Thursday July 17 2014

What if she were a billionaire’s daughter?


By Mike Ssegawa

You have read hundreds of Cinderella-like fables where lowly girls marry princes. The ending is always so sweet, isn’t it? It sounds like women find it easier to marry into prosperous families than men - maybe. Think of Poor Kapere marrying Madhvani or Sudhir’s daughter?
I will tell you about Hakim, a friend of mine. He met the daughter of a prominent man in this land.
She said she loved him. I saw them – they were indeed a hot item.

Hakim who has dated several girls before was impressed by his new catch in the first days; she was different, never asked for money, kept time, sounded polished, her ‘no’ was a ‘no’ and the ‘yes’ a ‘yes’. Lucia was also assertive. I should add hyper-assertive – if there is anything like that in the Queen’s language.

There was this thing about her wanting to do everything her way, and she made it clear when she was upset that she could do much better without him. Certainly, no one is indispensable. However, every person, especially men, want to feel important – mostly in relationships. When you show a man that they don’t matter, they either withdraw a little, or go for good.

She had not told Hakim much about her family. All he knew was that she attended school at some international school around Kampala before she went to Malaysia for her university studies. When Lucia opened up, it was a message from her father, who wanted to see “this Hakim”.
“Who is your dad, and why does he want to see me?” He got cold feet.

“He wants to know the guy I go out with…he knows about us through his network. Don’t worry. All he wants is for you to come home. He will organise our wedding, give us a home in Kololo or Nakasero, and if you want a bigger job, he can still get you one,” she explained, expecting to impress her man. Hakim was not amused.

My boy wants to be his own man. The day he knew the girl’s father, he started thinking that his catch had a low opinion of him. He saw her invitation as pushing him to see her parents, if not, marriage. And to make matters worse, her imagination that he needed her parents’ help to get a head-start in life.

“Am I doing this badly?” he asked me. Hakim is not rich, but he has some money. And he believes in hard work. When he was sharing this story, he felt the “spoiled rich girl” had gone overboard.
Fine, Lucia was not the typical wife material, but she was okay.

Marrying Lucia, who is an only child, would give Hakim the empire he hasn’t sweated for. A life he could only dream of. But he never set foot at the girl’s home, and later called off the relationship.
“I will build my own empire,” he said, “And I will marry when I want.”

It is a common mistake for rich people to use their money to call the tune. Like Hakim, most men detest that, and want to be treated with respect. Therefore, when you are rich, make sure you humble yourself before your future son-in-law. I know this is not easy for most brothers who feel they owe no one a thing.

Anyway, why do poor boys shy away from marrying into rich families?
The only answer I know: Men are born hunters, not gold diggers. I mean, most men want to make it on their own. They can accept a push from a friend, boss, benefactor, et al, but, not from the in-laws.
Unlike the Cinderella who jumps into wealth without thought and takes it for accomplishment, the hunter in most men tells them it is the man to bring game home. Not the reverse. It is, however, not advisable that such insecurity is reason enough to turn down a potential suitor.

Much as wealthy people despise poverty, most of them are great people who appreciate hard work and honesty. They just want in-laws who have the potential to add value to their family than one to blow away the future that has taken years to build. That little “interview” for the daughter’s suitor is one way to ensure you have the right qualities to keep the legacy in case the family reputation depended on your person.

Therefore, if you are to marry a billionaire’s daughter, ensure you are one to add value to their empire.