Gloria Muliro's return from divorce to new start

Gospel singer Gloria and Pastor Sabwami got married in New York [Courtesy]

A humble background where there was almost no hope for tomorrow. A crumpled marriage and a painful divorce. Then, a colourful wedding – and new life in the land of milk and honey.

That is Gloria Muliro’s shame to triumph story. At least, the sweet and short of it.

Last Saturday, six years after walking out of her troubled marriage with her then pastor husband Eric Omba, the celebrated gospel singer walked down the aisle with yet another man of the cloth.

The holy nuptial with her fiancé Evans Sabwami comes six months after she broke the news exclusively to The Standard that she had fallen again in love and that she was ready to pick up the pieces and move on after healing from her divorce.

Besides the privacy with which the New York wedding was conducted before a friend of the new couple leaked the photos on social media, there was no surprise that the two were headed to a union.

Since April, the two had engaged family members in preparations for the solemn day.

The last ceremony, a pre-wedding party had been conducted in Eldoret on October 8, after a traditional wedding was held about seven months ago.

After inviting family members and a closely-knit circle of friends with orders that the news should not go public till their honeymoon was over, the newlyweds woke up to the shock of the whole world congratulating them.

“Finally finally… My autumn wedding in New York,” Gloria captioned some images.

“We honestly did not plan to announce our big day to the public, the agreement was that we would have a low-key wedding ceremony. The guests had been informed of that. But after somebody posted some photos, we felt obligated to announce this to the world,” Gloria told The Standard on Wednesday.

“As you would expect, we still haven’t gotten the official wedding photos to share with the media. Also, we wanted to settle down before giving our full story that we will share with you soon,” she said.

The singer said that together with her sweetheart, they are enjoying their autumn, a fun time associated with all the good things in life including baking and roasting chestnuts.

And just like that, another leading Kenyan gospel singer has followed after Emmy Kosgei’s roots, marrying an established man of the gospel ministry and relocating.

“We will be here in New York City,” said the woman from Emuhaya, Vihiga, as she gave indications that she plans to keep her mission that involves running an orphanage and supporting youth church groups supported.

A trained minister of the gospel, the singer now joins her husband in ministry on an expanded role, adding to her singing career.

Known for gospel hits such as Ndio Yako (2015), Narudisha (2017), and Nakubaliana (2020), the award-winning star has been open about low moments that left deep scars in her life after a painful separation and eventual divorce. 

Together with Omba, they had held a colourful wedding in 2010. The marriage ended in 2015 in a ‘messy and ugly’ style after she walked out, citing infidelity and mistreatment.

And even as the divorce process was completed, Omba was still in denial as he insisted that he was in love with her and that nobody could replace her.

“My husband is the love of my life. He is my best friend and the most important man in my life. Truly, he is the man behind my happiness, renewal and joy,” said Gloria.

She added, “He does not like our private lives discussed in the media, and that is why we have had to keep most of our relationship details secret. This is a lifelong journey.”

Sabwami is an American citizen of Kenyan origin. He is a pastor, an engineer, and graphics artiste. The two lovebirds complement each other in that they share a passion for gospel ministry, music and philanthropy.

The rather publicity-shy man was divorced more than eight years ago and has been single since.  

Even though Sabwami was not available for comment, Gloria indicated that they would give an extensive interview about their life after settling down.

The Anatenda singer said the challenges she had gone through had turned to good, noting that “my past is behind me now”.

Away from the scars, she said the most important thing is that God gave her strength to walk through the fire and come out stronger.

“I would not want to talk about what happened back then. That is behind me now,” she said, adding that it was not easy having the whole world watching, with some people judging and others comforting.

Gloria and Omba are not the only Kenyan gospel couple to go through a divorce. Betty Bayo and city preacher Victor Kanyari parted ways after it was alleged that he was faking miracles in his church. Together they have two children.

Since November last year, it has been rumoured that Betty is engaged. And Kanyari was quick to respond to the rumours. He said he was shocked to learn that the man she was dating is a divorcee.

"I thought she was going to marry 'Jesus' after all the hateful things she said about me," Kanyari said during an interview.

"He is a man who left his family, a wife and two children somewhere. She did not look for Jesus, tell her to marry a holier 'Jesus' kind of a man so she can surprise us, not a man who has been used somewhere."

Back in 2016, celebrated singer Eunice Njeri separated with her newlywed husband Issac Bukasa aka Izzo, barely 24-hours after their wedding in Texas.

The two had announced their engagement through Instagram two months before the wedding in the US, where Izzo lives.

As dramatic as they come, there was no happily thereafter for the couple as Njeri felt a change of wind explaining that her heart was in Kenya, and not in the US.

“I was not going with my heart at the time, I was also very sick. I had fibroids. Bleeding a lot and at the same time, I thought I should get married. I was like maybe I should do this, why am I saying no? I have been saying no for 20 years maybe it is time to say yes,” Njeri said during a TV interview.

And Stylish preacher and motivational speaker Robert Burare has publically discussed his divorce with his wife, citing communication breakdown and not spending enough time together as one of the reasons they parted ways.

 Eight years on, he has announced that he would like to remarry.