Falling in Love with People from Different Cultures

By Angelique Kwizera

Nyabenda and Najma met at FDH bank where they went to open saving accounts in Dowa. Both of them were on the line waiting to register their accounts. Nyabenda was wearing a black trouser, and Najma was wearing a loose outer garment that Muslim women usually wear. Hers was so beautiful on her that Nyabenda lost control and approached her. He was so nervous. It was the first time for him to approach a lady who is not from a Christian family.

Hey! You don’t look like you belong here… Nyabenda said as he approached Najma.

What do you mean? She asked.

I mean that you look like you are from my community of Dzaleka, he replied.

Hahah… (She smiled) I am from Dzaleka.

I am from Dzaleka too. I am glad to meet you. You look excellent in that attire (He smiled).

Awwwh! Thanks and I will take that as a complement.

But can we sit under the tree so that we can enjoy the weather while we wait for our turn to register? Nyabenda requested.

Its fine as long we don’t take long and find that they have skipped us, she replied.

Of course! I will make sure to monitor that as we talk (He smiled).

While she was wondering what Nyabenda wanted, she accepted that they go under the tree to chat. Nyabenda was so nervous but he managed to express himself because he had noticed that Najma is  wife material through the respect that she showed him. They exchanged their names and noticed that they were from different cultural backgrounds after all, though the dressing attire would tell on its own. The truth is neither cared about their culture differences and so they went ahead liking each other.

The fact that Nyabenda was not belonging to the Islamic religion, it made things tougher for him and his girlfriend. They dated for almost one year in a secret way.

A certain evening, Nyabenda and Najma went to Najma’s parents. They found her mother sitting in the living room, but her father was in the sleeping room relaxing. Najma told her mother that there was something important that she wanted to share with her, but her father was supposed to be around. She stopped preparing relish and became curious. Her mother told her that her father was resting and didn’t want to be disturbed. Therefore, she will pass the message to him. Najma had no choice but to tell her mother alone. After hearing the news, however, her mother was so shocked that immediately went straight in the room to call her father. When her father came in the sitting room, he did not care that she came with someone. He even told Nyabenda to leave his premises and never come back.

The couple wished that they never said anything. The family promised Nyabenda to leave their daughter. Otherwise, he might face consequences. Nyabenda didn’t care. He was deeply in love and refused to leave Najma..

A certain night, strangers attacked Nyabenda as a warning. He definitely believed that they were sent by the family of his girlfriend. When this incident happened, he was filled with fear, and it was so hard for him to decide to meet Najma again. However, he tried his best to send her a message on WhatsApp so that they could meet in a private place. They agreed to meet in Lumbadzi, a place that is far from home.

When they met, Nyabenda explained everything that he passed through and Najma was so touched. They agreed that the love they had for each other was stronger than anything and for that reason, they would stick together. In their talking, they decided to run away to Because of the love they had for each other, Najma sacrificed her relationship with

They made careful plans to run away together, and finally the night came. Najma was so scared. She thought that her parents would figure out her idea of leaving and they would stop her. She waited until after dark around 7:30 pm and sneaked out of the house. Her parents searched for her but she was nowhere to be found. The same night, they went to her friends to see whether she was there, but her friends had no clue about her location.

The girl’s family was so shocked by the action that Najma took and they are now regretting that they have lost a daughter because of not allowing her to make her own decisions. They tried to go to Nyabenda’s family to beg them to call their son back but Nyabenda refused.

They both took time to adjust to Mozambique. There is too much cold weather that is different from where they used to stay. The one who wakes up earlier prepares tea for them to take and they feel grateful for the life that they have together in Mozambique.

27 September, 2023