Marry for money, my girl 1/3

By Drum Digital
07 November 2013

Finding love and riches

Naledi  was wearing a little black number that had cost her almost three weeks’ wages. She had on her sister’s high-heeled sandals.

“You break them, you die!” her sister had warned. In each ear Naledi had a tiny sparkling stud that could have easily be mistaken for a genuine diamond.

She knew she looked like a million dollars. And that was just as well, because that night Naledi planned to find a husband. A very rich husband. A mega millionaire if possible!

“You marry for money, my girl,” her late grandmother had always advised her. “Don’t you marry for love. All love will get you is hard work and struggle. And worrying about the future. No, marry for money while you’re still young and beautiful. You leave love to the people who can afford the luxury.”

So Naledi entered the huge foyer where Cape Town’s most exclusive art exhibition was being held. She showed her ticket to the uniformed doorman and he bowed his head politely, called her ma’am and waved her inside. Old Mrs Zeeventer had given her the ticket.

Mrs Zeeventer was a very rich, regular customer at Redz Hair Salon where she worked. Naledi was the only person allowed to wash Mrs Zeeventer’s hair. The wealthy woman always said Naledi had the gentlest hands and the sweetest smile.

And perhaps this ticket would be her passport to a wonderful future. “Wish me luck, Grandma,” Naledi whispered.

There were so many people inside and they all looked extremely wealthy as they wandered round the huge room with glasses of champagne. Paintings adorned every wall, most of which she thought were ugly, chaotic and disturbing. The price tags on them were unbelievable! Who in their right mind would pay such huge sums for such hideous works? With a glass of champagne in hand Naledi found a picture in a corner that wasn’t too bad. She stood gazing up at it in a way that showed off the lovely line of her neck. Now all I need is for a very rich bachelor to notice me, she thought.

And then she heard a deep male voice behind her. “Stop pretending. You’re not fooling me for one second!” Naledi turned and came face to face with a very tall, extremely handsome man just a few years older than her and dressed in a designer suit that must have cost a fortune.

But what did he mean about pretending? Could he see through her act? Could he tell she was just a shampoo girl who didn’t belong among Cape Town’s richest?

“Stop pretending that you like this painting,” he said. He laughed – a friendly, relaxed laugh. “I bet you think it’s ugly – just as I do. I bet you don’t understand this highbrow arty-farty nonsense any more than I do.”

That was the moment Naledi fell in love, before he’d even told her that his name was Lukas and that he had a house in Camps Bay right on the sea. Looking up at him she could feel tears gathering in her eyes. Wouldn’t that be the most wonderful thing in the whole world – to marry for love and money? Even though her grandmotherhad never suggested that this might be a possibility.

Lukas took her hand. “Come on, let’s leave the art exhibition to the people who really appreciate it. Let’s get out of here.” He led her out through the foyer and past the uniformed doorman. Outside he opened the passenger door of a magnificent silver Jaguar for her. “In you get,” he said. “We can go and sit on my verandah and watch the sun set over the sea. That’s more beautiful than any painting.”

And Lukas was right. The sunset from his verandah was truly awesome. So was his three-storey house with its massive picture windows and leather furniture. He must be a millionaire at least, Naledi thought. A multi-multimillionaire!

“So, Naledi,” he said, sitting very close to her while they sipped expensive wine from delicate crystal glasses. “Tell me all about yourself.”

Naledi told him lie after lie after lie. Luckily she’d always listened closely to the conversations of the wealthy customers at Redz Hair Salon. She’d eavesdropped on the stories of young girls from rich families while they had their hair streaked and styled.

“I’m a student at UCT,” Naledi said. “Bachelor of Arts. Well, that’s what Daddy thinks. But studying is such a drag. I just pop in for lectures now and then. But mostly I ride my horses. I’ve got two of them stabled in Constantia. Or I go shopping. I’m a bit of a shopaholic, I’m afraid! Or I wait for the weekend parties. In fact I’m off to a party this weekend in Stellenbosch. On a wine farm.”

She told him that her father was a mining magnate in Gauteng, that her mother was a socialite and charity organiser whose photo was often in the society pages.

He nodded and smiled and seemed to believe it all. And that was good. Naledididn’t want Lukas to suspect she was from a poor background trying to catch a rich husband. That would have spoilt everything. Especially now that she was absolutely sure she was in love.

Find Love!