By Robert K James
It’s a brutally hot Monday afternoon when I hurriedly walk through the streets of Nakasero, trying to make my way to Mega Standard Supermarket at Aponye mall where I’m supposed to meet my day’s interviewee. After a massage-like security check at the entrance, I find trouble locating a free table inside the restaurant given that it’s lunch hour.
In the meantime, I brave the long queue at the counter to order for a soft drink as I wait for my contact. But before am served, a glance back the entrance stumbles on her, busy on the phone trying to get in touch with me. I wave my hand up for her to see as I walk towards the exit. Our lips part in smiles in what seems to be a reunion of old acquaintances.
Clad in a fairly short sleeveless dress, a hair puff and backpack, Regina helps me find a table as we chat before settling down. A few reminisces about our days at university and we kick off the interview. Wanyenze Regina Kitutu, a former student at St. Mary’s Kitende and an Information Technology graduate from Makerere University works with ZEENODE, an Information Technology (I.T) company with head offices in Kyambogo.
She is a girlfriend to a one Paul Kalyebara, the CEO of Hills Icon Capital, an I.T company in Najera. Paul also deals in stock exchange trade.
How did the two of you meet?
I had a laptop that I was selling so I uploaded it on OLX. He saw it and liked it. He contacted me and we agreed on when and where to meet. So we met at this very place, right here. We met here and I sold him the laptop for UGX. 650,000 and that was it. He didn’t even bargain. “Perhaps he was already smitten towards me that he felt shy to bargain,” she jokes, evoking a moment of laughter.
So it was on Tuesday 6th June 2017 when Paul and Regina met at Aponye mall in Kampala for a normal business traction but little did she know that a man interested in buying her laptop would later on seek her affection.
A couple days later, unexpectedly, “he reached out again just to say hi.” Little by little, the two built conversation before he asked her out. At the time, Regina was a “free bird”, just months after breaking up from her previous relationship. A few dates on the count, one of which included going to the movies and the two officially became boyfriend and girlfriend.
So about your kukyala, when and where was it?
“It was on December 2nd 2017” when Regina hosted Paul at her parent’s home in Najera for a splendid kukyala that was attended by a number of close friends and family relatives. Regina however reveals to Mikolo that the two families have yet to agree on a date for their introduction (Kwanjula and giveaway ceremony).
“Paul’s family was suggesting that we hold the introduction in August next year while my family suggested November, so they are yet to agree on a particular date,” she says.
“Since the introduction is going to be in Manafwa, one has to choose a month when there is no rain. It’s not advisable to hold a function during the rainy season within the very hilly areas of Mbale, Manawfa and nearby places,” Regina further explains.
She also adds that her marital aunt has a key role in the decision to be made as of when they should be holding the introduction ceremony.
“Yes, she has a hand in the decision and for me it’s literally out of my hand. Paul’s family will have to meet with my aunt and whatever date the two families agree on is what I will go with.”
So how about the bride price? In your culture, do they ask for anything specific like the karamongs who ask for cows?
Yes, even us, they do ask for cows and goats. The goats are strictly for the mother and the cows for the father and others.
She adds that in their culture, “it’s often the elders to decide what a man brings in terms of bride price.” However, in a rare circumstance, Regina’s parents requested her ask Paul about how many cows and goats he was willing to pay and what he suggested is exactly what they asked for. Six cows and six goats as bride price and the rest are up to him (Paul).
You work around campus, don’t students crush on you?
Sometimes they do and that’s expected given the nature of the environment. And is Paul okay with it? I ask. Well, he has no problem with it because I tell him about it when it happens and he knows the environment I work in. It’s a student environment.
Regina describes Paul as a quiet and calm person. “Truth be told, I haven’t gotten any problem with him and we have never quarreled. He is a simple person to deal with.”