‘Ivory and Ebony’
The biography of Annie Chikhwaza is filled with different themes, including Annie’s sheer guts and determination to survive. Over and above that is the strong underlying theme of what Annie calls ‘her beautiful African love story.’
Within the pages of ‘Mother of Malawi’ you will read how after 10 years of being on her own, after a failed abusive marriage which ended in divorce, God turned Annie’s life around by bringing a new man into her life, this time a man who loved her deeply.
You will read the humorous account of how Annie met Lewis Chikhwaza, and how, although she had a soft spot for him, there was no way she was going to marry him! She often jokes about her luxury home and car in South Africa and how rural life in Malawi was such a tough option to come to terms with. But come to terms with it she did. Read the story of how Lewis pursued Annie and how she came to live in Malawi. It’s all in chapter 15 of ‘Mother of Malawi’ – entitled ‘Where shall we marry? – You’re a woman of God, you’ll listen’.
You’ll read about the joy of their wedding day and some of the cultural differences they had to overcome, at times the cause of much laughter. There were also huge family hurdles to overcome, but Annie and Lewis refused to let these cause their relationship to come unstuck. Instead they were able to trust God to turn things around through love and forgiveness.
“OK, if you’ll fix up your big house I’ll marry you,” Annie exclaimed as part of her strategy to put him off, thinking he would never be able to accomplish such an impossible task.
The couple were once photographed beneath a sign that seemed to subtitle their story, ‘Ebony and Ivory’. With many challenges to be overcome together, Annie and Lewis were able to spend several happy years together, ‘working together in perfect harmony’, and were able to fulfil a life=long dream to build the Kondanani Children’s Village.
This will be their combined legacy – transformed lives of children who will impact the future of their nation, following in the footsteps of Lewis and Annie, Lewis a politician, statesman and minister of the Gospel and Annie a missionary entrepreneur and nation-builder.