By Jariat Nakitende
If you did not attend a wedding of a celebrity this year, change your social circles. It is an indication that you are a nobody on the social scene. This year has had more celebrity weddings than weekends, and we attended them. Musicians, media personalities, business people, comedians, MCs, sports personalities – the desire to put a ring on it was fulfilled by all.
We loved it. The beggarly economic situation and the lockdown could not stop love. And we were entertained by the bridal showers, the religious weddings, the cultural ones. We were happily shocked by those who shared honeymoon pictures. Naysayers thought celebrities were in a competition to out-do each other.
The wedding of the year, due to its controversy is that of Pastor Aloysious Bugingo and Suzan Makula Nantaba that took place on December 12. Even before court decides whether it was a wedding or a flashy visit, the developments around it remain interesting. First, the positives.
Those with a limited vocabulary added the word bigamy, which Bugingo was accused of. He has a pending divorce case with his wife, Teddy Naluswa Bugingo. Later he told the Police that it was not an introduction ceremony, but he had only honoured an invitation by Makula’s family. Then Pastor Simeon Kayiwa denied escorting his fellow man of God. Then Frank Gashumba told his followers that for him, he had been invited to an introduction, and then several people shared the invitation cards on their social media handles. With all that hullabaloo, we cannot be too sure whether it was consummated, if it was a wedding at all.
In Firebase (which some have wrongly labelled the music arm of People Power), there was a growth from boys to men. Bobi Wine’s right-hand man and Firebase singer Nubian Li wedded his longtime girlfriend and baby mama to his three kids, Gloria Mutoni, who became Salha in a beautiful ceremony at Kibuli Mosque. They later had their reception at Silver Springs Hotel, Bugolobi.
Bobi Wine was his best man, while his wife, Barbie Kyagulanyi, was the matron. The wedding had lots of social media in-laws talking about how the best man and matron stole the show.
At about the same time, Bobi’s little brother Mikie Wine (Michael Mukwaya would be the name used on their marriage certificate) was introduced by his longtime girlfriend, Shazney Khan, to her parents. Again, the media focused on Bobi and Barbie. It was a low-key ceremony, due to the lockdown.
Love in newsrooms
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) could have sent a memo to newsrooms that everyone getting married is required to appear on TV. Did we just miss the memo?
It started with Judith ‘Judithiana’ Namazzi wedding her former radio co-host, Joel Ndugwa, in a beautiful reception at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa in Kigo in January.
The “newsroom wedding” that captured the moment was that of NBS TV’s Canary Mugume and former WBS TV presenter Fiona Nagirinya alias Sasha Ferguson. The couple tied the knot at Rubaga Miracle Centre and thereafter hosted their guests to a reception at Speke Resort Munyonyo. It is said that over sh2b was injected in the wedding and the décor alone was sh500m.
The wedding had over 700 guests, including businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, head of the state house Anti- corruption Unit Brig. Edith Nakalema, Capt. Mike Mukula, talkative Andrew Mwenda, and former Vision CEO Robert Kabushenga. The presidential order of 200 people per gathering notwithstanding, the wedding went past 11:00pm, going against the 7:00pm curfew time.
In that same month of September, NTV’s John Cliff Wamala and his Uganda Christian University campus sweetheart Saphira Nahabwe sealed their marriage on Saturday, September 11.
Andrew Kabuura stole the limelight at former NTV sports journalist Joel Khamadi’s wedding. Kabuura was the best man at the wedding that took place at the height of his cheating scandal. For many, the most memorable part of the wedding was when Kabuura introduced his beautiful wife Flavia Tumusiime; at the time when social media in-laws expected a knife fight between the two.
It is also in 2021 that Roger Mugisha, now programmes director at Sanyu FM, lost his city Casanova title. He married one of his his long-term girlfriends and baby mamas, Maureen Mbabazi, at Watoto Church. They later had their reception at Serena hotel. He caught us off guard, because in years gone by, he had picked a lady, Sheebah, from our very own Kampala Sun newsroom and held a traditional ceremony at her parents’ home.
Raymond Mujuni and Ritah Kanya found love at their workplaces. The two are both news anchors at NTV and they had their beautiful wedding at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa in Kigo.
You know that Abdu Mulaasi song about the old cow also being able to drink water? Rukh-Shana Namuyimba (formerly at NBS) got married to a one Christopher at a low key wedding ceremony. Christopher was Namuyimba’s fan for about five years before the two became friends. He would admire her on the screens until he tried his shot and became successful. A typical case of love at first sight, on screen.
Fabiola got engaged in the Maldives after dating Mark Ronald Mubiru for close to three years. Mubiru, who remains a dubious mystery, is only known for being rich.
No laughing matter
The only time city comedian Ronnie Musimenta alias Ronnie Mcvex did not joke about relationships was at his wedding to Faith Mugabi. The wedding happened in a private ceremony that was only attended by close friends and relatives. He did not only share the wedding pictures on social media, but also those from his honeymoon.
Practise what you preach
Every musician worth his name has at one time sang about love. In 2021, a number of them practised what they preach, by going the extra mile to make it official.
Faisal Seguya alias Rabadaba was introduced by the late AK47’s baby mama, Nalongo Maggie Kiweesi. They had their Nikkah on the same day after Maggie converted to Islam and became Salha.
After walking down the aisle, critics claimed the Mukyamu singer was after Maggie’s money. He refuted it in several interviews, and said apart from coming from a wealthy family, he foots his own bills in upscale Muyenga. Rabadaba flew out of the country to spend the Christmas holidays with Maggie.
Omusheshe singer Ray G wedded Anabella Twinomugisha in a beautiful wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, the couple recently lost their daughter; something that was celebrated by Ray G’s “bitchy” ex.
The King Herself Cindy Sanyu married her lover of five years, Prynce Joel Atiku Okuyo, on December 11 at St. Stephens Church, Kisugu and later hosted a few close friends and relatives at Serena Kigo.
Cindy’s wedding had few musicians and it is remembered that during her speech, she said she had distanced herself from slay queens and her circle had changed and this was going to help her become a better person. The mother of one is expecting a baby.
The sweaty affairs
There is something that makes adrenaline attractive, making sports men and women loveable people. In October, Olympics Champion Joshua Cheptegei was introduced by his fiancée in a local wedding ceremony.
Their introduction was graced by David Rudisha, the Kenyan middle-distance runner and a two-time Olympic champion, world champion and world record holder; Geoffrey Kamworor, a Kenyan long-distance runner and a three-time world half marathon champion; Stephen Kiprotich, an Olympic champion; Peruth Chemutai, an Olympic champion, and Jacob Kiplimo among others.
Rally drivers Ponsiano and Rose Lwakataka formalised their marriage after 28 years of cohabiting. They tied the knot at Rubaga Cathedral on October 15 and thereafter hosted their guests at Akamwesi Gardens in Kyebando.
Affairs to regret
There were those who wedded, and we regretted why they tied the knot. Roden Y Kabako’s kwanjula was a collection of Uganda’s pop singers, so all media got interested. To prove that the marriage was consummated, he had a nasty photoshop with his pregnant wife, and laid the pictures on social media for all to see. UCC is probably still in shock to take action.
The only right things tycoon Emmanuel Lwasa seems to have done this year was to wed his girlfriend, Angel Kawunda. After that, he went ahead to diss his ex-lover, BBS TV’s Dianah Nabatanzi. Then there was his purported sex tape, in which some gossip TV shows debated matters of size. Matters were reported to the regulator and it was decreed that such conversations should only be held after 11:00pm. The media still regrets the Lwasa affair.
Politics of love
In August, Kampala Central Member of Parliament Mohammed Nsereko wedded his UK lover, Fatia L Amanda. Amanda introduced the MP in Lutembe on Entebbe Road to her parents and this made her officially his second wife.
Gen. Salim Saleh took a break from the noise musicians were making for him to attend the wedding of his son, Alexander Mukonzi, to Manuella Taratibu in a small intimate wedding at Serena Kigo.
With bated breath, we waited all year for Pastor Wilson Bugembe’s wedding, and the wait continues into 2022.