A Mberengwa based man has finally tied the knot with his primary school sweetheart, 52 years after they fell in love.

Favayo Lawrence Chinyere (77) and his wife, Irene (70), who fell in love back in 1963 at primary school level  had their burning ambition to say “I do” realised after their children, nephews, nieces and grandchildren asked them what they would want done for them in appreciation of the sacrifices they had made in raising them.

The couple was customarily married in 1963, and the need to provide for their nine children and 12 grandchildren had always made it impossible for them to formally get married.

It was only on September 3, at their homestead in Zivengwa Village in Ward B1, when their dream was realised. The nine children honoured their parents’ wish.

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The Chinyeres can trace their love journey back to 1963. While Mr Chinyere first laid his eyes on his future wife in 1961, It took him two years to win her over as she was playing hard to get.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Mrs Chinyere sounded like a teenager in love during a telephone interview and repeatedly said she was elated that she finally had a wedding ring on her finger.

“The highlight of the day was when my sweetheart, the father of my children opened the veil and kissed me. At the moment, I felt young again,” she said.

To wrap up the celebration the couple spent a night at Pote Hill Hotel in Zvishavane for their honeymoon, courtesy of their family.

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“It was always my desire to get married. I assumed that given my age, all hope was lost. When my children committed to financing our white wedding, I thought they were joking. I really didn’t believe that it could happen. We planned our wedding from May and as months progressed it slowly dawned to me that this was going to happen,” she added.

“The day of my wedding was like a dream. I couldn’t believe that I was finally wearing a wedding dress. I was excited and I couldn’t contain myself. As I’m speaking to you, I have a ring on my finger and what tops it all up is that I got married to the love of my life and the only man that I have ever loved.”

Recounting how she met Mr Chinyere, she said;

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“I ignored him at first. He made several attempts to befriend me, but I gave him a cold shoulder.

“He used to write letters and give them to my friend to pass on to me, but I would ignore them. He would send people to call me or sometimes he would follow me and request to talk to me, but I would run away. He pursued me for a year before I even agreed to befriend him. He later proposed love to me and I accepted. That was about two years after we had met at the soccer tournament,” she said, the warmth in her voice rising a notch.



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