HOW WE MET with MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka
SILVARIO Kanjela was convinced that Theresa Nyangu would make a good wife for him when she disclosed to him that she was HIV-positive.
Even when his go-between gave up on the marriage after he learnt of Theresa’s HIV status, it mattered less to Silvario.
According to Silvario, Theresa’s honesty was enough reason for him to make up his mind. Now with two children and seven years of marriage, she is everything to him.
In the inception of their marriage, some of his friends were against him and they laughed at him but still it mattered less to him.
“My prayer was to find a woman who is honest, obedient and beautiful and those qualities I found in Theresa. For me, she was honest enough by telling me her status and there was nothing more I could have looked for in her.
Silvario met Theresa at a bakery in Jesmondine in 2004 when he was struck by her beauty upon setting eyes on her.
From there, he became her regular customer and bought bread daily, even when he had more at home, just to see her.
As time went on, he tried to know her and make friends with her but she was rigid, leaving Silvario with no option but to name Theresa as Mailesi because she did not even tell him her name.
Silvario almost gave up his pursuits on Theresa when he changed his place of work as the pair went quiet until 2008 when they met again on Cairo Road.
“She had grown and looked more beautiful when I met her for the second time. We talked and she invited me to her place of work. “When I visited her, she gave me a warm welcome and my interest in her got rejuvenated,” he noted.
Silvario remembers how Theresa always laughed at him every time he told her that he was going to marry her.
In 2009, the pair went for a date and it was here that Silvario proposed love to Theresa and the pair got married on April 16 the following year.
His seven years of marriage has taught him that love is relative in every relationship and that a man must sacrifice his love to his wife.
Silvario is of the view that men need to invest positively in their wives if they are to enjoy their marriage.
“The Bible says a man must love and woman must be obedient and submissive. What you invest in a woman is what you reap. If you invest hate and bitterness, you will harvest it with time,” he said.
He observed that mistreating women starts as a little issue and later grows into violence.
Silvario adds that most women who have ended up killing their husbands have been angered or mistreated for a long time.
He loves his wife and has promised not to beat her no matter how angry he might be.
Silvario believes that marriage is a gift from God and that it is not a Shipikisha (endurance) club as purported by others.
He said most of the marriages, especially nowadays, are not working because of pretence.
Silvario has advised young people to stay pure and have a spiritual mind such that it is easy for them to identify a God-given partner.
On her part, Theresa says she was in another relationship and it was pointless to give Silvario a chance. She also did not like him at the time.
She was rigid to open up to Silvario because she thought he was not mature enough to understand her situation and she felt he deserved better.
Theresa thought of how he was going to handle the situation if he had known that she was HIV-positive.
Though she was rigid, Theresa became close to Silvario such that she used to open and share her challenges with him as time went on.
“I was shocked that even after telling him about my status, he showed me care and love. I made up my mind and was convinced that he was the right man for me.
“I knew him before I even became positive. To me, he showed seriousness and concern about my welfare and I thought he was going to make a good husband,” Theresa said.
She said communication and understanding are important because they hold a marriage together.
She noted that marriage is about sacrifice and people need to give up certain things for the sake of their partners.
Theresa has described her husband as a manager and a good father to their two children.
She has learnt that most of the marriages, especially nowadays, are breaking up because spouses, especially wives, get married for wrong reasons.
Theresa has urged young women to go for men with a vision as opposed to his material possessions.
“Vision is important in a man. Material things are not important where there is love. I also believe that women must have good values and put aside their educational achievements if a marriage is to work. “Education is important in marriage, but no matter how much money a woman gets, she still needs to submit to her husband and cannot be the head of the house,” Theresa said.
The couple lives in Kaunda Square. Silvario is an electrician while Theresa is a beautician.