By Eve Muganga
Suubi Mark Noble Samuel, 29 the Director Blue Ribbon Academy and statistician Hope Viktre Namakula, 29, a Dentist at Tororo District Hospital met way back in the early days of November 2014 as they were working at Tororo District Local government. The couple wedded at Deliverance Church in Tororo on 28 December 2019. Mark and Hope shared their story with us.
How they met
Mark explains that it all began as he worked in the Human Resource department, salary section at the Tororo District offices, “By that time the district was in a salary mess and many people were missing their salaries for months and it was hard to be a friend to anyone in such a storm. But after several months of clearing the mess, a few hills were left to climb though they turned out to be mountains.” Mark explains.
“One busy afternoon, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) called me in his office. I entered his office only to find this young beautiful lady seated. The CAO then asked me why she hadn’t received a salary for the last six months. I had no answer to his question.”
At the request of the CAO, Mark ventured to find a solution for the lady he had found in the office, “It was a problem with her bank account, supplier number and TIN number. The issue was technical that no one in the salary department had found a solution to this issue in the last six months. I told her to give me a few hours to look at her issue. In the wee hours of the next morning, at around 1:00 am, I called her telling her that I had succeeded with solving her salary problem. And that’s how it all started between us,” he narrates.
Namakula says, “It all began when a few days later, Mark asked me for a date. Although hesitant at first, he kept on pushing and one evening after work, we had dinner together from a restaurant. With each date we had, he made the evenings look special and worth looking forward to.”
Mark adds that what attracted him to Namakula was her trust during the salary issues she had. “Everyone had failed. It is not easy to trust a junior when seniors with 10 years and above experience have failed. You need God to intervene to go against the odds.”
‘’The self-confidence and hard work he portrayed. He was awake until 1:00 am in the morning to see that my salary issue is solved. We have a handful of such civil servants now days which is what attracted me to him” Namakula says.
Mark and Hope say they weren’t scared of anything when planning for their wedding,” We knew we had to make it no matter how hard it would be and trusted God with everything.”
Like every wedding, the couple faced critical organisation problems. Namakula says they assigned people responsibilities but later found themselves doing the tasks, “Some people would join you during the preparation but from the start, no one was there.”
Like popular opinion shows, she says wedding meetings can be disheartening, “Actually, for the first meeting, I was alone, the second meeting my mum joined, the third and fourth meeting was when people tried turning up.”
Mark adds that him being the chairman and coordinator, he had to make sure everything is right. “We didn’t want to assume bosses yet nothing was being done, we had to leave the comfort zone to have the best day of our lives.”
In addition, the couple did counselling once a week for four weeks towards the D-day.
Soon the day of the wedding was due.
According to Mark, the most memorable aspect of their wedding was the time they were making the vows and the time he thanked his wife for standing and trusting him.” In addition, the time we had to thank the congregation for not just contributing but attending was important. When it got to preparations, we got offers catering for all drinks at the wedding, bunches of matooke, rice and the bridal cars that we used.”
Namakula she says her highlight at the wedding was, “When we were getting out of church, I knew it was ‘done’. God had answered my prayers. My dream of church marriage had come true.”
The biggest disappointment
The couple’s saddest moment at their wedding was having to deal with the disappointment of a DJ who did not show up, living their function music less. Mark’s cousin who is a DJ had promised to do it for free as a contribution to the couple’s wedding, only asking them to cater for transportation of the equipment.
“I knew that he would make it special since that was his field but things turned around he didn’t appear even after getting him space in the special van. We had our trust in him and we knew he would make our day.” Mark decries, adding, “We ended up having very bad music. It was more of gambling. We send out special thanks to our MC who found a way to keep our guests lively with his entertaining ways.”
Mark says they were able to find a quick fix DJ who was paid Shs100,000 since he only worked for Four hours of the ceremony. Sadly, the DJ they found wasn’t good.
As for the would-be DJ, the couple says he never gave an explanation.
From this, they advice others never to rely on free things because people can be unreliable. If however you have an offer, Mark says you should always have another option just in case.
Cohabiting before marriage
The couple lived together for five years before making it official.
Mark gives advice saying, “A dice has six sides and each time it’s tossed, it displays different numbers. Life is never the same even for twins born on the same day. We lived together because we needed to know each other, it was our choice. I was too expensive renting both in Kampala and Tororo at the same time.
He also calls upon religious leaders to be more kind considering people face different realities, “One pastor confronted me and told me it’s (cohabiting) wrong, I told him God is merciful and very patient with his people. He told me I will never get his blessing. He had actually told my wife to leave and stop staying with me. I trusted God with our relationship, got to know my wife better and have no fears as God still rules at the forefront of everything we do.
Namakula advises couples to wait until they are married before reproducing, “Because when they get kids, they forget about marriage. So when you need children, get married since marriage is a commitment, not a temporally alliance or game that most men/ladies like playing.” says Namakula
Both say their honeymoon was a great experience, “It was a great experience. God is faithful and great. I remember telling my wife that in case we don’t have enough money to go for the honeymoon, we would go to Dubai during the Easter holidays. Little did we know that we couldn’t have Easter this year due to Covid19. My dad fully sponsored our honeymoon. It was his prize, “I call it blank cheque”. He said mention where you want to go and I will pay. But since my wife had no passport at that time, we were limited to travel around East Africa only. Our destinations were Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa through the air. Mombasa was great, we had our new years from there and spent a week. 2020 New Year’s found us travelling by air on our way to Mombasa.
“Since we got married, It has earned me more respect from my workplace and society,” says Namakula while Mark adds that a lot has changed especially when it gets to planning, responsibility, investments and hard work. We give in all we can as a married couple to go against the odds even when it means spending sleepless nights.
The message we give to those planning to marry is that making it official is the first step to living a decent life and being successful. Leaving a legacy behind is everyone’s wish. The Bible says, “Whoever finds me, finds life and receives favour from the Lord”. So we found Him, got everlasting life and favour. As a family, we haven’t lacked during this Covid-19 time and we’ve been able to help many during this time. We give God the glory.