dropping earrings and a yellow sash. Unlike many brides who change hairstyles, Joan maintained her lace wig all through and she still looked amazing.