HOW WE MET, MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka
EVEN after 70 years of marriage, Saulosi Banda, 91, still believes t h a t E v e l y n Chulu, 87, is the most beautiful woman he has ever met in his life. According to him, God specifically created Evelyn for him and not any other man.
â€œGod was very clear when he created Eve for Adam, I believe Evelyn is the only woman that was meant for me. The only reason that our marriage has stood the taste of time is because we were meant for each other,â€ Saulosi beamed.
At 25, Saulosi was determined to settle down and bid farewell to bachelorhood. He met Evelyn in 1945 in the Eastern Province.
He called on his brother to help him search for a wife. Setting eyes on Evelyn immediately evoked emotions and his heart was settled for her.
â€œShe was young and attractive. I told my brother that I fell for Evelyn and hoped her heart was as good as she looked,â€ Saulosi said.
Saulosi and Evelyn only dated for a few months; thereafter, they had a traditional wedding the following year. For Saulosi, life became easier as Evelyn would always be there to support him both in his high and low moments.
During his low moments, Evelyn would encourage her husband to look up to God and believe the next day would be better.
â€œDuring our early years in my marriage, I would come from work very tired and provoked at times, but whenever I was in her presence, I would feel at easy and forget about whatever challenge or difficult situation that I was faced with,â€ said Saulosi.
He says their marriage has been built on understanding, respect for each other and communication.
Saulosi says his wife is a blessing adding that he always give thanks to God for having her in his life, â€œI still get mesmerised when I look at herâ€™â€™.
â€œEvery marriage has its roses and thorns but what matters is to understand each other and communicate when you have a dispute in a home. Other people need not know when as a couple you are having differences in the house,â€ said Saulosi.
He describes his wife as a friend and a mother and an understanding person who is worth living for.
Saulosi has advised people who are not yet married to always seek God when looking for a life partner. It is also important to accept oneâ€™s flaws if you plan to settle down with that person.
Saulosi worked as a miner on the Copperbelt and retired in 1981. He is based in Chongwe where he is a small-scale farmer.
For Evelyn, it was Godâ€™s plan for her to get married to Saulosi adding that she rejected many other men who came along before him.
â€œIt was difficult for me to understand how I accepted this man to marry me, I later came to understand that it was the will of God,â€ she said.
She recalls how other men who were interested in her would speak ill of Saulosi but that did not deter her from getting involved with him.
â€œI loved him and ignored what others said about him,â€ Evelyn said.
At the time Evelyn met Saulosi, she only had her father and the coming of Saulosi in her life meant he filled the gap her mother left.
She remembers how Saulosi would buy gifts for her and her siblings when they just started their relationship.
According to Evelyn, 70 years of their marriage did not come without hurdles, she says misunderstandings in a marriage are normal thing and mould people to become better spouses.
â€œWhenever my husband and I have a misunderstanding, we find time to talk about it privately after which we both pray to God for forgiveness. Women must also submit to their husbands because men love women who stroke their ego and respect them,â€ she said.
My husband has been a unifying factor in my family; he treats my relatives as his own and I always thank God for having met him.
She describes her husband as her relative and friend, she also added that he is always her source of strength whenever she experiences dark moments.
â€œHe has been my pillar whenever I am down. His wish is to always see me happy despite whatever circumstance,â€ noted Evelyn.
Evelyn says the secret of every marriage is overlooking what people outside say, she says giving people an audience to discuss your marriage only destroys the union.
She has advised married couples to always show love to their partners and support them in all situations.
â€œMen especially must stick to one woman and avoid having girlfriends because the plan of God is for every man to have one woman. Women also must be content with their men,â€ she said.
The couple has eight children and 38 grandchildren.
HOW WE MET, MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka