By Carolyne B. Atangaza
David Segawa and Jane Mpologoma’s story is the stuff telenovelas are made of. The couple first met as two pre-adolescents at Agha Khan Primary School in Kampala. After many years, they finally reunited and made the decision to marry 22 years ago.
Segawa is the reserved one of the couple, the strong silent type. Living in a tight community of Ugandans in the United Kingdom, Segawa says his choice to stay single for most of his adult life often puzzled his friends. But he says he was waiting for the right person.
“I always met and tried to create relationships with other women but something was lacking,” Segawa says. And then he met his wife. “Mpologoma was not a stranger to me, she was my best friend’s sister (Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi) and when we started talking we remembered having met before in primary school and at Namirembe Cathedral where we worshipped together,” he recounts.
“Segawa and I were in the same class for about two years. I also used to see him at church and still there was never any suggestion that we might end up as husband and wife,” Mpologoma reveals.
That status subsequently changed when the two got a chance to work closely and spend more time together.
“In 1997, the Kabaka appointed Mpologoma to be the guest of honour of his birthday celebration in London. During the celebrations, she took time to pay a visit to the Kabaka’s grandmother with whom I was staying,” he recounts.
During the visit Segawa and Mpologoma talked and discovered they were both passionate about the preservation of their culture. As a matter of fact, Segawa was at the time involved in growing and spreading the activities of the newly launched Kabaka Foundation activities (a trust to promote, encourage and support cultural, educational, literacy, economic, social and charitable projects for the benefit of the public in Buganda and Uganda at large).
He talked to Mpologoma about establishing a chapter in Sweden where she was living. “She was receptive of the idea and she generously hosted me for two weeks when I made the trip to Sweden. When we started talking we discovered we had a lot in common. We had friends in common, had similar beliefs and values,” he recounts.
“I think this time laid a strong foundation for our marriage. Because none of us had ulterior motives, we were able to relate to each other in a genuine way. ” says Mpologoma.
Once the couple was clear on whether their personal beliefs were compatible, they decided to marry. “Popular culture has made us believe true love is something that comes fully packaged. But what I have discovered is love is a decision. A decision to place someone else’s wellbeing above yours. To love them even when you do not feel they deserve your love,” Segawa says.
This is the kind of love Mpologoma showed him from the beginning of the relationship and has been consistent for the 22 years. “When we decided to marry, I was living in the UK while she was living in Sweden. We were faced with the difficult decision of who should move and where we should settle as a family. But she generously offered to move even if that meant uprooting her life and starting all over again,” he reveals.
The couple tied the knot in 1998 and started a new life in the UK, a life the couple says has been filled with wonderful discoveries and learning to love each other better every day.
What I love about her
“My wife is a very wise and intelligent person so people often seek her out for advice. She will give helpful advice to an entrepreneur, a doctor or a stay home mother. She has that special talent of putting things into perspective for everyone.
We are opposites, she is more extroverted than I and so she pulls me out of my shell. She makes me feel the best about myself. Everything is more fun when she is around,” he says.
Why she loves him
“God has gifted my husband with the qualities I value such integrity, patience, honesty, generosity and wisdom,” says Mpologoma.
The couple reveal they have learned to make decisions that are good for them even when they seem controversial to their family and friends. “When we got married in 1998, we opened a bank account and put everything in the same name. My friends thought I was making a mistake and told me so. But I stood by it. You see, it is good to have friends but you need to limit what you share with them and the amount of influence they have in your personal lives. Be careful not to fall prey to them,” cautions Segawa.
The couple’s biggest test came in 2018 when David Segawa fell ill and became immobilised. “One evening, he came from work complaining about a headache and went to bed. In the morning he could not walk. His body was paralysed. It was sudden and overwhelming. Doctors told us he would never be able to walk on his own again. They advised me to put him in a home for specialised care,” Jane Mpologoma recalls that life-changing moment with emotion.
After praying about it, she decided she would look after her husband herself. “I cooked for him, fed him and prayed over him. I wanted him to know nothing would ever change my love for him. With a lot of effort he started recovering and everyone was calling it a miracle, well maybe it was, but I also know it was the healing power of love. Because nothing can defy its power,” Mpologoma says.
Segawa fully recovered the use of his limbs; he moves and talks like nothing ever happened. Indeed who can defy the power of love?