Lulu Jemimah is an accomplished, intelligent, beautiful academic. But all her parents wanted to know is when she was getting married. So she made an extraordinary decision.
“I Have A Strong Passion In Life”
Officially married. There was no groom. One bride, one goal. Details here https://t.co/UrxNKc5K7x. Hopefully, I can now focus on the #MStCreativeWritingOxford #Masters @UniofOxford pic.twitter.com/tYPKrwhz5j
— Lulu Jemimah (@lulujemimah) October 1, 2018
In 2013, 32-year-old Lulu Jemimah received her BA Media (film) degree from Macquarie University in Australia. Wanting to further her education, she set her sights on Oxford University in the UK to complete her masters.
The hard-working student has experience in freelance journalism and was a communications consultant for the International Organisation for Migration. But in 2017, she couldn’t believe her luck when she was accepted at the prestigious Oxford University to study creative writing.
“I could not believe that they had chosen me,” Lulu said. “I still can’t believe it.”
Despite her incredible achievements all her parents wanted was for her to get married. “My father wrote my wedding speech when I turned 16, ” Uganadan born Lulu says.
“Every birthday my mother prayed for me and in recent years this has included a plea for a good husband. But I just didn’t want to think about walking up the aisle. It’s not the thing which keeps me up at night.”
But after encouragement from her friends, the independent minded woman decided to stage a mock wedding. Just like any other wedding day she sent formal invites out, got a dress, and even hired a venue. But unlike a traditional wedding – there was no groom.
Lulu says: “[As soon as] I sent these out I immediately received phone calls asking who the groom was. I told people it was a surprise. I have a strong passion in life and I am committed to achieving my goals at becoming an academic.”
Her Parents Did Not Attend Her “Wedding”
— Lulu Jemimah (@lulujemimah) October 12, 2017
When Lulu went home to Uganda for her 32nd birthday in August she planned a low key celebration. But her friends convinced her otherwise.
“One of my closest friends Karin reminded me that I had a lot to celebrate this year like getting into Oxford and I joked that I would show up in a wedding dress,” she said.
“We had been talking about this marriage pressure and she loved the idea so much that she offered to get me the wedding gown. Then I decided, you know what weddings seem so important here – I will marry myself.”
That’s when the young woman organized her “wedding ceremony” at Quepasa Bar in the Ugandan capital Kampala on August 27.
A friend who works as a web designer made and printed her invites and her brother baked her cake. But when it came to getting a dress, she encountered a little trouble.
“It’s shocking the price of wedding gowns in Uganda but when I told them I was marrying myself they offered to find me their cheapest dress. I did feel a bit crazy trying on the dress and explaining that I was marrying myself.”
“There was a kind of dismissive tolerance from the girls in the bridal shop. I had to leave an ID card behind and when they saw my Oxford university card they screamed and were so impressed. I tried a few on and I almost cried.”
Despite having incredible support, both online and from friends, Lula’s parents didn’t attend the big day.
“When we talked the next day [my mom] was a bit confused and slightly hurt, but explained that by even wearing a wedding dress it proved I was ready for marriage,” she said. “My father still maintains that he doesn’t know what to say.”
Lulu is currently crowdfunding to help pay for her tuition: To support Lulu’s GoFundMe, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/kzysnz-this-is-my-love-story