BY ELIZABETH MERAB
Eric Macakiage would not, by any measure, describe himself as a rich man.
Yes, he lives in a Sh90,000-a-month house in Kileleshwa. Yes, he drives a Toyota Prado and, yes, he spent about Sh3 million on a wedding last year.
But to Mr Macakiage, spending quite a bit on a limousine — he is still waiting for the invoice — to take home his days-old first-born son Jayden Cole Otieno from the Nairobi Hospital is not proof that he is a rich man.
The only thing it proves, he told the Sunday Nation on Friday, is that he loves his family and focuses all his energy and his wallet, no doubt, on doing whatever it takes to make his family comfortable.
“It’s not that I have money. I’m a giver. So, when my friends hear that I have an event, they are always willing to chip in,” he said.
He caused quite a sensation on social media when he decided to pick up his newborn son and the new mother in style.
He is the chief operating officer at Smoothtel, an information technology firm. With the salary he earns, and the friends — connections — he has made, he says that he can afford to live life the way he wants to.
“I have a responsibility to take care of people who are directly connected to me. And if it means splurging money just to see them comfortable, I will do it,” he says.
Unlike many men, Macakiage stayed in the labour ward with his wife, Irene, as she laboured all Friday night until she delivered on Saturday.
The only role he had, as he put it, was to gift his wife a serious ride and escort back home to ease the pain and welcome their bundle of joy.
“All I did since my dear wife went into labour was to foot the bills. I had no role in the maternity and delivery room. After I saw what my wife went through, I wanted a transition from pain to joy,” he said, smiling.
Like the African man he is, Macakiage does not believe in words without actions. So, to him, he will not just sing the “I love you” song to his wife but will top it up with “a little” surprise here and there, courtesy of his friends.
“My friends planned the entourage, which had some very serious cars. All I did was consult the Royal Limo guy for the Chrysler limo; 15 of my friends came in the others,” he said.
MOULD A BIG THINKER
In his life, he adds, money is never the first-topic subject in a discussion; it is an “AOB”.
For that reason, his first-born son will not have sleepless nights thinking of a trip out of Africa by air.
Why? Because, his father says, when he can comprehend, he will be shown the memoirs of his grand exit from the hospital to champion him into becoming a “big thinker”.
“It is upon me as a parent to help my son think big and not be shocked when he sees somebody boarding a limo. And neither do I want him to faint when he sees anybody boarding a plane. These are ordinary things that anyone can get.”
“Everything I do is to appreciate my family, which I do not take for granted,” he added.
His parting shot was that having founded his young family in a strong Christian tradition, they will raise baby Jayden with Christian values. For that reason, they will “vet” schools before enrolling their son to any.
“We will fill questionnaires to know whether the school has the values we want our child to emulate,” he said.
They also plan to give Jayden siblings in the future.
AS PUBLISHED ON SUNDAY NATION ON OCTOBER 5.