HOW WE MET with KAPALA CHISUNKA, Lusaka
ON THE day they exchanged their vows, Moses Chubili and Exildah Lufupa both stood speechless, enamoured by love, and also because they are both deaf.
The carefree couple were joined by their bridal party which was made up of 12 members some of whom are deaf.
The well-choreographed bridal party members danced the night away as they joined the newly-weds in celebrating a new chapter of their lives.
Moses and Exildah exchanged their vows at the New Apostolic Church, Central Congregation in the morning before proceeding to the bridal shower reception in the evening at Foxdale Fun Park.
“It was a memorable and unifying day. Seeing a lot of people from different backgrounds come together and share the joyful bells of our wedding was great. It was a fun-packed day,” says Moses.
The couple, which dated for seven years before finally tying the knot, says people used to get surprised when they discovered that they are both deaf.
But that does not bother them now because according to Moses, he sometimes uses that opportunity to teach people something about being deaf.
“Some people get shocked, others are surprised and think I am faking it. I am used now. The first time I encountered such, I walked away but now I teach them a thing or two about being deaf and acceptability,” he says.
A teacher at Chileshe Chepela Special Secondary School in Kasama, Moses says reactions usually come from people who do not know anything about disability.
He says his desire is to ensure that he continues to make his wife happy and remain committed to their marriage as ordained by God.
And making Exildah happy has always been his desire from the first time the two met in 2012 in Lusaka.
“I met Exildah at the Zambia Deaf Vision offices where she was volunteering. Something about her caught my attention when I saw her and I knew that I wanted to get to know her better. She was warm, friendly and welcoming,” he says.
For Moses, Exildah was a perfect choice for him in every sense. Moses says his wife is understanding, calm and rational.
He says she is not materialistic and has always been supportive of him. He says he loves her because she has a big heart, always cheerful and is beautiful.
Smitten from the word go, Moses ‘stole’ Exildah’s book hoping that in her pursuit to get it back, she would be forced to be conversing with him.
Unfortunately for him, the feelings were not reciprocated. In fact, when he proposed love to her, she turned him down.
“It was a big “no”. She said she was seeing someone who was not deaf. I did not feel bad that she was seeing someone who was not deaf. I just knew I needed to do my own investigations,” he says.
He started investigating to establish if indeed it was true she was in a relationship. He said he got concerned because in most cases differently abled people sometimes tend to be taken advantage of.
His concerns were justified when his investigations revealed that his love interest was actually being taken advantage of by the same man she was dating.
Fortunately for him, an opportunity presented itself when she began to open up to him after she approached him seeking advice on how to enrol at the University of Zambia (UNZA).
“At the time, I was at UNZA, so that made it easy for her to approach me. That is when I seized the opportunity to step in and intervene in her relationship. My heart burns when I see people taking advantage of others like that. I wanted to make her life better and dignified,” he says.
As the friendship was progressing, he fell in love with her. His heart had settled on Exildah as the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
He says even after she said no to his proposal the first time, he was comforted in knowing that if God had created her for him, then the two would eventually end up together.
And after three months, she accepted his proposal which to him was a confirmation from God that the two would end up together as husband and wife.
Moses says there was no form of objection from both families as they supported their decision to get married.
“Marriage is great. I now see the world and life from a different angle. My pledge to my wife as we take on this journey is to honour my vows to her and remain fully committed to her and our marriage,” he says.
“In terms of character, she is an extrovert. She is a good communicator, pours out her feelings over any situation. If she is sad, she will show it or say it, if she is worried, I will know or even when she is happy. That is the reason I am attracted to her,” he says.
Exildah says what attracted her to her husband when they first met is that he is a caring and loving man, traits that he has continued exhibiting in their relationship.
However, when they first started dating, she says she was not sure about the relationship but with prayer, she had a conviction that the relationship was worth pursuing.
And now, the couple has learned how to overcome any challenges by trusting and understating each other.
She says she loves that her husband is understanding and hardworking. As a wife now, she says she will work on ensuring that she continues to love, trust and have faith in him and their marriage.
She says from her experience, secrets to a healthy relationship include trust, mutual respect and understanding as well as having faith in each other.
She says for Christians, it is also important for couples to put God at the centre of their relationship.
Her advice to other young couples and those intending to get married is to ensure that they marry a person they love and remain committed because marriage is a life time commitment.
Moses advice to other young people is not to lean on their own understanding but God’s guidance on marriage.
HOW WE MET with KAPALA CHISUNKA, Lusaka