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Each wedding has a dark secret

By -Njoki Chege | November 26th 2012

By Njoki Chege

Beyond the façade, the glitz, glamour and the fortune spent on expensive wedding suits, gowns, dresses, flowers and limousines, lie dark secrets that would give the presiding vicar a massive coronary.

When Jacob jetted into the country from graduate studies and joined the teaching faculty at a local university, he met and fell hopelessly in love with a ‘yellow-yellow’ final year student.

Four months later, they were married at a lavish ceremony graced by her student friends and his staff mates. But the groom would have fainted had he realised why the ceremony was alive with excited chatter. The bride, resplendent in virginal white, her face oozing innocence, had slept with eight lecturers, not to mention several fellow students — who were all present at the ceremony.

As dark secrets go, the twists are embedded in wedding committees. They are no longer the innocent ‘planning and execution’ committees they used to be, but grounds for committee members to ‘zero-graze’ — one reason many couples admit they met during wedding preparations.

Prospective grooms have affairs with bridesmaids. Bridesmaids and groomsmen hook up. And there are even incidents where the best man and the bride have a sexual history dating back years, with everyone in the wedding committee — apart from the cocky groom — in the know.

Old flame

Stories about wild  ‘stag nights’ and ‘hen parties’ have been told again and again. But did you know that sometimes, brides and grooms disappear mysteriously on the eve of the wedding for ‘the last one’ with an old flame only to sheepishly resurface a few hours later?

A story is told about a bride who, on the eve of her wedding, visited a male friend at his house. He had never made a move at her but she bluntly told him it was his only chance before she officially became somebody else’s wife.

Whether she was drunk or not, what she did is not news. Ask several brides what they were up to two or three nights to their wedding and you will be shell-shocked.

Cases abound where men call their fiancees to discuss last minute plans at midday, and unknown to them, when they answer, “Hi sweetie!” they are snuggling with a former boyfriend — as he is with a former flame — in one of those mpango wa kando joints on the outskirts of town. 

The antics men pull don’t need belabouring. It is almost a given that they will be up to no good on the eve or week preceding the wedding. In any case, for some, vows hardly last a week before temptation overwhelms them.

The surprising thing is, some brides and grooms suspect the whereabouts of their runaway partners, but choose to turn a blind eye, suggesting that what happens on the eve of these weddings is some form of ‘initiation’ into bondage or married life.

Sometimes, however, things boil over, as Linus Wang’ombe discovered when the nuptials between a youthful pastor and his fiancée, who also happened to be the praise and worship leader in the church, turned into a fiasco.

According to Wang’ombe, even as wedding plans went on, the youthful pastor was having an affair with another woman in the same church. On the eve of the dowry negotiations, the pastor spent a night with this woman, who was, of course, well aware that he was engaged.

“She even ironed his shirt and prepared his breakfast before he joined his friends and relatives on the journey to his fiancée’s home for dowry negotiations. The unspoken arrangement was that she would ‘disappear’ after December 9, which was his wedding day,” says Wang’ombe.

But like all well laid plans, theirs hit the rocks when, a week to the wedding day, the mpango wa kando discovered she was pregnant. But the pastor said it was too late — all plans were in place and besides, halting the wedding would expose the affair and embarrass the church.


The jilted lover could not believe her ears, but she was smart enough not to raise hell immediately. She waited for the opportune time — two days before the wedding — to drop her bombshell.

Says Wang’ombe: “The Thursday before the wedding, she went to the senior pastor of the church and told him the truth. How that story leaked to other church members, however, remains a mystery.”

Before long, news reached the bride, who was torn between giving her fiancée the benefit of the doubt or calling off the wedding. But the pastor, with his honey-coated tongue, convinced her that this was merely a test from the devil to thwart their nuptials.

But the groom’s family was not about to risk embarrassment in case the jilted lover showed up during the wedding ceremony. They crafted a master plan that would beat her hands down.

“The wedding was to stat at 10:30am at the bride’s church, but you will not believe what happened!” says Wang’ombe.


The venue was changed to another church, which was ten kilometres away from the planned venue, and vows taken and rings exchanged at 6:30am — four hours before the ceremony was scheduled to begin. Only immediate family and two armed policemen at the door were present.

“When the jilted lover arrived to disrupt the wedding shortly before 11am, she was shocked to see the bride and groom arrive together hand in hand, with wedding bands already on their respective fingers,” says Wang’ombe with a laugh.

Everyone danced, ate cake and went home by 2pm. By 4pm, the youthful pastor and his bride were on their way to their honeymoon, as the groom’s jilted and pregnant illicit lover cried her heart out helplessly.

More bizarre was the saga of Chebet, her elder sister Cherono and Kiplagat or Kip.

 “Kip dated Chebet for about six months and even went ‘to the next level’ with her. But he broke up with her when he laid eyes on Cherono, who was away in school in Uganda,” says Kim, acquaintance.

It hurt Chebet when Kip ended their relationship, but she was devastated when she realised he was going out with her elder sister, Cherono. And when Kip proposed to Cherono, and she accepted, she went crazy.

She refused to be part of the wedding plans and flatly declined to be a bridesmaid at the wedding.

“It got to a point where she was not talking to her family because she sort of expected them to back her up against Cherono’s wedding, but none of them did,” says Kim.

Cherono and Kip got married two years ago and are expecting their first-born child. Chebet has since moved on with another man, but has not spoken to her sister — ‘the man-thief’.

And in Kisumu two years ago, what should have been a day of joy became a circus when the would-be bride changed her mind on the eve of the wedding.

Her parents, for inexplicable reasons, asked her younger sister to take her place. Dubiously, she accepted, never mind that she had a boyfriend who was known to the family and had been invited to the wedding. The next day, when he strode into church to witness his ‘sister-in-law’ get married, he was horrified to see his girlfriend in a wedding dress standing next to the groom.  When she set eyes on him, she fainted!

But her aunties, angry that he had ‘come to embarrass the family’, set upon him with kicks and blows, causing a noisy melee that left invited guests gasping with shock.

Therefore, next time you get invited to a wedding, you could be a witness  to a well-scripted farce whose dark, little secrets you will never know.

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