AT A time when it has become a common thing for some Zambian marriages not to last six months or even a month, Zambia’s first President Kenneth Kaunda has just given hope to the younger generation – a marriage can go beyond a Diamond Jubilee.
This came to light yesterday when the charismatic Kaunda and his wife Betty have celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary, with a call on Zambians to build “strong families” to help develop the country.
The 88-year-old former head of state said this yesterday during a private anniversary ceremony at his residence in Lusaka’s State Lodge area.
Dr Kaunda sang whilst playing his guitar. The ceremony was attended by some of his children, grandchildren and great grand children. He has 10 children, 30 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
He said it is important for Zambians to embrace love as one of the greatest teachings of God.
Dr Kaunda said he is grateful that his wife is patient and showed rare understanding of his long absences from home during the liberation struggle.
“This I have to tell young people that you cannot build Zambia with separations. You should build Zambia with strong families that will help to build one Zambia one nation,” he said.
He said the couple has always resolved their differences privately, saying differences are inevitable in marriage but must be resolved amicably.
And Mrs Kaunda said alcohol abuse is responsible for indiscipline and the erosion of family values.
She said it is unfortunate that some parents devote their time to alcohol at the expense of teaching their children the necessary values and appealed to government to intervene.
Mrs Kaunda said the rampant cases of gender-based violence are sad and wondered why women should be subjected to disrespect instead of being treated well as mothers.
She also urged youths wishing to get married to ensure that they know each other’s backgrounds and embrace respect for their families.
Mrs Kaunda said she has continued to respect and treat Dr Kaunda in the same manner she did from the time they got married.
“I love him and I still take care of him. I suffered a stroke but my brain is still working,” she said.
Mrs Kaunda, who once sold charcoal to support her children, also encouraged women to work hard to fight poverty.
[Zambia Daily Mail]