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An African fairy tale of true love.

figure By CAROLE MANDI The wedding between Britains Prince Harry and Meghan Markle found me at a viewing party, which was a great way to watch it, amidst the cheer of friends and occasional trips to the buffet table and wine bar.It was in every respect, a fairytale wedding but why were some of us so enamoured? Was it because of the classic true love tale of boy meets girl and the two fall headlessly in love before riding into the sunset on their horse drawn courage? Maybe.

class="MsoNormalA couple of days after that I was talking to a group of young women who were still swooning over the royal wedding. Before your prince finds you, or you find him, I told them, I hope you fall in love.

Head over heels in love. They looked perplexed.

class="MsoNormalWith yourself, I told them. They still didnt get it.

How could one even fall in love with ones self? And so I told them a story. Once upon a time, there was a young maiden who longed for true love.

She lived in a hut in the deep forest together with her parents. She would look out of the window hoping any young warrior would happen by the hut, sweep her off her feet, whisk her off to the city where the lights shone brightly in the night.

There they would live happily ever after. class="MsoNormalNight after night, she would console herself with thoughts of how her life would be in the city.

There she would dress in fancy clothes, colourfully braid her hair and wear heels. She would cook her favourite vegetable dish of mrenda with ugali for her warrior husband.

They would eventually have four children who loved to eat mrenda and ugali. class="MsoNormalYOUNG WARRIOR class="MsoNormalEventually a young warrior did come by.

He had heard there was a young maiden of marriage age. Besotted by his good looks and apparent charm, the young maiden fell in love.

Her loving parents gave their blessing. class="MsoNormalAfter the wedding, the young maiden went to live with the warrior.

However, it was not in the city but to another village which was bigger than her own. Here she formed friends and set about building a life with her warrior.

While he was kind to her, she soon discovered that the young warrior did not like eating mrenda with ugali. His choice of food was boiled yams and fish.

She learned to cook boiled yams and fish and soon forgot about mrenda and ugali. The village had one salon, the dress fundi only made clothes from kitenge fabric and no-one wore heels.

Eventually the maiden learnt to be satisfied with her life as it was. She and the young warrior did have the three children they both longed for, and they raised them up in the village.

However, on some dark nights, she would sit by the veranda of the hut and dream about a city and its lights that shone brightly at night.One day one of her daughters who was now of marriage age came to her and said.

Mama, I want to go into the city. I want to see the bright lights for myself.

I want to wear heels and floral dresses.The once young maiden was now an old woman.

She smiled in understanding, recognising her long forgotten dream. But how will you do this? Have you met a young warrior to take you? class="MsoNormalNo mama, the young girl said.

My friends and I are going with the kitenge fundi when he goes to buy fabric. When we get there, we will look for jobs and send some money back home to you.

class="MsoNormalIt seemed like a good plan, the kitenge fundi was a trustworthy person and the young girl was not to be dissuaded. The parents gave their blessing and the young girls set off.

They did settle in the city and managed to do quite well for themselves. Every month they sent home some foodstuffs and money.

The highlight of the old womans life was when her daughter would come home for her yearly visit with albums filled with pictures of her life in the city with it bright lights. She would then shed a quiet tear.

For herself and her long lost dream. I had come to the end of my story.

The girls were in rapt attention, trying to figure out its moral. class="MsoNormalNo-one can fulfil your dream for you.

You have to do it for yourself, I told them. You are the ones you have been waiting for.

Finally, they understood. Related Stories
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jun 24, 2018
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