In February last year, wedding photographer Muchiri Frames did a Valentine’s Day photoshoot with a street couple: Sammy Githae and Virginia Njeri.
He took them for a make-over and the whole shebang culminated in a candle-lit dinner at a swanky hotel in Westlands, Nairobi.
Muchiri took photos which he shared on social media platform days later. It was a new concept that tugged at the heart of Kenyans.
Within no time, their before and after photos had been shared online like bushfire. They became the most popular couple in town.
Tour and Travel company Bonfire Adventures quickly jumped onto the story and gave the lovebirds a three-day vacation in the coastal town of Diani.
Together with the photographer, the duo left for a vacation they said was beyond their wildest dreams.
When they came back from Diani, they did not return to the streets.
Droves of well-wishers had pooled resources in the hope that it would take the couple off the streets, for good.
Muchiri Frames, who spoke to Citizen Digital, says Bonfire Adventures paid an upfront 5-months house rent for two houses which were furnished by proceeds from well wishers.
The idea was that because the two lovers were not yet married, it would have been improper to have them share the same house.
So, Virginia Njeri took one house while Githae popularly known as Blackie took the other.
From new mattresses, utensils, beddings and even to sofas; the couple had everything they needed to start a new life; albeit separately.
For three months, Blackie lived with a friend only known as Farmer, who was starting a music career. Virginia continued to live alone.
It was a rosy three months as donations kept trickling in. And then as fast as it came, it stopped.
By then, according to Muchiri Frames, Virginia had sold her phone and part of her household items.
Blackie had also lost his phone and given his landlord a vacate notice although rent was not due for the next two months.
Then came some good news; the couple had been offered jobs at a school in Bomet–Virginia as a cook and Blackie as a gardener.
Their friend Farmer was to join the security department.
On the day they were supposed to leave Nairobi, Muchiri Frames claims that Blackie refused to board the hired car.
Virginia and Farmer however left to start their new lives several counties away.
However, believe it or not, a couple of months later, Virginia left the job she had been offered so that she could be reunited with her lover, Blackie.
Mr Oyoo who was the then Headteacher at Kapkilaibei Ebenezer Academy where she had been offered a job, says Virginia and Farmer sought permission to visit their homes but never returned.
Virginia and Blacky, united in love, are now back to the streets where it all began.
Speaking to a local TV station, a bitter Blacky says that the events of 2018 depressed him and he blames it all on the photographer who discovered him.
He accuses Muchiri Frames of using his then predicament to advance his career in photography.
He claims he is scorned in the streets but has made peace with his current predicament.
“Hakuna haja ya kupanda ndege halafu urudi tu hapa, hio safari nilienda inafanya nikae mwendawazimu ( I wish I never boarded a plane only to return to the streets, it makes me feel like a mad man),” said Blackie.
The photographer however maintains that he hid everything in his power to help the couple but the two were fixated on handouts.