One day, Washington Mwangi Kinyanjui, 31, logged onto popular social networking site, Facebook, looking for a long lost friend, but he got so much more. He typed in ‘Grace Njeri’ and got numerous hits. He sent a ‘friend’ request to the one most likely to be the lady he was looking for. It turned out he had sent a request to the wrong Grace Njeri, but through that mix-up met the love of his life. After browsing through Grace’s list of friends, Washington found Christine Muna Mwangi, 26, now his wife of four months. Christine is the sister of the ‘wrong’ Grace Njeri.
Washington and Christine, both consultants specialising in IT and communications respectively, began chatting with each other on Facebook and became friends. They did not meet face-to-face until five months later. “When Washington and I started chatting, I was on the rebound from a previous relationship,” Christine explains, adding, “I was also weary of ‘church’ guys, because my experience with the few that I had dated had not been pleasant.”
However, Washington’s constant Facebook updates with quotes by renowned Pastor T.D Jakes became one of the reasons for them to finally meet up. Christine recalls, “I began teasing him about his updates, telling him that we should meet sometime and he could preach to me.” The couple had their first meeting in February 2009. After nurturing their friendship further, they began dating the following month.
“We decided right from the beginning that we would not entertain mind games in our relationship. This was a great decision because it made us very open with each other,” says Washington. It is this same openness that has helped the couple deal with each other’s past and accept the other person as they are. They can talk about anything freely. In fact, Washington and Christine are so comfortable with each other that the marriage proposal came without a lot of fanfare.
Washington explains, “ In August 2009, Christine and I were visiting my parents in Eldoret and after coming back to Nairobi I sent her a text message asking her to marry me. She said ‘yes’.”
Christine describes Washington as someone with a gentle and loving nature. “He is so different from anyone I ever dated and he treats me so well. We text each other constantly – it’s our thing – which is why the way he proposed was so special,” she says.
It took the couple 14 months to plan and save for the wedding, which took place on October 23, 2010. They exchanged vows at St. Francis ACK Church grounds in Karen and a reception followed at the same venue. The décor was a beautiful mix of gold and maroon.
So bright was the day that it was hard to believe it had rained heavily the night before. “I was quite worried when it started raining, considering that we were having a garden wedding,” Washington recalls. He goes on to say, “I thank God that the sun came out and everything went smoothly.” The wedding could not have been more perfect for the couple. There was a lot of dancing and merry-making.
However, there was a damper a week before the wedding when Christine was involved in a car accident. Although she was not seriously injured, she suffered some bumps and bruises, which, thankfully, cleared up before the big day.
Washington and Christine’s hope is that their marriage will grow deeper in love and friendship, as well as in faith.