LOVE IN THE LIMELIGHT
Actress and TV presenter SALAMINA MOSESE (32) has been married to TSHEPO “HOWZA” MOSESE (32) for seven years. She tells us how they sustain their STRONG UNION in a fickle industry.
Tshepo and I met as two youngsters acting on e.tv’s Backstage, and we instantly became friends. Our connection was so natural. We talked for hours about absolutely everything, and our friendship became the foundation of our courtship. I don’t think I can say that there was a moment when I knew for sure that he was the one, but what I did know was that he was someone I could love forever.
OVERCOMING FEAR AND PAIN
I was not in a good space before I met Tshepo. I had many wounds to lick before I could trust someone with my heart again. But he was patient with me, and nursed my heart and spoke peace to the fears I had around the subject of marriage. It was a long road for both of us.
Tshepo is an easy-going, patient, kind-hearted and funny man who has made me feel like the most special woman in his life from the very beginning. He proposed after four months of dating. We couldn’t wait to get married and were happy when we involved the families to start with the negotiation talks.
When I told my parents we were getting married, they thought we were pregnant and too scared to say so. They were worried that we didn’t know each other well enough when we got engaged, but my family had already adopted Howza.
My parents loved him from the start, so they eventually accepted our decision, especially when we said we felt ready to take the next step in our relationship. His parents had no fears or worries about us getting married. We were engaged for about two years before we tied the knot.
Although it was an easy decision for us to get married, we also took the opportunity to go through premarriage counselling because we wanted to feel like we had done our homework before taking the big step.
I got married in my twenties, and I obviously had my fears about marriage. I was worried whether it would work out or not. It’s only natural to want your marriage to last. I didn’t expect perfection and I was aware that it wouldn’t be butterflies and roses all the time. I had to ask myself whether I was ready to work on myself first, and if I could learn how to hold my tongue when necessary and when to speak up.
There is a level of maturity that comes from sharing your life with someone. It is not an innate quality, but one that you constantly have to work at. I think whether you are an old or young couple, the challenges of married life are the same. You have to try to find a way to navigate the difficulties as they come.
LOVE IN THE PUBLIC EYE
Even though Tshepo and I work in the entertainment industry, we are uncomfortable with the attention we get as a married couple. Being private and not putting our relationship up for public scrutiny is what sustains our union. We are not about love in the time of social media, and it’s our choice how we engage with each other on social media platforms. Even though we are on social media and accessible to people, we have been fortunate that the public has never openly criticised our marriage. I think when you are not constantly in people’s faces, they have less to say.
When you get married to someone, even if they are well known, you don’t do it for headlines or to sell newspapers. I would be worried if people did. People see the glitz and glamour, forgetting that we also go through struggles. There have been times when we were not getting any work, as it’s the nature of the industry. But that’s also a way life tests the strength of our marriage. During the times when we were both without gigs, it was easy to lose hope, but we had to find ways to motivate each other.
Prayer has been our saving grace during trying times. We are also lucky to have great support systems in our parents, which has helped us a lot. We’ve been married for seven years now, and once in a while you have to remind yourself of your greatest achievements in your marriage. Despite the hardships of the industry, we celebrate the fact that we still like each other, never mind love each other.
Relationships should not be glorified or put on a pedestal, because people naturally have flaws. We understand that a marriage requires constant work, and so we always remember why we wanted to get into it in the first place. I think of it as the creation of something new by two completely different people who have their own stuff. Anyone who has ever had to build something meaningful and solid will tell you that it’s not easy.
With all the love and sweetness, we are forever learning something new within our marriage. People are always growing and changing, because it is part of life. But this is what sometimes leads to challenges within a marriage. I have learned that I am not as easy to live with as I thought I was.
Another thing I’m learning is the art of balance. Sometimes there are a million things that need your attention, especially as a woman, and you can’t do them all at the same time. So learning to prioritise and picking your battles is an absolute necessity within a marriage.
Marriage is not easy, and you experience things that you didn’t prepare for. In the years we’ve been together, Tshepo and I have gone through the biggest hurdles. We’ve both had health scares: my husband has diabetes and I suffered a stroke. Our daughter also got sick, which was hard for us as parents. The health scares made us reassess what is important to us and made us value our family in ways we couldn’t imagine.
Our four-year-old daughter, Tumi, has definitely changed the dynamics of my relationship with my husband. She is a lively, confident and bubbly little girl who loves attention. She has forced both of us to be less selfish with our time and, like any child, she has doubled our joy. Now when she is not around, we both feel like something is missing.
We waited three years before we had Tumi, and when she came into our lives, it felt like a new chapter in the relationship. Children change your relationship in a big way, but they are a great addition.
Our marriage has developed over the years because we have grown as people. We have settled into ourselves more, so we are secure and have learned to communicate better. It’s still nowhere near perfect, but that is okay.
The best thing about our marriage right now is that we allow each other to be ourselves. We have started our own family culture. We give each other freedom, and allow ourselves to have lives outside of each other. We still have friends that are not mutual friends.
I want him to choose to spend time with me, and never feel forced to do so. This goes both ways. Society will always have rules and regulations, but it’s important to figure out what works for us and what doesn’t. That’s what guides us in the decisions that we make for ourselves.
Even though we have changed and grown as individuals and a couple, one thing that is constant is that we relish doing fun things together. We love spending time watching movies on the couch all day. We even get upset when messages come in when we are watching our favourite movies. My parents once came to surprise us, and they were calling from the gate, but we were so into the movie that neither of us answered our phones. When they eventually came in, we were so embarrassed for ignoring their calls! They now know not to call on movie nights. I love movie nights with my husband because I get to spend more time with him and he’s great company.
I don’t like giving advice to newlyweds because we are really not marriage experts. We are also just a young couple trying to figure it all out together. However, one thing that we know for sure is that it’s important to pray for each other and always keep the channels of communication open.
Also, don’t try to be a different person to fit into the relationship, because it will leave you exhausted. Be true to who you are and what you like. You have to constantly ignite the love and make sure that you are always on the same page. What has worked for us throughout the years is communication and more communication