In Summary

To have and to hold. The two love- birds Sam and Sophie Gombya have been married for 10 years and have five children. Both are musicians. They told Christine Katende their wedding story.

When and how did you meet?
Sam: It was in 1998 at Seven Hills College. I was a singer and Sophie was a dancer and still in school at Kibibi Senior Secondary School.
Sophie: We met around former Pride Theatre and that is where I used to stay. He was then in Power Flow Pearls Band. I used to attend their rehearsals with the aim of joining the band. So, we became friends and he proposed after two years.

How did you propose to her?
Sam: It was a hustle because of my shyness. After Sophie dodging me for two years, I got a go-between; he was Joseph Mulinde, a good friend. He used to arrange dates for us.

How did you react to his proposal?
Sophie: I didn’t like it. I could not imagine a good friend becoming my husband. I accepted after sometime because of his warm personality.

What attracted you to each other?
Sam: She is beautiful, slender, and has an inner beauty I can’t express.
Sophie: Sam is caring and loving.

When and where was your wedding?
Sam: On July 10, 2004 at Namirembe Cathedral.
Sophie: We had different ideas but had to have a middle ground thus, Namirembe Cathedral.

And the reception?
Sam: It was at Kiwatule Recreation Centre
Sophie: It was offered to us by Mr Bidandi Ssali at no cost.

Considering our society standards, you were very young to wed, who inspired you?
Sam: Gordon Wavamuno used to meet us and, Sophie had started using my name (Gombya) yet we were not married. He pledged to give us cars among other things to use on our day. Wavamuno never wanted me to waste Sophie’s time.

What interested you on your wedding day?
Sam: Being blessed by Bishop Yokaana Mukasa from Masaka. Then, seeing my family and relatives cheering us up,.
Sophie: The amazing gifts I received from a friend the morning before going to the salon. Then, seeing my mother smile was so exciting.

What was the theme colour?
Sam: Royal blue and purple. Blue is my favourite and Sophie’s is purple.

Did you have any disappointments on that day?
Sam: Sophie delayed by 15 minutes to get the church. This worried me.
Sophie: Everything was perfect.

Were there any fears?
Sam: No, may be the rain given the fact that we had an outdoor venue.
Sophie: No, I knew everything was well attended to.

Were there any challenges during the preparations?
Sam: Raising funds but thank God, friends helped us out at the kasiki.
Sophie: Those people who later came up discouraging me from getting married and it is one of the reasons I changed the maid of honour at the last minute.

Who was your maid of honour?
Dr Mina Nakawuka Bidandi though we had not met to tell her what role she had to play. She had to stand in because I got misunderstandings three days to the wedding with the person I had chosen before. Mina bought and paid everything for herself.

Did you have a wedding planner?
Sophie: No, we did it with friends.

How much did the gown and changing dress cost?
Sophie: I got it from Hosanna Bridals at Shs500,000 at Pioneer Mall. My sister-in-law bought my changing dress at Shs600,000.
How much did the suit cost?
Sam: The suit cost Shs2m and shoes Shs400,000.

How much did you spend on your wedding?
Sam: We spent about Shs70m but it all was from friends’ contributions.

Where was your honeymoon and what interested you most?
Sam: We went to Resort Hotel in Mbale. While there, we climbed Mt Elgon and listened to birds chirping. And most of all, being with my wife in a private place felt good.
Sophie: I enjoyed the quiet environment and the walks we had to different places.

Did you go for premarital counselling and how helpful was it?
Sam: Yes, we did at Namirembe Cathedral. The fact that we were young, it helped us to learn more about principles of marriage. Marriage is not a smooth road but you must find your way around it as a couple. Remember, I was 25years old and my wife 20.
Sophie: Yes, I learnt much like how to pray and handle challenges in marriage.

Was it all a perfect day ?
Sophie: We had many uninvited guests which somehow disorganised our preparations. If we had stuck to the 120 guests, I think we would have a more organised reception.

What has kept the fire burning in the 10 years of marriage?
Sam: We refresh our love always. Sophie is my best friend and I don’t keep anything secretly. I share each and everything with her about life.
Sophie: Of course, it hasn’t been all smooth but somehow we find our way around it using the premarital counselling tips. We are celebrating the 10th anniversary this year.

What would you do better given a change to re-wed?
Sam: It would be the honeymoon like going to Hollywood. I would also hire a private jet to fly us to the reception venue.
Sophie: I would plan my wedding; get involved in each and everything so as to eliminate things such as the uninvited guests.

Date: July 10, 2004
Groom: Sam Gombya
Bride: Sophie Gombya
Church: St Paul’s Namirembe Cathedral
Celebrant: Bishop Yokaana Mukasa
Reception: Kiwatule Recreation Centre.
Honeymoon: Resort Hotel Mbale
Guests: 300
Budget: Shs 70m