How we met: MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka
MESMERISED every time he was on stage, Bridget Chibwe Mulumba made it a point not to miss any of Mulumba Malumbaâ€™s shows.
Malumba still recollects the year, 1998, when the couple met though according to him, Bridget noticed him way before because she was usually part of the huge crowd that would gather at Kitwe Little Theatre to watch him on stage.
â€œI became popular because of my acting skills in Kitwe and neighbouring towns but little did I know that there was a particular woman in the crowd who would one day become my wife,â€ he said.
At the time, both were based in Kitwe though Bridget worked as a sales executive at Mpongwe Milling.
Malumba said even if she was not actively involved in the acting career, Bridget was passionate about it and finally joined the theatre; â€œthat was the first time I spoke to her and she openly admitted that she was my number one fanâ€.
â€œWhile in the auditorium and she walked in late, I glanced at her and thought to myself that if she was a single woman, she would make a good wife. As though reading my thoughts, the director instructed me to guide her on sharpening her acting skillsâ€ he said.
Malumba said each time he and Bridget rehearsed together, he felt an attraction towards her and something told him she would one day be his wife.
â€œThe attraction towards each other became stronger and we longed to be in each otherâ€™s presence more.
â€œWhat I felt for Bridget was different from what I felt for the other girls. The feeling towards Bridget was special,â€ he said.
According to him, â€˜wifeâ€™ was written all over Bridget the first time he set eyes on her as opposed to love at first sight.
Malumba said for a long time, he searched for someone who could complement him in his acting career and that he found Bridget because when the two were on stage, it came naturally.
Though several people thought it would not last, the two love birds could not hide their feelings towards each other, and cared less what anybody else thought.
â€œI loved her so much that even when I was broke, I could sacrifice and take her out for lunch or dinner after which I could kiss her and give up my last coins to hire a taxi to take her home while I got on a bus,â€ he said.
Malumba did not hesitate to introduce Bridget to his family. And four years down the line, the couple tied the knot.
The couple could not have a wedding reception because Malumba did not have the means to finance one.
â€œBridget comes from a well to do family while I come from a poor background. Her parents had offered to sponsor the wedding reception but I declined the offer because I felt it was my responsibility as a man,â€ he said.
Malumba said he followed the right procedure of marriage and that he was welcomed by his wifeâ€™s family.
He has described his marriage as a journey worth travelling and that he does not regret having chosen Bridget as his wife.
â€œMy wife has been there for me in difficult times. In times when business is not fine, she encourages me and helps supplement at home,â€ he said.
Malumba is a teacher by profession but is very passionate about art, a path that he has followed. He is also a businessman.
He has advised other people not to get married when they are not ready, likening it to be thrown in a pool of water yet cannot swim.
Malumba said those who seek a perfect partner will not find one because a perfect person does not exist.
â€œPeople must learn to love not by seeking a perfect person, but learning to see an imperfect person perfectly,â€ he said.
For Bridget, Malumbaâ€™s talent attracted her to him.
According to her, she had always wanted to be an actor but it was always difficult for her in that there was no-one to encourage her.
She said meeting Malumba was an awesome experience and that it helped her develop her talent in acting.
â€œIt feels so good doing something with someone who cares for you,â€ she said.
Bridget said when she met Malumba, she had known that they were meant for each other because he was serious with her. She said she felt loved and appreciated when Malumba had introduced her to his parents.
â€œI was happy with the reception his parents gave me. His parents welcomed me in a traditional manner by offering me money before I got inside the house,â€ she said.
Bridget said everything fell in place when she got married to Malumba and this convinced her that they were meant for each other.
She describes her husband as supportive, caring and understanding and that if she was asked to remarry; she would still have married him a thousand times.
â€œI thank my husband because he has allowed me to continue with my acting career, unlike other men who wouldnâ€™t allow their wives to be both actors and a wife,â€ she said.
Bridget is an actress, a business-woman and also a radio and television personality. She presents a programme dubbed â€˜Bring It Onâ€™ on Prime Television.
The couple, which is based in Lusaka, has been married for 14 years with three children.
How we met: MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka