It was a triumph of Love and Faith over physical disability at United Christian Church (UCC) Kasubi on Saturday, as sign language interpreters were on duty to make the bride comfortable on her wedding day.
Guests were filled with joy and hope when Faridah Nabulya, a woman with hearing impairment, tied the knot with Nicholas Ssemakula. Half of the congregation was deaf including part of the entourage which was comprised of six groomsmen and maids. Several sign language interpreters were on duty to make the occasion colourful, especially for the bride and the congregation.
While Ssemakula, a Chef at Rider Hotel in Seeta, can hear and speak, Nabulya has a permanent hearing impairment. She, therefore, depends on sign language interpreters. She’s a primary school teacher under the Uganda National Association of Hard of Hearing (UAHH).
Tony Eyoku, one of the groomsmen, also a former schoolmate to Ssemakula, was impressed by the wedding. "Some people think the disabled cannot wed the normal people and that is why for this wedding I feel like its sensitisation to both that they can actually live together in marriage," he said.
A close friend and workmate to the bridegroom, who only identified himself as Jeremiah, also commended the groom for what he called a firm decision to step into marriage despite the communication differences between Nicholas and his bride. “This shows that we should live as one in society by setting aside any differences,” he said.
Nakakoni Elizabeth, a sign language interpreter, expressed how much difficulty people like the bride go through. She notes that it is hard for community to accept people like Nabulya since she can talk but cannot hear. Among the deaf and dumb she doesn't fully belong and neither the normal. Therefore she is among those who have been able to withstand some forms of social exclusion.
As counsel to the couple Pastor Nelson Luzinda told them to rightly perform their God-given responsibility of raising children which he said is the next level after wedding.
The reception later on that afternoon was coloured with presentations in form of dance and songs from the deaf which was impressive, even to the normal.
Faridah and Nicholas in appreciation to the guests for coming pointed out that it has all been the work of God, friends and family. They were appreciative that these people had embraced them as a couple with all their differences and stood by them.