Cape Town - Romance and marriage all seem superficial in the era of celebrity make-ups and breakups. These days, long-lasting love, it would seem, has been relegated to fairy tales.
But, as some experienced couples show, real “happily ever after” does exist. And here’s how they do it.
Des and Dawn Lindberg
Entertainment couple Des and Dawn Lindberg will celebrate their 49th anniversary on September 4, and have been in showbiz together for that long. Together they have produced several folk albums, children’s books, and theatre productions, including Des and Dawn Still Truckin’.
While they work in the same industry, they have never been in competition. Instead, their individual roles complement each other.
“Our marriage has been good for our career, and our career good for our marriage,” says Dawn.
The couple met at Wits University in 1962. Dawn was a fine arts student, and Des was doing a law degree. Dawn had never had a serious boyfriend before. She noticed him playing his guitar on campus, while he followed her around to have a look at her “nice round bottom”.
Three years later, they married. After nearly five decades, two sons Joshua and Adam, and two grandchildren Zaria and Shia, the Lindbergs have learnt and lived the secrets of a successful marriage.
“Family is terribly important to us. Joshua and Adam have always been the centre of our lives. Now we have two grandchildren. They are the lights in our lives… All of these things have enriched our lives,” says Dawn.
To make it last, takes passion, compassion, hard work, resilience and a sense of humour, says Dawn.
“We’re lucky we are definitely each others’ best friends, and we can talk about anything,” she says.
Dawn also points out the importance of romance. If that goes, marriage becomes a “mundane business contract”.
Dawn says: “We’ve had our hard times, but we’ve always been proud that we remained independent. And that Des and Dawn are still truckin’.”
Eric and Peggy Mobo
The couple have been married for 23 years, but have been together for 29.
They were married on June 8, 1991, but it was while standing in a queue at an Athlone post office in 1985 that Eric first laid eyes on Peggy.
“I’ll never forget that day. I saw her standing in another queue. She was there to collect a package. I thought I have to speak to her,” says Eric.
He was 23 at the time, and Peggy was 21. He says they basically grew up together.
“Our marriage has had its ups and downs. I was young, and still wanted to go out. But it was our families that would step in and put me straight.
“Our families and extended families played an important role in helping make our marriage work,” he says.
Trust is also a vital part of what makes their relationship work. He says when your partner leaves home, and tells you where they’re going, you have to trust that what they say is true. People will be guided by their own consciences, he says.
In a world where many view marriage as outdated, Eric feels it’s still relevant.
“For every man and woman to grow, you need your partner right there with you,” he says.
The couple have three children, and have reached a good stage in their marriage where life is good. He rates being married to Peggy as one of his greatest life experiences.
“For me, every day with her is special,” says Eric.
Shafiek and Nadima April
They have been married for 46 years. Not that time has put a damper on their relationship. If anything, they have grown even closer, they say.
“As we’re growing older, that love keeps growing deeper. I watch him when he sleeps, and I’m overwhelmed by the love I feel for him,” says Nadima.
The pair met in the 1960s, and started off as friends. Shafiek used to pay her two shillings to deliver notes to girls he was interested in.
It was when Nadima formed a singing group which Shafiek managed, that she started seeing qualities in Shafiek that were attractive.
“As time went by, I noticed he was always neat and tidy, he worked hard, and he had a nice way of handling people. I thought this is a man I’d like to have in my life,” says Nadima.
As they grew closer, they found common interests. They were married in 1967 when she was 25, and Shafiek was 28.
“My advice to the youngsters is that you must choose the right partner, don’t just take the person standing in front of you. You must have a good understanding, common interests and things you can enjoy together,” says Shafiek.
For Shafiek and Nadima, that includes crossword puzzles, music, and rugby.
Nadima says Shafiek may not always tell her he loves her, but he shows it in everything he does.
“If I could start my life over again, I would choose him again,” says Nadima. - Cape Argus