Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lazarous Banda my best friend finally said “I do”

Lazarous Banda
Let me begin my blog by apologizing to Lazarous for revealing hidden pictures from way back that were in my archives down memory lane. I am sure even Mrs. Julie Banda has never seen some of these pictures... May this be a wedding present for you as I promised to reveal these pictures once we are both married so that our wives can see where we have come from and how God has been with us thus far! 

It was indeed a privilege to be the chief Best Man on my best friend’s wedding last Saturday the 27th of September ,2014 in Lusaka. Preparations for the big day were underway many months before the wedding itself and pressure kept mounting for the groom to be as the Chief Best Man (myself) was working about 350 km or so away from Lusaka. I gave him my word that I will be in Lusaka for rehearsals on weekends and get leave for the week of the big day. This I tried to do and my employer agreed to give me days off so that we can finalize on logistics in Lusaka in readiness of the big day.

From L - R: Jessie, myself  & Lazarous
in grade 10
I have known Lazarous for over 14 years now; I came to know him for the first time in school in our 10th grade when we were very young and energetic boys. He went by the name 'Lazzy' and I was called 'Obvi'. My dad, having changed his carreer from a teacher to Pastor, moved to Choma to take up full time ministry at Choma Central Baptist Church and eventually we all had to relocate from Kitwe to Choma, it was a wonderful experience for me as Choma is the place where I was born 31 years ago and it was my first time to get back to Choma, not so with my siblings, they never liked Choma but with time they liked the quiet town. It was not easy for me to adjust academically as I had just passed to grade 10 and then in the second term at Kitwe boys High School, I had to get a transfer to Choma High. Kitwe boys High School was a boys school while Choma High was a Co-education school, I was a shy boy when it can to talking to the opposite sex and for once in my life time I had been put in a class full of girls. It was indeed a hard time for me to adjust

I started school at Choma High School in the second term and I was in the same class with Lazarous, he was our class monitor in 10B and he is the one who made me feel loved while being a new boy in our class and school at large.  In those days, grade 8s and 10s were mocked a lot and called (Quiyoz) especially if they were experiencing boarding life for the very first time. Lazarous was at Choma High from grade 8 and so he had enough knowledge on how to do things the right way and handle difficult situations.

From L-R: Myself, Lazarous, Robbie, Bob, John, Roma, Muswacha, Kelvin & Kanji in the Luangwa Dingo
This was the Sugo table in our final year at Choma High School - 2002
As time went on we became good buddies and during our holidays, away from school work, we started spending time together and visiting one another. Since he was familiar with Choma than I was, he took me to places and we developed same interests. I liked playing the Guitar and the piano, he also developed interest and I taught him some basics. May I state here that Lazarous is the one who taught me how to drive a car and he used his father’s mini bus to teach me, it was hard for me to learn because it was a champion gear bus.

Teaching each other music in Choma
When we went back to school in our final term of grade 10, I began to be too familiar with him and I thought that by bending the rules he would tolerate me but that was not the case with him, he knew that the role of leadership had to go with courage and discipline, I remember appearing on the list of noise makers not once but almost all the time, I kept thinking to myself "how can a best of my friends do such a thing? Making me look foolish and being punished because of my actions?" I took it as a betrayal but then came to realize that he had courage and never at any time compromised. A friend is there to correct when he sees something wrong.

We moved on to grade 11 and one of the interesting things that happened this year was when we were both chosen to take up some leadership roles in Scripture Union. It was indeed a blessing to share the word of God amongest our fellow students and live lives as examples of those that are saved. After completing high school in 2002, we kept the fire burning and we still continued supporting the Scripture Union at Choma High School as Senior Friends of the fellowship. Lazarous was from the Reformed Church in Zambia (RCZ) and I was from the Reformed Baptist. Njase Girls High School, a boarding school in Choma also extended invitations for me and Lazarous to go and share the word of God at their Brethren in Christ Fellowship (BIC) and Scripture Union Fellowship, since the distance was quiet far, we would ride on Lazarous’ bicycle the two of us and ride back after sharing the word with the girls.

In Lazarous' room at CBU in Kitwe - 2009
During our High School days in Choma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I moved back to Kitwe to pursue a program in Marketing under the Copperbelt University at Zambia Institute of Business Studies & Industrial Practices (ZIBSIP) while Lazarous remained in Choma. We continued communicating via letters as it was rare to find a student with a cell phone in those days more over, I couldnt afford one. I would visit my family back home in Choma during holidays and get back to Kitwe for school. Lazarous had applied to do a business course at the Copperbelt University but was not selected due to the high number of students that are normally enrolled yearly at the University in business Programs.

Lazarous at RCZ in Kitwe playing the Key board
After completing my studies at ZIBSIP, I started work with Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZSIC) and it so happened that Lazarous was finally accepted to study a Bachelor of Science in Agro forestry at the Copperbelt University. We had a re-union once again and we kept visiting each other. At this time Lazarous was very good at playing the piano and he was in charge of the music ministry at RCZ in Kitwe.

I moved from ZSIC and joined C&B Engineering Limited and after 4 years relocated to Lusaka where I joined Tata Zambia. Lazarous and Racheal in December 2010 organised a surprise farewell party for me and invited a number of family and friends to come to my flat for the same. I moved to Lusaka the following week. When I started a relationship with Racheal while in Kitwe, Lazarous was the first one to know and he was happy for me. After sometime later, he also introduced me to Julie via phone as she was in Algeria for studies at the time; I later on met her in person when she came to Kitwe to visit Lazarous at CBU. Lazarous completed his studies at CBU and started looking for a job; I invited him to stay with me in Lusaka while he was job hunting. When I married Racheal in November 2011, Lazarous moved out to stay with another friend. He was my chief best man on my wedding, he then found a job with Airtel Zambia and we continued being friends though it was not as good as it was before because I had a wife and I was busy with work at Tata Zambia.
In Kitwe at New Ek Park Flats - 2010

Late last year, I got a job back at C&B Engineering and started work sometime in October 2013. Lazarous also found a job with Concern Worldwide and he was posted to Senanga. I kept my ears to the ground to hear when the wedding bells will ring and after some months of waiting I received a call from Lazarous informing me that he will be marrying on 27th September 2014, he asked if I could be his chief best man. I agreed as I had promised him that his wedding was the last one I was going to dance on.

Me with Mr & Mrs Banda
Well, Saturday was the big day and it was a successful wedding, met old mates from our Choma High days and also re-united with family and friends from all the four corners of Zambia. We thank God for being with us throughout the preparations and all those that contributed the financial and material support and may God who inhabitheth all understanding bless you and may He guide Lazarous & Julie as they start a journey together. 

Lazarous & Julie's Wedding with me as their Chief Best Man - 27th September, 2014

Our wedding with Lazarous as my Chief Best Man - 26th November, 2011
Lastly, My Wife Racheal and Lazarous' wife Julie share a lot in common the first thing is the same birth date which is 14th February (Valentine's day) and the second is that they are both humble, loving and understanding ladies, I bet valentine babies are always humble and loving. What a coincidence on the birthdays, this means that we have to spend more time with our loved ones on their special days to make their birthdays worthwhile... 

Racheal and Julie when they were young ladies
This was before they both got married
One thing I have learnt about ladies is that they really get upset if we forget events like birthdays, wedding anniversaries and just surprises. These things are so dear to them. I was once told by my former workmate that if you have a bad memory, put reminders on your phone or write down important events in your diary. This is free advice I got and it surely works. To God be the glory.


When we were young boys and girls at Copperbelt University


Lazarous Banda said...

This is really a mouthful my best humbled!! you have taken me thru our past life experiences to date. we have come a long way and we still have a long way ahead of us. i thank God for you, you made our day as bestman on our wedding. always remember and know that you are a true ve always been there when i need one the most!!!

Obvious Kamanga said...

It was an honor to be be chief bestman on your wedding bro, I thank God for bringing you my way, you are such a wonderful and loving friend. You have been with me during my ups and downs, we have laughed together and cried together... You are and will always remain a very good friend of mine, May God bless you and your wife as you start a journey in Marriage.