By Phiona Nassanga
Malik Adam Masiko, 31, a real estate manager and Evelyn Nambooze, 30, an accountant met through a mutual friend on Facebook in 2018. They wedded on May 23 in a scientific wedding at Christ’s Church Uganda, Kitintale. Phionah Nassanga caught up with the couple.
Serving in different churches, Malik Adam Masiko and Evelyn Nambooze were brought together by their love to serve children. It started with Masiko seeing a photo that bore Nambooze on a friend’s Facebook timeline. He was interested in finding out who the new face was. Little did he know that they would end up as husband and wife.
“I think my wife and I met in one of the strangest ways. I might not remember the actual date, but it was in 2018. I was chatting with one of my friends about their church ministry and he sent me a photo of their activities. I seemed to know everyone in the photo except one person,” Masiko recounts.
Asking his friend more about the ‘new’ member, he felt the need of getting to know her at a personal level thus sending her a friend request. From Facebook chats, one thing led to another. Around March 15, 2018, the two thought they should go on and meet physically. They exchanged phone contact numbers and photos.
“Our conversations were mainly about children’s ministry and how best we could serve. However, after some time I got interested in a physical meeting because I wanted to meet the face behind the soft voice. I had fallen in love with him,” Nambooze confesses.
Going on a couple of dates, trying to know each other better, Masiko was at some point caught off guard by Nambooze’s statement. “If you are moving out with me you have to be serious,” she said. It was then that he realised how tough and serious she was. “At some point, I wondered if I was ready.”
For Masiko, he wanted to take everything slowly, but Nambooze wanted to know how serious he was. In December 2018, Masiko decided to talk to his parents about his feelings and he showed Nambooze’s photo to his mother. The mother was pleased something that gave Masiko the courage to go on and propose to her.
“I had been disappointed in the past and I was not about to entertain anymore games. I thought I needed to be open and serious about everything, but thank God he turned out serious. Shortly, the dates for the different functions were set,” Nambooze says.
Masiko was tensed up, especially at the time he had to meet Nambooze’s parents.
Set to settle
On September 1, 2019, the two decided to be more than friends and they held a kukyala in Kajjansi.
Masiko says after the kukyaala, Nambooze wanted the introduction in October and the wedding in December. But Masiko asked that they take things slow to help them have time to plan.
Masiko says before kukyala he had drafted the budget for both the introduction and the wedding. This was to help him know the costs he was about to incur before any preparation meetings.
After their introduction on January 18, 2020, the couple started planning for May 23, their wedding day.
Two months to their wedding, Masiko and Nambooze felt the need to hold preparation meetings. Matsiko had chaired and helped with most of his friends’ prepare their weddings and was assured of their presence. However, this was impossible because none of them had foreseen the lockdown and the banning of public gatherings coming.
“The first time they announced a lockdown, I took it lightly hoping that by May it would be lifted. I was always looking forward to the president’s addresses, but as time went by, my hope waned,” he recounts.
He had always looked forward to his wedding day because it would bring his family together despite their different faiths.
Nambooze says much as their parents were fine with them settling for a scientific wedding, they had to reach out to some family members and hear their options.
“I sent out messages to the different family members who also supported the idea. But on the other hand, many said they would not be in a position to support us financially. This was hard to handle because I had used up much of my savings for the introduction,” she reveals.
Rethinking the budget
Masiko says during their first two meetings which were held at the beginning of March, they had raised Shs560,000 but that was not enough given their necessities.
Three weeks to the wedding Masiko and his wife revised their budget from Shs56m to Shs2m.
“We had to do away with most of the things such as the decoration, cake, makeup, and invitation cards. However, it was unfortunate that we had already deposited non-refundable Shs2.5m on the wedding reception which was to take place at UMA hall,” he explains.
Trying to improvise, Masiko and his best man had to go through their wardrobe for a suit to wear at the wedding. Unlike the groom and his best man, Nambooze says her gown had already been catered to by her mother-in-law.
The critical moment
Nambooze says drawing the guest list became hard. Only 10 people were to attend church, and 15 were allowed at their reception at Rivonia Hotel Mbuya.
“We had planned to have lunch with seven people from each of our families after church costing Shs600, 000. I deposited Shs400, 000, but to our surprise 25 guests came. I had to pay an extra fee of Shs400, 000 on top of the balance. I did not have any more money on me, but as we were having lunch some envelopes containing money was what we used to settle the bill,” he says.
Memorable moments and lessons
To the couple, their parents surprising them with a cake was amazing. “It might not have been the type of cake we wanted for our day, but our parents did a great job because the cake had been scraped off the budget.”
Nambooze says having one of their wedding photos while wearing masks will be a moment to remember and a photo to tell their wedding story to their children.
“I have realized that we love to have all these people at our weddings, but at the end of the day, it is going to be you and your wife dealing with everything. It also does not matter how much your budget is, but the gist of the day for the two of you to be blessed before God,” Masiko expresses.