She fell in love with a Zimbabwean man called Trust

Anthea Loucas Bosha and Trust Bosha: "Trust sent me an email that was so formal, signed off with something like, “Yours sincerely.” I was like, “Who is this guy?”CREDIT:EDDIE JIM

It took one date for Food & Wine Victoria chief Anthea Loucas Bosha, 49, and Zimbabwean-born portfolio manager Trust Bosha, 44, to feel at ease with each other. Together they’ve weathered loss, lockdown and a lot of easy-listening music.

ANTHEA: I never expected my person to be a beautiful black African man from Zimbabwe. I grew up in Melbourne in a strict Greek family and never dated anyone from a different culture, so I just thought we’d be friends. The first time I saw him, he was wearing a pink Ralph Lauren jumper and he looked like that guy Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. We met at a friend’s 60th birthday party in Sydney in 2013. I walked in with a mutual friend, who said with such excitement, “Trust is here!” I could tell everyone loved him. He’s so warm and joyful – and his name is Trust!

We only spoke for five or 10 minutes. His office in Sydney was moving near mine, so I suggested we have coffee. It wasn’t romantic. I was 41. I just hadn’t met the right person and didn’t know what that looked like. I was done with relationships – I’d had some toxic ones – and was happily single. He sent me an email that was so formal, signed off with something like, “Yours sincerely.” I was like, “Who is this guy?” For our first dinner, he told me to choose the restaurant, because I was then the editor of Gourmet Traveller; it was so impressive that he didn’t have an ego.

We had a great first date and that was it. A couple of weeks later, I remember looking at him and just knowing. I started crying and said, “I’m falling for you and it’s really scary; I’ve never had this feeling before.” It was his kindness and big heart. I feel like it was fate, like he was meant to come into our lives to look after us. My dad was sick at the time with liver cancer. And Trust is such an amazing son-in-law to my mum. He calls her, does her finances and mows her lawn – and that’s a three-hour, ride-on job. That makes me love him even more.

We got married in January 2015; we wanted to try to have a baby and I wanted to be married to do that. We did IVF and thought we were lucky – it was our second or third go – but we had a miscarriage that December, at 20 weeks. It was awful. We called her TA, after our names, and she’s buried with my dad. That was really tragic – and just saying that seems to diminish it so much. That was the impetus for us moving from Sydney to Melbourne in 2017; we needed a circuit-breaker. We tried again to have a baby, but it was just not happening. We don’t talk about it a lot. It’s almost like an understanding. That and Dad’s passing last year have made us closer, without a doubt.

This year, COVID-19 meant we had to cancel the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival six days out, with 95 per cent of tickets sold. The hardest thing has been trying to find a way forward, speaking to distraught restaurateurs and chefs. When I feel overwhelmed, Trust will say, “Just one step at a time.”

We’ve both been home since April. I don’t see Trust most of the day, but I take him lunch. It’s made me realise how much we like each other. It sounds so boring, but I’m happy to spend every minute of the day with him; in fact, I have for the past eight months. He’s divine.

TRUST: I came to Australia to study commerce at the University of Sydney in 1996. My dad had a business in Zimbabwe, manufacturing books and stationery. I was only meant to be here for three years, but my country started going downhill, so I stayed.

When I met Anthea, there weren’t any sparks. She was just easy to talk to, very much herself. She chose 10 William St in Paddington for our first dinner, and there was another couple there who Ant knew. The guy’s name was Bill. He said he had a few cafes, and I’m like, “So what kind of sandwiches do you make?” When they left, Anthea said, “Do you know Bill Granger? That was Bill.”

At the time, I was living in Bondi and happy with my own space, so to allow someone else in was a big thing. When you’re older, you know what you’re looking for, and life becomes more than just achieving things; you want someone to share it with. You realise it’s not always fireworks. It wasn’t hard work with Anthea; I don’t think relationships need to be. It just progressed. I started staying more at her place, and after about a month I walked into the coffee shop I used to go to every morning. The guy said, “Hey Justice, how are you?” and I thought, “Who’s Justice? Maybe I am spending a bit of time away from home.” We were just a fit.

Looking back, [losing TA] brought us closer together because it was just the two of us, the most difficult thing you could go through. I broke down in tears just the once because you’ve got to let that out. Then I just tried to be as supportive as I could, because I can’t know physically and emotionally what that’s like for Anthea, even though I’ve got my own experience.

You realise it just takes time. We were lucky TA was buried at Sorrento Cemetery because it helped us in that healing process, being able to go somewhere. It’s not that you forget and move on, but you allow that memory to just be a part of your life and part of the journey. And it’s a journey we’re on together. After her dad’s passing, there was a quietness and stillness about her. She’d play this Cat Stevens song that reminds her of him, and you’d know she was really grieving, so I’d just give space to that.

We don’t really argue. Actually, my NutriBullet – she hates that; she likes quality things and it doesn’t quite cut the mustard. And once she likes a song, it’s death by that song. Sailing by Christopher Cross! That whole genre! And Spandau Ballet’s Gold – she loves it. If we have dinner parties, she’s like, “Let’s put on our playlist!” No, let’s not put on our playlist.

Anthea is on top of everything, so she looks at my 1700 unread emails and it freaks her out. At her work functions, she’ll check I’m okay, and I’m like, “Don’t worry about me!” I’ll go up and talk to anyone, like I did with Julie Bishop at one of her work events. If there’s an opportunity, I want to take it!

In our marriage, there’s a lot of thought for the other person, and we do things together, like get up early and go on walks. She’s a great companion. I don’t really like the word “wife”. She’s my love.

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