By Linah Benyawa
Last Sunday, Israel Yona and Scholastica Songoshindia, exchanged marriage vows and their colourful wedding was special because the presiding priest didn’t have to ask Yona to unveil his wife to confirm that she was indeed the woman he loved.
It wasn’t necessary because the two lovers have no idea how they look – they have never seen each other for they are blind.
Yona was born blind while Songoshindia became blind when she was five years old.
So excitement engulfed the Mkombozi Baptist Church in Kongowea in Kisauni as family, friends, and curious people filled the church. They wanted to be part of this unique matrimonial celebration.
The groom came in first, aided by his best man. As the groom’s men marched, the packed church sang and danced.
Minutes later, Songoshindia, gracefully entered with her bridal maids marching behind her. Keeping a close eye and hand was her best maid. The congregacheered.
By the time the bride and groom took their seats, those present were ecstatic.
Yona, 50, has looked for love over the years. He has been hurt in the past and nearly gave up finding the love of his life. At one time he even ‘married’ a sighted girl in 1985 in Tana River, his home area, but the come-we-stay marriage lasted just a month.
Then Songoshindia, a Tanzanian, came a long.
“This is an important day in my entire life. Though I am blind, I am the happiest man on earth today, as I have got myself a wife after staying single for many years. I was disadvantaged because of my blindness,” Yona told The Standard just before the wedding.
He says when the parents took away the woman he had settled down with as husband and wife, he reflected on his life much. His decision steered him towards improving himself. He wanted to be a better man.