HOW WE MET with CHRISTINE CHISHA
THEY may have been married for 30 years but the love that Nevers Mumba and his wife Florence have for each other is as new as the day they got married.
Mrs Mumba, who describes her decision to get married as a leap of faith because they had not courted for too long, said she would still marry Dr Mumba ‘in a heartbeat’ if she had to do it all over again.
“I got married to stay married. If couples want to stay married, they have to be adaptable, loving and forgiving. If you hold a record of wrongs and are very stiff then your relationship will not last,” she said.
Mrs Mumba said the two met in 1979 at a youth meeting at Maranatha assemblies of God Church in Kitwe. The 15-year-old Mrs Mumba at the time was under the wing of Dr Mumba who was her youth leader.
“We were not close at the time. I just regarded him as a youth leader; in fact Dr Mumba was in a relationship at the time. What connected us was the fact that we were both interested in Bible school, that’s what got us talking,” she said.
She said Dr Mumba later travelled to Texas for Bible school. Mrs Mumba said in 1983, while in Texas Dr Mumba started communicating with her; except the tone in his letters changed. She said he became personal in his letters and even introduced her to his family.
She said the change shocked her as she wondered why he was going all out by opening up and explaining who he was and what he was about, but I ignored it.
“In 1984, he wrote and asked me if I was interested in a scholarship to go to Texas and of course I accepted because that was my passion. My father was livid because I accepted an invitation from a man I barely knew to go and study in the states,” Mrs Mumba said.
She followed Dr Mumba and together they studied at Christ for the Nations Bible School in Dallas. She said it was there that the two started dating although she felt they did not really ‘gel’ because they had not spent enough time knowing each other.
they dated for a while but their relationship was on and off until he graduated in May. Unfortunately, they decided to go on a break afterwards.
“We gave each other a break because I thought we were very different and we came from two very different worlds…it was just difficult because at times I think we have a romantic notion about someone but when you actually have to live or relate with them you find that it doesn’t really work. And that’s the situation we found ourselves in,” she said.
At that time, her parents already knew they were dating and went flat out planning the wedding. She said her mother kept calling her asking if the two had set a date for their wedding. She said she was being evasive but when Dr Mumba came back to Zambia, her mother went flat asking her if she had set the wedding date so that her family could hold the Chilangamulilo for him.
“I came back from bible school in January 1985 and we were married by April the same year. It was a lot of faith, I prayed about it, asked God if he was the one and I felt peace about my decision to get married. Many years later, five children later and one grandson,” she said.
What did she like about him? Mrs Mumba who cites her parents’ and Dr Mumba’s parents’ marriage as an inspiration said: “I like his brown eyes, they are very unusual. He is got caramel brown coloured eyes. He is a good man, good hearted, very kind person”.
I also love how close Nevers and his family are. They are very affectionate people,” she said.
To Dr Mumba, their marriage is his life and passionately describes his wife as the strength of his life.
“She is the love of my life; the handler of my vision and my best friend. Our 30 years of marriage has been amazing,” he said.
The couple urged people intending to get married to marry for love not for beauty and money because beauty fades. They also added that kindness is very cardinal in marriage.
“Marriage has different seasons, and as a gardener I compare marriage to a plant. It is like when you plant something in the garden, when it’s springing up its very youthful, robust and there comes a time it settles and we all reach a time in our marriage when it settles.
“If you have a playful, drinking husband or stingy partner you learn to adapt.
We also proceeded to go to a stage to prune what is unnecessary marriage because you do not want it to be full of noise all you want is time to cement a deeper relationship as you raise children and grandchildren,” the couple said.
They advised other couples if they want to stay married to be adaptable to current situations, loving and forgiving. They said marriage also calls for commitment, deeper relationship especially when two people grow older as they deal with older slower of life .
Zambia Daily Mail