Saturday 4 February 2023


NEWLY wedded couples could learn one or two things from gospel singers Pastor Charles Charamba and his wife, Olivia.

The revered couple is currently celebrating their silver jubilee in marriage.

Baba naMai Charamba started off as acquaintances, singing in the same church choir.

It was then that Baba Charamba invited Mai Charamba to be part of the group Fishers of Men before the two later got married and wedded in 1997.

Around that time, Pastor Charamba had just enrolled for theological training.

Speaking to The Sunday Mail Society, the couple revealed some of the things that have made it possible for their union to endure 25 good years.

“Our secret, first and foremost, is knowing the Saviour above and having a relationship with Him. In addition, you have to be truthful and honest to one another, clearly communicating, without relying on assumptions,” revealed Mai Charamba.

She said adjusting and compromising should be part of the recipe.

“Things cannot always go your way. God made us differently, so learn to accept your differences and learn to agree to disagree in some areas. Celebrate each other’s strengths and achievements; do not look down upon your partner. Likewise, avoid competition between the two of you and also avoid comparing your spouse to someone else,” she said.

Baba Charamba concurred.

He noted that they have maintained a healthy relationship through transparency.

Similarly, he advised couples to do random checks on behavioural patterns so as to understand each other’s personality.

“Much of the secret has to do with the foundation. There are always opportunities to tell the behaviour of a future spouse. Most youngsters lose it at the courtship stage, where they focus on the wrong things altogether. A person who is not reliable will keep you preoccupied with sideshows during your courtship so as to distract you from assessing their character,” notes Baba Charamba.

The decorated singer and composer singled out pride as one of the major reasons leading to the unfortunate collapse of unions.

“We understand there are a lot of people who got divorced to save their lives from danger. Others are victims of unilateral decisions by their spouses to break. We take exception to all those. But the bulk of the divorce cases is, however, as a result of untamed egos and appetites,” he reckons.

Being in the spotlight, the couple said, has also contributed to cementing their bond over the years.

“We have defined marriage in our own terms, according to our understanding of its origin. We have, therefore, declared to preserve it, through staying true and never to allow fame to detract us. We have chosen to have one life, on and off the music stage.

“We remind ourselves that we are not superhuman, even though we receive testimonies about the life-changing impact of our music. Through that, coupled with God’s grace, we continue to manage the spotlight,” explained Baba Charamba.

His wife went on to say they hardly have regrets as a couple.

She said everything that has happened in their lives, whether positive or negative, is God-granted and works for their good.

“Of course, everything comes with a price but we have no regrets about the negative experiences we have gone through over the years. We believe many are being inspired by what the Lord has done in our lives. We are not perfect but God has helped us in our difficulties as a couple.

“We have sometimes learned to make lemonade out of lemons in cases where we have faced bad publicity. The Lord is our shield; He continues to deliver our marriage from destruction,” said Mai Charamba.

They believe most divorce cases are avoidable, especially at the initial stage of the relationship and if the two are prayerful.

“Spouses of today can do better if they consider marriage as a ‘command programme’ from God once in it. A marriage is not to be managed by emotions. I do not have to ‘always feel good’ in my marriage; moments of friction and irritation are inevitable.

“The challenge is that most are engaging with spouses while they have substitutes on standby in case of any difference, whether these are serious or mild,” bemoaned Mai Charamba.

Baba Charamba added: “Let us also moderate our expectations because we are now hooked on things more than the union.

“Our forefathers lived in poverty but did their best to sustain their marriages. We can do better if we shun competition and materialism.”

On their public and private lives, one wonders whether the two do not conflict.

“We have tried to always give space and time between our private and artistic lives. Having precious and productive time with our children is what we have striven to do always,” they said. Sunday News


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