No wonder the term used is ‘better half’. Sam and Sophie Gombya are the true definition of this.
Just like a woman and her hand bag, these two are inseparable and this has helped them to stay together.
“I am complete with her,” said Sam.
The tall and slender Sophie Nabukalu Gombya met Sam Gombya at Nabagereka Primary School many years ago when Sophie was in P1 and Sam was in P3. They used to see each other but little did they know that one day they would be husband and wife.
“Sam was very stubborn and he bullied girls all the time until I and my girlfriends ganged up [against] him. If I remember well, he cried,” said Sophie.
Just as love was beginning to blossom, the two parted ways. Sophie went to Nakivubo Blue Primary School and then to Kawempe Muslim.
Sam proceeded to Seven Hills Secondary School. They were later to meet during a music festival at Pride Theatre in 1998. They started where they had stopped.
“This time I was quick; since every man seemed to admire her on stage I went back stage and told her that we had to talk after the festival. She did not hesitate,” said Sam.
Sophie’s love for drums was going to be a stumbling block for the two because Sam wanted her to join his Power Pro Pals Band (PPP).
“I persuaded Sophie to join the PPP Band with the intention of putting her in the pipeline because she was very beautiful.” At this point Sophie interrupted: “Owaaye sikyali mulungi? (Aren’t I pretty anymore?)” “Okyali (you still are!)” Sam emphasised.
Sophie was still a student and she agreed to be a part-time performer in the band. This was the turning point in their love life.
In fact, Sophie took Sam’s surname even before the wedding.
Nabukalu no more
Sophie had never liked her name Nabukalu because it seems to refer to her petite size. With Sam now in the picture, she opted for Gombya. The part time performances with the band resulted in the July 10, 2004 wedding at Namirembe Cathedral.
But before that, the odds were stacked against this union. Sam is a Christian with a physical disability, and Sophie a Muslim. How did Sophie’s family take this?
“We already had a child and were madly in love. I had to be in my best state of persuasion and Sophie too had to get down on her knees for her father’s blessing in marriage,” Sam said. Luckily, Hajji blessed the couple.
The Gombyas now have three children (Syrus 9, Solomon 8, and Sonia 3). Sophie wants another eleven!
“I want our family to fill a Kamunye (commuter van),” she said. Sam too supports the idea despite the cost cutting effect of the global financial meltdown.
“I believe God will take care of them since every child is a blessing.”
They have also defied the argument that working with your spouse is uncomfortable. For them, working together has kept the clock ticking in their relationship. With her sharp soprano and his unmistakable bass compared to the Late Jimmy Katumba’s, they have released good tunes. More memorable of them is Sebo Muko, which they often perform together at Kwanjula (traditional weddings/introduction ceremonies).
So, does Sam cheat on Sophie? In the song Spare Tyre, Sophie assures a girl that by encroaching on her territory she is simply a fifth wheel. This song provoked speculation among fans that Sam was cheating.
“I was inspired to write this song because my sister had gone through a heartbreaking experience, so I wrote it for Sophie to sing,” said Sam.
They have five albums and will be launching the latest - Nkwesize Mu Bbuba at Theatre La Bonita on May 1.The launch will continue to Afronica Kyaliwajjala, and finally to Eden Service Park Bwaise on Sunday, May 3.
Sophie says that she has kept Sam close because she knows the right buttons to push.
The Gombyas wake up at 5:00a.m. to get their children ready for school. Then Sophie heads to Martin Road where she operates the Da Gombyaz boutique.
It is here that Sophie supervises the business and meets clients who need their services at wedding parties or shows.
On the other side, Sam prepares for his show at Radio Simba where he hosts Mukulikeeyo in the evening. After work, the two go out for coffee since Sophie doesn’t drink, but Sam opts for a Club beer.