Zawadi is a maid in the city working for a rich family. But she is not just the maid, she is the illegitimate daughter of the diplomat who is the head of the household. Find the beginning of the story here.
20 years ago
Zawadi’s mum was brought up in the countryside. Susu was a bright girl; she had done well in high school and scored a B+. She was excited because she had gotten admission to the university to study interior design. Susu was something special, she was intelligent, but she was also the most beautiful girl in the village. She was tall for a girl, around 5 foot 8. She was a black beauty. She had long straight natural hair, a face that looked like it should be on the cover of a magazine, and she also had a typical African figure. She had big breasts, a curvy figure and an ass that made all the men drool and all the girls jealous.
Mwemba had just finished university. He was home for the holidays. He had studied engineering in university. He was tarmacking and waiting to get a job that would take him back to Nairobi. Mwemba was the kind of guy who made every girl swoon. He was a rugby player so he had well-toned muscles. He was also dark and handsome. The only thing that he was lacking was money so that he could fall into the tall, dark, and handsome cliché.
That didn’t stop the girls. There was something about him that made the girls flock to him like moths to light. He had a charm about him, which made the girls fall for him.
Susu was working at the local tailor’s. She had an eye for design and she made the most beautiful clothes. The entire village went to Susu to make them clothes. Of course, all the boys flocked there trying to impress Susu. But Susu was not impressed, she didn’t want to be. She had a vision, to go to university, make money, and lift her family from poverty. No one in the village was rich. They weren’t poor and they couldn’t afford meals because they worked for the sugar companies planting and harvesting sugar cane. But no one was rich. It took a lot of sacrifices to send a child to school.
Susu was the first child of 6 children. Her parents had died in a road accident when she was 16 and well-wishers had paid for her to finish school. She was living with her auntie and the money she got from tailoring helped to pay for her siblings’ school fees. At 19 she was naïve but not stupid. She didn’t want to get tangled up with boys. They would derail her plans.
One day Mwemba came to the tailoring shop and ordered an African print shirt. Mwemba had an eye for pretty girls and the fact that there was one here was an opportunity. He asked Susu her name.
“What’s your name?” Mwemba asked as she took his measurements.
“Susu,” she replied.
“Susu such a pretty name for a pretty lady. It suits you. It reminds me of the beautiful sun shining down. Are you called Susu because you make all the men have kizunguzungu?”
Susu blushed. She was not immune to his charms. He had such a charming smile and an easy way about him.
Mwemba said “is this where they hide the most beautiful girls in the village. I must come here often!” He smiled and then left.
A week later Mwemba was back to pick up his shirt. His shirt was not quite ready. Susu hadn’t finished the intricate sewing that needed to be done at the front of the shirt. Susu apologized. There was a wedding coming up of a couple from Nairobi so there was a lot of work. She also had other orders to make new clothes and some to repair torn garments. She promised it would be ready in two days.
Mwemba smiled and said, “it is another opportunity for me to see you again. I don’t mind.” He went to the shop next door and bought her a soda. He said “a soda for a beautiful, sweet lady. One must always appreciate the most beautiful ladies!”
Susu was touched. She tried not to be impressed by Mwemba but there was something about him. He wasn’t like the other boys she knew. He had an air of sophistication that didn’t come from the village; she thought it must have come from living in the city.
Next time Mwemba came to see her she was alone in the shop. The other tailors had gone for lunch. Mwemba sat down and asked her about herself. She told him she was going to university the next year. She asked him about the city. She had never been to Nairobi; she had heard great things about it. Mwemba painted her a beautiful picture of Nairobi.
Mwemba told her, “you know what when you come to Nairobi you can look for me. I can take you around the city and also show you off. Who wouldn’t want to be seen with the most beautiful girl?”
Susu blushed. “Now you are just being mischievous. Aren’t there beautiful girls in Nairobi?”
Mwemba said, “of course they are. But not as beautiful as you.”
Susu said, “you are lying.”
Mwemba said, “haiya when you come to the city you will see. God must have spent time making you Susu. You are so beautiful and then you are also intelligent”
They talked for a couple of minutes after that. Then Mwemba took his shirt and left. But before he did he made Susu promise to save him a dance at the party that was taking place the next week. The couple getting married were coming to seek blessings from the parents of the girl. The groom was Mwemba’s first cousin. The bride was Susu’s cousin by marriage.
The day of the party was bright and sunny. The preparations went well. Susu had gone early to help cook. She was a great cook. She was dressed in a new kitenge outfit she had made herself. She looked good. When the guests arrived, there was a celebration. The function went well and the parents were happy with the dowry.
In the evening there was dancing. Mwemba had made sure to place himself strategically next to Susu so that everybody would know that she was taken. At the evening party, Mwemba asked Susu to dance. He was a great dancer and he and Susu, who was also a great dancer danced so well together that other people looked at them in awe.
After dancing a couple of times Mwemba told Susu, “I have a confession. I want to kiss you. I have been thinking about it all day. I want to taste that sweetness. Will you let me kiss you?”
Susu had never been kissed. She had never allowed any boy to kiss her. But for some reason she so badly wanted Mwemba to kiss her.
She said yes shyly.
Mwemba took her behind the house and kissed her. Susu felt her body get hot. She had never felt this way before. Mwemba was a good kisser and patient. He taught her how to kiss. He held her close after that and told her, “Susu you are honey. I have never been kissed by sweeter lips!’
Mwemba took her back to the party.
In the following weeks, Susu would sneak out of her auntie’s house to meet Mwemba. At first, all Mwemba would do was kiss her. Then he started touching her more intimately. One day Mwemba invited her to his house.
Susu went naively. She had been to his house before and all he had done was kiss her and touch her breasts. Mwemba gave her soda. This time when Mwemba kissed her there was urgency. He kissed her and then started unbuttoning her top. Susu put her hand over his and asked him to stop.
Mwemba said “Susu I want you so much. I know you want this and I am going to marry you. I just want to make love to you once.”
Susu on hearing that Mwemba was going to marry her lost her head and her virginity. Mwemba promised her that she wouldn’t get pregnant which is what she was worried about.
For the next 6 weeks, Mwemba and Susu were lovers. Susu was happy. Mwemba was going to get a job in the city and then he would marry her. She would go and live with him while doing her degree. She made all these plans in her head. She didn’t know how soon her plans would go up in smoke and she would be left heartbroken.
Mwemba was called for an interview in the city. He said it was arranged by a friend of his from the university. He told her he would call her. Mwemba went back to the city and gave her a call box number where she could reach him on a certain day and time. The village had one callbox and she knew she would soon receive a phone call from him to go to Nairobi to meet him.
Mwemba didn’t call or write. Susu gave excuses. He must be busy with work. I know he will come for me. Susu didn’t realize until the 3rd month that she was pregnant. She had been busy and tired. It didn’t cross her mind that she could be pregnant. But when she did realize she tried to call Mwemba. The people who answered the phone said Mwemba hadn’t been there for a while.
Susu went to see Mwemba’s mother. She wanted to know how to get in touch with Mwemba. On seeing Susu, Mwemba’s mother realized there was trouble. She told Susu Mwemba was ok but he wasn’t coming home anytime soon although he planned to come home in about 3 months.
“Could I get his address?” Susu pleaded with his mother.
“Why do you need his address? Do you not know that Mwemba is getting married?”
“What?” Susu asked.
“Yes, Mwemba is getting married to his girlfriend from college. Her father owns a construction firm and he is the one who has given Mwemba the job.”
Susu was heartbroken. Mwemba had lied to her. Mwemba’s mother gave her his address. She wrote to Mwemba telling him she was pregnant. Mwemba did not reply. Her pregnancy soon started showing and there was no word from Mwemba. Everybody in the village knew the baby was Mwemba’s. People had seen the signs. They all felt pity for her but there was nothing they could do.
Mwemba didn’t acknowledge the pregnancy. He came home just after Susu gave birth to Zawadi. He had come to introduce his bride to his family. He didn’t come to see Susu although he sent a cousin of his with some money for the child. Susu was too ashamed to go see Mwemba at his party. She had heard that his girlfriend was not a woman one wanted to cross.
Susu did not make it to campus. She couldn’t go with a small baby depending on her and also her siblings. She started her own tailoring business. The clients were still many. The boys of course now thought her an easier target now that she was ‘fallen”. But she paid them no mind. She had learned her lesson. A lesson she taught Zawadi as soon as she could walk. Men were not to be trusted. They were only interested in one thing.
Susu got pneumonia and died when Zawadi was ten. She had been spending too much time in the shop even in the evenings when it was cold. She had gotten sick but because she didn’t have time to go to the hospital she had collapsed. She was taken to hospital but it was too late.
Susu’s auntie could not take Zawadi in. She already had too many mouths to feed and now that Susu was dead it meant that her other brothers and sisters would need her assistance. Mwemba’s mother on hearing what was happening took Zawadi in. She had no one to stay with her and Zawadi stayed with her as she went to school. Mwemba’s mother made him send some money for school. Madam Asila who found out about Zawadi after she had gotten married was not very happy about it. But Mwemba was doing well so she couldn’t stop Mwemba from sending money to his mother.
Zawadi stayed with her grandmother until she was 18. Her grandmother had a stroke and although she recovered slightly she realized she could not take care of Zawadi. She told Mwemba to make arrangements for Zawadi. Zawadi was talented in design like her mother and she wanted to study design. Mwemba paid for college and brought Zawadi to Nairobi.
Madam Asila was not happy. Zawadi was as beautiful as her mother and she was a reminder to Madam Asila that her husband had been playing the field when he was in the village before they got married. Madam Asila insisted that Zawadi stay with them. She made Zawadi the maid and told her if she told the father she would be out on her own. There would be no college and nowhere to stay. Mwemba was working in another country as a diplomat. He was very rich but Zawadi was just a poor relation.
Madam Asila’s daughters had not known they had a sister. They hated her. She was beautiful and they were rather plain. They made Zawadi’s life a living hell. They treated her badly and told her not to dare mention that she was their step-sister. Thus started the journey of Zawadi, a maid in Nairobi.
What will happen to Zawadi? Will she be able to finish college and get the kind of life she has always dreamed of? Find the next part – An Invitation To Meet The Prince