I proposed on the same sofa I had at university
When it came to proposing marriage to Kristen, Samuel chose to do it in his house with just the two of them present. Although this is not what she expected, Kristen says she is still grateful that he chose to propose this way since it was romantic and wonderfully intimate.
Kristen Karamagi Kabali is a jolly person who will draw you into a conversation. Samuel Kabali, her dotting husband, has a way of making one talk even if they have their reservations.
This couple has a chemistry that makes marriage seem easier than we have heard. The two met in 2017 at an event organised by The Collective UG, a Ugandan, missional youth movement. Samuel had just joined ministry and both were serving on the media team. They only became friends a year later in a Collective UG book club they were a part of.
“We became good friends. Later, we realised we had feelings for each other and he asked me to be his girlfriend in September that year,” she says.
Samuel says her amazing sense of humour was magnetic. Moreover, she always spoke her mind.
Kristen adds that his kindness, love for Jesus, good sense of humour, and musical talent made him a ‘catch’.
“His dependable character made the decision even easier,” she shares.
After a few years of friendship, Samuel proposed and while many will want a high-end proposal with family and friends, he did it differently.
“I proposed to her in the same spot that I asked her to be my girlfriend; in my home on that old couch I had had since university. I set up the living room, sprinkled a few rose petals here and there and popped the question. It was simple but beautiful,” he says.
Kristen did not have a dream proposal but had always imagined their friends and family being present.
“He proposed a little over a year into the relationship. It was perfect with my favourite love song; Why I Love You by MAJOR playing. It was just the two of us. I was enormously surprised so it was incredibly emotional. Despite not being what I had envisioned, I really appreciated a private proposal and I am glad it is what Samuel chose. There was something magical about just us in the moment experiencing it together,” she says.
The couple held their introduction ceremony (Kweranga) on October 25, 2020 and wedding on November 7, 2020 at St John’s Church in Kawuku, Kampala.
The Kabalis’ favourite activity is binging on TV shows. However, do not be carried away by their easy character and beautiful way of not taking everything seriously to think that all has been rosy. Samuel says the first year of marriage was hard.
“We had a lot of learning to do, especially how to navigate life together. For instance, I quickly learnt that I could not continue living the lone ranger life anymore but involve Kris in everything I did,” he says.
Additionally, when one is single, the world revolves around them, and so it was with Samuel but he has had to learn to put someone else first, and take the back seat.
“When you are in a committed relationship/marriage, you have to learn to put your person/family first in everything. Looking back, I am happy about how far we have come,” he says.
“Samuel and I are alike in some ways but also different in others. So, we have both had to adjust and figure out how to exist in the same space. I think we are doing well thus far since now, I cannot imagine living without him,” Kristen shares.
She adds that one of the greatest challenges has been striking a balance. With work, friends, family, a relationship/marriage coupled with the need to make time for self, the Kabalis are learning about prioritising and managing time and life.
“For us, there is also ministry with The Collective UG which we are very passionate about. Oftentimes, it feels like there is not enough time in the day to handle all these areas so sometimes, some areas suffer. Therefore, we have had to be intentional about prioritising and making time for each other regardless of the situation. That way, our relationship and marriage do not suffer at the hands of everything else going on in our lives,” she shares.
The couple is expecting their first child and Samuel is grateful that God saw it fit for Kris to be in his life.
“I have watched her grow, but most of all, I appreciate how she has helped me grow. I am definitely not the same person I was five years ago, and that is primarily because of how God has used Kris to complete me,” he says.
To anyone looking to date for marriage, Samuel advises them to prioritise God.
“Do not relegate Him to second place. He is the author of your love. Keep Him first, always, and everything else will be added to you,” he says.
Kristen is equally grateful to Samuel for being extremely intentional from the start. Never once did she doubt his feelings towards her or if he was serious about the relationship.
“He asked me to be his girlfriend in the most intentional way ever and never let any doubt linger,” she says. Kristen believes women need to understand that a man will always know if he wants to spend his life with you or not.
“If he does, he will act like it. You will not be up at night wondering if the relationship is going somewhere. Men, you also need to be intentional, and honest with yourselves and the women you are dating,” she shares.