Writer: Balam Ankunda

Wedding contributions vividly remind me of Straka’s wedding that went south back in 2009. To remind those who don’t remember the story, Straka was or “is” a prominent TV personality in the golden days of WBS. She decided to get married to her lover Cissieman, an artist commonly known for his song “Nasansa” like any other two people in love nowadays. The interesting thing about the wedding was the reception venue, Namboole Stadium and the terms and conditions following it. Each guest was required to pay an entrance fee : Shs.10,000 ordinary, Shs. 20,000 VIPs and children entered for free. In short the newlyweds didn’t show up, no one tasted food and police had to come in to disperse about 200 guests who had paid money to attend a wedding.

I know this is a very sentimental and hard paper to write as most people in Uganda feel I will be insulting their African humaneness, togetherness and blah blah blah. Let’s face it guys this wedding contribution is one Ugandan thing that needs to be discussed. What kills me is that it has come to the point where some weddings can’t take certain monetary contributions claiming that they are way below the belt, can you imagine such nonsense. Recently, I was very “lucky” to be part of a friend’s internal committee for his wedding. After presenting and debating his budget, I asked him a simple question, How much do you have on the budget presented? Dude clearly didn’t give any direct answer but in his defense, he said if I disclose the amount people will not give me money. With that statement I didn’t have any further questions.

Its funny how we even sometimes contribute money for a wedding for a person you last saw in Sunday school and how people tend to remember they studied with you when they are about to marry or get married. Hypothetically, if you can’t fund your own wedding and you need an entire village to help you marry or get married then we still have a long way to go. I know the issue that started this culture of contribution is the aspect that weddings are done by the man’s side but what is wrong with the bride and groom sitting together, plan and fund their wedding celebration depending on their budget. Anyways that’s a story for another day.

The issue we have in Uganda is that culture that an African wedding should have many people. The person who wrote that killed us. It is worse that sometimes in the 400 guests the bride and groom only know a fraction of the people, that’s if they are lucky. The rest are friends to the father, mother, relatives you don’t know, relatives you last saw as a baby, but the fact that they contributed they must attend. When it comes to rural settings oh God! In some cases, everything is a contribution ranging from the shoes, suit to the food eaten.

I am not saying contributions are bad, but imagine what would happen if you plan and you cut your coat according to your cloth. The biggest problem is that in Uganda some people wake up one day and they say they want to wed someone’s daughter without any clear plan on how they will finance the bills but with only backup plans like my friends will give me money, my father’s friends will come through, I expect people at work to give me big contributions. This kind of thinking is like going into a hotel to eat food but you’re relying on a mobile money from a friend who you don’t owe it to you to clear the bill, trust me you will not enjoy the meal.

Balam is the C.E.O Vac Media Ltd

Leah Grace Oketcho, is a highly talented Communication specialist, gifted in leadership with over 3 years of leadership and management experience at different levels. She is a team player and has demonstrated ability in mobilizing and organizing others to achieve desired goals. Oketcho is well vast in the art of creating alternatives for ways to get results. She has over the years grown in the art of corporate communications and also participated in the development of performance management materials for various professional institutions. Leah received training in research, scripting, international relations, and data analysis as well as public relations. She is passionate about solving public health related problems. She has offered training to youth in oral and written communication, people management and mentoring, editing and documentation skills, public speaking.

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