When Cassiem Schroeder saw the woman of his dreams, he befriended her brother and charmed his way into his future wife Zainab’s heart.
Fifty years later the Grassy Park couple celebrated their anniversary on January 5 with their children, Shaamiela, Nuhr, Kaashief, Wedaad and Shuayb, at a restaurant in Cape Town.
Mr Schroeder, 74, said he was mesmerised by his wife’s “green eyes”, which were the reason why he fell in love with her.
“I made friends with her brother just to see her.”
Ms Schroeder, 72, moved with her family from Wynberg to Silvertown where Mr Schroeder was living at the time.
Not long after their first meeting he took her to the Regent Bioscope in Belgravia.
Love blossomed and they got married in 1969.
“I was an apprentice for a while but moved on to become a paramedic,” said Mr Schroeder.
He stayed in that profession for 25 years before he retired.
Ms Schroeder was a bridal wear dressmaker and she made one of her daughters wedding dresses while the other daughter
got married in her old wedding dress.
But what, we asked, made their marriage solid as a rock.”My wife is the one who keeps the family together. She is also a passive woman and I have great respect for her,” said Mr Schroeder proudly.
When asked how she would describe her husband – the good and the bad, Ms Schroeder said: “We have good conversations but he can get a little moody sometimes.”
“Mr Moody” and “Sister Cool” have travelled the world, including going on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
They were always in good health until recently when Ms Schroeder had to get a knee replacement.
Mr Schroeder has diabetes
but not severe as he keeps his diet in check. However, “I do eat
cakes so now and then,” he
Ms Schroeder is fond of baking and she bakes for her 12 grandchildren – with another one on the way – but maybe not for all at the same time.
While Mr Schroeder spends his time doing woodwork and gardening, his wife still sews occasionally.
They make sure they spend time together as they love stand-up comedy and take time out to watch a show.
Their eldest daughter, Shaamiela, said they were raised by parents who had set a foundation of values and morals, which “we then passed on to the next generation.
“We had a balanced upbringing as Muslim children and although we make our own decisions we always seek their guidance,” she said.