HOW WE MET with YANDE SYAMPEYO, Lusaka
LENNON Mwila Shinde, a disk joker (DJ) and presenter at Radio Phoenix met his better-half Sandra Mukumano, an immigration officer, in 2008 at one of the eating spots in the central business district (CBD) of Lusaka.
Sandra worked at the restaurant owned by her aunt and
fate brought them together when Lennon went to grab a bite at the eating spot one morning after hosting a breakfast show on radio.
“That day, I was extremely broke, I only had a K5 on me. When I reached the restaurant counter, I saw a new face at the cashier-counter, Sandra. I presented the money for plain fries and she was seemingly spooked,” Lennon recalls.
Despite initially playing hard to get, Sandra, resolved to give Lenon, whom she only knew as Mwila, a try.
“The head chef at my aunt’s restaurant insisted I give Lenon m y m o b i l e n u m b e r a n d I wondered what was in for him. I later discovered he was an artiste in the making and obviously he was seeking favour from Lenon to have his music receive airplay,” he said.
Lennon, who is also a foreteller, hid his true identity to his future wife because he wanted to be loved for who he is and not for his popularity as a DJ.
“I did that because I wanted someone who would love me and not DJ Lennon. So, I introduced myself to her as Mwila but eventually, my true identity was revealed when I took her along to a function, that was the Local Rhythms Countdown,” he recalls.
The couple dated for two years during which some of Sandra’s relations were not comfortable with the relationship because of the negative perception attached to DJ’s and other people in the entertainment industry.
During the dating phase, Sandra was recruited as an immigration officer at Lilayi Police College and upon completion of her training, she was deployed to Chirundu. Lennon was supportive of her career and stood by her all the way.
Lennon, who at the time was at the peak of his career, settled for Sandra because she loved and understood his personality.
When Lennon proposed to marry Sandra, she was uncertain if her parents, who were in the diplomatic service, would consent to a DJ to marry their daughter.
“Surprisingly, my parents were very supportive although a few of my uncles were sceptical about my marriage to Lennon because they thought he was a playboy. He was a ‘star’, one of the most happening DJs in the city and he looked young,” she recounts.
The couple, dated for two years, hung out a lot, resolved to tie the knot on September 9, 2010.
“My mother travelled to attend the wedding and it was a great honour to have her and other family members around during my big day,” she says.
The couple, which has been married for seven years, has two children namely Malayika and Shekainah and one adopted daughter Mercy.
Sandra is not moved when women flirt with her husband as she understands the consequences attached to his job.
She says she gives him space to work freely in the entertainment world as she trusts him and has accepted his friends.
Sandra finds her marriage to Lennon easy going because she loves him and has accepted the perceived negativity that comes along with the job.
“I do not stress when he delays coming home because I trust him and I know what he is and is not capable of doing, hence I see no need of giving him unnecessary pressure,” she says.
Lennon, on the other side has vowed never to allow fame take control of his life saying this is one of the reasons he never hesitated to settle down with the love of his life.
He says popularity h a s a l i f e s p a n a n d i f n o t w e l l m a n a g e d , m a y result in undesirable consequences.
“Partying is not e v e r y t h i n g b u t love is and this is the reason I never wanted to waste time but marry Sandra because I love her. She is my best friend who brings me joy and happiness. I value love and happiness.
“My family comes first and this is why up to now, I go out a lot with my wife, just like in the good old days of courtship,” he says.
Lennon, who has lost a number of friends in the entertainment industry, advises his mates to settle down when they find the ‘right’ partners and never allow popularity to take charge of their lives.
The couple, which quarrel like any other ‘union’ advises people to never allow their differences escalate to gender based violence.
“We do differ but we have never fought. I have vowed never to hit my wife or any woman,” Lennon says.
Sandra, on the other hand wants couples to cherish each other and spare quality time with their children.
“For us, we have reserved Sunday specifically for our children and this is non-negotiable because family bonding is cardinal,” she says.
Lennon is also a foreteller, a gift that has made him very prayerful but at times freaks the couple.
When the DJ dreams about something, whether good or bad, it comes to pass, usually three days later.
Sandra says her husband’s gift sends shivers in her body as the prediction is usually precise as envisioned in the dream.
“My husband is very prayerful and has this special gift as he is able to see something before it happens.
“He once had a dream that there was an owl on the window to our bedroom and when he suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, he told me about it and when I decided to open the curtains to ‘prove him wrong’, we discovered there was an owl, it sat still, staring at us,” she recalls.
She further recalls how Lennon had another dream of a fatal accident in Chongwe in which one person died and had his head cut off, and three days later, it happened exactly as in the dream.
Some of Lennon’s friends, especially from church, feel it is a calling to serve God and that he should consider taking it up.