Left, Mr and Mrs Odipo via Kenya-today.co.ke and right, The single-roomed house in Githurai 44 estate, Nairobi where a couple committed suicide. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
$78,000 wedding debt leads newlywed Kenyan couple to commit suicide
It used to be that Africans on the continent had simple marriage rites where families even identified admirable traits in wards of friends or associates and preceded to negotiate love terms with such parents or guardians on behalf of their sons. The demands before the marriage gets contracted differed from territory to territory nonetheless while the suitor had to prove his ableness to cater for the needs of the woman he seeks, the custom was that such items to be presented for the hand of a woman needn’t be so costly as to ruin the man or the young union. And so livestock, farm produce, alcohol or cattle were items traded and when money held sway taking over from the barter system, things were still reasonably done. However, lifestyle alterations for the worse involving the desire to have grander marriage ceremonies have led many to debt and ruin. Focusing energies and attention to the day of marriage and making little provision for the days ahead, some couples have had their anticipated marriage bliss turn sour with quarrels as debtors put on the pressure to retrieve their funds.
A Kenyan couple reportedly took their lives after having a lavish wedding in anticipation of receiving generous gifts and cash, but were given a rude awakening when wealthy friends, relatives and associates gave little funds rather leaving bests wishes and flowers for them.
Kenya-today.co.ke reports that Mr. & Mrs. Odipo saddled with the debt committed suicide four days after the Ksh7.9 million or $78,000 wedding. A reported suicide note left behind by the couple reads: “We are embarrassed & ashamed that we could not start our new life in happiness because you people did not make us happy as we expected.” As often happens with some wedding receptions, the couple complained of invitees coming only to feast with no gifts adding they couldn’t even go on their honeymoon as planned.
It has emerged the wedding was held at a five-star hotel with special guests, VVIPs and VIPs in session of whom the deceased couple bragged about as being millionaires who would bring along expensive gifts and cash. A family member also claimed three choppers were hired to ferry the families and the couple. The unexpected death has hit both families in Kisumu-a Kenyan port city on Lake Victoria. FACE2FACE AFRICA.