Enock Musasizi Kazimba, 28, a flight instructor in South Africa is the third born of Archbishop Samuel Kazimba Mugalu, while Josephine Babirye, 27, is a data analyst. On April 18, the two exchanged their vows in a scientific wedding. The couple talked to Phionah Nassanga.
Musasizi and Babirye met along the journey of education, through a mutual friend.
“I attended Seeta High School for my O- Level while Josephine was at King’s College Budo. For my A-Level, I joined King’s College Budo while Josephine went to Seeta for her A-Level,” Musasizi says.
When Babirye joined Seeta High school, she became friends with Musasizi’s friends. Unknowing Musasizi and Babirye shared a common friend.
At one point, Gloria, a mutual friend introduced Musasizi to her new friend from Budo. Before the two could meet physically, they first became friends on Facebook and once in a while, they would chat. It took them a while to meet.
“We first met in 2012 in our Senior Six vacation. When our UACE results were released, the school organised a thanksgiving service and among the people that were invited was Musasizi’s family. We got to meet physically and hold a conversation,” Babirye recalls.
They exchanged phone contacts and kept in touch. Their talk gravitated towards life and career. Babirye had applied for her undergraduate degree at Makerere University while Musasizi was busy searching for a flight school. Once in a while, they would meet and thus grew closer.
“We had decided to take our friendship to another level but Musasizi had to leave the country to pursue his dreams. I cannot recall when he opened up about his feelings, but we found ourselves taking that direction,” she reveals.
The long distance relationship
“We had just started dating and I told Josephine [Babirye] about my trip to South Africa. Initially, I had shared with her my dream of becoming a pilot. When it was time to leave, she seemed unbothered,” Musasizi recalls adding that the fact that they had started building a relationship caused anxiety. She had to stay while I was in a foreign country.”
At some point, despite the fact that Babirye is reserved and born again, he imagined that she would get carried away by university pleasures. However, he chose to stick to the trust they had for each other. Communication was hard.
“Video calling was not common, we had to use text messages. I missed her physical presence, but I held on the fact that we loved each other and this took a strong spiritual connection,” he admits.
Hoping to return after a year of studying, Musasizi looked forward to reuniting with his love, but this was not about to happen. While at Mach 1 Aviation Academy in Johannesburg, he qualified as a commercial pilot in 2014 but felt the need to also train as a flight instructor. He got so busy that the long-distance relationship had started to take a toll on him.
“At some point, I lost interest in relationships. All I wanted was to focus on my career and I did not feel ready to settle. I talked to Josephine about it and I proposed that we give it a break,” he reveals.
Babirye interjects, “I do not remember my exact reply when he asked for a break. I asked myself if he was sure of what he wanted. I told him he was working too much and neglecting everything else but I gave him time because I knew it was just a phase. Some people do not get over it, but I kept praying and I am glad the phase ended.”
After seven years in South Africa, Musasizi returned home last year.
“Last year, I met my family and Josephine and tried to reconnect with each one of them. Everyone treated me as a grown up and my mother asked if there was a Zulu girl in the picture. I told her about Josephine [Babirye],” he explains.
Musasizi had worked out things and he was ready to settle.
“I think now I was more ready for it. I give her credit because few can wait for that long. I thank Josephine for waiting for this long that even when I pushed her away, she did not give up,” he professes. “ I remember the statement she made at that time.” ‘If I was to love any man, there are many of them, but it is not a matter of finding any man’.”
Musasizi notes that growing up, he knew what it meant to get married and what a responsibility it was. And he did not want to put someone’s daughter into something he was not ready for at that moment.
However, by the time he returned to Uganda in March 2019, he had outgrown these fears.
“Josephine had made me realise that there was so much to life beyond career and that family is important. I had grown so much into my work leaving everything else behind. When a career is no more, who are you going to turn to?” he wonders.
Opening up to parents
Talking to his parents about his love life, Musasizi says they were curious and asked. Who is she? Where is she from? How did you meet? Are you serious about it and when are we meeting her?
“Meeting my father and mother-in-law to be got me anxious, but I held on to the confidence that Musasizi was with me,” Babirye states.
The couple had their kukyala on May 25, 2019 before Musasizi would return to South Africa in June.
Babirye says during the function, Musasizi and his family had set the dates for the introduction and wedding (April 11 and 18, 2020). Babirye then thought everything was moving faster than she expected.
“By the time I returned to South Africa we had planned for everything and the target was working towards it,” he says
Change of plan
The couple says their initial plan was to invite about 300 people, but as they were planning, Masasizi’s father was elected and installed Archbishop Church of Uganda. All their plans changed and adjustments were made.
“I was to return on March 27, to start the preparations for our introduction and wedding, but when daddy was elected Archbishop, I asked my bosses to let me return earlier, on February 28 because I was expected to attend his installation,” he recounts.
After the installation, Musasizi and Babirye adjusted from 300 guests to about 1,000 guests. Something Musasizi says was beyond their control.
Their budget was Shs90m, but due to the lockdown and government restrictions on public gatherings, the budget was revised to Shs15m. The two had confirmed some service providers and deposited on some items.
“By lockdown, we had paid some service providers and others were pending. Thank God some refunded while others did not, but that is understandable,” Babirye explains.
Meanwhile, Musasizi says during the second meeting, the president banned mass gatherings.“I remember the committee members asked about our next step. But our minds were set from last year and I had promised to wed Josephine. At this point, I was thinking, “10 people! What about my family and friends? This is a one-off ceremony!”
Before any discussions, I had to speak to Josephine so as to agree. I did not want to cancel anything and I was glad that we shared the same sentiments.”
Considering, their decision the two proceeded with their introduction and wedding on the same dates as initially planned.