By Bash Fahad Mutumba
Jeremiah and Sarah Kibuuka Kasule got married at a very young age. They went through all the phases of young love and were both patient enough to let it grow to the point of wanting to marry each other. They shared their inspiring story with us.
“I met my husband at Uganda Christian University in first year, second semester. I always wanted to be part of a choir, so when my friend asked me to escort her there, I found it fun and decided to join permanently. The fact that I have always feared people, I tend to just walk straight to where I am supposed to sit. So, I did not see this guy in choir, yet he later told me that he saw me on the very first day I joined choir.
The first time I personally saw him was at community worship. The preacher said something funny, and a stranger seated in front of me looked back and joked with my friend about the topic. I did not laugh with them, I just smiled and let it be. I had left my phone in my hall of residence, so you can imagine my shock when I went back I found his message. The audacity angered me a bit. The next time I saw him, he was with my friend’s boyfriend and I did not want to greet him.”
“He bought me a glass of juice when I had exam fever one morning, and since then, we became friends. I honestly did not find him attractive initially. I just found him nagging. But when I later got to know him personally, I realized he sang in the choir and also worked part time in the IT laboratory. I used to go spend time in his laboratory, watching movies, until he one day declared his intentions for me.” Sarah narrates.
Sarah’s background never allowed her to have any ideas about a dream husband,
“I grew up in a Christian family that is very strict about education so I would not picture myself in marriage any time soon. However, I always asked God that if He were ever to bring someone into my life, it should be the right person. I always wanted a born again Christian man, and he had to also be a Muganda. I later asked Jerry for details about his parents’ clan, because I did not want to fall for someone who would later turn out to be my blood relative.”
Mrs Kasule did not lose a chance to heap praise on her loving husband,
“He is such a nice person. He is so caring and loving. When he loves someone, he loves them to the dot. It is so beautiful to know that you will not have to worry about whether a man will love you enough or not, and whether you will be enough for him. He really met my standards; he loves me the way I am. He develops me not only financially but spiritually. Above all, Jerry trusts me and loves God.”
Jeremiah Kasule Kibuuka describes himself as a proud husband to Sarah. He poetically states what he loves about her,
“She lets me see the weakest side of her; the side that not everyone gets to see. I get to see her when she is happy, and I get to see her when she is crying. She is so beautiful. I get to wake up every morning and just look at her. Growing up, I never gave it much thought what my future wife would be like; I just wanted her to be beautiful. Sarah was beautiful but I did not feel attracted to her because I did not want to be just another guy on her long list of suitors. She was friends with my cousin, so I developed a friendship bond with her, and even when I fell in love and let her know, she asked me to give her time but we still kept on being friends as she made up her mind.
We then agreed to give it a try for three months without letting anyone know, until we were sure about being a perfect match for each other. We needed to understand and learn each other without external scrutiny.”
“I got to know that Sarah was meant to be my wife when she came and indirectly asked me for permission to see a guy who was on her case for a long time, so that she could tell him he stood no chance. She did not even have to ask me, because either way she would have gone and I would not have noticed, but her asking me showed me how much she loved and respected me.
I did not have enough money to manage marriage yet, as the job I had at the time gave me a really small salary. I made it clear to her that if she wanted someone with money, then I was not the one for her. She was not bothered by that, but either way, as soon as I got a better job, I proactively asked her to marry me,” he adds.
Sarah fondly recalls the journey of her love with Jeremiah,
“After finishing university in 2019, Jerry wanted to marry me, but I was so scared, since I felt I was still so young at just 21. Throughout school, I was always the youngest in my class. I was thinking about my life after the bachelor’s degree; about working, going for further studies and developing myself. Honestly, he had an answer for every reason I gave him. I also got worried that I would stop fitting in with my friends. I wanted to get married at least after turning 26.”
“It was after a reverend friend of ours advised me about the many successful young marriages he had witnessed, that I finally accepted. I thought to myself ‘What is the point in waiting?’ When we got married in 2021, I was 23 and he was 27.” Sarah reveals.
Jeremiah proposed to Sarah at Cafe Javas on August 1st 2020, and interestingly, the couple had the initial visits to each one’s family.
May 28th was the Kwanjula and June 5th was the wedding date. For the specific details on the functions, the young couples made their own program. Sarah recalls them showing off their Ganda dance skills at every possible point during their traditional wedding, which dancing is limited for the bride and groom on usual Kwanjula functions.
They exchanged their vows at St Francis Chapel Makerere, and the anxiety that comes with wedding functions was not easy for Sarah to handle,
“I had gotten leave from my job and I was at home, and since we prayed about all this, I was calm, but on the day before the wedding, my aunties and other relatives started talking about how hard marriage is and I got engulfed by anxiety. I locked myself in the bedroom with my five year old nephew who kept me company. If it was not for my best friend’s sister Samalie, who called and calmed me down, I would not have been mentally strong enough for the entire thing. I was woken up at 4am for “Kaasuze Katya”, so that we could be in time for makeup, outfits and hair at the beauty salon by 6am.”
“The church ceremony was scheduled for 11am, but we did not want to be late, so we reached at 10:10am and waited in the cars. Our reception was at Sedena Gardens Rubaga and we planned for 300 guests. Apart from my uncles coming from Masaka and aunties coming from Mityana, all the other people were from around town, so the different locations were favourable.” She said.
On Jeremiah’s side, he was not about to cave in to any sort of anxiety,
“One of my groomsmen was coming from Kasese, and another was coming from somewhere else, but I was willing to go without them if they were to run late. I was even willing to walk to the church if the cars were to reach late. The most important thing to me that day was Sarah saying ‘I do’ to me.I just wanted to marry the love of my life.
Everyone that we needed attended, and it was fun. And God works in mysterious ways, because right after having our wedding of more than 300 people, the president ordered that all subsequent weddings should follow a very limited number of guests since COVID was becoming unmanageable during that period. The announcement was made that very night!”
“We had to budget for all the functions in advance, and limit expenses. I remember wondering how I was going to get all that money, because I had never had such an amount in my life. But what I learnt was, as long what you have chosen to do is according to the will of the Lord, He will provide. Some of the items were cleared by the fundraiser meetings, but some personal stuff like the groom’s suit and bride’s gown must be cleared by the couple. We also got teams to handle different things, but in the end we had to do some things ourselves. For example for the rings, we both knew we did not want gold; we wanted silver. But my wife was working on a tight schedule so she could not come with me to see the rings. I had to take pictures and send to her. Communication is very key in the planning process.” Mr Kasule advises.
Jeremiah advises that it is safer to have a wedding within your means so that you are not left in debt after it ends. He says their wedding did not reach the Shs30m mark like most “bougie” weddings we are all used to seeing.
Given the very Christian background he comes from, Jeremiah’s bachelor party was not the conventional one,
“There was nothing like the boys taking me to the bar to see dancers or anything. I also wanted a different start for my marriage from the worldly kind of view, so my family arranged one for me and my uncles and everyone else came and prayed for me. It was beautiful. And I can gladly say I started my marriage in prayer… and eating too. Oh! That food was nice.”
Sarah then shared what her plans were for the reception,
“We chose an open venue to have a nice drone video and photos, and also fresh air for our guests. Luckily it did not rain. The main challenge we found was that we were just coming from the pandemic and people were broke, and I was not earning much where I was working at that time. The fact that my brother’s wedding had just happened the previous year made it even harder. Also, my parents kept wondering why I would want to get married at such a young age, and they thought I had got pregnant or something.”
About the challenges she has found in the realm of marriage, she said,
“Planning is a big issue. Since we are both young and do not earn so much, we have to be able to use the little we have to develop ourselves. Also adjusting from planning your finances alone to handling them as a couple is a challenge. My advice to anyone entering marriage is, you should simply trust God and then your partner. You have to also learn to forgive and compromise. You must learn to love your partner’s good and bad side.”
Jeremiah too has some advice for young couples who would like to get married,
“Do not rush it, there are no gifts in marriage. Make sure you are marrying your friend, with whom you are willing to understand each other. Anger does not solve anything; apologize when in wrong, and do not try to justify your actions. Marriage is not about the wedding day; it is a daily journey and it is beautiful when handled well. Pray about your functions, and lastly, pray that God teaches you how to love your wife/husband.”