It started with a basketball game he was refereeing, she thought he was unfair to her team. She was so loud that he had to follow up. Last year, the two became one, Maria Immaculate Owechi writes.
On the beautiful morning of November 30, 2019, friends and family members gathered at St Stephen’s Church of Uganda, Kisugu to witness the wedding ceremony of Alex Onen, 35, a teacher at Seroma Christian High School in Mukono and Jacinta Mujasi, 25, a fashion designer.
The pair met in 2011 during a basketball match at MTN Arena, Lugogo.
Onen was officiating the game, his now wife, Mujasi had been invited by a friend to watch the match. The groom is one of Uganda’s International basketball referees.
“During the match, I observed this quarrelsome young lady complaining that I was not fair to the team she was supporting, Kyambogo Warriors,” Onen shares.
“After the game, I approached her to listen to her grievances and she actually won me over to the team she was supporting,” the secondary school teacher continues. “We exchanged contacts and stayed in touch after that.”
When did you eventually start dating and for how long?
Mujasi: After we became friends. I always knew he loved me but I just waited until he said it. The whole time he kept on being caring and loving towards me to the extent of travelling almost every weekend to my home in Mbale to see me.
In 2012, we went to YMCA to watch a basketball game and after that had dinner. That is where he officially asked me to be his girlfriend.
What attracted you to each other?
Onen: It was love at first sight when I saw her but eventually I got to know other good qualities as we courted.
My wife is organised, I remember one time I came back home and she had transformed the house to something beautiful.
She also has a spirit of discernment where she can tell you that a particular friend is not right and it turns out to be true.
Mujasi: I also liked him when we first talked because I found he was a good listener and understanding.
I liked the fact that he made me feel safe and was caring, loving and patient.
He always made sure he helped out with the housework and cooking when we started staying together. Up to now, he still helps out around the house.
When did you decide to formalise your relationship?
Mujasi: It was in 2015 when I was supposed to travel back to Mbale but I ended up staying with a cousin in Jinja. He called saying he wanted to marry me and from that day, his intentions for officially making me his wife were clear.
We had tried organising a kukyala but we faced a few challenges.
Did the kukyala take place?
Mujasi: Yes, it took place last year on January 26, at my parent’s home in Namisindwa District.
Onen: I was escorted by six uncles where we discussed the bride price and even set July 20, 2019 as the introduction date.
Tell us about the traditional wedding and what was the bride price?
Onen: I was escorted by an entourage of more than 60 people to her parent’s home in Mbale. The bride price was 12 cows and 10 goats plus other gifts for her family.
I used my savings and finances from family and friends to fund the ceremony.
How many meetings did you have for the wedding?
Onen: The wedding launch was on September, 16, 2019 and this was followed by eight joint meetings at Lugogo and other eight at Mukono resort.
Mujasi: The meetings in Lugogo were for the people that couldn’t make it to Mukono.
What was your budget?
Both: We are actually not sure because we didn’t bother adding up anything.
How many people did you invite?
Onen: They were close to 400 people.
What were you doing on your wedding eve?
Onen: I had a kasiki that night with my friends at Kawanda and thereafter I went for overnight prayers at St Stephen’s COU, Kisugu.
Mujasi: I went to the saloon to do my hair and nails, also there was a kasiki for me at Nsambya before I headed to Malcolm hotel, Kansanga where I spent the night with my entourage.
What was the most expensive item on your budget?
Mujasi: It was the décor at Shs8m.
Which people comprised your wedding entourage?
Onen: My brother-in-law, Gerald Mark Musaba was my best man, I also had four groomsmen and our two sons, Jeremiah Jakisa, 5 and Gabriel Jakisa, 3, were the page boys.
Mujasi: My sister-in-law, Angella Musaba was my matron, I also had four bridesmaids and two flower girls.
How much were your outfits?
Onen: My suit from Turkey cost me Shs1.6m.
Mujasi: I wore two; the first gown for the church ceremony cost Shs1.5m from Aunt Maureen on pioneer mall.The second mermaid gown for the photo moments and reception cost Shs1m from Good Hope Fashions.
The changing dress cost Shs1m.
What was your theme colour?
Mujasi: My theme colours were peach for my entourage’s dress code, white, black and lavender which rhymed with the decor.
What type of rings did you choose and at what cost?
Mujasi: We chose silver because I love my jewellery in that colour. They cost Shs500, 000 each from a shop on Charm Towers.
What challenges did you face during the wedding preparations?
Onen: We had challenges with people pledging and after never picking up your calls because they had failed to fulfil their commitment.
Mujasi: The lady we had booked to bake our cake increased prices with less than two weeks to the ceremony. I had to look for an alternative.
What were your most memorable moments at your ceremony?
Onen: I was excited to see my friends from the basketball fraternity and Amelia Kyambadde, the director of the school where I teach.
Mujasi: I felt overjoyed when both my parents walked me down the aisle and also exchanging of the vows.
What did you learn during premarital counselling?
Onen: We learnt a lot about our different personalities which has helped us create harmony in our marriage.
Mujasi: We got to learn how to address different marriage issues.
What advice do you give to those intending to get married?
Onen: They should know that you don’t need to have a lot of money to organise a memorable ceremony. Set the date and finances will follow.
Mujasi: Never give up. From the time he promised me marriage in 2015, I also kept the hope alive and it eventually happened.