HOW IT STARTED: In February this year, I started taking photos of him. He looked disturbed and was not opening up to me to say what could have brought him to the trading centre – Wambui
BY THE MARINDANY
Agnes Wambui, 25, is a darling of the people of Kanjo trading centre in the Kirinyaga county after picking a street boy to be her soulmate.
Wambui, a trader in Kanjo, Njukini ward, Gichugu, is the talk of the village after deserting her educated boyfriend and taking a street urchin to be her lover.
Wambui could pay Gabriel Mbuito, 35, visits every morning before he woke up to go and beg for food in the shops around the Kanjo trading centre.
“In February this year, I started taking photos of him. He looked disturbed and was not opening up to me to say what could have brought him to the trading centre,” Wambui says.
The young woman interrogated Mbuito, synonymous with sacks, for quite some time and came to discover that he ran out of their home because of family issues, which Wambui do not want to make public.
“I could see him with a sack that acted as his bedding at night. No one showed him love and no one could allow him closer to their homes,” she says.
“What he told me about his family touched my heart very much. He told me how, after leaving his home, nobody wanted to speak to him. He slept on people’s farms for one year.”
Mbuito said after running away from home, he did not want anything associated with his people and, therefore, he chose to lead a secluded life.
“I had made up my mind to live alone and to forget everything about my relatives. I slept with snakes and all types of crawling insects for more than a year,” he says.
He had no water to bathe for the more than one year he lived on people’s farms. He would always walk to hotels and homes to ask for food.
“Most of the time I slept hungry for two to three days because people were tired of feeding me. When it became so hard to endure the hunger, I would go round the trading centre, looking for food leftovers thrown away,” Mbuito says.
I could see him with a sack that acted as his bedding at night. No one showed him love and no one could allow him closer to their homes
Wambui says after spending more time with Mbuito and checking his reasoning, she realised that the man was a normal person but mentally disturbed.
“I took him to my business premises, where he came with his sleeping sack. I secured a room where my pool table is. He slept in there for several months as I gave him assignments from time to time,” Wambui says.
The young businesswoman forced Mbuito to bathe at least twice every day, and after a while, she posted photos of him with the help of Cleopatra Wanjiku.
The story went viral and many people wanted to help in buying clothes for Mbuito.
“One morning, I woke up and found out that someone who read the story on my Facebook had sent me Sh10,000 to help in dressing up Mbuito,” Wambui said.
Another person, she says, sent her money for her to buy shirts for him. She used Sh5,000 to buy clothes and a mattress for Mbuito.
Wamboi said after staying for a long time with Mbuito, she started feeling so much attached to him.
“He looked so loving. He also told me he had fallen in love. From there, we can leave that story for another day,” Wambui says.
After the August 9 General Election, Maasai Safaris, a local tour company, gave the duo a treat in Maasai Mara for two nights and three days.
“A man has never treated me like Mbuito did in those days we were in Maasai Mara,” Wambui said.
She says before hooking up with Mbuito, she had a well-to-do boyfriend. She left him after informing her former boyfriend of the new development.
Her former boyfriend, she says, had no issues. Instead, he supported her move.
Wambui says after informing her parents about her newfound boyfriend and letting them know she would settle for marriage, they took her for a “big” joke.
“I have brought him from far. I cleaned him to suit me, and no one will stop me from marrying Mboito,” Wambui said.
I have brought him from far. I cleaned him to suit me, and no one will stop me from marrying Mboito
Wambui says she has received mixed reactions about her relationship with the former street urchin from her friends on social media.
Many, she says, have criticised her and even told her she stooped too low by picking a “dirty” person from the streets and taking him to her house.
Others, she says, congratulate her for her bold action in taking on her newfound man.
“Whatever they say does not disturb my mind at all. I am a woman of principles, I go for what I want. Mbuito is a clean-hearted man, I feel protected and loved with him around me,” she said.
Wambui says when she went out to talk to Mboito, who at the time was in a “bad state”, she had no idea that things would go the way they have now.
“It has been just a humanitarian kindness in me that made me find out what could have forced Mboito to continue living on people’s farms and in the streets,” she says.
“When I got the answers, I did not care what the people would say if I took him to my place of work.”
The young woman says she was determined to clean the street man and dress him so he could be approachable and presentable.
“I wanted him to be clean so that people can accept to give him odd jobs so he could earn money. When he was accepted by society, I started feeling some attachment to him,” the businesswoman said.
When she told me that she loves me, it took me a while before I could respond back. Her comment was the heaviest words I ever endured on earth because, from my birth in the village, no one had ever told me they love me
She says when they went to Maasai Mara, her new boyfriend was dressed to kill, and once in a while, she would get jealous when women on the safari looked at him for long.
“This is my man, I helped him out of a situation no one would like his or her child to be in. I ensured that he came out of the stresses he was in. I am giving all my love for him, and he equally does so,” Wambui.
She says her man is honest and trustworthy and she cannot imagine a situation where he can turn against her.
“I entrust him with my money in my business and he has never taken or stolen a single shilling. To you, you may say he is not handsome, but inside me, he is my Mr Right,” she said.
Members of her church in Njukini have supported her fully in the rehabilitation of Mbuito, who joins her every Sunday for prayers.
“In our church community, I am a heroine. I did what many people cannot do. People run away from street kids and people. I swallowed my pride and took Mbuito out of the suffering he had endured for almost two years,” she says.
Mbuito says he sees Wambui as a woman closer to God. He says while he was sleeping with snakes and begging for food, no one bothered even to give him clean water to drink when he was thirsty.
“When she told me that she loves me, it took me a while before I could respond back. Her comment was the heaviest words I ever endured on earth because, from my birth in the village, no one had ever told me they love me,” Mbuito said.
He says he could not rush to accept what Wamboi said, because he was not sure about himself. Mbuito feared that Wamboi could have been joking and would cost him big if she was not realistic.
The former street man says he will marry Wamboi and keep her for life, adding that she is the first woman in the world to tell him she was in love.
“We now live as husband and wife, I work hard like Wamboi so that we can get money for food and savings in the bank,” Mbuito concluded.