At campus, she offered me water from a pot || It has been 12 years for Gladys and Charles Kabogoza. Kabogoza, who became a household name for his role in the Deception drama series is still amazed by the dozen years he has spent with his wife loving, learning and building a family together.
As he looks back at their lives, he is not surprised that they have made it this far and is confident of happy years ahead.
“My wife and I met at St Francis Chapel Makerere, where we were both members of the drama ministry. This was not love at first sight and there were definitely no sparks even when we were cast as a couple during the Christmas production. But it was the start of a friendship that, over time, blossomed into love,” Kabogoza relates.
Kabogoza is an extrovert which made him popular among the girls. He says he was never short of female companionship but he never felt for them what he felt for his wife.
“We had been friends for a while and one time I walked her back to her hostel in Kikumi Kikumi. While in her room, I asked for water and when she gave it to me, I realised it was from a clay pot.
It was as if scales fell of my eyes and I started seeing her differently,” he recounts the moment he knew she was the one. He says he was impressed that such a young woman chose to have a water pot in her room where popular culture was all about having the fanciest gadgets at whatever cost.
Following this, Kabogoza found himself tongue-tied whenever he was around her, which bothered him to no end.
No right words
“Finding the right words to make girls fall in love with me had never been a problem, but when I needed to bring my A game, my brain refused to cooperate. For once in my dating life, I was scared of a girl rejecting me,” he recollects.
In the meantime, unknown to him, Gladys was also involved in her own struggle to find the right person.
“I was in my final year and for me, the next step was starting to date. I had had a few boyfriends but whenever my family, especially my sister met them, they would advise me not to pursue things any further. But when I took Kabogoza home, my family approved of him and I felt comfortable to pursue a relationship with him,” she shares.
But with her family’s approval, Gladys continued to play hard to get, which was frustrating to Kabogoza.
“I had been pursuing her for more than six months and she was not showing any signs that she felt the way I did. Just when I had fully convinced myself that it was time to move on, she accepted my advances,” he says.
Baby on board
Not long after, the couple realised they were expecting their first child, which was problematic for the two ministers and after a discussion with Uncle Ben, (former St Francis chaplain Canon Benoni Mugarura) they withdrew from serving.
“We had blind faith in each other and we were not afraid of anything. We would gladly ate rolex and go to bed as happy as can be,” he recollects. However, being devout Christians, they were anxious to make things right and go back to the fold. And as soon as the baby was born, the couple tied the knot at St. Francis Chapel Makerere, in 2008.
Building a home
With the marriage formalised, the couple started planning for their future. After struggling with rent as a single man, Kabogoza vowed that his family must never go through the same experience.
“I started doing anything and everything that could pay me. I saved every shilling I could. Even though we were by all intents and purposes still young, parenthood changed our perception and priorities. Where I would not have hesitated to spend Shs500,000 on an outing, I started calculating the bags of cement I would have bought with that money.
I was rewarded when two years later we completed our first home and moved in. As our family grew, we kept building bigger homes to accommodate us comfortably,” Kabogoza shares.
This single mindedness and forward planning is what sealed the deal for Gladys.
“I was impressed by his ambition and need to be his own boss,” she says.
The couple is grateful for the amazing years they have shared and they attribute it all to God.
“We are a praying family, we put God first in everything we do and He has been faithful,” they share.
However, it has not been smooth sailing. Charles confesses to being insecure about his wife working away from home.
“She was a very beautiful young woman and I knew men were looking at her. It was so frustrating but with time, I learned to support her and she has proved to me over and over that she respects herself and our marriage enough not to be involved in extramarital affairs,” he says.
And then it was Gladys’ turn to be tested. One evening, Charles received a call from fame and for the next eight years, he was the leading man in the popular NTV series Deception.
“I received calls from well-meaning friends every time an episode aired discussing how he had looked at this and that woman. It was a crazy time and I eventually gave in to the fear,” she recollects.
Kabogoza understood what his wife was going through and went out of his way to allay her fears.
“He asked me to accompany him on set and after two visits, I was satisfied and the whole thing stopped bothering me. I also decided to support him in pursuing his passion,” she shares.