IT wasn’t love at first sight when Robert Banda met his wife, Queen, seven years ago.
The couple first set eyes on each other at National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) Burma Road Campus where Queen was studying.
Robert, a local artiste popularly known as Roberto, was in another relationship when he first met Queen. A friend had told Roberto about Queen and so the two only talked on phone all the while until they met.
“I’m more cautious. I wasn’t like, ‘this is the woman I’m going to marry’ from day one. I was in another relationship at the time and it was probably a couple of years later that I began to see us being together forever,” he said.
The reason they met on that day was because Roberto, was coming to invite Queen to a welcome party for his friend from East Africa.
In the meantime at NIPA, Queen had told her friends that someone was coming over to meet her.
“I’m not going to lie. It’s not like I had butterflies at the thought of meeting Roberto because we were friends who only spoke on the phone. It never even crossed my mind that the guy who was coming was soon going to be my boyfriend,” she said.
And that party was surely a brotherhood day for Roberto and Queen, who talked for hours on end.
According to Roberto, that event was the day he found his ‘Amarula,’ so sweet and fine, that he was always calling and sending Queen text messages.
“I started seeing things differently from that day. I didn’t look at her as just a friend but someone who could be more than that. I was feeling something good,” admitted Roberto.
But after they completed their studies at NIPA, their relationship hit a snag when Queen had to return to her hometown, Ndola.
Her absence, according to Roberto, was frustrating for him because they were followed by long periods of silence; a situation he said is not good for any couple.
“Communication was on and off, sometimes for as long as five months. I don’t do well with long distance relationships so I couldn’t handle the absence,” Roberto said.
Meanwhile, Queen attributed Roberto’s lack of communication to suspicions that he was dating another woman.
“When we were just friends, he did tell me that he had been seeing someone although not on a serious note. So I wasn’t sure how far our relationship would go,” Queen said.
However, Queens’s fears were put to rest when she came back to Lusaka on the insistence of Roberto. He told her that he was certain she was the one for him and wanted to move their friendship to another level.
He assured the lawyer-in-the-making that his intentions were to turn her into his lifetime partner – his wife. However, Queen was not sure whether or not to believe the local music sensation.
But things changed in 2014, when Roberto informed her of his decision to meet her parents and ask for her hand in marriage. That started an official relationship until Roberto engaged Queen a week before their wedding in 2015.
“I delayed the engagement on purpose because I didn’t want to be predictable. I didn’t want her to know I was going to do it on that day. She was shocked when I proposed to her. I didn’t even wait for the answer because after all, we were going to wed the following week,” he said.
The couple got married in April 2015 putting an end to Roberto’s quest for his ‘Amarula’.
And Queen said: “He is not a celebrity to me. He is my husband and friend. I’m not even threatened by prospects of him flirting when he goes out for his functions. I know him, he’s not a lady’s man.” With that, Roberto lovingly, turns and tells his wife “thank you”.
According to Roberto, the foundation of a strong marriage is prayer.
“We pray every day and commit all our affairs including our marriage to God. Besides that, friendship is key. We learn from each other every day.
And how do they spend their time? The couple said they enjoy watching wrestling and action movies with occasional fine dining.