Shauna Muamba, recipient of the Keep The Faith Woman of the Year Award at this year’s Wise Women Awards, is a very special lady. Last March, her husband – footballer, Fabrice Muamba – collapsed whilst playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspurs.
His heart stopped beating for 72 minutes, and doctors tried frantically to revive him. When he arrived at hospital, desperately sick, his wife Shauna Muamba tweeted ‘God Is In Control’ and ‘Pray For Muamba’ and, as a result, got the whole world to pray for him. He has now recovered, and the Muambas have become worldwide symbols of the miracle-working power of God. Keep The Faith spoke to Shauna Muamba, 28, about that difficult time in her life, the role of faith in her life, and her plans for the future.
KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): Congratulations on winning the Keep The Faith Woman of the Year Award. How did you feel about winning the Award?
SHAUNA MUAMBA (SM): As I wasn’t even aware that I was being awarded anything, receiving an Award was overwhelming. It was a huge honour, and I feel very privileged that I was even considered. To summarise, I feel amazing.
KTF: Many people are amazed at the courage you showed when your husband fell ill. How did you maintain your spiritual composure and trust in God, knowing you were in a situation that could either end in joy or tragedy?
SM: It’s funny how we sometimes take for granted our own existence. I grew strength from my relationship with God, especially during that time. Praying and seeking guidance enabled me to mentally cope with the magnitude of the situation – regardless of the outcome. My faith and trust in God got me through that period in my life.
KTF: What was your reaction when the media, football fans and the nation responded positively to your tweets ‘God Is In Control’ and ‘Pray For Muamba’, and actually started praying for him?
SM: I was grateful that so many people took the time to say a word of prayer for him. I didn’t tweet for attention; I did it for positivity, and to show that I knew God had always had this in Fab’s life plan.
KTF: Why do you think your heartfelt tweets struck such a mighty chord with people, not just in the UK?
SM: It was received so well, as I think it’s almost taboo for people to openly speak about God. I was the only source of communication during that time, so people analysed my every word more closely. It was a great opportunity to show who controls my life and all situations: God Almighty.
KTF: And what was your reaction, when your husband started responding positively to the medical treatment, and opened his eyes and came around?
SM: I knew, in that moment, that I’d witnessed a miracle. The day he woke up, I felt a feeling of peace and serenity wash over me as I had woken up, and I could feel something good was going to happen. Prayer was my immediate reaction, a prayer of gratitude.
KTF: Looking back to last year, what were the key things you learnt about God, yourself and your husband?
SM: That everything is possible when you have faith. Also, that God is performing modern-day miracles in people’s lives, and that the power of prayer actually works. As a couple, we realised just how important our relationship with God is, and recognised even more how blessed we are as a family.
KTF: How did you and your husband meet? SM: We met in a nightclub in Birmingham when I was in university, and he was at BCFC (Birmingham City FC). That was seven years ago; time has flown by. KTF: When did you decide that he was the man for you?
SM: We just clicked from our initial meeting, and I loved that he feared God and read his Bible every day. He just dispelled any stereotypes of a typical footballer, and his core values were similar to mine. That’s when I knew our relationship could progress potentially to marriage, which it did.
KTF: In what ways have his collapse, subsequent recovery, and this new media spotlight on the both of you impacted your relationship?
SM: It’s drawn us closer to God, but it’s also drawn us even closer together. The impact has only been one of positivity, where we both know that in a crisis we’ll always be there for each other.
KTF: For many people, your life – and that of your husband – is a testimony of the greatness and healing power of God. How are you hoping God will continue using your experience to be a blessing to others?
SM: I think He used Fabrice as a platform to show what He’s capable of; to renew people’s faith and to invite people, who were not aware of His power, to seek Him. So many have approached us and told us that our miracle has turned them to Christ. That, in itself, is a blessing.
KTF: We know a lot about your husband, but not so much about you. Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood: where you grew up, how many siblings you have, etc, and the role God/church played in your upbringing?
SM: That’s because I like to stay in the background and do all the behind–the–scenes stuff. I was born in the UK, but left for Jamaica at the age of eight. I was raised in a rural, agricultural village called Denbigh in Clarendon. Like most Jamaican homes, church was a standard Sunday ritual for our family, and I also attended a Christian private school in May Pen. In high school, the Lord’s Prayer was recited daily; God and church attendance were the norm in my childhood, and in that of my family and friends. It’s something that has been instilled within me from a very young age. When I returned to the UK – at 18 for university – God was already a huge part of my life.
KTF: What were your aspirations with your career, and what have you achieved to date? I understand that you run a catering company, tell us a bit about your love affair with food, and some of the famous people who have tasted your food.
SM: I really wanted to do something media-related, thus I got a BA in Media and Communication, then a Masters in Media Enterprise. God had a different plan for my life, and I just recently closed my catering business to focus on my family, and to develop a new range of cooking sauces so everyone can experience my food in their own home. Cooking has always been a love of my mine, and I specialise in Caribbean cuisine. My business started as a hobby and, as the requests came in for my food, the concept just catalysed from there. I get great pleasure from preparing and watching people consume and appreciate my food. Caribbean food is very niche in the north of England, and my clientele consisted of many high-profile football players and TV personalities. I’ve cooked for the likes of Tyson Beckford, Ricky Whittle, Joleon Lescott, Anderson, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Young and Emile Heskey – to name a few. People wanted a new culinary experience, and have fallen in love with Caribbean food. I still take special requests to cater for events, but only on a smaller scale while I focus on my cooking sauces.
KTF: When did you make that decision to become a Christian, and how has it impacted your life?
SM: I’ve been a practising Christian since an early age. I don’t proclaim to be perfect, and I’ve made mistakes in my life – like most people. What I know is that my relationship with God has honed me into the person I am today, and I try to live by His Word in my everyday experiences.
KTF: Congratulations! You are about to be a mother for the second time. When is your child due, and what do you love most about motherhood? SM: My baby is due in June, and what I love most about being a mother is the awesome cuddles I get from my son, and the fact that I have the ability to raise him to become a good God-fearing man. KTF: What does the future hold (or what do you hope it holds) for Shauna Muamba?
SM: As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently developing some Caribbean cooking sauces to be sold nationally in all major supermarkets. I want the quality cuisine that I prepare for my clients to be available to the UK public, and I realised that to do this, I had to make a product that’s readily available to everyone. I’m in a very exciting period of my life, and it’s amazing to watch my idea turn into a reality. The cooking sauces will be available early next year.
KTF: And lastly, what message of hope would you like to share with Keep The Faith readers?
SM: As long as you put your trust and faith in God, all things are possible. It can be easy to question God’s actions, but just remember that, even if things don’t go the way you hoped or planned, God always has a plan for your life.