FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The New York Times story easily could have started with “once upon a time.”
But the fairytale of Jamal Robinson and Edna Makonnen happened in real-life with a Fort Wayne beginning.
Northrop High School, to be exact.
Jamal was three years ahead of Edna; they met over coffee; he had to prove himself to her family; and you should probably just read the story in the New York Times, which was published earlier in June.
“It’s been amazing,” Jamal told WANE 15 about the feedback from the story. “Obviously, people are happy that we’re married, but also to shed a little light on His Majesty’s historic facts of being the last Emperor and, of course, Edna being a descendant of him.”
“His Majesty” is Haile Selassie, who was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.
After the Emperor was overthrown, Robinson said the family joined a relative already living in Fort Wayne and began to live “under the radar.”
Robinson was quick to list His Majesty’s accomplishments: a formative figure in the history of what is now known as the African Union and a strong advocate for Ethiopian education.
Robinson said he and his wife now live in the Washington, D.C. area, where she interned in the White House and was hired by the National Security Council.
They return to Fort Wayne regularly, as Robinson heads the CEV Collection of eyewear by Jaylon Smith of Dallas Cowboys/Notre Dame/Bishop Luers fame.
“Joining their family is amazing,” he added. “They’re awesome individuals and the fact that they’re royal is just icing on the cake.”