This is the story of a modern Cinderella. 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. Here is where the story starts Sexy Cinderella It’s Almost Midnight: An African Love Story – A Maid In The City
Zawadi was lying on the plush white carpet with her sketch pad. She was sketching some African print design clothes. She was listening to Rafik’s new album on her headphones. Zawadi took a sip of the juice that she had placed on a stool just next to where she was lying. She didn’t want to accidentally pour juice on the carpet. After all, she would be the one who would have to spend hours cleaning it up. The carpet was very expensive and Madam did not want to see even the smallest speck of dust on it.
Thinking of Madam Asila, Zawadi sighed. Madam and her two daughters had gone to Dubai for the annual Dubai shopping festival. They would come home with lots of new clothes and then give some of their old clothes to charity. They refused to give Zawadi any of their clothes. They said it would be too embarrassing for them to see Zawadi wearing anything of theirs.
Zawadi usually bought her clothes in Gikomba and Toi. When she went off on Sunday, she usually went shopping with some of the maids in the area and they went to Gikomba. But when she was in college she would go to Toi with her friends from design school. She would stretch her funds to get what she needed. She could look good, with the clothes she bought second hand. She was currently wearing some black shorts, a red tank top covered by a white lace top with black dots. All of that had cost her 100 bob but she looked like a million dollars.
Zawadi’s father usually gave out an allowance for her. But guess who managed the money? It was Madam Asila. Madam didn’t give her the allowance. She made her work as a maid for it and then she didn’t even give her all of it. She removed money for food and for housing her. This did not leave Zawadi with a lot of money to spend.
Zawadi couldn’t wait to finish college. The three years she had spent in this house had taught her about the capacity of human beings to be cruel. Madam Asila and her daughters had been bad to Zawadi, sometimes even evil. When she had first started living there for six months Madam Asila had made her eat the same food that she gave their dogs. She told her she was a dog anyway, coming to beg for food.
Zawadi only had one month left to finish college. She was actually working on the signature pieces of her collection. When she graduated, she intended to get far away from this house and the horrible people in it. Her father may not have known what was going on but she was angry with him because he should have been there to protect her.
Zawadi was currently working on the signature dress for her collection. It was a red and black dress made out of Ghanaian African fabric. She had been saving up for the fabric. She had been paying a tailor she knew some money every month to keep for her the fabric. She was going to be the model for her collection at the graduation show. She knew she had to come up with something spectacular that would blow the judges minds.
Zawadi was concentrating at the moment on the front of the dress. She was drawing different designs of how she wanted the top half to look like. When the doorbell rang it startled her. She wasn’t expecting any visitors.
She went to the door, peeped through the spy hole, and saw a handsome stranger she had never seen before. Zawadi wasn’t worried because he would have to have been let in by the watchman. She thought this might be one of her stepsister’s friends who did not know that they had gone to Dubai.
She opened the door and said, “good afternoon. How may I help you?” just the way Madam had taught her to say it.
The guy on the other side of the door was looking at her in that way men always did. She did not understand it, why men stared at her. For a minute the man just looked at her.
Zawadi waited for him to state his business. She knew she was beautiful. Men passing her even on the street told her that. But that didn’t get to her head. Her mother had been the most beautiful girl in the village and look at the trouble that got her into. Her beauty was not something she exploited. The girls in college told her she could get any man she wanted with her looks and that if she wanted they could get her a rich boyfriend who would provide her with everything she would need. Then she would stop being broke. She hadn’t told them that she had a rich father although she worked as a maid. She just told them that she lived with relatives in Runda. Only her two best friends in school knew that.
Finally, the guy snapped out of his preoccupation with her beauty. He had a black expensive motorbike parked on the driveway. He cleared his throat and said, “Hi.”
Zawadi said, “hi.”
“My name is Eric.” There was a bag slung across his shoulder. “I have been given cards to bring over for Rafik’s party happening in 3 weeks. Each person has their own personal invitation. I need the names of the people to invite so that I can write them on the cards. “
Zawadi gave him the names of Madam Asila and her two daughters. He wrote the names down on three cards.
Eric smiled and asked, “so are you Zosi or Zuwadia?”
Zawadi shook her head and said, “My name is Zawadi!”
Eric asked, “Zawadi you are not coming to the party?”
Zawadi said, “no! I am not really part of the family. I…”
Eric didn’t let her finish. “How can the most beautiful girl I have ever met not to attend the party? You must come. I insist.”
He took out another card and wrote Zawadi’s name. “Here is your invitation. Make sure you come. Remember to save a dance for me.” Eric winked as he gave her the invitations.
Zawadi held the invitations to her chest as she watched Eric ride off on his bike. She entered the house then did a happy dance. She was going to Rafik’s party. OMG, she was going to Rafik’s party. Then reality hit and she was like, “how will I go and I have nothing to wear?” Then she also realized that she had another problem. How would she go to the party when Madam Asila and her daughters would be going to the party?
Zawadi was caught in a dilemma. She really wanted to go to the party but on the other hand, she had two problems. 1. She had nothing to wear. 2. The biggest problem was Madam Asila and her daughter. They would be attending the ball. How could she attend it?
Zawadi took out her mobile phone, a Nokia 3310 and called her best friend Angelica. When Angelica answered the phone Zawadi explained everything.
Angelica was ecstatic. “Zawadi you must go. You will never get another opportunity like this and Rafik is dreamy. This is your chance to finally go to the type of parties you were meant to go to.”
Zawadi said “Angelica I have nothing to wear. I don’t have the clothes, shoes, or bags needed. Besides which how will I get to the party? I don’t have a car. Nobody will walk there besides which Madam Asila…”
Angelica said “leave everything to me. How far along are you with making your dress for the final presentation?”
Zawadi said “I am almost done. Why?”
Angelica said “you will see. Are you home right now?”
Zawadi said yes. Angelica said she was coming over.
2 hours later Angelica was at her house with a big bag. She removed shoes and purses out of the bag. She made Zawadi try them on. One particular pair of shoes fit her perfectly. It was gold in colour and it would go well with a red and gold clutch bag that she liked.
Angelica told her the plan. “You need to have your dress done by this week. I know it was for the finals but you can wear it for both. We only have one week to the ball and we don’t have the time to buy a new dress.”
Zawadi tried to argue about using the dress but Angelica was very persuasive. Zawadi went to the tailor to give out the design of the dresses she wanted to be made. She had 3 designs, one for the signature piece for her collection and 2 other outfits.
One piece of fabric which was supposed to be a headdress she carried with her. She needed to embroider it while the rest of the dress was being made. 3 days later she went for the signature dress. She would have to do all the embroidery herself by hand.
Madam Asila and the girls came back two days before the party. They had bought expensive gowns, shoes, and bags for the party. Zawadi wondered how she would look in her designs. She was still not convinced that this was a great idea. Angelica had promised that she would get her a ride from her rich boyfriend.
Zawadi talked to the watchmen. The servants at the house really adored Zawadi. They all knew she was the illegitimate daughter of the boss. They all felt sorry for her. They watched out for her when they could. They all knew how Madam Asila could be cruel. They agreed to open the gate for Zawadi after her step mum and sisters were gone.
The two sisters were cruel. They made Zawadi watch them after they tried dress after dress. They told her how a silly village girl like her would never have a chance to meet somebody as important as Rafik. He was the prince of musicians, the hottest artist for the last 3 years. He was handsome and rich.
“Zawadi, you may be dad’s daughter but you will never go anywhere. When you finish your course then what will you become? A tailor. Who would want to be designed for clothes by a maid?”
They laughed at her as they made her pick up their dresses and shoes and they send her back and forth.
“I hope you don’t think you will ever inherit anything from daddy. It all belongs to us. So enjoy your last weeks at our house because mummy said immediately you finish your course you will be out on the street, you have eaten enough of our food!”
Zawadi’s heart sank at those words. She hadn’t thought that her stepmother would kick her out so soon. It made her work harder on her collection. She had to impress the judges. Whoever came out tops in the design college got a one year paid internship with one of the best designers in Kenya. There was a rumour that this year there was going to be an international judge would decide on the winner. She had to make it.
Will Zawadi attend the ball? Will she meet Rafik? Find out more here – Going To The Ball