HOW WE MET with MIKE MUGALA, JANET NGULE
VICTOR Muyumba lacked the courage to tell Selenia Phiri how he felt about her.
She was a year ahead, with him being in Grade 11 at Nyimba Secondary School in Eastern Province.
Added to that difference was the fact that Selenia came from Lusaka while he was from Lundazi, a rural area.
These two facts made him think she would look down upon him and not buy into the idea of a relationship with him.
It was only five years later, from 1998 when they met, that Victor found the courage to tell her how he felt.
Luck was to bring them together again when Victor went to Nkrumah Teachers College where he met Selenia’s younger sister Shila who later led him to her.
It never occurred to Selenia she would be be married to Victor.
“I only knew him as one of the pupils at our school. We only began talking in 2003 when he came home with my younger sister. We were just friends. I never thought he would be my husband, “she said.
With time the two frequently visited each other and this contributed to the development of their relationship.
Victor vividly remembers how he would escort her to the bus station whenever she visited him and call to find out how she got home.
“When I first visted her at parent’s place in Woodlands, we started reminiscing about our secondary school days. At this particular point the desire to talk to her about intimacy was there though I was sceptical and thought that she had been taken by someone,” he said.
Selenia’s happiest moment was when Victor bought her a box of chocolate and a card at Kamwala’s On the Run on her 24th birthday.
She immediately accepted his proposal when it was popped up in 2004 and they were later to be engaged in the same year.
Selenia did not care about Victor’s social status as she was already in permanent employment while he had just completed his teaching course.
“He was different from most of the boys at that time. He was more prayerful and God fearing. I did not look at material possessions or what he had because it was not important to me,” she said.
Victor agrees, “I was moved by her humility and thought that she would make a good future partner. I had nothing and she accepted me. I only had two pairs of trousers when I proposed to her,” he said.
In 2005, he went to Botswana to teach at Gaborone International School to raise the money for their wedding.
Selenia came from a well to do family and this made Victor think that he needed to contribute more as a man.
“My wife contributed more to our wedding than I did, I tried to hustle with the view of contributing more but I did not succeed,” Victor said.
On April 29, 2006, the two got married. The couple experienced financial challenges in the beginning as Victor was deployed to Kabwe, placing Selenia on the move most of the time.
Victor has in his 11 years of marriage learnt that the fear of God and upholding of family values are cardinal to sustaining a marriage.
While Selenia believes that marriage must be built on prayer, forgiveness and tolerance.
“I have learnt so much in marriage. One has to be tolerant, forgiving and prayerful. The enemy attacks in so many ways but when God is in the forefront of your marriage, everything will work out perfectly,” she says.
Selenia has noted with regret that materialism and infidelity are strong factors contributing to the disintegration of families and form a recipe for divorce.
Victor urges men to be faithful to their wives to keep their marriages.
“Men should always be faithful to their wives and not forget where they started from. Most of the men tend to change and start to have extra marital affairs when they attain a particular status which should not be the case,” he says.
Victor’s prayer is that he grows old with Selenia so that the two can raise their grandchildren together.
He advises young women to look at the vision and not material possessions a man has.
Victor says it is the vision someone has that brings about success and makes them valuable.
Selenia said most of the families especially nowadays are disintegrating because of the love for material possessions.
“Even visiting has now become an issue. People can only visit a family that has a good social status. This is because of the loss of culture. People are now following more of the Western culture,” she said.
Victor has advised families to visit their villages to learn family values and avoid cases of divorce.
The couple are both teachers and have four children together.
HOW WE MET with MIKE MUGALA, JANET NGULE