By Betty Angatai
To those who had been invited to Maganda Ssemakula’s home to witness is daughter’s introduction ceremony, there was nothing unusual.
What, however, they did not know was the fact that Ssemakula’s family was not happy with the gifts that the groom had sent earlier and that he had failed to meet some of their requirements.
Ssemakula was giving away his 17-yearold daughter, Margaret Namaganda, to her fiancée, Asuman Mubajje, 23, who hails from Namadi village in Malongo sub-county, Mayuge district.
The day was bright and the guests arrived in time to welcome the groom’s entourage. There was great excitement when the groom’s entourage arrived and the ceremony kicked off, with the girl’s relatives and friends coming forward to welcome the guest.
An hour into the ceremony, when the bride had been brought out to meet the guests, the groom rose from his seat and picked a microphone from the MC, something which is unheard of. He then cleared his throat as the guests froze into a moment of silence, and announced:
“I am sorry, my dear parents, but I cannot marry your daughter. I would like to state now that I am officially out of this whole thing.” He then walked away, followed by a few of his colleagues, some of whom wondered whether he was in his right mind.
Namaganda collapsed and was rushed into the house. As soon as it became clear that Mubajje was standing by his words, his remaining entourage decided to continue with the function. They chose Mubajje’s brother, Haruna Namugowa, to stand in for him and continue with the ceremony.
But Ssemakula refused. He demanded that the groom’s entourage pays a sh250,000 fine, saying Mubajje had made his daughter pregnant. Namaganda is said to be five-months pregnant. Ssemakula asked for a gomesi for Namaganda’s grandmother, who raised her.
I STILL LOVE MY MAN - NAMAGANDA
When Saturday Vision contacted Namaganda, she said she did not blame her boyfriend, but her parents who kept asking for more money from the groom’s family.
“Our parents had already reached an agreement and some money had been paid. It was agreed that the balance and other requirements would be paid in July.
So why were they making more demands? I was shocked when my mother told me that they needed more money from my in-laws before I could marry Mubajje.” Namaganda added that she still loved Mubajje in spite of the disappointment.
“Although things did not go well that day, I still love my man and I have already forgiven him. I will join him as soon as he wants me to,” she said while smiling.
I HAVE LOST INTEREST IN THAT GIRL
Mubajje said he was no longer interested in marriage and that he plans to resume his studies. After completing Senior Four in 2010, Mubajje started trading in tomatoes. He said he had raised enough fees to go back to school.
“True, I wanted to marry Namaganda, but I was disappointed by her parents, who kept asking for more money. I think they badly need money. I gave up on marriage and I am planning to return to school. I have raised enough money to pay fees”
When told that Namaganda still loved him, Mubajje insisted that he had no marriage plans. Asked why he waited till the function to walk away, Mubajje said he realised he was wasting his money.
MOTHER SPEAKS OUT
Namaganda’s mother, Thereza Nakangu, said she knew the function was doomed, even before it started. “I saw it coming. On the eve of the ceremony, the groom’s family sent us only seven kilogrammes of rice and a small goat to prepare for the guests. Even the gomesi which was brought for me was torn. What type of in-laws are those? We rejected their goat, so that could have angered them.
Nakangu added that her daughter was not rejected. “She has parents. We shall take good care of her.”
I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, SAYS MUBAJJE’S FATHER
Mubajje’s father, Edrisa Mubajje (right) regretted the incident, saying his absence did not have anything to do with how the function turned out.
“I did not attend the function because I had to host the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council’s electoral commission chairman at Mayuge district headquarters. But I sent my brother, Abdul Rahuman Ssalongo to represent me.”
When contacted, Ssalongo said the incident was unfortunate. “Our son disappointed us, yet we had already paid sh3m in bride price.
The family raised the money as requested by the girl’s parents early last month. Now what will happen to that money?”
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