Those who were students at Makerere University cannot forget the parental nature, humility, non - corruptible Dean of Students Uncle George who was a role model to them as they pursued their academics. We console with Uncle George Kihuguru during the difficult time following the passing of his better half who was so instrumental during his time as Dean of Students. We pray that the Almighty God provides comfort to all the family members following the passing of Joyce.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing”.
Jackie Musiime Kihuguru wrote:
“My mummy, mother, advisor, giver, lover of the Lord, amazing wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, auntie to everyone, my rock, oh Lord.....I can't believe that I won't see you again here on earth but my joy is that we will meet in heaven”.
“Will miss your calls, our laughter and your sense of humor”.
“I pray for dad because you were his everything after God. Lord give him the strength”.
“Will miss you my mother, my stronghold and my rock”.
“May your soul Rest In Peace my Ankole Queen”.
GEORGE AND JOYCE KIHUGURU’S TALE OF A FRUITFUL MARRIAGE.
June 15, 2011
Written by joomlasupport
Given that today marriages crumble as soon as they are hatched and people make a fuss even when they spend 10 years in marriage, a couple that spends 50 years in marriage surely stands out. That is the story of George and Joyce Kihuguru who celebrated their Golden Jubilee marriage anniversary on Saturday.
The Kihugurus exchanged marital vows on May 6, 1961 at St. James Cathedral Ruharo, in Mbarara. George and Joyce are aged 77 and 70 respectively. George is a former long-serving Dean of students at Makerere University.
Yet the many decades in marriage have not taken their charm, love and beauty. As they entered All Saints Cathedral, for a thanksgiving service, people like former inmate Chris Rwakasisi were heard saying, “beautiful, beautiful” at the lovely couple who entered hand in hand as if they were going to say “I do” for the first time, to a deserving song “To God be the glory.”
They were accompanied by their two children Juliet Odhiambo and Geoffrey Kihuguru, who served as matron and best man.
“This is an exciting moment for there is a story to tell. We are celebrating 50 years of successful marriage and praying that God continues to bless their marriage,” noted Rev Diana Nkesiga who said she was six months old when the Kihugurus wed.
The couple renewed their marital vows promising to love, comfort, honour, and forsake other people for each other. There was renewed laughter when the couple separately answered in the affirmative to Bishop Eliphaz Maari‘s question, “George/ Joyce, do you acknowledge Joyce/ George as your wedded wife/ husband?”
Other exciting moments were when George and Joyce, as they were fondly called in the service, held each other’s hand saying, “I……renew my vow to you….., to have and to hold you, for better or worse, for richer for poor, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part according to God’s holy law.”
The function was organised by their children who, together with the couple, and close family friends wore bitenge in four different colours. Their children also read the lessons during the service with one of them, Joy, presenting a special song. Guests included Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, former Prime Minister Prof Apolo Nsibambi, Bishop Zac Niringiye and MTN mogul Charles Mbiire.
During the service, friends and relatives gave testimonies, praising the Kihugurus, revealing their personality and character. Two of them were Dr Esau Nzaro and Justus Byagagaire, George’s childhood friends and Obs at Mbarara High School in the early 1940s.
“He [George] was a selfless young man with a great sense of humour. He used to refer to people he didn’t like as stupid,” said the aging Byagagaire.
Byagagaire recalls that when George got Joyce, he bragged that he had got a ekibonomwe, Runyankore for an exclusive treasure.
“It was a match made in heaven. They fell in love and as you see, they are still in love. They are celebrating 50 years in marriage, yet they look like they are 30 years old.”
This was echoed by Kihuguru, who at one time caused laughter when he asked the congregation not to fuss about his wife’s good looks.
“She is 70 but she looks attractive. So, imagine how she looked like at 19 or 20,” he said adding, “You can’t blame me for marrying her.”
The couple’s oldest son, Geoffrey Kihuguru, an insurance guru and former MD Lion Assurance, said their parents taught them virtues like honesty and hard work.
“If we have learnt anything from you, it is to shun illegal methods of wealth creation.”
He described his parents as reserved, approachable and disciplinarians who dispensed ‘corporal punishments’ on their children. He caused laughter when he said that as a first born, he bore the full brunt because he was sometimes punished for his siblings’ wrongs.
Well, he may have been hurt, but the MC, Donald Rukare, said, rather comically, that the punishments were “all well deserved.”
The Kihigurus meet
In their address, the couple revealed how they met and what has kept them together. Joyce attributed it to God and salvation.
“Salvation has helped us to be together without even knowing that we have actually been together for such a long time.”
She also thanked God “for giving me such a loving husband.”
For a moment, she paused before adding what could actually have kept them together: “He is my good friend and good advisor.
“He forgives me when I do wrong, and he says sorry whenever he is in the wrong.”
She also thanked her children for the care and for actually organising the thanksgiving anniversary, singling out Juliet who had to travel from South Africa to be her ‘matron.’
Rejecting love letters
For Joyce, salvation helped them keep together in marriage; it also prepared her for it. Her salvation at eight, she said, saved her from temptations that other girls face.
“Many boys used to write to me love letters but I would take them to my teachers.”
The teachers’ advice then was to return the letters to their respective senders.
“At Kyebambe Girls, some boys used to put powder but I would still send them back.”
She, however, never sent George’s letter back; instead, she replied it albeit after two weeks.
“Although he wasn’t saved, I loved him.” She found him hardworking and well behaved.
That was in 1953 during national school competitions in Uganda where their schools participated. George recalls that they were travelling to Kampala in a school bus and when he looked behind, he saw a slender, tall brown, beautiful and attractive girl.
“However, she was busy reading a book; so, she never bothered.”
Later when they met around Makerere College School, he recognized her and when he greeted her, she asked if he was born-again. “I said no, but I am thinking about it.”
With the first interaction, he had to devise ways of getting to her. Back then, the mode of communication for love was mainly through letters. George says he had been told by a friend at Mbarara High School that Joyce is a ‘saved’ girl, who always sends boys’ letters back.
“I thought of writing one but I couldn’t afford the idea of it being sent back to me.”
He, however, wrote and lucky, she never sent it back.
The journey that has kept them together for 50 years had started. That George wasn’t saved was, however, an issue that almost stopped their marriage. “My fellow born again friends weren’t happy and they advised me against it,” she reminisces.
They feared that the difference of values would cause rifts in the marriage. She, however, trusted him. “My view was that he was unlikely to disappoint me.”
Joyce confessed to praying for George to get saved. This, however, came 30 years after the marriage. “That made our marriage even sweeter.”
In a separate account, George said he had shunned salvation because of pride. “I wasn’t smoking, drinking or moving out with other women; so, I didn’t see reason to get saved.”
He says at the time of his inspiration, he was the only unsaved person in his family.
Mrs Kihuguru advises married people not to take their spouses for guaranteed.
“Always do things that will attract them to you.”
She also advises all women to read the book of Esther because “it teaches a lot to do to please your husband.”
He may have delayed to get saved, but George is now a truly ‘saved’ person. His address to the congregation started with the words, “Dear friends, Praise the Lord.”
He described his wife as, “a wonderful wife, a mentor, advisor and a friend.”
Their marriage was also triumph over critics. George rejected their advice saying he was confident he would marry her.
“I knew that if I left her, it would be hard for me to get another person like her.”
Indeed his patience paid off.
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