By Beatrice Nakibuuka
Francis Kasozi and Josephine Kantono met in October last year. One day, Josephine Kantono passed near Francis Kasozi’s workplace. When Francis caught a glance of her, he liked what he saw and waved at her. She responded with a smile. A few days later, they met in a different place and again he waved at her.
When Francis got home, he prayed that God grants him the woman he had just met. After some time, Josephine came to work in the canteen of St Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK). He was the secretary to the headteacher, as well as head of the non-teaching staff.
“I did not know where to start because I am shy. Fortunately, a colleague was going to wed and I was tasked to mobilise funds from the non-teaching staff. She was happy while speaking to me and made a pledge. I had to follow up by asking for her contact,” he recalls.
The two became friends and Francis ensured that Josephine served him every time he went to the canteen. “In no time, I made mention of my intentions to marry her and her response was that if I meant it, I had to first go and meet her parents.”
He was attracted to her for her beauty but she is also hardworking, happy, and respectful and they are of the same faith, “She is also a singer in the parish choir.”
What attracted Josephine is that Francis was always smart and neat, gentle and always happy.
“On the day he said he wanted to marry me, I asked him to escort me to my sister’s home where I stayed. On our way, I asked that we go to church for the holy hour in the evening. I prayed that God would give him to me for a husband,” she remarks.
In December last year, Francis’ parents were celebrating 64 years in marriage and he invited Josephine with two of her friends.
“I had promised my parents that I would bring them the girl that I liked before I made any further plans of marrying her. We had lunch with her and after a week, I got feedback from my parents that she is beautiful and humble and that I had to go and see her parents immediately.”
The couple then went to Jinja in the same month and they had already had set the dates for the introduction and wedding that had to be a week apart.
Preparing for D-day
Francis followed the school calendar while setting the wedding dates and the dates were in second term holiday. The couple had saved some money until the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We had informed the celebrant-to-be and asked him if we could postpone our event because we wondered where we would get resources to use since a colleague was wedding in May. The priest advised that we use whatever would be available. Our parents also advised the same way and we prayed about it,” Francis says.
Josephine did not move in until kukyala. They had the kukyala on March 21.
“Moving forward, Whenever I got money, I would buy something for the wedding. Days passed after a lockdown was put in place but we did not change the wedding dates, believing that God was going to do it for us,” Josephine says.
The couple had a simple introduction, Francis went with 17 people to Nyenga in Jinja.
“Our budget for the introduction was about Shs4m and the staff offered us cars and fuel to the place. By the time of the introduction, we already had 70 per cent of the wedding contribution. We held online meetings and people contributed wholeheartedly,” he says.
Preparing for the wedding was hard.
“When it comes to getting a matron, the person I had picked in the first place said she would not handle, so she quit. I had to get another one so quickly but she did not help matters. She wanted me to contribute to her salon, dress and look for the attire for her. She was also slow and I regretted having her,” Josephine recounts.
The experience was not any better for Francis. His bestman also backed out and he had to contribute 50 per cent for the clothes of the one he replaced him with. Despite these disappointments, Josephine describes her wedding day as miraculous because of the way things unfolded.
“The weather was favourable and my heart leapt with joy after exchanging our vows and the priest pronounced us as husband and wife. We also had a warm welcome at the reception and the music was to our taste. We had rehearsed our special song and danced merrily,” she says.
Managing the pocket
Their budget for the wedding was Shs6m. A friend gave Josephine a gomesi as a contribution and this is what she used for her introduction.
“I had booked the wedding gown by March but after some time, I told the vendor that I could not afford the Shs700,000. I then negotiated and she accepted Shs500,000 and also offered to give me a changing dress. Our venue for the reception was the compound for the chaplain of SMACK who also wedded us and it was free of charge,” Josephine says. Most of the service providers were colleagues.
Groom: Francis Kasozi
Bride: Josephine Kantono
Church: Kisubi Catholic Parish Church
Main celebrant: Rev Fr Ronald Bwanika