By Rajab Mukombozi
While lockdowns have led to a spike in domestic violence and divorce cases globally, Perez Nimusiima and Patience Natukunda have a different story. For the couple, it was a rare time to bond that this weekend, the couple will be walking down the aisle in a scientific wedding.
Before the coronavirus lockdown, Perez Nimusiima a resident of Kashungwe, Nyaruhandagazi in Bugamba, Rwampara district, had returned for a holiday from the University of Rwanda where he is a lecturer. He had arrived in Uganda in February and was scheduled to go back to Rwanda, but in March the lockdown was imposed.
“I had come for a short holiday after marking exams and was scheduled to return at the beginning of April, then the lockdown was announced.”
His children too returned from school and in an unprecedented move, the family was complete. In the past, he would be home for holidays but the wife would be busy and their children at school.
Creating a bond
“The time together felt special, since we had spent so many years apart due to economic challenges and world demands,” he says.
Nimusiima says he loved his family and at no point had he realised they did not bond well until the lockdown. A month and a half down the road, he says he has been presented with the opportunity to reflect.
“Staying at home has helped in understanding my family. I now know how my children relate their with studies. For example, telling some of them about books and reading is the same as forcing them to take a drug, they are glued to the TV all the time. I had not had a chance to monitor all this,” says Nimusiima.
The turning point though was Easter Sunday as he listened to Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa’s sermon.
“As the Bishop was preaching, tears started rolling from my eyes, I felt defeated as I realised my life and that of my family was incomplete without giving my life to Jesus,” he narrates.
The Bishop reportedly preached love, emphasised the importance of family and explained how pride and desire for worldly treasures are tearing humanity apart. Bishop Mwesigwa added that without humanity it was impossible to love and be compassionate.
After the sermon that was prompted by the preacher and the days worth of bonding under lockdown, Nimusiima decided to wed his wife, after 15 years of cohabiting.
“I don’t think I would have gotten this message if it had not been for the lockdown,” he says.
He adds that had it not been for the lockdown which created an opportunity to bond, he would not have felt the urge to quickly wed. While Nimusiima says he always planned to wed his wife at some point, it wasn’t something he intended to do soon.
Plans to wed
He says, he had planned to have a big wedding but after this; “I could not wait, thus decided to have a scientific one. I discussed it with my dear wife, she okayed it, I sent our Bishop my testimony in respect of the message he preached and informed him, and how I have given my life to Jesus”.
Nimusiima says he also expressed his need to wed. That culminated into counselling sessions and a wedding that is scheduled for April 25.
Bishop Mwesigwa confirms and is excited by Nimusiima’s story.
“It is a significant achievement, at the time when many families are experiencing difficulties such as domestic violence.”
Bishop Mwesigwa is concerned about family life during this lockdown especially with reports of increasing cases of domestic violence.
That’s why the preacher focuses on family life, hope, love and compassion. The church has also lined up a group of family counsellors to guide families on how to live in harmony during this lockdown.
The Bishop also says the church has mothers and fathers union coordinators working right from sub parish to archdeaconry. This group gives the necessary guidance to ensure family stability during this period.