Patrick Bakka Male, the head teacher of King’s College, Budo and his Wife, Molly, a geologist at the Geological Department in Entebbe, celebrated their silver jubilee on December 29, 2013. They shared their story with Roderick Ahimbazwe.
This will come as a surprise to many, but from the day I proposed to Molly, I set my mind on marrying her on her birthday.
That was way back in 1986, though we had been friends since 1983, when we were at Makerere University. She was studying Chemistry, Geology and Physics B, while I was doing Physics A, so we would study together once in a while.
A CLASSMATE, CHURCH MEMBER
Initially, our relationship was like that of a brother and sister. We fellowshipped together at St. Francis Chapel, Makerere and we would go for upcountry missions.
Of course, we would go as a group, but we became closer. I soon developed intimate feelings for her and began remembering things like her birthday and other small things that mattered to her.
By 1986, I was deeply in love with her. What attracted me to her most was the fact that she was a Christian, beautiful, a good singer and respected everyone she came across.
From the onset, I knew Molly was taller than me, but I had no reservations about that. I had also realised that short women had a problem delivering children, so I wanted a tall woman who would not go through such trouble.
The couple with their children. Pictures by Roderick Ahimbazwe
One day in 1986 on our way from a mission in the east, we passed by her parents’ home in Jinja. On seeing the way she respected her parents, I made up my mind to marry her. When we got to campus, I visited her in her Hall of residence, Africa, and I told her that I wanted her to be the mother of my children.
Though she had a few doubts about my seriousness, I was prepared to show her that I was committed. I had made up my mind to have our wedding on her birthday and this came to pass on September 24, 1988.
EARLY YEARS OF MARRIAGE
After the wedding, I thought Molly would be against the idea of staying in a school environment since I was a teacher. I have taught at Namilyango College, Entebbe Secondary and King’s College, Budo, where I have been since 1987 as teacher and headteacher since 2007.
However, Molly loved the school setting, saying it provided a communal and protective environment. My biggest challenge was when Molly would ravel out of the country for short courses or for field trips upcountry, leaving me and the children at home.
I would miss her a lot. We would write letters to each other since it was the only means of communication at the time. I always made sure that I wrote the most romantic letters. At times when she was away, her parents would help look after our children and I am grateful for their support.
HOW THEY MET
I had always known Patrick as a good friend and we were in the same faculty at Makerere University. We also interacted at St. Francis Chapel, where we were staunch members. When I joined campus, I was a staunch Born-again Christian, so I feared getting involved in relationships.
However much guys tried to approach me, I always built a concrete wall around myself, which turned away many would-be
Nevertheless, Patrick stuck around and with time, I began to develop feelings for him. I was already attracted to him because he was handsome, humorous and most important, he was a good Christian, just like I was. He had all the qualities I had always wanted in a man.
In fact, when he proposed to me in 1986, I was not surprised because I had seen it coming, though I did not know how serious he was. I confi ded in my good friend, Monica Kiwanuka, who encouraged me to give him a chance and we prayed about it.
When Patrick proposed, I did not give him an immediate answer, but I let nature take its course and in 1988, we got married, after two years of dating. It is only after the wedding had taken place that he revealed to me that it had been his master plan to marry me on my birthday, but somehow the events of the day overwhelmed us that we forgot that the day coincided with my birthday.
I NEVER DOUBTED MY HUSBAND
In the early years of our marriage and even after the birth of our first-born, Peter, I travelled a lot to do courses in Belgium, The Netherlands and Egypt and I would leave my family behind. I would miss them a lot. One day, Peter rejected me after being away for some time.
From that time, I decided to plan my travels well and even give up on some courses, especially those that required me to be away for a long time.
People also wondered whether I did not suspect my husband of infi delity, but it never crossed my mind. I always remained positive in my thinking
CARING HUSBAND, FATHER
Patrick was a headboy at King’s College, Budo and is now head teacher at the same school, so many people think he is strict at home.
However, he is soft and always avoids hurting people, which has made me fall in love with him the more. At home, he is a father and husband and will always ensure that he gives the children and me his time and affection.
Like Patrick must have stated, the 25 years have not been all merry, but our faith has made us stronger. At times, I just can’t believe that we have been married for 25 years. I have a saying that “that is not the worst that can happen.”
However much something may hurt me, I always stand strong, knowing there are worse things that have happened to people.
With the nature of Patrick’s work, he can get so busy, barely getting time for the family. I still miss him at such times, even though we have been together for long.
I advise young couples to always pray for their marriages and seek advice from the right people. No one should do things on their own, but rather look for people who have succeeded and try to emulate them.
She is the engine that drives our home — Patrick
Over the years, we have grown closer to each other and God blessed us with four children. But like everything in this world, our marital journey has not always been a bed of roses.
Contrary to what most people think that I am soft, it is just that I always focus on the positive rather than the negative. In fact, people think Molly is a no-nonsense woman, but I am blessed to have her, you know, opposites attract and blend well.
Another thing that strengthened our marriage is avoiding back biting. However much Molly offends me, I will never speak ill of her behind her back.
I am always in praise of her; absent or present. I love to call it positive back-biting and I encourage young couples to do the same. I also love the fact that Molly is the engine that drives our home.
For example, she is not a medical doctor, but when anyone falls sick, she always ensures that we get the right medication and take it on time.
At times, I am at a loss of words because of the way she does things that might look small, such as making our bed, but still make the home tidy. I know it might sound like an old tune, but the secret behind the success of our marriage has been our salvation. The author and finisher of all works is God and we always put him fi rst in everything we do.
Of course, prophets of doom will say that being too spiritual makes a marriage boring, but we have had our romantic moments. I occasionally take her out for dinner.
As part of our silver jubilee celebrations, we are going for our second honey moon at the Mountain of the Moon Hotel in Fort Portal.
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I was a hard nut, but Patrick cracked me