HOW WE MET with MIKE MUGALA
MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka
FOR all those who want to marry, Samson Zulu has one piece of advice,â€ â€œDonâ€™t marry because of beauty but marry because of love and someoneâ€™s good heart, looks may be deceiving but what comes from some oneâ€™s heart is what matters
Even after 33 years of marriage, Samson says his wife Elida Phiri is still a caring and understanding woman. She has a good heart and that she is a God-given wife.
He describes his marriage as one built on the principles of open communication, trust, love and understanding for each other.
Samson met Elida on August 7, 1982 at Mtendere Baptist Church where her cousinâ€™s house is situated next to the church building.
She had come on holiday from the Eastern Province.
â€œI had been looking for a wife. I was praying to God to show me a sign of true partner. I remember when I saw her the first day, my heart bumped and this for me was a sign she was the one.
I remember I sent for her the same day we met. I opened up to her but she did not respond to me. My heart was troubled as I was not sure of the response she would give me. Two days later, she sent a message saying I needed to follow her to her village if I was interested in her,â€ Samson said.
Samson gathered his courage and followed Elida to her village six months later and after meeting her parents, the two got married on February 6, 1983.
For the first six month, the two lived at Samsonâ€™s parentsâ€™ home before they moved to their own home.
His greatest challenge during this period however, was his temper and he vividly remembers how he would leave home each time he had a little misunderstanding with his wife.
â€œShe was very good to me though I had a short temper, but with counsel and the help of Arnold Mulenga from Mtendere Baptist church, I was healed from the temper,â€ Samson said.
Now with five children and 33 years in marriage, he describes his experience as one of the few successful ones. He says his wife has not changed.
Samson feels that marriages now are not working because of the love of material possessions especially by the women.
He says marriage must be built on true love and not how rich someone is or comparing with other people.
â€œWomen must be content with their husbands, the problem is that women want to have whatever their friends have,â€ Samson said.
He also attributed the increase in divorce cases, especially among young people, to cultural dilution and loss of the extended f a m i l y system.
S a m s o n says young couples must b e g i n t o appreciate t h e importance of tradition, c u l t u r e a n d t h e e x t e n d e d family system if they are to have successful marriages.
â€œCouples must learn to embrace the family from both the man and womanâ€™s side as this is the only way to strengthen a marriage. We should not bring the western culture into our marriages because we will lose our identity,â€ Samson said.
Elida on the other did not give her response when she was approached by Samson as she wanted to see how serious he was.
Even if she liked him instantly, she wanted him to convince her he was serious about marriage.
â€œTraditionally, it was not allowed to accept a man just when you have been approached. In the village, we were told that a woman has to be a little hesitant before she can respond to a manâ€™s proposal,â€ Elida says with a smile.
She says the first six months of their marriage was the most challenging as her husband gave money to her mother because they lived at his parentâ€™s home.
Elida says trust, respect for each other and dialogue have been the secret to her 33 years of marriage to Samson.
She believes couples must resolve their differences in the bedroom and not in the public or in the presence of the children.
â€œThe bedroom was created for private matters, it does not show respect for a couple to argue or quarrel in the open,â€ Elida said.
She advised both young ladies and men to take their time and pray to God as they search for a partner to settle down with.
Elida said people must first understand and love each other before they enter into a marriage.
She says most marriages break because of the love of material possessions, especially on the part of the women.
â€œI would like to urge ladies to avoid indulging in premarital sex, it shows that they do not respect themselves. Each and every man wants to get married to a decent lady, once you have sex with a man who is not your husband they will lose respect and trust for you,â€ Elida said.
HOW WE MET with MIKE MUGALA