- TOGETHER FOREVER. Ham Mukasa Galabuzi is a prominent businessman and a member of the Buganda royal family.
- On August 31 he tied the knot with Hameria Muggazi, a businesswoman at St. Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe. The couple shares their journey to the altar with PHIONAH NASSANGA
When and how did you meet?
Ham: Coincidentally, I think we were at the airport in Dubai; she approached me asking for directions. I directed her and also exchanged contacts. Proceeding to Norway, we met again after six months at Centenary Park where I owned a club.
Hameria: We first met in 2011 at the airport in Dubai. It was my first time in Dubai and did not know the right directions. When I approached him he asked if I was from Uganda. We met at Club Le’Beaujolais, Centenary Park, where an anonymous person asked the waiter to bring me drinks. The next time I went back, he introduced himself, reminding me of our first meeting in Dubai.
When did you get close?
Ham: During our third encounter at the club. I talked to her about business and realised she was so much into business. I told her about the court case one of businesses was involved in and how lawyers had conned us. This is when she promised to get me in touch with a lawyer she trusted.
Hameria: After he had talked to me about his court matters, I got him a lawyer and each time they were meeting, he asked me to keep around. Sometimes I would attend the court proceedings and before I knew it we were meeting and communicating often.
How did you confess your love for her?
Ham: The more we got closer, the more I picked interest in her, but I did not tell her. Actions speak louder than words; I knew she would pick on the message.
Where was your first date and how did it go?
Hameria: Our first date was at Buziga Country Club. He invited me for dinner. I was to be there by 6pm but I could not make it time, so we pushed it to 7pm. I arrived at 8pm
What memories do you hold of your dating session?
Ham: I took her to a number of places and we travelled in the night. My intention was to create memories we would each hold on to even in the absence of one party.
Hameria: All was well, until our last date. Little did I know it was the last for us. We hang out at Munyonyo Resort, this time he came along with a friend. He told the friend ono waffe and to me oli wange (meaning you are mine). This was the last day we saw each other. He travelled without telling me. For three years, no phone calls, no text messages, it was traumatising, we had built a bond.
Why did you choose to leave without telling her?
Ham: I am an entrepreneur and the reason I had come back to Uganda was because the telecom company I was working for in Norway had extended their services to Uganda. But time came when my services were needed elsewhere. Besides, I had watched a movie called Coming to America, people never disclose their next step. Something I thought was right.
Did you ever give up on him?
Hameria: Much has I wanted to, it was hard I kept telling myself he would return. I had memories to hold on to and besides, we had not had any misunderstandings.
After three years, how was it like meeting again?
Ham: I had not seen her but when she approached me, I was happy. I had hopes that destiny would bring us together gain.
Hameria: Surprisingly, after three years in 2015 we met at the same place we went for our last date. I had taken my sister’s children to play bouncy. As I was taking a selfie, I captured someone I knew. At first I thought I was wrong, but when I looked back, it was him. I became hesitant but later approached him with mixed feelings.
When did you decide to make it official?
Ham: When I returned from Gambia in 2017, I had already made up my mind. I knew she was the woman for me and now I had reason to stay in Uganda.
When did you propose to her?
Ham: I had tried doing it in 2011 before travelling but I think she did not take it serious, may be because I said it in a joking way and without a ring. I proposed again in 2017.
What was your reaction?
Hameria: I did not take him seriously because at the back of my mind, I thought he would just choose to leave again. Not until he asked me to take him to my aunt.
What attracted you to each other?
Ham: She is patient, hardworking, understanding, beautiful, with a genuine smile.
Hameria: He is understanding, caring, reserved and unpredictable.
How did you come up with the wedding date?
Ham: My choice of date was August 23, the day my father passed away, but when we went to Namirembe cathedral to book for our wedding service the date had been booked, so we opted for August 31.
How did you conduct your wedding meetings?
Ham: Before calling for a general meeting, I first held a meeting with four people, who helped me draft the budget.
How did you choose your service providers?
Ham: We had a selection of three service providers for each of the items but we failed to decide on who to deal with.
Hameria: After failing to decide on whom to choose, we attended a wedding expo where we got in touch with different service providers and by the time we left we had decided on who to deal with and paid partly for the services.
How did you come up with your guest list?
Ham: I looked at my entire family and selected those that I knew; I also gave my siblings a chance to invite those they knew. I considered royals from Buganda Kingdom, friends from Norway, Kenya and within.
Hameria: I considered a few close family members, friends and workmates.
Where did you shop for your wedding attires and at how much?
Ham: I bought my suit from Malachi at Ntinda Shopping Mall, at Shs2m.
Hameria: I got my wedding grown from Unik Bridals at Shs2m and my two changing dresses from Paris at Shs14m.
What did you consider when choosing your best man and maid of honour?
Ham: I looked at someone who is close to me, with whom I can freely share, someone that has known me for quite long and is married.
Hameria: I considered someone who has been supportive of my relationship from day one, someone who has been married long enough to guide me, just in case of anything.
Did you involve a wedding planner?
Hameria: No, I worked with four people that had an idea of what I wanted my day to be like.
Why Speke Resort Munyonyo for a venue?
Ham: I wanted to hold the reception at my ancestral home in Nasuuti, Mukono but it being a Friday, I was worried about traffic jam. Also trying to hire tents and chairs had become a nightmare so we decided to bring our guests to Munyonyo in a hall. Some members opposed having an indoor wedding, but we had already setup our minds.
What were you doing on your wedding eve?
Ham: My best man and I were fitting in our suits.
Hameria: I was at the reception, trying to follow up on every detail with the service providers. The décor, the band, I had to confirm they were in place.
What was going through your mind as she walked down the aisle?
Ham: During our counseling classes I was told to face the altar. I was anxious and just could not wait for her to get through that long aisle, down to the altar.
Tell us about your premarital counselling classes
Ham: The classes lasted for two days from 8am to 5pm. I learnt not to open our wedding gifts by ourselves. Not to let in-laws stay for too long in our home.
Hameria: It was fun, we had talks from different people. I was surprised that churches hire ‘sengas’ to talk about important issues in marriage to avoid misunderstandings and running back to church leaders for counselling.
Advice to those planning to wed.
Ham: Save for your wedding; do not expect much from the meetings because many will pledge but for formality.
Hameria: Get in touch with all your service providers, know their address, do not let a third party manage everything. Get on ground and know the cost of things. It will help you save. Get receipts for all that you pay for and file them just in case a person claims you did not pay them.