HOW WE MET with DOREEN NAWA, Lusaka
THEIR eyes met, his heart began to raceâ€¦.within minutes he knew he was in love with a woman he now calls his wife.
When Teddy Chansa, 40, fell in love at first sight with his wife Petronella, 35, he was having fun at a night club, Chez Ntemba in Thornpark in Lusaka in December 1999.
â€œThe first day I saw her, I got the impression that she was someone unique. We exchanged numbers and one day I made an appointment to visit her,â€ he says.
â€œMy wife was never moved by the presents and money I showered her. I was so surprised, I wondered what kind of a woman she wasâ€¦..a woman in Lusaka who is never moved by money and presents, then I knew, she was the right woman God has given me,â€ Mr Chansa says.
A few months later, Mr Chansa asked to visit Petronellaâ€™s residence. It was during his visit to Petronellaâ€™s sisterâ€™s house in Chilenje in Lusaka that he cemented his mission to marry her.
â€œWe got a taxi and I was willing to pay for the fares but to my surprise, she offered to pay. When we reached home, I was offered food and there was a little boy who was below two and he prayed for the food and his prayer moved me,â€ Mr Chansa said.
By accepting to take Mr Chansa to her sisterâ€™s home, Petronella was scoring more marks, â€œI got so surprised that she accepted to take me to her sisterâ€™s home. I know the common trend is that of women following men to their homes and this again made me more confident knowing that she was proud of me.â€
Because of the prayer from the little boy, Mr Chansa had self-conviction that Petronellaâ€™s family had good mannerisms.
â€œThe prayer from the little boy made me conclude that Petronellaâ€™s family had values,â€ Mr Chansa said.
The real relationship started on February 14, 2000 – Valentineâ€™s Day and to justify what started in December 1999, Mr Chansa bought his wife presents that she has never seen and received.
One of the presents was a photo of Mr Chansa and that got Petronellaâ€™s heart.
A few months later, Mr Chansa travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to visit his mother and there he stayed for two years with the intention of going to school.
But because of the demise of his mother, his plans to go to school were temporarily abandoned. Whilst in Congo, the two continued communicating.
In 2002, he came back to Zambia and again ensured that their relationship was as intact as before.
He travelled to France for school and two years later in 2004, he graduated as a teacher.
A teacher by profession, Mr Chansa says he is not into active teaching but instead, he has diverted to doing business because he wants to make more money for him and his family.
Asked whether he had encountered opposition when he told his family of his intentions to marry Petronella, Mr Chansa says he comes from a family that respects each otherâ€™s discussion.
â€œI am a Zambian by birth and parentage, my daddy is Zambian and my mum was Congolese. My father told him that I can marry any woman regardless of the colour or race. I looked for certain attributes in women and I only found them in Petronella. I can safely say I have never proposed marriage to any other woman except Petronella, my wife,â€ Mr Chansa said.
Married for 7 years, Mr Chansa says the beginning of a successful marriage is the fear of God coupled with trust and communication between couples.
â€œWe are best friends since we met in 1999, we involve each other in everything we do, we pray together and we have time for each other. We listen to each otherâ€™s opinions and suggestions and we sit to discuss and agree,â€ Mr Chansa says.
â€œI married a wonderful woman and made the commitment to apply myself to the relationship with the same energy that I place into other important areas of my life: school, work, business, health, friendships. I didnâ€™t want to be casual about the relationship nor take it for granted. My partner has pretty much done the same thing. Consequently, we make a great team. I canâ€™t imagine being without her. If I were to write a book about our relationship, she will be my pen,â€ Mr Chansa says.
For Petronella, her thoughts of what makes a marriage work are not different from those of her husband.
She says she takes her husband as a friend, â€œWe laugh together, we consult each other before we make certain decisions and above all we pray together every time.â€
Just like nature has it, Petronella says they too have moments when they do not agree with each otherâ€™s decisions but they still find a way of arriving at a conclusion and peace is maintained in their home.
â€œI had my kitchen party in December 2006 and we got married in December 2007, we were in courtship for 8 years and because we decided to put God first in our relationship, we were not shaken until we fulfilled our desire of being together,â€ Petronella says.
Numerous successful couples like Mr Chansa and his wife know that making the relationship a top priority is vital.
They donâ€™t allow it to derail. They know the ingredients that are necessary to keep each other content, happy, healthy and satisfied.
To put it simply, philosopher Paul Tillich observed, â€œAny deep relationship to another human being requires watchfulness and nourishment.â€
HOW WE MET with DOREEN NAWA, Lusaka