“She is now Joan Constance Wanyera!” Simon Wanyera excitedly corrects me when I refer to his wife by her maiden name. The two have dated for four years before saying, ‘I do.’
When Wanyera met Joan Wambuya at Mary Stuart hall in 2016, a wedding was a least likely outcome, “It was about 7-8 pm and she was bargaining for jewellery at Mary Stuart hall when she heard me and a friend speak in Lugisu. She commented saying she knew the language to which I told her not to interrupt our conversation. ”
“You don’t have to be rude,” Wambuya reprimanded and that was Wanyera’s undoing.
For a man that was asking a girl to leave his conversation, the night saw him politely asking to push her to her room. He left with her number.
Wanyera’s participation in Makerere strikes posed difficulties in the relationship. In the early days of the relationship, her friends would inquire, “How do you handle Wanyera? He is chaotic, rowdy…How do you handle him? To this, she kept answering, ‘Wanyera is a great man.’
“Joan saw Wanyera Simon and the Revolutionary son. Wanyera Simon is a very gentle, social, determined, jolly principled, trustworthy and intelligent person.” The Revolutionary son is the activist, the political one, always on the front line of strikes, shouting and leading them.
“But for me and her, there is something that connects us that is beyond politics and activism, we love each other.”