Sexy Cinderella It’s Almost Midnight: An African Love Story – Fighting Fire With Fire

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This is the story of a modern Cinderella Zawadi. Zawadi is the daughter of a wealthy man, but she is the maid. Her stepmother takes advantage of the fact that her father is not in the country to mistreat her. Her luck changed and she got an invite to Rafik’s party. Rafik is the most famous musician in the land, a prince among men. They have a spark but Zawadi like the fairytale Cinderella had to leave the ball at midnight. Zawadi goes to design school and she has finally graduated. Her secret has been discovered that she is the mystery princess who was at Rafik’s party. Her wicked stepmother tells the press not only is Zawadi a maid but she is a thief as well.  If you have not read the rest of the story here is where the story begins.

Zawadi waited for her friends to come home. She spent the whole day designing and thinking about what she would do. She was not sure about what to do about Madam Asila but she was sure she wanted to go home to Western to take a break from Nairobi.

When her friends arrived Zawadi had cooked. As they sat down to eat they discussed what they should do. Zack said that the best thing would be to get a sympathetic reporter or presenter on TV who they could tell their story to. Zack said that he knew Caroline Mutoko. “I think she will be interested in your story. I will call her tomorrow.”

Afterwards, they all went to the sitting room to watch the news. The stations were all calling her Sinderella. Images of the Asila’s family house were all over the media with Madam Asila saying that Zawadi was a maid and that they knew she had stolen money.

There was speculation on how Rafik would take the news. How would he take the news that Zawadi was not really from a rich family but that she was a maid who had been accused of stealing money? Memes with Zawadi’s image were doing their rounds on social media and the new mobile application called Whatsapp that was gaining prominence in Kenya.

After trying to find a station that was giving a more balanced view of the situation and finding none they decided to watch a movie instead.

That night as she sat on her bed Zawadi prayed that God would give her a way to clear her name. Zawadi tossed and turned in bed trying to fall asleep. Finally, she was able to sleep.

The next day Zack called Caroline Mutoko’s office. She was on leave and so he was unable to get her. She was due back in 3 days and so they had to wait because he did not have her personal number. Zawadi was unable to leave the house. She was scared of being spotted and made fun of.

2 days later Rafik was back in the country after a tour in Europe. Reporters met him at the airport and tried to interview him. They asked him whether he was still interested in Zawadi.

“I don’t know why Zawadi did what she did. I think it is unfair to judge her based on what her employer said. It would be important to give her side of the story. I am shocked to find out that she is a maid. All I can say is that she is the most beautiful maid I have ever met. It would have been great to meet her under different circumstances. But look at what she has done. Gone through college, won an award for best designer. That is not somebody everybody can do. If you are listening Zawadi I would like to hear your side of the story.”

He refused to answer questions asked to him by reporters. With cameras flashing and reporters running after him he let the airport.

Zawadi was surprised by Rafik’s statement but it warmed her heart. At least one person was giving her a chance to prove her innocence. . She knew Rafik had a bad experience 2 years ago. He had been accused of stealing the lyrics for one of his hit songs. But it turned out the songwriter who wrote the song had “borrowed” from his friend and his songwriter was on the wrong. Rafik was exonerated although the recording studio had to pay damages. But it had damaged his image when the story had gone public and it had taken time to prove his innocence.

Zawadi wondered whether if she cleared her name she might be able to meet Rafik and maybe talk to him. She wasn’t expecting anything from him but he was her music idol. It would be nice to meet him and thank him for speaking out on her behalf. At the thought of meeting Rafik she blushed.

Beautiful black woman. Image from
Beautiful black woman. Image from

Zawadi was so nervous; she kept adjusting her Ankara dress several times. She wanted to bite her nails but they were acrylic nails so she knew it wouldn’t help. She was waiting in the reception at KISS FM for her interview with Caroline Mutoko. Finally, somebody came in to get her and lead her into the studio.

After greeting her, Caroline showed her the microphone she would be using and explained to her how should talk into the mic. Then Caroline faded the music and the interview began.

“Today we have Zawadi as our guest. She has been in the news lately, first as a mysterious Cinderella, then as a design student who won awards for her dresses. Finally this week somebody alleged that she was a maid and a thief. Zawadi is here to talk to us about what’s going on. Welcome, Zawadi. Tell us about yourself.”

Zawadi: “My name is Zawadi. I grew up in the Western region and came to Nairobi to go to design school. I attended design college for the past 4 years and just graduated.”

Caroline: “Tell us about the dress you were wearing at Rafik’s ball. Did you design it yourself? How did you get into the ball considering nobody seems to have known you?”

Zawadi: “Yes I designed that dress myself. It was supposed to be part of my designer collection for college. One of my friends gave me an invite but I had nothing else to wear so I wore that dress…”

Caroline: “Which friend is that?”

Zawadi: “I would rather not say. I might get him into trouble for something he hadn’t intended…”

Caroline: “So you had an invite to the ball. You didn’t sneak in as a maid as has been claimed by some media outlets?”

Zawadi: “No. I went in through the front door like everybody else. My friends dropped me off and came to pick me up later.”

Carol: “So how was it having the attention of Rafik and I hear every other man in the room? I hear you created quite a stir!”

Zawadi: “It wasn’t something I expected but it was a great night. One night I will never forget. It was unforgettable.”

Caroline: “So let’s address the elephant in the room. Your alleged employer Mrs. Asila who is a well-known lawyer in this town said that you were her maid. Is it true?”

Zawadi: “Yes it is true. I was her maid for 4 years!”

Caroline: “So it is true! Is it true that while you were her maid you stole money from her?”

Zawadi: “No! It’s not true that..”

Caroline: “So you expect us to believe you over a well-known lawyer in this city? Why should we believe you?”

Zawadi: ‘Please give me a chance to tell my story.”

So Zawadi told her about her mother, coming to Nairobi to go to school, only to find out she would have to earn her room and board by being a maid.

Caroline: “This story is crazy! So you are saying that Mrs. Asila is your stepmother?”

Zawadi: “Yes she is.”

Caroline: “And your father … where does he come into this story? Why didn’t he intervene?”

Zawadi: “My father works in South Africa. He only comes home every 3 months or so. He brought me to his house because his mother requested it. Madam Asila was not happy but she had to take me in. When she told me I was to be the maid she said if I told him she would turn me out of the house. The house belongs to her family. I had to pretend that I was helping out because I liked it when my dad was around.”

Caroline: “What about your sisters?”

Zawadi: “Well, they have never been nice to me. I think their mum turned them against me.”

Caroline: “What about the accusation that you stole money?”

Zawadi: “I don’t know why my stepmother said that. Maybe to ruin my reputation. She kicked me out the day we were graduating. I didn’t even have time to go to the house. As God is my witness I have never stolen anything from that woman. She hates me.” She paused.

Zawadi: “My dad paid my school fees so there was nothing she could do about that. But she made me work for everything I got and she didn’t even pay me. She took the money my father sent me as pocket money. She said my payment was my fees and bus fare. I am glad to be out of that house. She pretends that she is a good woman, an icon of the church but she was very cruel to me.”

Caroline: “Is there anybody who can verify this information?”

Zawadi: “Yes. Back home the whole village knows that he is my dad. In Runda there are people who know the truth about how she treated me. I don’t know if they would be willing to step forward to talk and cross my step mum. I almost forget my birth certificate also has my dad’s name on it. Madam used to tell her friends that I am a relative from back home but not the truth that I was her stepdaughter.”

Caroline: “Shocking revelations on the show. Remember you heard it first here. So what are your plans for the future?”

Zawadi: “I want to take a break for a few days.”

Caroline: “Where?”

Zawadi: “I don’t want people to know because… well the media keeps following me and I need time to think about my future plans.”

Caroline: “So are you taking up the modelling contract?”

Zawadi: “I am thinking about it but it’s not just that. It is a chance for me to get exposure for my design work. I believe I am more than just a pretty face. I want to see my designs on the runway. I think this is a great opportunity for me to learn and get better. Maybe one day I will have my own designer show.”

Caroline: “Well we wish you all the best. If what you say is true I know very many girls will be inspired by your story. It is sort of a modern Cinderella story made in Kenya!”

Zawadi: “Thanks. Everything I have said is true. I know the truth will come out.”

Caroline: “So what about Rafik?

Zawadi (blushing): “Well it was nice to meet him and dance with him. I doubt that he will want anything to do with me when he finds out I was a maid but that’s ok. I got to dance with him and I will always have the memory of that dance. How many girls can claim that? I think he is a pretty cool guy and I was grateful that he didn’t dismiss me as others did when my story came out. I guess I will have to be like all the other girls and women in Kenya crushing on him from a distance. I just want to say that dancing with Rafik and the ball was the best thing that has happened to me in a long time next to winning the competition and the money of course”

Caroline: “Zawadi thank you for coming to the big breakfast and having a candid discussion about what’s going on with you. Telling us the real shocking story. We look forward to big things from you. Keep us updated on what you will be doing.”

Zawadi: “Thank you, Caroline.”

Zawadi walked out of the studio relieved that she was finally free from the past. The secret she had been carrying for the last 4 years was finally out. She didn’t know what would happen next but she knew her stepmother would never be able to hurt her again. Her father would be furious when he found out the truth. Although he hadn’t had much to do with her during her childhood he had promised his mother he would take care of her and he took that promise seriously.

Zawadi went to meet her friends at the reception and they went out for lunch.

Will Zawadi and Rafik ever meet? Is there hope for this cinderella with the man of her dreams?  Join us for the next instalment of Sexy Cinderella it’s almost midnight. Find out what happens next –  When Prince Charming Comes Calling

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Potentash Founder. A creative writer and editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]