Last week, this beautiful Ghanaian couple, Agnes and Napoleon couple broke the internet with their 53rd wedding anniversary shoot. We couldn’t get over the beauty and love from their shoot and so we asked them a few questions and honestly, we know you will enjoy reading it.
Can you take us down memory lane, how did you meet each other?
I enrolled at the University of Birmingham in 1963 to study for my degree in electrical and electronic engineering. In 1962, Agnes had enrolled at the Birmingham Maternity Hospital (BMH) to start her studies to become a midwife. After completing part of the course, she relocated to Blackburn for Part 2 of the course. Then after she obtained her professional certification, she moved to Worcester Hospital where she worked as a staff midwife. In 1965, Agnes returned to the Birmingham Maternity Hospital as a Senior Staff midwife and also to study part-time for the Midwife Teachers Diploma. Mr Michael Hill (a white mature student 30+) who was on the same course with me became good friends. Hill was married to Mariam who was a student midwife at the Birmingham Maternity Hospital. So here’s how we linked up.
In November 1965, Hill invited me to the graduation party for the student midwives. His wife was part of the graduating class and he extended an invitation to accompany him to the “Hen” graduation party. He said he wanted me to meet a very pretty Ghanaian midwife who had recently joined BMH And so I was dragged to the ‘Hen” party. Agnes and I were the only black persons at the party so we got talking, had a few dances and hit off very well. Then I invited her to tea the following weekend at my hostel. Agnes honoured my invitation and so our friendship started. We got engaged on 10 September 1966. We got married in July 1967 at the Selly Oak Methodist Church, Birmingham. We had many of our Ghanaian friends and colleagues from the University and the BMH also in attendance. It was a rather lonely feeling as neither of us had any relative present at the ceremony. We endeavoured to keep up our spirits.
How did you feel during your wedding and how do you feel now at 53 years after?
Notwithstanding our mixed feelings, we had tremendous support financially and logistics to organise the wedding. Our wedding lunch was for 50 guests and the entire event was organised by the Women’s’ Fellowship of the Church. Way back at the start of our marriage in 1967 we felt we were embarking on an adventure into the unknown. 53 years on, we feel we have served each other well and we have forged/ formed strong bonds of love and friendship. 53 years on, we are more than convinced that we made the right choice in marrying each other.
What has being the greatest lesson in your 53 years of marriage?
Our greatest lessons (2 of them) are: trust in each other and communication.
What does love mean to you as a couple?
Love to us means supporting each other in every way and any way possible. All manner of difficulties arises in the marriage relationship such as the employment environment and the immediate and extended family situations. In all these situations, support and proper advice given in love have helped us to keep the “boat afloat” all the time.
What are you most grateful for in your partner?
For both of us, we are grateful for the trust we have in each other and the transparent manner in which both of us approach issues.
How have you kept the love burning all these years?
This a difficult one to pin down. I would say an amalgam of all the attributes we each brought to the table – honesty, transparency, FULL support for each others’ endeavours, full financial disclosure, you respect each other, do not take each other for granted
What advice will you give to newlyweds or a younger couple?
Maintain the channel of communication ALL the time. Play the game with all your cards looking up, do not hide anything from each other. Money issues often lead to difficulties in the marriage space. Discuss your money issues openly like what you earn, how you spend it and how you can collaborate to do things together in the interest of the nuclear family. Many females come into the marriage with the mantra “what I earn (or have) is mine but what you (husband) has or earns is ours”, it is not right.