Popping the question, especially in an African context of complex traditions and cultural necessities, is an uphill task for any guy that loves a girl and dreams of marrying her. Motivational speaker and Premiere Group CEO Chris Mureithi can attest to the fact that it’s not an easy thing to do, but one that has to be done, especially when you feel it in your bones that the time is right. To loud applause, he masterfully proposed to his girlfriend of over three years, Abigael, at the recent ‘Engage’ series of talks at the Braeburn Theater in Nairobi.
“Going into that hall of the 24th edition of Engage, and onto that platform, my fear was whether my plans would work out as I it had envisioned it in my head”, Chris told me, recollecting the events that led up to that pivotal moment for him.
The theme of the particular edition of the ‘Engage’ Talk was ‘Work in Progress’, and being the experienced public speaker that he is, he began by exploring what reminds us all that we are a work in progress – love: The love a father has for his son; The love that we have for our parents. The love we have for our siblings… and the love we have for our significant others.
“While public speaking is my superpower, I was a bit nervous for this one, in the unlikely event that she pulls a number on me,” Chris enthused. From the video recording, he is thankful that the yes was emphatic, considering that Abigael never saw it coming… until it came.
What is it then that convinced Chris that that was the right time and place to propose to Abigael? He says that he had casually tested the waters on a number of occasions in the course of their conversations. “I believe she was ready after some time – as a matter of fact, she kept on asking me when I plan to propose.”
“As a man, I felt that it was my duty to lead in the relationship and give direction. Don’t women love it when we [men] take charge? Sometimes they might not even know that they are ready until you show them that they truly are. So in terms of time, I knew it was right.
“As far as the place is concerned…I wanted to make it memorable, and what’s more memorable than getting ‘Engaged at Engage’?
Chris says this was no coincidence. He had it in his mind over the course of their courtship, long before he had a girlfriend even, and often prayed that she will be one who does not mind a public proposal. “Thank the heavens it all worked out!”
The deafening screams from the Braeburn Theater hall were more of a peripheral accolade than a stamp of approval, as he bore his heart out, saying that he was ‘tired of calling Abigael his girlfriend’ and proceeded to bend the knee. ‘There are many ways to find happiness in this life, but all I need is you. Will you marry me?” he asked, and the deal was swiftly sealed.
“The fears I have now only revolve around the unknown of all marriages: Will it all work out? Will I be a statistic? I think that is a fear everyone contemplating marriage has. Thankfully, on my part, I know that the author of this institution, God, and He still is in the business of making it work, because He instituted it. I am committed to doing my human part of loving Abigael, as God would have me do.”
On what kind of advice Chris Mureithi would give to other men considering ‘making it official’, he had this to say –
“Well, I don’t like being prescriptive in my advice because every relationship is different, but one thing that I would tell guys is, don’t waste someone else’s time if you don’t intend to walk them down the aisle.
“Imagine she were your own daughter. Treat her as you would like another man to treat your own. And yes, you don’t have to propose in a fancy way, just make sure that you make it as special for her as you can.
Engage is a regular talk that has since spread its wings from Nairobi to Mombasa and Kisumu, providing a platform for ordinary and extraordinary people to Inform, Inspire and Influence.
Enjoy the proposal ‘Engaged at Engage’ above.