On the 15th of October at precisely 8.00 am, Mugethi pressed the intercom that was buzzing.
“It’s a call from state house on line 1,” said Nasieku.
“The House of Fashion, Mugethi speaking,” she said into the phone, her heart beating wildly.
“Miss Muthiga, this is Lang’at, the president’s personal aide. She instructed me to call you personally about the National Dress proposal.”
“Well, what did she say?”
Lang’at was quiet for two seconds which seemed like a lifetime to Mugethi. “Well…Congratulations ma’am, your design was the killer design. You just gave Kenya a National Dress.” She breathed a great sigh of relief and laughed, tears streamed down her eyes.
“Thank you Mr. Lang’at. Tell the president that we are very grateful.” “No problem ma’am. Have a nice day”
Mugethi buzzed Nasieku immediately and instructed her to place a conference call to Nkatha, Willy and Adhis.
“They are on the line, Mugethi.”
“Thank you Nasieku. Goodmorning Willy, Nkatha, Adhis. How are you today?”
“Fine,” they chorused.
“Allow me to give you State House’s answer before you hear it from the press.”
“Well? What is it?” asked Nkatha.
“Damn. It’s too soon. I knew they’d refuse,” said Adhis.
“Well, what are you waiting for, tell us!” burst out Willy.
“Adhis is wrong,” Mugethi said. She paused for only a minute before shouting; “WE DID IT!”
“Haleluyah! I told you we’d make it!” said Adhis.
“Thank you Jesus!” said Willy.
“We must get moving at once!” said Nkatha excitedly.
The day to officially launch the Kenya National Dress was finally there. Mugethi took in the sight of all the important people in the room dressed in her designs and sent a kiss heavenward.”Jehovah you are faithful.” She turned to see Nkatha echoing her thought. The launching dinner was being held at the State House grounds with full press coverage. The press was already was already there and busy.
She felt a tug on her skirt and she looked down to see the first lady of the House of Fashion, her daughter Mumbi, dressed in a mini-version of her mama’s dress. She stooped down on her knee to rearrange her hair, a moment that was captured by the renowned photographer Ms. Wanjiku and was to grace one of the dailies’ front pages the next day.
The master of ceremonies then requested the members of House of Fashion and the tiny First Lady to step up to the raised platform. As the president and the first gentleman handed the wooden plague to the ladies, with cameras flashing furiously, the fireworks exploded high in the sky.
“Miss Muthiga,” a man called as they prepared to leave, “I am Lang’at, Her Excellency’s aide.”
“Ah, my bringer of good news.” She beamed as she shook his hand warmly.
“I must congratulate you on a good job well done.”
“However, the fast response was prompted by a connection in high places,” he said.
“What do you mean?”, “You would have gotten your response on 9th no earlier, had it not been the effort of a certain gentleman.” He said looking behind him.
She could not believe her eyes as she looked straight into Mr. Wambiru’s eyes. He was dressed in the National Dress, her creation, and he wore it well. He moved forward towards them and extended his hand to her. He took her hand and kissed it, his gaze never leaving hers.
“Why?” she asked, seriously puzzled.
“I told you, I am interested,” he answered, raising his eyebrows. Then he turned and walked away.