Competition Authority Chief Executive Officer Thula Kaira’s love story is an interesting one. It took him five years to know that his cousin’s friend was the one for him.They first met in 1999 at their home country, Zambia. Strangely when he developed feelings for her, he brushed that off as mere lust.
At the time he was heading the Competition Authority of Zambia. An inner voice told him that destiny had his sight on this woman. He took her number from his cousin and invited her to accompany him to a wedding, which she agreed. They started communicating in 2003 and as a fierce career man, his busy schedule would not allow him to commit to any woman.
But there was something about Annie that made her company different from the other potentials. Two years later, the love started burning inside Annie. But her charming calls were cut off by Thula, telling her to stop calling him. “I knew we both loved each other but he was somehow playing hard to get,” chuckles the wife to his quick response.
“I called myself a confirmed bachelor. I was just not ready for commitment and she was too much for me as a marriage type.” He adds, “I was a freelancer and would date various women without any emotional attachment.”
It was only in 2008 that Thula felt convicted that Annie was the love of his life. He asked her to meet him at a shopping centre and even though she did not feel like seeing him, her heart led her to the place. Since that day Thula started treating her like a queen, getting rid of impediments to their seemingly beautiful future. He engaged her on February 14, 2009 at a church function.
And for Annie, that was the best Valentine gift she had received. “I was 38 years old, no kid and no leading lady and my society was beginning to judge me harshly,” laughs Thula. They got married five months down the line and the news of both his engagement and wedding came as a shock to his corporate friends and family who thought it happened too fast. But he cared less to bother as he recalls a beautiful flashback.
“I used to look at my phone during the new year and tell myself that the first lady to wish me a happy new year was the one and Annie would be the very first,” he blushes.
The couple lives in Gaborone with their two children. Thula advises that for every marriage to succeed, God should be the foundation. He is aware of young and pretty women who always present themselves available to him but sees it as nothing but evil forces, which are looking for loopholes. Being faithful is the greatest gift one can give their spouse, according to the humble CEO. Everything else she can buy for herself, he states.
As they seal the interview with a kiss, Thula points out that they celebrate Valentine every day and that he is good at surprising her. And he has one message for the married: Keep the flame burning. If the chicken is fried today, grill it tomorrow.