A friend recently wrote me an emotional email. He has lost faith in love, he said, after he caught his girlfriend cheating on him.
Hearing stories like his – and others like the man I saw on the news who hacked his wife to death, I have had my own moments of doubt.
But every time I come to that level of gloom, something happens that resuscitates my faith in love. It has happened to me more than once.
Call it a coincidence. The morning I received the email from the friend, I took a boda boda ride to beat the traffic. The cyclist told me his love story, which I shall share with you today.
Come to think of it: seeing how many people are employed by boda boda and matatu, the two jobs could be employing a quarter of our city. What then is the probability that your daughter may marry a man from the transport sector?
I do not remember how we came to that conversation, but, I think Alex was telling me about the good things that have come from his job.
Counting his blessings, Alex told me he married a wife from a very rich family, one that a faint-hearted man may never dare to marry from, so he thinks.
“When I first told her that I was in love with her, she thought I was not serious,” Alex recalls.
“She insinuated that boda boda men are unserious people, and notorious womanisers.”
Alex insisted that he was a straight forward person, and his feeling was not a passing cloud.
Harriet was employed with a top manufacturing industry, earning some good money. May be she had interest in the boda boda man, but, she played hard to get for some time.
One day after work, she told the man to take her to her home, explaining that she had left her car in the garage.
It was the first time Alex was seeing Harriet’s home. The two headed towards Muyenga, where, a big bungalow opened its gates to receive them. She invited him home, to say hello to her family. The bubbly Alex was left speechless. If she wanted to intimidate him, she had gotten her way. The next day, thinking Harriet had taken him to her home to politely tell him off, he decided to walk into her office, and pronounced himself on three things:
“I am not rich now. But, I have three important gifts:
i) I am ambitious.
ii) I am hardworking
iii) I am very creative.”
“If you gave me a chance to prove myself, you will be very proud of me.”
Those words earned him an audience with Harriet’s family.
In the company of his brother, Alex rode to Muyenga. Harriet’s parents asked him whether he was serious with the relationship.
“YES”, he said.
They asked him to pay dowry.
“How much dowry?” he asked.
“Eight Friesian cows.”
The in-laws were not prepared for what Alex would say next.
“We don’t keep animals. We are money makers. How much money do the cows cost?” he responded.
The rather tense room was all of a sudden full of laughter. Alex was serious.
“Shs8 million,” the father retorted.
Alex went on his knees, “I will afford Shs5 million.”
The girl’s father, seeing a serious man kneeling before him, said: “Okay, come back when you are ready.”
Alex had saved Shs3 million. “My brother added another million shillings, and my friends raised the balance.”
The dowry was done.
Alex whispered to Harriet’s parents. He will not take her home until the wedding was done. That was a plus – it earned him respect from his in-laws. A wedding followed in four months, with the support from his in-laws.
From a bungalow, Harriet is Alex’s wife, living in a muzigo in Kireka. He insists they are happily working hard to keep his promise to her.
For love that crossed social class, I believe in love.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor