On 5th June 2010, a former old boy at the oldest and pre-eminent University in East Africa, Makerere University, called asking for help. He requested over a phone call for my support in his upcoming wedding preparations.
I hesitated, but he insisted. After almost two years of no contact, this call came like a stranger. I appreciated the call and the request.
To show his seriousness, that very evening he came to my office. We reminisced the University times and how we were buddies. He had been a close friend during our time at the campus in the MBA class. Once a friend, always one. During our meeting, he told me about the wife-to-be. Jane was in our same Master of Business Administration class. I was cornered.
I agreed to support the wedding, as I stood up for a handshake to appreciate my friend’s maturity to settle down as a family man.
Immediately he grabbed by hand, looked directly into my eyes and said “And you are my perfect best man. Same height. Same skin complexion. And my wife to be knows you very well and you know us. Please support me as my best man.”
Without thinking twice, I said no worries. I will be with you along the way. Promise me one thing: you will never divorce. To which he answered swiftly, “of course not. You know me, I won’t repeat myself.”
This was my third time in this role. I invested in the suite, and everything needed to succeed in that role.
Three years later, about late 2013, the wife made a save our souls (SOS) call me at about mid-night. These are people we supported from start to finish. Once they wedded and bid us a farewell to their Dubai honeymoon, no one ever called again to even say thank you. As people who believe in God, we always say “when you do good and no one thanks you, you will be thanked in the afterlife.”
I picked the call. The voice the other side was struggling. “My husband is just returning home. I have been tolerating him. But today he came home with another woman! I am tired of him.”
There are things you hear and pinch yourself whether you are dreaming or not.
As married people, how do you let a situation deteriorate to that level? As these questions were going through my mind, I told the woman on the phone to confirm whether the husband has come along with a prostitute or a friend helping him to return home safely. If it is the latter, she should not be alarmed. Instead, thank the woman and let the husband in. Thank God the woman was identified as a friend of the family who saw the man too drunk to drive. She had helped drive the man home in her car and had parked the man’s car at the bar.
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Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2019. All rights reserved.