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AfricaLive Friday, 21 June, 2002, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Meet Africa Live!'s wedding couple
Johnnie places the ring on Michele's finger
Johnnie and Michele have had a long distance courtship
BBC Africa Live! is following the marriage preparations of Johnnie Gaye and Michele Lompo.

Liberian-born Johnnie Gaye first saw the girl who, in a week's time, will be his wife, in a photo album. Johnnie, now serving as a soldier in the US army was born in Bargblor town, Grand Gedeh County in Liberia. But he fled in 1990 as civil war erupted in Liberia.

His fiancee, Michele Lompo is from Burkina Faso. She is trained as a Laboratory technician, and spent the past six months learning English in Ghana.

Johnnie's e-mail

When Johnnie first heard of Africa Live!, he could not wait to share his amazing love story with the BBC. He wrote:

I was going through the album of my sister from France when I saw the picture of a very beautiful girl. I asked her who the girl was and she told me the girl was from Burkina-Faso and that they all attended the same church in Paris.


One day she called me saying she had accepted my proposal... I felt like the king of the world.

Johnnie
That face kept haunting me like a dream; it was the prettiest face I had ever seen.

After some time I decided to call my sister in France and pleaded with her to introduce me to the girl. After a great deal of reluctance, she finally gave in.

The girl was right there in my sister's house when I called. My sister put her on the phone. I was so happy that day that I thought the world had come to a standstill.

She introduced herself - Michele Lompo.

She talked of how my sister had told her a lot about myself. Then for over 30 minutes she thoroughly cross examined me: so much so that I thought she was studying law.

From that day I started communicating with her, sending her cards and letters. I would sometimes even sing for her over the phone.

Eventually she became madly in love with me.

One day she called me saying she had accepted my proposal and that she would love to be my wife. I was so excited that I almost jumped through the window of my five story apartment building.

I felt like the king of the world.

In August 2001, I flew to Burkina Faso to meet Michele and her family for the first time. They received me so well that I almost wanted to stay.

In December of the same year, we had a very outstanding engagement and we scheduled the wedding for 6 July 2002 at the International Evangelical Centre in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Click here to see pictures of the engagement party

I cannot wait to fly home to Burkina Faso and sweep my bride off her feet to the altar.

But there is one problem maybe you guys at BBC can help me out here. The issue is how to kiss the bride. My wife to be is 6ft 2" while I am 5ft 6".

Michele's e-mail

Africa Live! then got in touch with Michele to find out how the wedding plans are going

"I have been very busy preparing for our wedding as the dates are coming very soon.


It is God's plan to learn English because he knew I was going to meet Johnnie, my sweetness, the one I will love for the rest of my life.

Michele
Every Thursday at 1830 I have a meeting at home with a wedding preparation committtee.

I just came from my best friend's wedding, Daniela Karambiri, who married my fiance's cousin, Dallon Quewea.

I was the maid of honour. The wedding was wonderful and I dreamt about mine!

Right now I am waiting for Johnnie with all my heart. I miss him, since I saw him at the engagement party in December. I really love him.

I had only learnt English for nine months in Ghana. It is God's plan to learn English because he knew I was going to meet Johnnie, my sweetness, the one I will love for the rest of my life.

What questions or advice do you have for the happy couple?

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