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Gifting is my husband’s second nature

You were recently in the limelight after a grand birthday surprise by your husband. How did it feel?

I didn’t expect it, so I had mixed reactions. I was both overjoyed and confused at the same time. I have always loved a Range Rover and when I turned 35 four years ago, I started saving to buy it for my 40th birthday. My husband knew how much I loved the car.

Whenever we saw the car while on traffic, I would always request him to slow down so that I can admire it. I think he realised that even if I saved, I still wouldn’t have enough to buy it by next year, when I would have turned 40 and he decided to surprise me.

The gift means so much to me, and how he presented it doubled the surprise for me. Thanks to that car, now everyone wants a loan from me. (laughs)!

Does he always go out of his way like that?

Giving gifts is Simon’s second nature. When he goes on trips, he comes back home with bags full of gifts. It has been that way since our dating days.

Even when we did not have much money, he would strive to buy me expensive perfumes and flowers. After my maternity leave in February this year, he chartered a chopper, which landed right in our compound.

It picked us at around 11 am and flew us to a scenic place in Masai Mara. We had a picnic lunch he had organised with Sarova Hotel, went on a game drive.

By 2 pm, we were picked and came back to Nairobi. It was something I had missed having not been able to move around during the pregnancy.

And how do you spoil him?

(Laughs) I also go out of my way to treat him. Last year during his birthday we went on holiday in Seychelles. While there, I organised a chopper ride for him.

He was picked from the hotel by the chopper and treated to a tour of the entire island. Since it was something he had not done before, it was special for him. There are many more.

Away from gifting one another, how did you meet and for how long have you been married?

We were members of a jobseekers Google group called Kazi Africa in 2007. Many members of the group had just graduated and in their first jobs. Simon and I were among the most active members. After chatting in the group for a whole year, the members decided that we meet in December.

We settled on having the get-together in Lukenya. I was tasked with organising the trip and was being assisted by Simon and two other people. Simon and I met for the first time during the get-together and got along.

A week later, we went for our first date at Phoenix Theatre. We got married in 2009 after dating for one-and-a-half years. And you started a business together. It’s not something we had planned.

After the first get-together, we organised more camping trips for the group. I am particularly good at planning and because both Simon and I love travelling, we enjoyed organising the trips.

Initially, we did it for fun, but as we progressed we started charging a small fee to organise travels and that’s how Bonfire started in 2008 even before we got married.

What’s the experience of working together?

We strive to respect each other’s roles in the company and do not take advantage of each other.  We are co-founders of Bonfire Adventures. He is the CEO and I’m the Managing Director. In the office, we are too busy with our respective tasks, thus we have no time to bring emotions to work.

How is he as a father and as a husband?

He always buys gifts for me and our two children. There are countless gifts he has given us. Being a CEO means he is in the office for long hours and is not able to be around the children as much as he would like.

But he always creates time for them. Everyday, we wake up at around six o’clock. We work from home and spend time with the children until around 9am before leaving for the office. Over the weekends we try to be with them until midday and Sundays we spend with them the whole day.

What qualities do you admire in Simon?

Simon is hard-working and ever smart. He often jokes that being smart is his weakness. He is also charming, outgoing and interesting to be around with.

What is his weakness?

He cannot seem to get off his phone and laptop even when we go on holiday. Even though it’s very rare, he can really get angry at times.

What do you do to unwind?

We go on holidays and take long drives once in a month. On Sundays, we just laze around home and rest. Apart from being a CEO, what else does he do? He has always wanted to fly, so he is planning to start flying classes on Saturdays.

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