Secrets of Love, Marriage, and Family

Secrets of Love, Marriage, and Family
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/29/2019 6:29:21 AM IST


David and Tamela Mann are a fun-loving, multi-talented couple who have succeeded in music and comedy. They have appeared on stage and in the movies. The Manns are well known for playing two of Tyler Perry’s most loved characters; David for playing the outrageous, wise-cracking “Leroy Brown” and Tamela for playing “Cora Simmons,” Leroy’s “loving, churchgoing, but woe to those who cross me” daughter. The characters are so popular that they have been the subjects of a Meet the Browns play, movie, and nationally syndicated TV show, and have made appearances in other Tyler Perry projects. 

This husband and wife grew together as artists. David had a natural gift for making people laugh. 

Tamela’s first love was music and she had been singing since she was eight. She was active in her church choir. They met in high school as late teens through a mutual friend, who invited Tamela to come to her high school choir practice. 

Tamela met David, Kirk Franklin, and Darrell Blair, who had their own singing group called Humble Hearts. One evening, David and Darrell came to see her sing and were impressed by her vocal talent. Later the Humble Hearts asked her to join the group. David and Tamela became good friends. 

That friendship turned into something more and they married a few years later. Their friend Kirk Franklin soon formed the gospel group “Kirk Franklin and the Family,” which David and Tamela joined. While on tour with Kirk Franklin and the Family, a promoter they knew introduced them to an up and coming playwright, Tyler Perry. 

They starred in several Tyler Perry plays as the lovable “Leroy Brown” and “Cora Simmons.” Tamela says she never expected the success they’ve had with acting, and says her acting gift was “stirred” when she worked with Tyler Perry. 


Today, they have been married for 30 years, have raised five children in their blended family, and have ten grandchildren. Two of the children Tamela birthed, two are from David’s previous relationships (before getting things right with the Lord) and one of the children is their niece who lost her mother to cancer. When it comes to successfully blending the family, David and Tamela explain, “Our primary rule was simple: every child in this family shall be loved equally and embraced fully.” 

Tamela has a rule that no child of theirs will be called a stepchild. “Being that I was raised as a stepchild, I know how it feels... So, I decided that I would never put my children in those same shoes…,” Tamela shares. The main ingredient that has helped them make it through the hard times is love.

David and Tamela genuinely enjoy each other’s company. David loves being with Tamela more than any other person and it shows. 

They have been married for 30 years and are still best friends and lovers. They have written a memoir and produced a CD of love songs (featuring both David and Tamela) that shares their life and journey together with the hopes of inspiring others to believe in marriage.

Tamela says they’ve learned to agree to disagree when they don’t see eye to eye. 

They say there is an art to arguing and share seven lessons for married couples to practice better communication; stick with the issue; listen to understand, not to respond; take a five-minute time-out when emotions get heated; never make the issue more important than the marriage; never retire for the night angry with each other; ask for help; and let it go. 

These are some of the principles that Tamela says have helped them stay together all of these years. 

They make a point to make each other happy. Tamela says they “outdo each other doing for each other.” 

They use words of affirmation and make their relationship a priority. Tamela also says time together doesn’t have to be expensive. Being together and communicating is the goal. With this new project they really want to encourage families to work through the hard times—not immediately resorting to divorce. 

Building a strong foundation that can take you through those storms begins with faith in God. Pleasing God is at the center of their relationship. In fact, an entire chapter of their book is dedicated to faith. 

David explains, “When people ask us how Tam and I have made it to where we are today, there is really only one answer: Jesus. Because of our faith in Jesus, we have seen miracles in our marriage… We have been able to encourage one another through anything.” 


David grew up in Texas. Since he was young it was evident that he had an innate gift of making people laugh. David decided to focus on acting. At 15, he was involved in several high school activities, like contemporary drama. 

He was often cast as the funnyman where his flair for comedy was developed. David quickly gained recognition in high school and local community theater productions with his diverse talents. 

A few years later he was able to utilize his singing and comedic talents on a larger scale. He also found fulfilment as a husband and father.

Tamela had an impoverished childhood in Texas. She grew up in a family as the youngest of 14 children. Faith in God has always been the foundation of Tamela’s life. From the beginning, music was her comfort. She and her siblings were not allowed to listen to R&B or the Blues, so they listened to a lot of gospel music in the house. Tamela loved the gospel sounds of Walter Hawkins, Edwin Hawkins, Andrae Crouch and the Clark sisters. She joined the choir with her siblings when she was eight. She continued in church and school choirs. 

Tamela met David through her best friend, Nicole. Through this, she found her path to success in music, love, and life.

The 700 Club

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