Mark Faustin Macharia, 27, an advertising executive, and Milkah Gathoni Macharia, 26, an investment banker, have known each other since their university days. Theirs has been a love nurtured by friendship. They share their beautiful love story with ESTHER KIRAGU.
Mark and Milkah met in 2006 at Daystar University, Nairobi, where they were students as well as part of a singing group – Sing Africa – where Mark was the leader. Mark says at the time Milkah was just another friend but their friendship took a different turn after Marks’ return from Korea where he had gone on a one-year exchange programme.
“Two days after my return, I ran into Milkah and for the first time I began to see her in a different light. It surprised me that we had been friends for a while yet I had not been attracted to her in a special way. But after that meeting, I felt different about her and my thoughts were on how wonderful it would be if we were in a relationship. I started praying about it,” Mark says. Milkah adds that she viewed Mark as a friend and a focused man and thoughts of a relationship had never crossed her mind.
With time Mark began to appreciate qualities in Milkah he had not given thought to for all the time he had known her. “She is a quiet person yet this speaks volumes about her because she is deeply rooted in God,” says Mark. They nurtured their friendship throughout their campus days and only decided to pursue a relationship after completing their studies in December 2008.
Mark asked Milkah to be his girlfriend on February 14, 2009 but she asked for time to think about it. This didn’t discourage Mark but instead gave him more determination to pursue her. “I would pass by her office every day in the morning and after work, just to see her,” he recalls.
Milkah gave Mark a positive answer after a two month wait and he was over the moon. “I was overjoyed and determined to make her my wife,” recalls Mark. They started dating and getting to know each other in a deeper way. It was a journey of discovery – getting to know about each other’s values, passions, hopes, desires, likes and dislikes, as well as meeting each other’s friends and family. They also used this time to help each other grow spiritually and intellectually. They prayed together and this cemented their relationship. They set boundaries for the relationship as they had vowed to remain pure until marriage. “It was challenging but we wanted to be an example to young dating Christians that you can be in a deep, loving relationship and not engage in sex,” the couple reckon.
In preparation for their marriage, they opened a joint account to finance their wedding when the time came. After three years of dating, Mark proposed to Milkah on his birthday on March 1, 2011.
“The proposal was a pleasant surprise and I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be his wife so I said yes,” says Milkah.
From the point they made the decision to tie the knot, they involved their parents and dowry negotiations and other arrangements were set in motion. A wedding date was set in consultation with their families.
The couple held a beautiful wedding on March 24, 2012 at Wander Joy grounds, off Kiambu Road, followed by a reception at the same venue. The couple had saved enough money to finance their wedding, which cost Ksh 650,000 but they also received help from family and friends who provided services at their wedding at a subsidised cost. They had their honeymoon in the island of Zanzibar and also extensively toured Tanzania.
We wish the couple a happy marriage!