Bride: Saharra Jovan White, 26
Groom: Gerald Kalyesubula, 26
Occupations: White, Non-Profit Interactive Media Coordinator; Kaleysubula, Light Engineer & Dancer
Homebase: Los Angeles, CA and Kampala, Uganda
Wedding Date: November 11, 2010
Wedding Location: Kampala City, Uganda & The Nile River
The Art of Dance Saharra left her southern California home in 2008 headed to Africa for a life-changing experience. “I went to Uganda to volunteer at the Bavubuka Foundation. I taught dance and journalism,” she explains. “I was introduced to Gerald who also taught dance to children at the Bavubuka house,” Saharra recalls adding she snubbed Gerald at first since she’s a ballerina and Gerald a breakdancer. Gerald on the other hand was immediately smitten with Saharra. “I was always praying for a lady with certain qualities and she had most of them,” he reveals. “Most of all we had a common bond in dance,” he continues. In time, Saharra opened up and became impressed with Gerald as well, “He cared about the children in his community and was a very giving individual.”
Two of a Kind “During my time in Uganda, Gerald helped me see the importance of the arts,” Saharra shares. In addition to dance, the pair realized that had even more in common. “While I was in Uganda we went to church together, we partied — we did a lot in those six months I was there…we fell in love,” Saharra says. “I made up my mind that she was going to be my wife because whenever I told her ‘I love you baby,’ she said ‘I like you.’ She would say, ‘How can you love me? You just met me.’ The months I spent with her empowered me and confirmed she was the right rib and lover of my life because she loved me for what I am not because of what I have,” confides Gerald.
Going the Distance Life wasn’t always a bed of roses for the couple during their courtship. “I got malaria and sprained my ankle while in Uganda but he was there for me,” remembers Saharra. “I knew before I left Africa that I was going to marry Gerald. I was so in love with him that I pushed our wedding date up. He also puts a smile on my face so that helps,” she jokes. Gerald says of the proposal, “We wanted it to be unique and special. It was rooted in a traditional African introduction engagement.” The proposal/engagement ceremony is called Kwanjula. During this ceremony (that took place a week before the wedding), there is a skit where Gerald decides which woman he will marry from a group of ladies. Once he picks her he gives her the ring. The two then sit together as one.
Coming to…Africa The couple choose to wed in the city of Kampala in Uganda before 150 guests. Although several local loved ones helped to coordinate the multi-day affair, it was initially bittersweet for Saharra. “Having a wedding without my family was a challenge. Family is extremely important to me so not having their support was emotional,” Saharra confesses. “Once I got to Uganda I was united with [my new] family. We plan to have another ceremony here in America,” she adds. Gerald fondly reminisces on his favorite part of the wedding ceremony, “When Saharra was speaking to family and she said ‘I had to come back for my king,’ and she cried !” She proclaims, “I felt like a princess and I found my king so all the challenges didn’t mean anything at the end.”
Saharra’s Money Saving Tips for Future Brides:
Early Bird Gets the Worm Decide on a wedding theme early. Knowing what you want versus what you think you want, but really don’t need will help you save money warns Saharra.
Try, Try Again If your first choice isn’t available in dress, food, location, etc… Remember there is always a solution, Saharra advises.
Think Big Picture Make a list of what you need, what you want and what you can do with out. “‘A wedding is one day; a marriage is forever,’ was a common saying I heard several times during the days leading up to my wedding,” recalls Saharra.
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