Nicholas and Igbal's Love Story
My name is Nicholas Katua born in Kenya and raised a Christian Catholic. My wife on the other hand is British and was raised in the Sikh religion. Sounds interestingly unusual, right? Our minds are too broad and open-minded to think like the masses and we don’t expect everyone to understand that but this is our reality.
My wife Iqbal and I first met back in January 2012 while she was vacationing with her family in Dubai. She was sat in Après café watching a football match in the Emirates mall and I was sat with some friends in the same café but on the opposite side. We were both the only ones who were supporting Chelsea football club who was playing against Liverpool at the time. We noticed each other as every time Chelsea would score we would both be cheering as everyone else there was supporting Liverpool. I went over to where she was seated and asked if I could join her to watch the second half of the match and she said sure.
We started making conversation and cracking jokes and later we exchanged phone numbers as she lived in the UK. A day after l picked her up for a date to Caramel lounge and the next day I took her bowling with her family where we spent time together to know each other more. I really liked her a lot but was not sure how things would work out as there was many barriers between us such as we lived in different countries, we were from different backgrounds, race, cultures, nationalities and religion.
She flew back to the UK after spending 8 days in Dubai. We started off just making very simple and basic conversations via text and asking how your day was and what are you doing today or what the weather was like where you are. After about a month of texting like this I knew this was the girl for me and I told her that I really like you and her reply was I really like you too as a friend and I said No, I really like you and she said it will be difficult for us to be together as her strict Sikh family would never accept us so it would be better to remain friends.
Then as time went by we were texting each other every day and calling each other now and then and skyping. I had already fallen head over heels in love with her and I even told her many times as I was not going to give up no matter how hard it was going to be. After 8 months of messaging and having a long-distance relationship, she finally tells me that she is also deeply in love with me and she wants us to be together no matter what anybody says or thinks.
When she told her family, they went crazy at her and said this relationship can never happen. Things got out of hand and a lot of tension from her family such that she really had to leave. She used her Emirates air miles that she had accumulated over the years of travel and that was just enough to book a one-way ticket to Dubai.
In the end, she finally managed to come to Dubai although it was extremely hard and emotional journey leaving everything behind and carrying only a small suitcase with a prayer book, few clothes, passport and school certificates as she was not able to take anything to begin her new life with me. It’s not easy to trust someone the way she did considering I was living in a different country and she wasn’t sure what would happen but am glad she had faith in me.
God was on our side and saw the great and deep love we had for each other so God helped her on her journey to Dubai. Although, we had not spent much time together in person we spent one year getting to know each other through a long-distance relationship where we had been messaging, calling and skyping. There was not one day where we did not communicate. I was waiting for her at the airport on the 25th July 2013 and as soon as I saw her I just ran up to her and hugged her so tight and said never leave me again.
The other challenge we faced was living together in the United Arab Emirates due to the Sharia Law the law of the land which only allows a man to live with a woman only if they are married. That said, we could not live together in my company accommodation so I managed to book City Max hotel near my work place where I could easily get to work. I must admit I will never forget this hotel where all the magic happened. Call me ‘King Kong’ for striking my chest because I got myself a good one, it was also her very first time to be with a man. Trust me the sensations folded and wrapped up in that body are apprehending and tastes splendid.
We later moved to a cheaper hotel apartment not so far from the hotel where she was applying for jobs online and attending interviews. It had been a very long, stressful and emotional year apart. I was already working in Dubai for the past 6 years and my wife managed to get a job within a month of arriving there
On the 2nd September 2013 I proposed to her in a private candle lit dinner date on the Palm Highland Dubai at the One & Only Resort Hotel.
It was so scary for me as I did not know if she would say yes or not and I was so nervous. We enjoyed a great three course meal and when the desert came, on the plate it wrote “Will You Marry Me?”
And the engagement ring was right next to the writing surrounded by love hearts. I got down on one knee for the defining moment of truth and popped the question with my heart beating so fast. I still remember that look on her face speechless, surprised and shocked. She said “YES.”
The desert looked amazing however, we were both so happy, excited and overwhelmed that we could not even eat the desert and even now my wife always reminds me of that because she loves deserts. She didn’t see it coming thanks to that Moroccan waitress I had earlier phoned to make the arrangements and passed the ring to when we got to the hotel.
On 14 April 2014, we got married in Kenya however it was not easy as the paperwork was very exhausting and my wife did not have her birth certificate and the deputy registrar was demanding but she had all other documents.
It was clear they needed the birth certificate from UK home office as her passport and driving license was not enough as we had presumed. That meant we had to wait for the Birth Certificate to be sent through DHL courier service from UK Home Office so our marriage certificate could be legalized. It was supposed to be a very happy and joyful time, instead it was a very stressful time and we were in Kenya for 2 weeks and had to extend for another one week so we could get married. We had to phone our employers back in Dubai to inform them we had to extend our stay in Kenya.
We had a very simple and quiet registrar wedding with only 5 people present to witness the marriage and my siblings could not even make it to the wedding because they live abroad and I had told them what happened with the registrar office. It would inconvenient them because at that point we were not sure when the wedding would take place as we awaited the courier and even the registrar couldn’t give us a date when we could fix the ceremony.
We have had many challenges from my wife’s family not accepting us, to disowning her and losing both our jobs in Dubai due to the money influence of her family and having financial struggles. We have had our fair share of challenges, disappointments and stress in life and in our relationship but what got us both through all these situations was our love for each other which has grown stronger with each passing day. I thank God for my wonderful wife who has never let anyone or anything come between us or our relationship.
We have been through it all even having my wife’s rich family offer me cash to end the relationship with her. She left it all to be with me and I consider myself the luckiest one in this relationship and I thank God, every single day for her.
We stayed for 2 days at Kempinski Hotel Villa Rosa after we got married. The Duty Manager Mr. Mbithi his wonderful team from the door men, front office to the housekeeping had our room set up for honey moon and had amenities in place to make our stay memorable and we surely did with beautiful pictures to recall our experience in Villa Rosa. Even after all those hard-challenging times, it was a clear indication there is always a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
The story is written by the couple and it has not been edited for authenticity purposes.