How we met:
MIKE MUGALA, Shibuyunji
WHEN Cleanwell Manyepa first set his eyes on Getrude Shampango, it was clear on his mind that she would one day become his wife.
Now with four children and 17 years in marriage, Cleanwell says Getrude is the most beautiful woman he has ever met.
Cleanwell, 42, met Getrude 30 at Sala Seventh-day Adventist Church in Shibuyunji district in 1998.
According to Cleanwell, she looked attractive and pleasant in his eyes such that he developed interest in her instantly.
â€œI think I was looking for a partner to settle down with and meeting Gertrude at church was like a relief to me. I was convinced that she would make a good wife because of the way she presented herself before me,â€ he said.
The two later got in a relationship and it was not long before Cleanwell approached Gertrudeâ€™s family to make his intentions known and the following year in December, the two had a traditional wedding.
Though the two experienced challenges during the initial days of their marriage, Cleanwell says his wife always worked hard to ensure that she helped supplement household income. He says she is a hardworking woman who is always focused and determined to achieve her goals.
Cleanwell has described his marriage with Getrude as one of the few successful ones and he believes that the secret to a successful marriage is understanding, persistence and also respect for each other.
For Cleanwell, marriage is not a destination but a process. He believes that marriage makes people better.
He said marrying Getrude has been the greatest thing that happened in his life and that he does not regret the decision he made.
â€œI feel marriage makes us better because two people are better than one, when you are in marriage, things will always fall in place no matter what challenges you go through. God will always supplement because he is the initiator and giver of marriages,â€ said Cleanwell with a smile.
He said for a marriage to work, there should be respect from both sides. Cleanwell advises that when there is a problem in a marriage, people must sit down together and find a solution.
Getrude is a family unifier according to Cleanwell and she embraces all his family members without being selective.
His prayer is that God gives them life in abundancy so that they grow older and see their four children grow together.
Cleanwell advises young people looking for marriage partners to prepare for the task ahead as it has its own hurdles.
â€œMarriage is not only sweet, it also has challenges and one has to be ready for them in order to handle it. People must therefore know and understand their partners before they go on to make vows,â€ Cleanwell said.
On the other hand, Getrude had to drop out of school in her seventh grade when both her parents died and instead opted for marriage as there was no one to sponsor her.
Though most of her friends were skeptical about her relationship with Cleanwell, Getrude could not give up her love for him as she believed all things were possible with love.
â€œI was convinced that he is a genuine man because he does not drink or smoke and above all, he is God-fearing. He is also a humble and down to earth person. It is the reason I did not take long to accept his proposal,â€ she said.
For Getrude, Cleanwell is her mentor and source of strength and she says her marriage to him is built on love, respect and trust for each other.
With four children and 17 years in marriage, Getrude says her husband is still the caring man she met at first. Getrude says each day that comes is an opportunity to love her husband more, her prayer to God is that he sustains them.
â€œI love my husband so much because he is understanding, caring and receives all my family members well. I always pray that God blesses us in our farming business so that we take our children to school,â€ Getrude said.
She has advised young girls to work extra hard at school and wait for the right time to get married.
Getrude said marriage requires maturity and a lot of preparation before one goes into it, she believes one must first seek the face of God before they venture into it.
â€œOur young people, especially ladies must not go into a relationship when they are not ready. If they do, they should keep away from sexual intercourse. They should not be cheated that having sex is an expression of love. Sex is for people in marriage,â€ she said.
How we met: