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THE couple with their grandchild

Marriage a fruitful union meant to be enjoyed

WHEN Yonas Banda failed to qualify to Grade Eleven he decided to settle down and start a family.
He came from Katete Secondary School to visit his brother in Matero in 1976.
Just a few metres from his older brother’s house was a young woman, Joyce Zulu, who lived with her older sister.
After a few months of observing Joyce’s behaviour, Yonas slowly started developing interest in her.
According to Yonas, he was impressed with the way Joyce took care of her older sister’s home when she went to work.
He later approached Joyce and told her that he wanted her for a marriage partner.
“I felt that she would make a good wife and would properly take care of me. She also had good behaviour and carried herself exemplarily,” Yonas said.
When he was told to wait for a response for one week, Yonas grew cold feet. He was not sure if Joyce was going to accept or reject his marriage proposal.
But when she accepted, Yonas told his aunt, who later bought a dress and gave it to Joyce as a sign of engagement.
At the time, Yonas had no job and it was agreed he would only marry Joyce once he started working.
During their courtship, Joyce gave Yonas transport money from time to time and encouraged him to look for a job.
In January 1977, he landed himself a job at United Bus of Zambia (UBZ) as a conductor. In July the couple got married.
“We lived in a two-room house when we just got married. I only had a single bed and two pots,” Yonas said.
The following year, he bought a plot in Kaunda Square Stage One, where he built a house with two rooms in which they shifted before it was roofed.
He vividly remembers how the house would get flooded whenever it rained as the rain came directly on them.
Yonas says forgiveness and good communication have been the secret of his marital journey.
He says he always admits when he is wrong and asks for forgiveness.
“It is important to accept when one does something wrong. We all make mistakes. There is no home that can stand without forgiveness,” Yonas said.
He says the couple also depends on God for solutions when they face a challenge.
Yonas says marriage is not a shipikisha club but a fruitful union meant to be enjoyed.
He says people in marriage should also uphold the values and traditions their parents taught them to keep their marriages strong.
Yonas says his prayer is that God blesses their marriage so that they grow old together.
He advises young men to take their time and fully prepare before they go into marriage.
Yonas has observed that some marriages, especially nowadays, are breaking up because of abandoning culture.
Joyce, on the other hand, says marriage should be built on true love and not material possessions.
“Money will come and go but true love will remain. I accepted my husband when he was not working. People with good jobs came knocking but I overlooked them,” she said.
Joyce said women should also respect their husbands and submit to them so that they have fruitful marriages.
She says the success of a marriage is dependent on the conduct of a woman and that women should be well-behaved.
Joyce says it is important for people in marriage to start from a humble beginning together because it helps cement a marriage.
“We have suffered together with my husband. We used to sleep in an unfinished house without a door,” she said.
Joyce says a couple should always solve their problems together, as opposed to sharing them with outsiders.
She detests competition between a husband and wife because it can break a home.
Joyce says a couple should not show to the children or visitors that they have a misunderstanding.
“Issues should be resolved in the bedroom, a couple should pretend that there is happiness between them even when they have a quarrel,” she said.
Joyce says Western culture has brought a lot of confusion which has contributed to breaking homes.
She says some married women dress indecently because of Western influence.
Joyce says there is need for women to go back to Zambian culture to preserve their marriages.
She has advised married women to stop associating with those who are not married because they can influence them negatively.
“Young women should learn marriage etiquette from their mothers. They should not think that their parents are old-fashioned,” Yonas said.
She said parents should endeavour to look for traditional counsellors for their children before they go into marriage.
The couple lives in Kaunda Square and has seven children together.