February 14 of every year is a double celebration for Citizen Television’s Senior Reporter Francis Gachuri. He celebrates Valentine’s Day and his wedding anniversary.
Citizen Digital caught up with the hard-working Mr Gachuri who divulged details of this special day and even offered nuggets of wisdom toward long-lasting marriage.
Below is the transcript of the interview:
What he thinks about Valentine’s Day
“For me, it is not much about Valentine’s Day – the ‘special occasion’ that people perceive as a day of showing love. February 14 is overrated. It is more of a commercial venture than a real love day; attention has been shifted to the material aspects of it such as buying flowers, boxes of chocolates…, but not necessarily about the content of the day; which should be love.”
Wedding anniversary on a Valentine’s Day
“Coincidentally, I got married on February 14, 2009. It was not planned. My wife Carol Muthoni and I had slated our wedding for the second Saturday of February, 2009 – fortunately, it fell on a Valentine’s Day.
“For me this day is about celebrating seven years of marriage. My wife and I observe it as a day of mirroring our progress since we got married. I think we have done well: we had set our goals which we have achieved exceedingly more than the predetermined targets.
“I prefer to be very practical on issues of life, relationships and marriage – not every day is a lovey-dovey day. My wife and I think about developing ourselves, the future of our three children, our professional growth… She is a banker and I am a journalist.
“Sometimes we disagree on principles and matters, but we agree on many things. The only thing we don’t do is to quarrel. In however much we are of two opposite personalities, we complement each other very well. She is strict on matters of finances and bringing up our children. On the other hand, I am easygoing. We have however learnt how to live with each other.”
The most memorable wedding anniversary
“February 14, 2010 – the first year since I got married – was very nice for me. I don’t have a sister; my other two siblings are male. Besides my mum, my first real experience of living with a woman in the same house for a whole year was when I got married.”
How he met Carol
“I attended a mixed secondary school. That is where I met my wife. We joined high school on the same day, we were in the same house, same class, and completed school in the same year – 1999. We were also house captains.
“Interestingly, we did not date while we were in high school. In fact, we dated way back after I left campus (2005). However, in between we kept in touch. We dated from 2006 to 2008 before settling on February 14, 2009 as our wedding date.
“There is no pretense between Carol and I. Unlike today when a lady would probably marry me because of who I am, what I do, where I work and so on and so forth; Carol knew me when I was a small boy.
“We are very good friends. Sometimes we agree that a particular matter cannot be addressed through lovey-dovey mechanism; we thus put such stuff kando and tackle issues as two adults; so far, so good.”
Three key pillars that have kept them together in marriage for seven years
“Number one is friendship; two is sincerity and three is faith.
“We are very good friends, hence treat each other well. Sincerity – I know when we inform or correct each other, we do so with a lot of sincerity. Faith – we have grown in faith; I am Catholic and my wife is Anglican. We have democracy in our house; the kids, who are still young, were baptized in Catholic Church, but can still go to fellowship with their mum.
“My wife and I have three children named: Sandra (7) and twin sons: Curtis and Marcus (4).”
What Mr Gachuri wishes was done differently on Valentine’s Day
“I wish people could focus more on content rather than the cover. It is like having a cup and tea – I would rather appreciate people to focus more on the tea than the cup. Why should one wait for Valentine’s Day to show love, appreciation and affection to his or her partner? Why not do it every day? Why buy flowers on February 14 – why can’t you do so from January 1 to December 31? Why engage in very pretentious activities, yet you don’t do them every other day? That is being untrue!”
“The best flower that you can buy is the flower of progress – I would rather plant a tree than a buy a flower that would wither. Some people would argue it is about symbolism. I would live the essence of Valentine’s every day, than on a single day.”
“I am happy. There is no pressure – even in marriage. If you put pressure on yourself in marriage, it will weigh you down. Do what is doable. The only thing that you start from the top is digging a hole, so why do you put pressure on yourself to do that which is beyond you?
“You should not get married today and expect to have a car, a house… in just a year; set targets.”