Date with destiny

Date with destiny

A writer and a fashionista prove that true love has nothing to do with looks

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Kenon Kwong and Melody Ma.
Kenon Kwong and Melody Ma.
Photo: K.Y. Cheng/SCMP
When writer Kenon Kwong Chung-on met his girlfriend, fashion designer Melody Ma, for the first time, it was love at first sound.

Kwong, whose vision was impaired by glaucoma at a young age, had set up an interview with Ma in 2009 for a church magazine feature on do-it-yourself clothing and accessories.

Little did he know that Ma had been interested in him long before their fateful encounter.

"I have been a long-time reader of Kenon's column in AM 730 [a free Hong Kong newspaper]," she says. "I was very curious about how he writes, not being able to see."

The unique romance that blossomed since is testament to the couple's strong connection, as they have learned to overcome the challenges of Kwong's disability.

And while their Valentine's Day date today might be different from that enjoyed by the typical Hong Kong couple, Ma says their outings are just as romantic.

"When Kenon and I go out, he is able to walk with me. We go shopping just like other couples and we go jogging, too," she says.

"He has no problem eating on his own and can even pour me a glass of water. He walks me home after we go out. I am really impressed by what he is able to do."

Like many couples, Ma and Kwong enjoy going to the cinema. Ma explains the movie in as much detail as possible to Kwong - who has 10 per cent vision left after his eye problem started in junior secondary school - before it starts.

"Or we'll watch a movie with other blind people, with an interpreter, at the Hong Kong Society for the Blind," says Ma. Kwong laments some of his limitations, like how he can't help Ma lift heavy things, but he makes up for it in other ways.

Ma cites the time he helped her write promotional materials for an art exhibit in Kowloon. "It is a blessing to have him," she says.

For her part, Ma lends her artistic eye to her boyfriend's dress sense, with Kwong now standing out in stylish outfits and matching hats.

"I am not keen on fashion, but I think being well-dressed [gives people a good impression of me] especially in the workplace. I am very thankful to Melody for helping me out with clothes," says Kwong. "I think Melody is a very unique girl who loves art and takes her religion very seriously. I am also a Christian and [I] enjoy art. We have many things in common and quickly became friends," he adds.

For anyone who thinks love is based on appearance, Kwong and Ma are an important reminder that love truly is all you need.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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