Justus and Emma
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together – now they’re heading for marriage
Closeness, selflessness, and pleasure; falling in love is a strange but wonderful human experience.
It is a state of intimacy that we relish living, but due to its abstract nature we rarely pay attention to it. We may not understand love, but we know very well that it “conquers all.”
For the 32-year-old Kenyan Justus Mwita, he never expected to be caught by his then Swedish girlfriend’s unblinking eyes, which left him both taken aback and pleased while he was waiting for his next flight to Nairobi at Doha’s international airport (Qatar).
“It was April 2011 when I had an eight-hour-long flight connection in Doha. I was sitting in the café alone; Emma was sitting with a friend at the table in front of me. We made eye contact but didn’t dare approach each other.
“Nonetheless, her eyes were very still on mine; she had a very assertive gaze. She looked bold and attractive. She felt refreshing.”
While she was waiting to fly back to Sweden after a vacation in Thailand with her friend, Justus was heading back to Nairobi, his home town. He wanted to dedicate his five-year pre/post-graduation experience of Malaysia in Kenya.
The flight connection unexpectedly changed Mwita’s plan. It matched him with his Swedish sweetheart.
“I left the café and was roaming the airport to kill time, I kept thinking of her, and wished that we could meet again. In a few minutes, I found myself caught by Emma’s eyes again, and said: ‘oh my god, what am I going to do now’”.
“She approached me. We greeted each other. When she and her friend asked me to sit with them, I replied: ‘what!’ I was surprised.”
After this, the pair began a seemingly endless talk.
“We watched the sun rise together. The airport was super new and the glass was crystal clear. Emma’s friend fell asleep, and then talked about everything as if we had summarized each other’s history in few hours. It felt wonderful. Those moments were timeless.”
An eight-hour-long chat with a stranger is obviously a sign of chemistry.
“Even at that point I wasn’t expecting things to go further. Usually, flight passengers mingle in fleeting discussions at airports, just to pass the boring waiting hours.”
“But this time it was different and unusual. My flight was 45 minutes earlier than Emma’s, she accompanied me to the gate and gave me a very warm hug, after exchanging our email addresses.”
Parting out of necessity – but not for long.
“We didn’t have any contact the first two months after leaving the airport, because we couldn’t find each other on the internet. I sent her an email and didn’t get a reply. I then said, OK this isn’t going to happen.”
But she found him again.
“In May 2011, I got a message from Emma on Facebook, after she had looked for me and finally found me. We kept communicating and decided to meet again.”
Kenya and Sweden: far by distance, close by intimacy.
“Eight months after meeting at the airport, Emma visited me in Kenya on a seven-week vacation. She saw my family and my country, and I saw her beauty.”
This time they fell in love under the Kenyan sun.
“Those seven weeks were enough to make us sure that it was love, and we decided not to part from each other.”
“In August 2011 I visited Emma on Sweden’s Midsummer, and spent an unforgettable two months in Dalarna with her, before I finally moved to settle down with her in December of the same year.”
The Kenyan-Swedish couple have been living together since then, and are planning to tie the knot as soon as their circumstances allow.
Emma makes Justus feel better, she loves him the way he is – despite laughing at his strange Swedish accent.
And for him, her meticulousness is no reason for not to love everything in her, and consider her a godly ‘bliss’.
It says it all in Justus’ answer when asked what Sweden means to him. He sighs deeply with relief: “Emma”.