HOW WE MET with MONICA KAYOMBO, Ndola
MR Vincent Mutale Mayuni, 85, headman Paundi in Luwingu district, has 10 children with his wife Margret Mayuka-Mayuni whom he married after he quit priesthood in 1965 at the insistence of his parents.
His dream was to lead a celibate life but he had to abandon his dream after all his three brothers died and his parents requested that he marries to carry on the Mayuni legacy.
He was admitted to Makwiro Brothers College of the Catholic church in Zimbabwe where he underwent priesthood orientation and probation for 10 years under the Franciscan Fathers.
In 1960, he was posted to St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Kalumbwa, Kalulushi, under the mentorship of Father Charles Talon.
Some of his intake mates include late archbishop Elias Mutale who was at the time of his death the Archbishop for Kasama Diocese in Northern Province.
He had three brothers and eight sisters and now he is the only surviving child of Mr Mayuni.
Two of his brothers died before he went for priesthood orientation and the only surviving brother he had died in 1961, compelling his parents to ask him to quit his pursuit and marry.
His parents wrote a letter to the convent requesting that he be withdrawn from priesthood for the sake of his family’s posterity.
After leaving St Joseph Parish in Kalulushi, he started managing a shop for his uncle, Lazarous Chungu in Kalulushi.
He later travelled to the village in Luwingu in search of a wife and with the help of his parents, Margret Mayuka was found.
At that time, Ms Mayuka, the first born in a family of five, had lost her mother and lived with her father who had just retired from the mines.
The death of her mother, when she was only 15 years old meant, placed on Margaret the responsibility to look after her siblings and the best option was marriage.
When Mr Mayuni came to Luwingu in search of a wife, Ms Mayuka, who is now his wife of 52-years was at school at St Josephs’ Girls School now Ipusukilo mission in Luwingu.
She even made it to go to Ibenga girls Secondary School on the Copperbelt but the family decided that she gets married to look after her siblings following her mothers’ death.
After the marriage negotiations were done, Mr Mayuni married his wife in 1965 at St Peters’ Parish Catholic Church in Luwingu district.
He describes his wife as caring, obedient and respectful to him and all his relatives.
He says he loves his wife whom he prefers calling by her first name, Maggie!
The Mayuni’s advise couples to be tolerant, communicate and work together and they equate marriage to a process.
Their argument is that a couple has potential to develop more than a single person and that there is power in companionship.
Mr Mayuni advises young men to remain faithful to their wives as this is the only way they are going to live longer and happily.
“Promiscuity just brings problems for a family. Anyone has capacity to avoid cheating,” Mr Mayuni says.
After getting married, he went back to Ndola where the couple lived and had the ten children.
Mr Mayuni explains that old age does not mean anything to him as far as his wife’s appearance is concerned adding that, his wife still looks appealing to him, exactly the way she looked 52 years ago.
He says he is a happy man because he found a soul mate in his wife whom he still treasures.
“I love her and we will be together until death do us part,’’ Mr Mayuni said.
Mrs Mayuni, 69, says their marriage was not spared from the usual challenges in the prime of their life but with the help of elders and God’s intervention, they have pulled through.
“Through it all, we have learnt to trust in God,’’ Mrs Mayuni said.
She says, she loves her husband because he is generous and loving to his family.
“Although I never went far in education, my husband gave me everything I needed and taught me driving. I used to drive a Rolls Royce car in the 1970’s.
In Ndola, he teamed up with his uncle Lazarous Chibimbi and his cousin and close friend Aloycious Mulenga to run the Chibimbi stores in Ndola’s Lubuto township.
When business failed, he joined Zamtan Limited in Kitwe and later Copper Harvest Foods Limited under the Mahtani group of companies until he retired in 1992.