First couple on love, marriage and family

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First couple on love, marriage and family

At face value, Namibian president Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos may be the couple that is steering the Namibian ship. But at home, they are your regular Joes. 

From serving one another to making fun of each other and dancing, the first couple’s love is no different from many others. 

New Era sat down with them at their private residence – Casa Rosalia outside Windhoek – on Saturday. From this engagement, it was evident that at the core of the president and his first lady’s relationship is an undeniable bond of friendship and fondness.

The two have been close years before tying the knot in a private ceremony in the capital on Valentine’s Day in 2015.

They said they have been best of friends for many years, but neither of them could pinpoint when the love bug bit, only saying they always felt comfortable and at ease when in each other’s presence. 

During their courting days, Geingos said, she was worried about the public’s perception in relation to the 35-year age difference between her and Geingob.

“However, the more we talked, engaged and got really close, I had to ask myself ‘Are you living your life for society’s perceptions, or are you living life for your own happiness’? When I chose my own happiness, I really chose the best husband I could have chosen,” said Geingos gushingly.

For the Geingobs, the key to the success of their relationship is constant communication, and managing issues around family, other people and perceptions. This is in addition to conflict resolution and de-escalation.

Asked about their take on Valentine’s Day celebrations, the first lady said: “My husband is not about wishy-washy things – things that people think are important. He is a man of action, he shows his love by doing specific things and looking after his family; it is his key language”.

With both professionals in demanding business and political careers, respectively, they admitted that it is difficult to make time for one another, but every moment they do get time together, they cherish.

Geingob said: “It is difficult. But yet again, when people are not busy, they tend to quarrel with each other… when you are busy and I am busy, at the end of the day, we discuss and debate about the day”.

Thus, on a typical Saturday when they are not working, the head of state, who is a football fanatic, likes to wind down by watching the game. On Sundays, the couple spend the morning in church, which is sometimes followed by a lunch date at a local eatery.

According to Geingob, couples should not believe they become one once they are married because they are different human beings. Thus, they must accept one another for who they are, and not try to change their partners.

Geingos is of the view that a woman must marry a man who is comfortable in himself and in whatever he is doing – having a strong sense of himself.

“Secondly, you must first heal yourself so that you do not go into the relationship a broken person. Because that brokenness will end up defining what you believe to be the nature of the relationship,” she reasoned.

As the country celebrates Valentine’s Day, she said there is a need for the nation to define its love language outside of violence and verbal abuse.

“Sometimes, what we do to people we care about is inconsistent with what love looks and feels like. Also, our love for each other as individuals and how we show love as a community, and also the love we have for our country. It is all part of how we build constructive love language. Your love does not have to be the same as the next person’s love, but it should not have toxicity in it,” said Geingos.