How we met:
CHRISTINE CHISHA, Lusaka
NATHAN Nyirenda and his wife Pennipher want to grow to their old age and in a serene environment together while holding on to their anchor, Jesus.
Their inspiration emanates from any couple that has grown old together.
â€œWe believe every marriage is different, but every couple that has grown old together is an inspiration to us, â€œ.
Nathan and his wife a journalist at Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) met in 2012 in the course of duty and eventually became friends though neither ever imagined that they would end up as husband and wife.
â€œI never imagined in my life that I would marry a gospel musician. I was not even a fan of Nathanâ€™s music and never thought one day, I would meet him. When I was working for Zampost, I had a workmate who used to play his music a lot and I used to get irritated but now, I am the number one fan, â€œPennipher said.
For Nathan, the thought of marrying a television personality was far removed from him. He always wanted his marriage to be out of public life, away from the cameras and the limelight.
However, when Nathan met Pennipher, her character struck him and not the career.
Apart from her character, Pennipherâ€™s intellect, humility and respect for people are some of the attributes that he loved about her.
â€œMy wife has African values which some modern women are slowly losing,â€ he says.
The two met during the course of work but at one point, they found themselves at the same table at a dinner for female diplomats.
â€œWe had an endless talk. It was like a reunion of two friends, we talked about politics, current affairs and Pennipher had a challenge to cover the event when she lost her notebook.
That was the beginning of their communication and frequent calls, especially by Nathan, a move that Pennipher made uncomfortable to the extent that sometimes, she would ignore his calls.
But Nathan, as a man in love, never gave up and persisted especially that Pennipher struck him as a mature person.
It was difficult for Pennipher to accept Nathan but she slowly found herself falling for him. This led to a one year period of dating before they decided to tie the knot.
â€œOur marriage life has been a journey of discovery, we are good friends and we care for each other. I am a better person now than before I was married because I have a second opinion,â€ Nathan said.
Pennipher is happy she married Nathan, a man full of wisdom , love, care and one who makes her feel she is number one in his life.
â€œI live in a marriage where we build our love together, we live together and we always look forward to being togetherâ€.
Their secret to their marital bliss is communication and love for each other.
â€œWe have a policy of communication in our home, no matter how it hurts, if one is not happy with something, it is important to freely talk about it,â€ the couple said.
Nathan and Pennipher also believe that the stable foundation on which they built their relationship has helped them not to have surprises in their relationship.
Pennipher said though it has not been easy. It took adjusting in a lot of things especially that she was being looked after and she had to move and start life with Nathan as a wife.
She said she had to learn to understand her partner and not to change him and accepting him as he is has helped cement their relationship.
â€œI would like to encourage other people to accept their partners and not to alter their lives. At one point, Nathan told me that â€˜if you ever want to compete with my music, you will be disappointed because that is who I amâ€™ and it took time for me to accept and here we are today. He spends time in the studio because it is in our home and if it is time for him to be in the studio, I give him space.
The couple urged other Christian couples to be firmly founded in their prayer life and spiritual walk as it has helped their marriage to remain solid and anchored in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Nathan says it is a pity that sometimes, people have a distorted concept of marriage, but beauty fades and should not be the basis of a man marrying a woman. He believes what matters is character.
â€œI am glad because my wife understands me and it has made my work to easier. Never has she ever called me to find out what time I am coming back when am performing and I also understand her when she is working late. Understanding each other has made us be at peace with each other,â€ he said.
The couple said their most common perspective is their spiritual life and they look at life using that common ground.
The other complimentary secret of their happy marriage is to make and find time for each other.
â€œWe sometimes switch off our phones, lock ourselves in just to spend time with each other, and we are content with what we have and live within our means. God blesses us differently and to us what is important is the love we have for each otherâ€.
How we met: