This is the story of a modern Cinderella Zawadi. Zawadi is the daughter of a wealthy man, but she was the maid. Her stepmother took advantage of the fact that her father is not in the country to mistreat her. Her luck changed and she got an invite to Rafik’s party where she goes as somebody else. Rafik is the most famous musician in Kenya, a prince among men. They have a spark but Zawadi like the fairytale Cinderella had to leave the ball at midnight. Zawadi goes to design school and she has finally graduated. Her secret has been discovered during her final project that she is the mystery lady who was at Rafik’s party. Her wicked stepmother tells the press that not only is Zawadi a maid but she is a thief as well. Zawadi’s friends get together and decide that she should tell her side of her story to the media. One of them contacts a prominent media personality. Zawadi tells all the dirty family secrets. Rafik comes to find her and tells her that he would like to get to know her. But Zawadi has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime in Italy. Will she give it all up for love or will love have to wait for Zawadi’s career to take off. Find out in this last instalment of Sexy Cinderella. Here is where the story begins Sexy Cinderella It’s almost Midnight.
5 years later
Zawadi was sipping some champagne in her first-class seat. She stretched out; she was so fatigued. She thought about the last few days and how she had spent the time packing up everything she owned in Italy to send it to Kenya. She had some great memories from her years in Italy, but she was glad that she was coming back home for good.
So many things had happened in the last few years. Her modelling career had taken off and she had become a supermodel making millions not just from modelling clothes, shoes and bags but also from partnering with cosmetic companies to launch makeup and beauty products.
The most important accomplishment was finishing her internship in a record 2 years and by the end of the second year getting her boss to sponsor her fashion show. It had sold out not just because she was one of the most sought out supermodels but it also because she could really make designs that popped. In the last three years, she had spent building her portfolio but even as she made all this money, she had something she missed Kenya. There was something about Kenya that called to her that even in the middle of the night when she was sleeping, she could hear it whispering come home.
Although she had been home a couple of times since she had left, it hadn’t been for long just a quick 2-5day visit and she was out. She was finally ready to come home and she had many reasons to do so. She reached into her bag, a beautiful red leather bag custom made with expensive leather, one of her own designer bags. She took out a pen and a diary to write down some of her thoughts. She had discovered that she liked working with leather and she had designed a range of leather goods.
It was exciting to be back in Kenya and in a week’s time, she had a huge fashion event she was putting together. Her assistant had already arrived in Kenya and for the past 2 weeks, she had been coordinating everything. There was so much to do and that wasn’t the only exciting thing happening. In 4 weeks, she was getting married.
Five years ago, after Rafik had come to see her in her upcountry home, she had come back to Nairobi as she was getting ready to leave for Italy. She met with Rafik and they had a good dinner. The conversation was good, and she felt like there was a spark.
Zawadi had promised herself no distractions. She needed to focus on her career. So, she told Rafik that she was not ready to date anybody at least until she finished her internship. Rafik had to respect her decision. He did ask if he could hang out with her as a friend if he came to Italy or they were in the same place at the same time. She agreed.
Zawadi was very focused on her career for the first two years, making sure she got the best out of the internship. When the two years were over, she started dating. But not seriously. She saw Rafik a few times, but she was also courted by Princes, millionaires, and celebrities. She did not want to make the same mistake her mother had made, falling for one man who would break her heart. After one year of non-serious dating, she realized that she was just fooling herself and that she really liked Rafik.
Rafik was happy of course and they dated exclusively for a year. On their one-year anniversary, Rafik proposed to her in Lamu, where they had gone on a romantic holiday together. Zawadi said yes and they had been planning their wedding for the last year. Zawadi was ready to come to settle in Kenya although she would still be flying out for her modelling assignments and to check on her high-end leather shop in Italy.
She was excited to be coming home and to also be able to settle down. Flying all over the place for shoots had been exciting in the beginning but she missed her simple life. At 27 she had had the kind of life girls only dreamed about and she was grateful. Now she wanted to put down some roots in one place.
Zawadi had a lot to think about including her honeymoon. Rafik had planned a one-month honeymoon, where they would get to experience the best of what Kenya had to offer. They would start off their honeymoon in Lamu for 2 weeks, they wanted to take part in the Lamu Cultural Festival and then they would head down to Amboseli and the Maasai Mara for the other two weeks.
Zawadi was jolting down notes of the things she needed to do immediately she got off the place. She needed to grab a quick shower and then go to check on the space where her big event was going to be. She was excited to be going to the house Rafik had designed with her in mind. He had bought land in Karen and built her a house that she looked. Rafik was always so thoughtful and he knew she missed the simple life she had left behind and so he had built her a beautiful, comfortable house with a lot of outdoor space including a fireplace outside where they could sit and just talk around the fire.
As the flight attendant made the announcement that they were going to land in 30 minutes Zawadi looked out the window and smiled. She was thinking how 5 years ago she had left the country with some people laughing at her and now she was coming back a celebrity with businesses worth millions.
She finished sketching a flower headpiece made with leather and Maasai beads. It was going to be her signature piece for her collection, but it was also going to be integrated with her veil to create something stunning for her wedding.
She took her phone and texted Rafik, “We are about to land. I can’t wait to see you”.
She hadn’t seen Rafik for two weeks. He had come to Italy to help her sort out some things, but he had to come back to Kenya to oversee her show for her. He was supportive of her career and business. He would also be performing some songs during the show and launching a new album of love songs that he had dedicated to her.
When they landed, she got her luggage and started looking for the car transport she had arranged to pick her up. The car she was waiting for wasn’t there, but she saw a familiar face waiting for her. It was Derek, Rafik’s driver who drove her when she was around in Nairobi. She smiled and walked over to him.
“I thought you were driving Rafik today? I know he has a lot of meetings. I didn’t expect to see you here!”
Derek smiled and said “you know how Rafik is. You are always his priority.”
Derek took her bag and led her to the car. It was a beautiful red limo, with tinted windows. He opened the door for her. As she got in, she realized that there was somebody in the car. The smell of his cologne instantly told her who it was. Rafik.
She broke out into a smile.
“Baby, you didn’t have to come and pick me up. I had arranged everything, and I know you had a meeting this morning!”
Rafik laughed and said, “what kind of a boyfriend… correction husband to be would I be if I let my beautiful bride come home and I didn’t come to pick her up?”
She sat down next to him and they shared a deep kiss then he held her for a few minutes.
“Derek, drop me at my meeting and then take Zawadi home.”
As Zawadi sat there with Rafik’s arm over her shoulder, she sighed with pleasure. Around the limo were her favourite flowers and there was a bucket with her favourite fruit drinks chilling. Rafik always made the effort to make sure she was comfortable.
Zawadi was happy. She was home and in the arms of her favourite person. Sexy Cinderella’s story had just begun, and she couldn’t wait for what would come next. She did not know what the future would bring but she knew that with Rafik by her side, they would be able to get through anything together.
Potentash Founder. A creative writer. The Managing Editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories and stories about the inclusion of minorities. Find me at email@example.com.
“We're all stories, in the end.” ― Steven Moffat