- WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR. Ahmed Ali Kiwanuka 35, a teacher and sports consultant in Lwengo District walked down the aisle with Jamirah Nammanda,21, a fashion designer in Masaka town on December 17, 2017. The couple told their marriage journey to SHAMIM J. NAKAWOOYA.
- Ali and Jamirah asked Bamikolo service providers in Masaka to bake for them a nine-tier cake with various flavours such as orange, lemon, strawberry and vanilla at Shs1.5m.
- To add colour to the wedding ceremony some of the guests came with cash gifts which they openly presented to the couple.
When and How did you meet?
Ali : I met Jamie in June, 2017 at New Vienna Hotel through a friend called Shamie. My friend had told me about her and when she came, I admired her that very day, then we exchanged contacts and I opened up to her.
Jamirah: Ali and I, had Shamim as a mutual friend. Our friend asked me to meet her friend [Ali]. After meeting Ali we started dating.
When did the two of you become close?
Ali : My friend [Shamie] had already told me that Jamie is a nice girl and I think we got very close through communication and I started taking our relationship seriously.
Jamirah: Communication and his seriousness made us very close, I think our hearts spoke and later connected.
How was the proposal and how did you react?
Ali: I think I proposed on the day we first met though she did not take my words seriously.
Jamirah: At first I did not believe his proposal but I remember he came to visit my parents on August 2017 and that is when he asked me if I was ready to marry him. These words were so sweet that I was overjoyed and even cried.
What attracted you to each other?
Ali: When we first met Jamie was wearing a hijab and she looked beautiful. When we got talking, she sounded intelligent. I later discovered that she is hardworking and respectful.
Jamirah: Ali is God-fearing, selfless, kind and handsome. He has a charming smile.
What was your budget?
Ali: It was Shs30m. I had covered 50 per cent of it, then friends, workmates, family and my students contributed 50 per cent.
Who comprised your entourage?
Ali: I chose Norbert Tumukugize as my best man, he is my former student and a best friend. The groomsmen were my former students, workmates, and family friends including Ukasha Nduggwa, Abas Lutimba,Mahad Kakembo and Yasin Sseguya.
Jamirah: I chose Shamim Nakazibwe because she has been a best friend since childhood.The maids were my sisters and family friends.
What was the most expensive item on your wedding?
Ali: Decor was the most expensive item as Bamikolo Service Providers from Lugazi charged us Shs2.5m.
Jamirah: We hired my gown at Shs 800,000.
How did you choose your attire?
Ali: I got samples from Dubai through Diana’s Boutique and I sent through my order which was delivered in time for the wedding.
Jamirah: I went to Unique Bridal with my sister-in-law and we tried on a number of gowns until I found one that I felt comfortable in.
Where did you shop for your attire?
Ali : I ordered my suit from Dubai at Shs900,000 through Diana’s Boutique at SkyLight Acarde.
Jamirah: I got my gown from Unique Bridals Namaganda Plaza on Luwum Street. I bought jewellery and makeup from Lamra’s shop at Jesco Building.
Did you involve a wedding planner?
Ali: No, my sister, Fatumah Nabawanuka was responsible for everything and she did a great job.
What were you doing on the wedding eve?
Jamirah: My parents had organised for me a small party in Sembabule District, we ate, drank, danced and received gifts from friends and family.
Ali : I went to the pitch to play football and then I went at my parent’s home to enjoy the party which they had organised for me.
What was your colour theme?
Ali: I used green and orange because green symbolises freshness and nature while orange is my favourite colour and it is vibrant.
Jamirah: Blue and red because they are my favourite colours.
Were you disappointed in any way during the wedding?
Ali: The music service providers disappointed me. I paid for three days but they worked for one and a half days.
What challenges did you face during preparations?
Ali: I had very little time and it was hectic to coordinate my meetings in Kampala, Lwengo, Masaka and Mbarara districts.
Did you go for premarital counselling?
Ali: Yes both religious and cultural sessions from Sheikhs and kojjas. I was told to love my wife, be transparent and trust Allah.
Jamirah: I attended religious and ssenga sessions and I learnt to be respectful, loving and listening to my husband in marriage.
What was the most exciting thing on your wedding?
Ali: The way people welcomed me at the reception was exciting.
Jamirah: Seeing some dignitaries such as politicians including Dr Sarah Nkonge Muwonge whom I had never dreamt of meeting as well as entering the reception.
Did you have any debts after?
Ali: No, we instead received cash gifts from our guests.
What is your advice to those planning to wed?
Ali: Always get beneficial friends, being social is also important as well as trusting God in everything.
Jamirah: Always live right, fear God, be respectful and loving to your partner.