Often times, the last place most people want or even believe a lifelong romance can flourish is at the workplace. But when love came calling for the then workmates David Wanjie and Ruth Mulandi, they had no choice but to answer it. They speak to ESTHER AKELLO on how they found love in the workplace.
When 32-year-old David Wanjie joined a local media house in February 2013 as a video editor, it was as much a career change as a personal one.
He had just come out of a four-year long relationship that should have ended in marriage and was thus happy to be getting a fresh start. And a fresh start he got as it would be at his new workstation that he would meet his future wife, Ruth Mulandi, now a PR practitioner.
However, their first meeting was anything but promising. “As far as I was concerned, David was an arrogant snob. Can you believe he came over and said hi to my friend and moved on, completely ignoring me,” shares Ruth, a memory David mischievously swears he has no recollection of.
As circumstance would have it, days later, the two discovered that they were neighbours when they bumped into each other at a grocery store in their estate.
“In retrospect, from that point on, it was a matter of time before we got engrossed in each other’s lives. Ruth showed up at my house most evenings and ended up sleeping on my couch. It became a running joke as to why Ruth even bothered to pay her house rent when all her evenings were spent at mine,” says David, adding that he was uneasy with the attachment since the last thing he wanted was a relationship.
In her defense, Ruth cheekily says, “I had no sinister motives. Honestly, after spending the evening at his place, I’d be too tired or too lazy to go home most of the times. Besides, David used to cook and I couldn’t pass up the free dinners!”
By April, the couple, unaware that love was brewing, had settled into a system. “If Ruth called or texted me during the day, I’d know she’d come for a visit without her even specifically saying so. Slowly, the attraction became stronger and then it hit me: I’d found the person I was going to settle down with forever, the short time we had known each other notwithstanding,” says David.
Ruth, on the other hand, was still clueless. Being a party girl with an appetite for late evenings, she slowly started cutting down on evening rendezvous, “I didn’t even notice that my behaviour was changing until one day when on a trip to Mombasa, I made a U-turn and showed up unannounced at David’s house because I’d terribly missed him!”
Things, however, got serious in October 2013 when the couple or rather David noted that Ruth was expectant. “In October, a once sober Ruth became incredibly moody and touchy. I intimated she might be pregnant, a claim she vehemently refuted. As it turned out, I knew her better than she thought!” exclaims David.
It was then the couple got serious about their relationship and decided to start traditional marriage negotiations but put on hold a wedding. As Ruth explains, “We opted to wait and get our now two-and-half-year-old daughter, Zola Njeri, first then have the wedding. I needed some time to adjust to motherhood.”
Many friends also thought the couple was the worst pairing. “Some people believed I was not ‘wife material’. David is quiet in nature while my outgoing personality came with fun-filled late nights, which many people took to mean I was incapable of ‘settling down’, confesses 30-year-old Ruth.
Thankfully, their families were supportive and David put up an exceptional performance as well.
Then on April 4, 2015, the couple solemnised their union with 800 people as witnesses at the Paradise Gardens along Kiambu Road. Their budget was Ksh850,000.
Published in February 2017