By Hassan Ssentongo
“The moment she walked into that office, I told my friend that she is the woman I will marry. I said this even without knowing anything about her,” says Najib Kayiira.
On this day, Najib, had gone to a friend’s office for a meeting and later, lunch. What he did not know is that his friend had also invited a friend, Sumaya Lubowa Sentamu, for lunch. When she walked into the office, she was taken aback by the other guest but decided to stay because she was hungry.
When Najib started declaring his love for Sumaya, the friend dismissed the remarks as thoughts of a man who had just seen a beautiful woman. Little did he know that Sumaya had actually stolen Najib’s heart and he would do anything to make her his wife.
On the other hand, Sumaya did not think much of Najib.
“I had been invited to eat pilau (a rice dish) and this is what was on my mind at the time. When I entered the office, we exchanged greetings, and later, the friend introduced us and that was it,” she says.
At the end of the meal, Najib asked for Sumaya’s phone number, which she reluctantly gave. Later that night, he sent her a goodnight message, a gesture she found odd but also charming. Over time, the two became good friends.
“It was always difficult for me to relate with men but I do not know why it was easy with him. Maybe because he was not the kind of man you meet for the first time and they start making more than 20 calls a day to say nothing,” she says, adding, he really understood who I was from the beginning and that is what attracted me most about him. He also took his time before declaring his love. He gave our friendship time to flourish.”
On his part, Najib says besides her beauty, he fell in love with Sumaya because he learnt that she came from a religious, well-disciplined family. She was also educated, assertive and compassionate.
Marry your friend
At a certain point in their friendship, Sumaya says Najib began expressing interest in her, even when she did not make it easy for him. Although they had enjoyed several dates between 2017 and 2019, attempts for Najib to make Sumaya his girlfriend always seemed futile.
“She would always advise me to go back home and think about what I really wanted. She was the kind of woman who did not want to waste time, especially with someone who was not ready to settle down. When I kept persisting that I really loved her and wanted us to settle down, she finally gave in,” he says.
“Najib kept mentioning that he wanted to marry a woman like me. Then, one time, while out on a date, he asked me to talk to my parents about him. I was obviously delighted. Luckily, when I did, they were also glad that he had taken this step of asking for their permission. It showed that he was serious and really loved their daughter,” she says.
The couple held their Nikkah (Muslim marriage ceremony) in August 2019. The event which was merged with kukyala was held at Sumaya’s parents’ home in Kawempe, Kampala. On the day, although the couple had planned for only 500 guests, the numbers shot up to about 700 during the event.
“Despite the big unexpected numbers, we still accommodated everyone and they were taken good care of. At the end of the day, we were happy that the ceremony was a success,” Sumaya says.
Their colours of choice (black, gold and white) looked effortlessly classy. Their traditional wedding was held in January.
The couple are happy about the current direction their relationship is taking. As Najib concludes, when something is destined by God to happen, He will always make a way.
Advice to other couples
“It is always important to take your time and learn about the person you are intending to settle down with. Get to know them really well, including their likes and dislikes so that once you are in the marriage, you are not taken aback by some of their character traits. Also, forgiveness is key. There are things your partner might do that will annoy you to the core. It is always crucial to forgive because anger destroys. Remember, we are all human who are bound to make mistakes. So, learn to let go of your partner’s short comings and live in peace.”