Patrick Ndirangu, 31, a research and development consultant and Pauline Esther, 29, a student welfare officer, met at a time when a relationship was the furthest thing from Patrick’s mind. Having just lost his wife of six months who fell sick one morning and passed away, he was only focused on dealing with his grief and moving on. However, a friendship with Pauline led to unexpected love and the rest, as they say, is history. The couple shares their beautiful love story with ESTHER KIRAGU.
Patrick Ndirangu and Pauline Esther first met in June 2010. “I had visited the Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) offices in Nakuru to make an enquiry on behalf of a friend when I met Pauline. She attended to me and gave me a business card to call her in case I had more queries,” he explains. Thereafter, Patrick made several follow-up visits and would pass by Pauline’s office just to say hello once in a while. The two started communicating regularly through phone calls but shortly afterwards Pauline went quiet.
“An acquaintance informed me that Patrick was a widower and I was shocked because he hadn’t told me about it at the time. I didn’t know if this was true or even how to relate with him anymore, and so I went quiet. However, not long after, I decided to meet with him and hear his side of the story,” Pauline says, adding that after his explanation, the two resolved to be friends.
They constantly kept in touch, often meeting for coffee dates in the evenings and going for outings and soon their friendship blossomed. “It was great to have a friend because most people didn’t know how to relate with me anymore. They often isolated me,” he says adding that Pauline introduced him to her cousins and they became his newfound friends.
Dating and courtship…
On January 1, 2011 he took Pauline out to celebrate the New Year and it was then that he asked her to be his girlfriend.
“I was apprehensive about getting into a relationship with him, because I was afraid of what people would say about me,” she explains. Patrick decided to give her as much time as she would need, although they kept in touch often and also spent time alone as well as in the company of their friends.
It took Pauline nearly a whole year to get comfortable with the idea of dating Patrick. By this time they had grown even closer. “We constantly communicated about our expectations of each other and also prayed about the relationship and when I was ready we began dating,” she says.
Patrick says that society often stigmatises widows and widowers by judging them and dictating when they should remarry. “Every person is unique,” he says, adding that some people may take a year, others two years and others even ten years before they decide to remarry.
Surprise proposal and wedding…
Patrick proposed to Pauline on May 5, 2012 over dinner. An elated Pauline said yes to him and called her friends and family to inform them of the good news. Family introductions were made and the two families got to know each other officially.
They had their traditional dowry ceremony, also known as Ruracio in Kikuyu, in early August 2012. “We thank God for his favour because our families were very understanding. They allowed us to make just one visit so as to formalise everything at once before the wedding,” says the grateful couple.
The couple put together a wedding committee made up of close friends and relatives to help plan the wedding. Despite a few hitches on the wedding day with some of their service providers, their friends and family saved the day, leading to a beautiful purple and yellow-themed wedding on December 8, 2012 at ACK St. Paul’s Normain in Nakuru, followed by a reception at Imani Guest House also in Nakuru. Their wedding cost Ksh 450,000 and was financed through personal savings, a tea party and contributions from friends and family.
The couple went to Ol Pejeta in Samburu for their honeymoon. We wish them God’s blessings in their union.
Photography by Dawaf Image solutions, Nakuru.
Published on September 2013