Love under COVID-19 lockdown, Ugandan couple defies long-held norm

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COVID-19: Ghana

In Uganda, a typical wedding must have many guests, at times in hundreds, bringing together relatives of the bride and groom, friends, employers and the local community. Couples supported by families and friends spend a fortune to have a successful wedding, characterized with feasting as a key highlight.

The COVID-19 outbreak in the East African country however presents unusual times. Weddings must be scaled down to 10 people including the priests, according to a new government directive emphasizing social distancing to prevent the spread of the disease.

Wilson and Mercy Kamusimiire in the western Ugandan district of Rwampara had planned their wedding months before the government announced a lockdown. However, the government directive could not stop them from having their special day.

They scaled down their guests to 10 people, themselves inclusive, defying a long held-norm of having a massive wedding. They had the option of postponing the wedding until the end of the lockdown but they chose to go ahead and tie the knot on April 11.

“There was no reason for postponement of our wedding. What God has planned can never be postponed,” Wilson told Xinhua by telephone on Thursday.

On consulting the parents of both bride and groom, the couple received a go-ahead.

“The relatives had no problem with our wedding because they live far away from our home. They even said it was an opportunity for cutting on the costs,” Wilson said.

“My husband does not have a lot of money. Even our jobs are not that big. So, we took it as God’s plan to help us go through a big step in life without spending a lot of money,” Mercy added.

According to Wilson, the entire exercise, which also included a small luncheon, cost about 85 U.S. dollars.

After getting a blessing from the parents, the couple sought permission of the Resident District Commission (RDC) to allow them to move to Mbarara town in western Uganda where the wedding was to be held. According to a government directive people intending to move during the lockdown are supposed to seek permission from the RDC, who is a government representative in district.

“The RDC welcomed our idea and granted us permission to use only three vehicles and seven people,” Wilson said.

The Church service did not last more than an hour and the few guests were later hosted to a luncheon at the couple’s home.

“Of course there were some people who were not happy with our move,” Mercy said. “But I thank God we are now living in a holy marriage as husband and wife.”

“Receptions where there is eating and drinking can be done after the pandemic. For now what is important is being united before God,” Wilson said.

Like Wilson and Mercy, many couples are going ahead to have their weddings during the lockdown. They are choosing to put aside family pressure in a bid to avoid lavish weddings. Enditem

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