Padlock of love: Inside Kilifi spot where lovers lock padlocks to declare eternity

Old ferry padlock of love in Kilifi county

There are different ways one can declare their everlasting love, there are those who wear a ring as a sign of dedication but in Kilifi, Old ferry area a padlock and a key is all you need. 

Over the last 10 years lovers and couples have been going to the area, popularly known as "Kufuli ya mapenzi",  to lock a padlock on the railings of a pole as they swear eternal love and fling the keys into the ocean.

The pole, which has a heart shaped board at its top, was founded by an Italian with words of love written in Italian, English and Swahili. The concept has been borrowed from European countries like France, the U.K and Italy where many lovers lock their love with padlocks.

Israel Katana Dadu is among those who tied their love by locking a padlock on the pole and throwing the key in the ocean 4 years ago.

Speaking to Citizen TV he said he has been married to wife for the last 7 years but after three years of marriage they decided to come lock their love.

"We were taking walk and then we were interested in the pole. What I believe is that once you tie it (padlock) here it is like you have tied the bonds of life in heaven as the Bible says," said Katana.

He says the decision he made four years 4 ago makes him visit the area time and again to check and refresh their love and that the lock would stand forever as a beautiful tribute to their lasting love.

Alphonse kamanza, a security guard manning the old ferry said that most people believe in the padlock-locking.

He added that in the occurrence where a couple has broken up then one has to dive into the sea and retrieve the keys to unlock the padlock.

"People believe that this works and many come here to tie their padlocks. If the relationship or marriage dies one has to dive in the sea to find the key for them to separate," he said

In a situation where one person dies,  Kamanza added, one would need to cut the padlock.

According to canon Richard Otieno from ACK Mombasa memorial cathedral the act is superficial.

"That cannot give a guarantee that the marriage will stand, that the love will continue to last and who has done the research and realized that those who came there are still together or broke up?" he posed.


Citizen TV Citizen Digital Old ferry padlock of love

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