40 years on…Peter, Sithembiso keep fire burning
THE heart had no choice but to flutter and melt while they cut their wedding cake – baked 40 years ago — as Mthande by Musa featuring Robbie Malinga heightened the already romantic ambience.
They fed each other pieces of cake and with it exchanged an intimate kiss after which they personally moved around with cake trays to share with their guests who had come to help celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.
On the day, they were just Peter and Sithembiso and not Minister of Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development and the Reverend.
They held hands; hugged and kissed countless times as they celebrated a love they have shared and cherished among friends and family at Busters Sports Club in Bulawayo at the weekend.
After so many years of marriage — through the valleys and the storms, the sunny days and rainbow moments — their love and happiness remains infectious.
One looks at them and can’t help but smile at themselves and think, “I want this too”, because 40 years later — they’re still happy and glowing.
As the sun set, Peter took the love of his life by her hand, gently placed his hands around her waist as they slowly danced to the rhythm of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud in what would become their “first” dance. Soon, other couples began joining them on the dance floor and saw it as the perfect opportunity to steal a kiss, stare into their lover’s eyes and remind them just how much they are loved and appreciated. The aura was captivating, love permeated the air as they danced the night away. But, in a world where people can no longer sustain romantic relationships let alone marriages for long, Minister Nyoni and her husband had a few notes to share. “We’ve been together for so long because we’ve put God first. We’ve put values first. We’ve made talking to each other and not allowing grudges and the past to ruin the present and the future a priority. The secret is really talking to each other and not let anything rust — deal with it while it’s still fresh,” said Minister Nyoni. She said although marriage is a two way street and both parties have to play their part — a lot rests on the shoulders of the man. “To be honest, we’ve been very happy. Everything depends on the man. The Bible says the man must love his wife. Women don’t want to submit to cruelty. When the man is loving — even when he’s not providing — the woman will submit. Women submit to love. They don’t submit to material things; they’re some people who’ve divorced leaving wealth behind,” said Minister Nyoni. Rushing and coercing someone into a marriage is never a good idea, she said. “I want to encourage young people to pray Again Master & the Boys The Sun will Rise about their marriages and to wait. God has a plan for all of us. Let’s not hurry. Sometimes we get into marriages through clandestine ways — trying to trick the other person to marry you. It doesn’t work, it has to be genuine love and God has to bless that marriage,” said Minister Nyoni.
Sharing some pearls of wisdom, Reverend Nyoni said God has been at the centre of their marriage.
“It’s about knowing and understanding each other. You have to believe in each other. Our marriage is Christian based — we’ve tried to follow the precepts of Christian teachings and that’s what distinguishes Christian marriages from other marriages. It’s not a contract for us — it’s a marriage under Christ and we always turn to Him for inspiration and guidance. We’ve found that it’s adequate for us; it’s never let us down. As a result, we respect and trust each other. There’re no rear rules between us,” said Reverend Nyoni.
He said the marriage has been blissful so much that it doesn’t feel like they got married 40 years ago.
“If you’re under Christ, you’re mature, and respect her judgment — you won’t go wrong. We don’t see the 40 years; it feels like just yesterday that we got married. The children have been massively supportive — they’ve put this together for us. They just asked us for a guest list and organised everything,” said Reverend Nyoni.
The reception, which was preceded by a closed family gathering at their home where the love birds renewed their marriage vows, was organised by the couple’s children.
“We’re very grateful to our children, their cousins and some of their friends for doing this for us. We’re very touched — we didn’t even have to contribute a cent. We only just had to show up.”
Minister Nyoni and her husband have four children and three grandchildren. They met in 1976 in the United Kingdom while they were at university.
Artistes performing and student watching the play at Bulawayo Theatre
Peter and Sithembiso Nyoni at their 40th wedding annivesary ceremony