MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka
IN her 22 years of marriage to Ng’ande Mwanajiti, Priscilla Jere has learnt that happiness is self-made.
She says one can only find happiness in a marriage if they decide to create it instead of expecting their partner to make them happy.
Priscilla says people will be miserable if they go into a marriage expecting their spouse to have a responsibility to make them happy.
Her husband shares a similar thought, “you will not buy happiness anywhere, you make it yourself”.
Ng’ande says people in marriage should be responsible for their own happiness.
He says every marriage has challenges but it is up to a couple to find common ground and accommodate each other to have a happy union.
“There are times when I disagree with my wife on certain issues, but we have never fought. We believe dialogue is the best way of addressing challenges and not fighting,” Ng’ande says.
Priscilla says it is important for people who are in marriage not to try and change one another but leave it to God.
She says people in marriage will always behave differently even when they bond because of the difference in upbringing.
Priscilla says, “we try very hard not to change each other, there is a higher power who knows both of us, only he can change us”.
She says whoever trys to change their partner has not accepted them.
Ng’ande says people in marriage should be open with each other.
“I don’t compromise on the truth regardless of whoever is involved. If I don’t like something, I will say it there and then,” he says.
Ng’ande says there are many times when he disagrees with his wife on certain issues.
The couple respects each other’s views and endeavours to bring out the best.
Priscilla says the couple has strong family bonds which help them to resolve their differences.
She says the families are always involved in strengthening the couple to address pressing issues that may arise.
“Our siblings are always involved in our issues and they help us a lot, the other thing is dependence on God because He who knows us well,” Priscilla says.
Ng’ande says the couple values family bonds because they are cardinal in uniting families.
He says the couple once in a while takes their children to the village so that they appreciate the extended value system.
Ng’ande says the couple wants their children to grow up understanding the importance of appreciating family bonds.
“We save money and go either for a holiday or to the village with our families, those are our greatest moments,” he says.
Ng’ande says the couple has taught their children to always appreciate God for their lives and show love to the less privileged in society.
Priscilla on the other hand says the couple endeavours to add value to their families and other people around them.
She says, “God put us on earth to make a difference in people’s lives. We are not here for ourselves but other people”.
Priscilla says the couple’s desire is to leave a legacy when they are long gone.
Ng’ande has described his wife as an intelligent woman who gives good counsel to people on various issues.
“She is a good asset and I have promised myself not to interfere with her personal development. My wife carries herself as an average woman,” he says.
Priscilla says her husband always stands for what is right and always speaks out his mind.
She appreciates her husband’s truthfulness on issue even when the pair disagrees.
Priscilla says she does not feel offended when her husband does not agree with her views but takes her time before she engages him again.
“ I am more flexible than him, I bring fun to his life while he brings order. We complete each other,” she says.
Ng’ande says marriage requires maturity and responsibility especially on the part of a man.
He says a man should not think of getting married if he does not have a job because he will not manage to take care of his family.
Ng’ande also wondered why some couple engage in gender based violence when they fail to agree on certain issues.
“How can you beat the person you love, there is always room for dialogue even in worst situations. Violence is not a solution,” he says.
Priscilla feels some marriages are not working because people do not take time to know each other.
She says couples spend more time preparing for a wedding ceremony than the actual marriage.
“Some people’s interest is on what they will get from a marriage than what they hope to take there,” Priscilla says.
Ng’ande met Priscilla in 1994 at the Christian Council of Zambia. At that time, they were both human rights activists.
After some time, they met again at a meeting and began talking. In 1996, the couple got into a relationship.
Priscilla vividly remembers how the couple at one time talked on phone the whole night.
The couple would on weekends go out together to eat at the then Holiday Inn and Hibiscus restaurant in Chudleigh.
In the course of their relationship, Ng’ande took Priscilla for a holiday in Botswana, where his cousin was based. The couple got married in 1997.
They have two children. Ng’ande is the vice board chair of the Energy Regulation Board while Priscilla is a tutor at Rhema Bible School.
MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka