How We Met
Louise: Zana and I met many years ago in middle school in Zimbabwe. Both our group of friends were active participants in the school’s regular talent shows – two groups that also happened to be rivals on the dance floor! This time both of our groups wanted the same song – “Yeah” by Usher. Fortunately or unfortunately, only one of the two groups could book the song. When the two groups came face to face, we never actually made direct contact…but I saw her and definitely took notice of the tall, bold and confident young Zana. I’ll admit it – she was indeed our competition. There was just something about her presence that I was so drawn to at that moment. The memory of our first encounter stuck with me. I left Zimbabwe in 2004 to continue with high school in Nairobi. While away, Zana and my best friend developed a friendship that would later lead me right back to Zana. In 2012, my best friend invited her out for what would later be remembered as one of our most eventful nights in D.C. Zana and I finally got to squash our “dance rivalry”, and we got to really know one another as friends. We kept in touch from that point on. We had so much in common and the chemistry was Off. The. Charts … we’ve been together ever since (October 2013)!
Zana: Louise and I met in middle school in Harare, Zimbabwe when her crew was battling my friends and me for an open slot to do a hip-hop dance at our school’s annual talent show. We fortunately or unfortunately wanted to perform the same song – Usher’s Yeah – so the competition was quite stiff. We interacted here and there, but never really paid mind to each other in that way because we had our eyes on the final prize. In the end, she and her crew won and I sat in the crowd watching them and continued to notice Louise thereafter as we found ourselves often playing on opposite teams within the same space – basketball, dancing, on the social scene. Her best friend and her other friends were my very good friends.
How They Asked
Zana: The proposal was a surprise not only to Louise but to myself too. I fell madly in love with Louise but growing up, it was never in my plans to propose to someone – neither did I have a dream wife, dream wedding, and all that jazz. I just never prioritized a future with a partner, but it happened and my only priority was that Louise got the joy she needed, which meant finally taking her on a breakfast date I promised her in our first few days of dating 4 years prior. She also got to not text her friends about it because I made sure they showed up right after it happened. It was also by water, which she really appreciates the calming sensations and vibes water brings to her. It was also a nice warm day fit enough for a breakfast picnic near the National Mall, which we often tour and appreciate as a symbol of our mutual love for DC as two Africans in the city.
Louise: Literally the best day of my life thus far! If you know Zana, you know that she is one conscientious being, so whatever she plans to do will be executed meticulously. Lucky for me who loves surprises, it was perfect! From the time Zana and I had started dating, she had been promising to take me out for breakfast one day. Fast forward to August 2017; she decides to plan a spontaneous breakfast picnic while my dearest cousin was visiting from Canada. I cannot stress enough how excited I was that the long-awaited breakfast date was happening – even with my cousin there! We talked about where we would have it, but near the monuments seemed like a no-brainer. The date was set for August 26. Zana suggested we shoot to arrive around 8 a.m. to try to secure a nice spot.
We walked to The Arts of Peace Sculpture, overlooking the Potomac River, and the view was breathtaking. My cousin suggested we pause for a moment to take a picture. I noticed that there was a photographer attempting to take a picture of the view and I asked Zana to shift to the side to get out of her way. At that moment, Zana started her speech, got down on one knee, and I absolutely lost it. I was so overwhelmed with the joy in my heart. I said yes! It then hit me that my cousin had flown in from Canada for this very reason and that the photographer was actually Iris! A few moments later, I see all my closest friends running towards me out of nowhere. Zana had assigned one of our good friends to cue Tyrese’s – “The Rest of Our Lives” (a favorite of ours), and one of my childhood favorite Brandy tunes – “Come Closer”. We shared moments that will remain with us for the rest of our days. Needless to say, Zana planned the perfect proposal and that is an understatement.