Wanjiru Wahome is the founder Blindmusk Match-making Agency. She speaks about her work.
"So it’s a few months into the New Year and you haven’t found your love match. Or things have been too tight at the office and you haven’t been able to get out much. What do you do? You contact my office. I am a matchmaker," says Wanjiru Wahome.
"The first process when someone walks through our doors is to engage them to get to know what exactly they are looking for.
Usually, men are looking for physical attractiveness and know exactly what they want. On a good day, I will have a client detail what they want in a woman, down to the jawline.
If you had asked me what the Kenyan woman wanted a few years ago, I would have told you money, but I have since learnt that what she is looking for is attentiveness and conversation.
After the initial vetting and collection of data, I take a client through counselling.
It would be unfair to send someone who has too much emotional baggage out on a date. We use a software to find the most compatible matches.
Sometimes the software comes up with more than one match, and that is where I step in and use my background in psychology to decide who would be most compatible with you.
When I am sure, I get the two of you to exchange contacts and chat on the phone before I send you on a blind date.
The number of dates you get to go on depends on the package you sign up for. Our cheapest one is Sh3,000, for a maximum of three matches.
The executive package, which goes for Sh10,000, sends you on unlimited dates.
It is a great time for an HIV-positive person to be looking for love because the stigma is much less and you can date whoever you please, but I am aware that there are still individuals who prefer to be connected with other HIV-positive people so I offer this service.
The most valuable character trait in my line of business is the ability to be discreet.
I have been running this matchmaking agency for three years now. Growing up in Nyandarua, I would never have imagined, even in my wildest dreams, that I would be doing this.
My parents were both civil servants and I wanted to be a nurse. I studied nursing in college and ended up getting employed as a prisons officer, a job I have held for a little over a decade.
The idea of a matchmaking agency came to me in 2015. I observed how people around me were quick to hire people to run their homes, manage their finances and other aspects of their lives while their love lives remained neglected.
What if I could provide that service? Offer to manage people’s love lives for a fee? At the time, I had no idea where to start, so I went back to school to study psychology.
Then I took a virtual matchmaking course before setting up the agency. Being a matchmaker, a prisons officer, a wife and a mother of two means that every minute of my day is scheduled for. I meet potential clients and offer counselling sessions on weekends.
The first thought that crosses a lot of minds when I mention that I am a matchmaker is that I offer hook-up services.
I even had a couple walk in several months ago looking for swinging services. I turned them away. I believe in love.
It is precisely because I am happy in marriage that I want to do this for other people.
I have also had requests from gays and lesbians. And I believe that love is love but homosexuality is still illegal in this country, so I turn them away.
I target individuals looking for a serious connection. My youngest client is 20 and my oldest 72. More women than men walk in through our doors.
The average profile of someone looking to delegate their love life is someone with a successful business or job, someone who doesn’t have too much time on their hands.
I have had good things come from here. I had a wedding in December and I have another in February between people I helped bring together.
What can be more fulfilling than this? Of course, not all matches we make lead to a walk down the aisle but most times I am satisfied that, if nothing else, a client makes a friend from a date.
The hardest part of my job has to be how impatient people are with love. Someone wants to get a total match on day one. Real matchmaking is a more intimate, slower process.
Eventually, I would like to set up offices outside the country. There are many Kenyans living abroad, especially in Dubai, reaching out for connections.
I think a long distance is an unstable foundation for a budding relationship, so it would be better for people living outside the country to connect with those living closer to them.
For now, I am content making sure that as many people as possible marry right."