What you need to know:
Linet’s reply to a simple hi from a stranger on the Facebook Messenger application set in motion the beginning of her love story
Linet Kagasa was scrolling through Facebook updates one evening in mid-2016 when she got a message alert. Her reply to a simple hi from a stranger on the Facebook Messenger application set in motion the beginning of her love story.
“Before the text came, I would like many of his quotes and sermons which I enjoyed,” she states.
After chatting online for a while, a close friendship developed between Linet and her would-be husband Peter Oduor. It took a whole year for the two to meet in person after they had exchanged phone contacts. Linet says she was in no rush and wanted to make sure the connection was genuine.
When Peter finally proposed a face-to face-meeting, Linet was anxious but remained hopeful. Her biggest fears were that he would not show up and even if he came, once he saw that she uses a wheelchair, he would immediately leave.
Linet was born without her left hand and her legs were amputated in 2008, five years after she had developed health complications.
“I was born with legs and they were fine until a bone abnormality developed,” she recalls.
“In Class Five, I began growing shorter and shorter until I ended up walking on my knees. By the time I was taken to hospital in Kijabe, it was too late; my bones had hardened and I lost both of them.”
After Linet and Peter met, they went silent on each other and continued with their lives. When they finally reconnected two years later in 2019, Linet was in a relationship and turned down Peter’s request to date. However, Peter was adamant that he would wait for her.
They continued chatting and after Linet’s relationship with the other man ended, they got back together and made their relationship official in 2020. Linet decided to finally give him a chance because it occurred to her that he might be her Mr Right. Moreover, their shared love for God and passion in church ministry drew them closer.
And while the two were deeply in love, they were bound to face opposition. On Linet’s end, there was no rejection at first. Peter was accepted in her church but as days went by issues began. Some of her close friends changed their minds and with no explanations, refused to be part of their ceremony.
Peter, on the other hand, has lost many friends who could not accept Linet. His church also instantly rejected her and distanced themselves from him after he refused to end the relationship.
“They blatantly told him that he could not marry a woman like me,” she remembers. “They said there was no way God would give him a wife with a disability.”
However, Peter was unfazed and assured her that he would stand by her side. He was certain that Linet was the woman he would share the rest of his life with.
Fortunately, their families were supportive. After the introductions, both families accepted them and gave their blessings, and that was all they needed to move forward with their nuptials.
The proposal came a month before the wedding. The couple had hosted a tea party at a hotel in Eldoret with close friends to finalise the wedding plans. At the end of the party, just as they were about to leave, Peter took the microphone and went on his knees.
“I almost cried but excitement took over. It was a beautiful surprise that I did not see coming because wedding plans were already underway,” she says.
Since both their churches rejected their love, the couple were forced to look for a different church. On September 4, Peter and Linet finally walked down the aisle. Linet adds that their new church accepted and embraced them fully.
Their shared hobbies are studying the Bible, taking nature walks, going out on dates, taking photos and cooking. Their favourite meals to cook are tripe (byenda), fish and pork.
Adjusting to married life has not been easy. They are learning new things about each other, the likes and dislikes that they did not know while living separately. They also sometimes disagree with each other but they always ensure that they resolve any misunderstandings quickly.
Linet insists that in a relationship, every day should be Valentine’s Day. She urges couples to always appreciate each other and in doing so, grow their love.
Peter and Linet aspire to break all prejudices that surround interabled relationships, saying they are proof that it works.
“In relationships like ours, it is likely that the person without the disability will face more rejection for their choices. However, you will succeed if you follow your heart and do not listen to the negative voices,” Linet says.