EVERYONE needs love, but for Simeon Muchemedzi, love has been elusive.

His last attempt to fall in love was at the age of 36 when angry parents of his 15-year-old lover set dogs on him in Ascot, Gweru.

Muchemedzi, now, 50, has vowed not to let his deep need for a partner threaten his dear life.

But for someone who has already gone past the middle ages as a single man, societal pressure to marry has more than intensified and Muchemedzi has found himself searching again. Being a bachelor and a virgin at 50 is something that attracts scorn from youths of today who lose their virginity at puberty.

For Muchemedzi, a pastor at a local church, virginity is a gift he wants to give his bride on their honeymoon.

Virginity is no longer that sacred as the present generation has not kept it sacrosanct. Virginity soaps for girls now litter the streets. The soaps are used to hoodwink suitors who are obsessed by the 'old' phenomenon kept sacred by the past generations.

When the news crew interviewed Muchemedzi  about his newspaper vending business, the bachelor was hopeful  one day he would find a bride who preferably should be a virgin.

A chat with the clergyman leaves you in stitches as he tells his untold story of celibacy for 50 long years. At his age, Muchemedzi should be having grandchildren, running around him and asking for folktales, but he is lonely.

"I tried the love game when I proposed a Form 3 student from Ascot, but the parents threatened to beat me up and set dogs on me. In fear, I ran away and never found the love of my life. She is probably married now," Muchemedzi said.

Strangely, Muchemedzi prefers school girls and never bothered himself with single mothers or divorcees of his age.

"I want to marry a virgin like myself and you can only find those in school. I think I can settle for an 18-year-old girl," he chuckled.

Staying alone at that age means doing virtually everything for oneself and Muchemedzi, who says he is a devout Christian, enjoys cooking.

"I am self-sufficient and happy too. I make sure I live a comfortable, stress free life," he said.

Facing stigma from society, Muchemedzi is always viewed as a weird person by neighbours who taunt him. Muchemedzi who led a breakaway group from a well-known church said he has not yet found a suitable wife from his congregation.

Still searching at a cool 50, Muchemedzi would go to the ends of the earth to find love which nature has not been fair enough to afford him.

"I know that one day she will come and I am still waiting. I do not want to get married for convenience’s sake  because that is not right. Neither do I want to divorce my wife when I eventually get married," he said.

The search for a bride goes on for the bachelor who hopes to walk down the aisle with the love of his life one of these fines days.

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