The truth is that most of my regular readers hate it when I write anything that is less than serious controversial politics. But today is Sunday and most of them are away from their computers doing what people do on Sundays and so I will do something sneaky and indulge my fascination at the infamous Esther Arunga romance saga.
Very few people have really been in love. And I am not talking about infatuation or mere lust. This is confirmed by the comments and mostly condemnation that Esther has received from Kenyans mostly telling her that she is out of her mind or that she has lost it. Isn’t this exactly what happens to somebody who falls in love? But of course most of you will not have an inkling of what I am talking about because you have never been there.
True love does not see the faults of the person you love and neither does it see the impractical things and impossibilities or even obstacles to a relationship. That is the magic of this thing called love.
Last night I watched a German movie based on a true story (with English subtitles) called White Masai. This thing actually happened right here in Kenya to a German woman and you can be sure that there are many other similar untold tales.
The fascinating story line for White Masai goes something like this; A Swiss woman Carola (Nina Hoss) is on holiday with her boyfriend in Mombasa Kenya. She falls in love with Masai warrior Lemalian (Jacky Ido), who happens to be at the Coast with a friend all dressed in the famous Masai attire. They actually meet on the Likoni ferry and Carola can’t get her eyes off the man and neither can the tall proud warrior stop staring at her. At the airport on the way home with her now very angry and jealous boyfriend, she makes an impulsive decision to miss her flight and stay on in Kenya. But it turns out that Lemalian has already left the Coast and gone back to his home village in Samburu District, near Maralal (a town the vast majority of Kenyans have never been to). Carola travels to the area in an old bus that is almost falling apart, and stays at the house of another European woman while she searches everywhere for the man of her dreams. Lemalian hears about her stay and comes to meet her almost two weeks after her arrival.
A few steamy love and sex scenes later Carola travels to Switzerland to sell all her earthly goods (including a prosperous shop) and comes back to Kenya to live with her man in a manyatta smeared with cow dung in a remote village with no electricity or running water. They marry and have a daughter. Carola buys a car and starts a shop, but they lose money on the shop because Lemalian freely gives credit to friends and neighbors. He argues that this is no problem because if the shop is run down, Carola has more money in Switzerland and will just send for it.
Actually the two people in love are from very different worlds. How can a semi-illiterate man understand that a shop is business and nobody in the world has an endless supply of cash? And how can a woman brought up in all the comforts of the world begin to understand traditions like the sucking of raw blood from a cow? But that’s love for you folks.
The truth is that most people on this planet live out their lifetimes without ever falling in love. But some are lucky (or is it unlucky?) enough to have it happen to them once in their lifetimes, usually at the most unexpected of times.
Go Esther, go!! Eat out your hearts love hungry envying Kenyans.