Aboard a dhow on the night of July 3, 2010, celebrity couple Col Mustapha and Mary Maina aka Marya set off for a private romantic midnight dinner cruise on the Indian Ocean.
It was a great treat whose cost was almost Sh50,000 thanks to Tamarind Dhow who footed the bills.
There was a live band on board, entertaining and setting the mood for the lovebirds’. It was riveting taarab classics, love ballads and cool breeze as the dhow cruised down the canal under the clear July sky. The dazzling galaxy seemed to applaud as love rent the air.
Under candlelight, the chefs served sumptuous seafood and other delicacies as wine flowed freely.
Six couples of foreign origin who were on the cruise toasted to each other and renewed their vows. It was a perfect moment for Mustapha to spring the surprise question. He turned to Marya with a warm embrace, gave her a tender kiss and popped the question, “Will you marry me?” to which she nodded. Right there, they got engaged after dating for four years.
But that was then, seven months down the line the love boat now faces turbulence for Marya and Mustapha. Their different
religious beliefs causing the rift. As things fall apart, Marya, who had been living under the same roof with Mustapha has moved back to her guardians’ home.
Just like William Shakespeare’s archetypal tale of Romeo and Juliet, family traditions, religion and other cultural differences are at play in the latest Kenyan celebrity couple drama. On one side is Marya’s guardian parents — devout Christians and keen observers of Kikuyu traditions — saying they would hear nothing of her marrying a non- Christian, among other issues.
On the other side is Mustapha’s mother, a staunch Muslim, insisting that Marya must convert to Islam before marrying the former Deux Vultures singer.