Love is in the air, its sweet aroma wafting across the Mwea rice fields like the pishori that lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo will be devouring when he weds Governor Anne Waiguru and becomes the First Gentleman of Kirinyaga County.
Few however know that Waiguru is not her father’s name – it is the name Anne Mumbi assumed when she wed the first love of her life: Tony. Interviews with people close to the couple paint a picture of a social, easy-going man who deeply loved his wife.
“Tony used to think the world started and ended with Anne. He loved her to bits, and wanted everyone to know she is his wife. He usually was and is still very proud of the achievements of the mother of his children,” says a friend.
A source intimates that even though Tony’s law firm is thriving and doing brisk business, Anne still bought him a BMW X5 as a gift a few years back, a sign that the two have long buried the torment and bitterness that accompanies most bitter divorces.
“She even bought him a townhouse in Kiambu and at one point, refurbished his entire office. It’s not that Tony can’t afford it, but they are friends and she likes gifting him things,” added the source.
Tony and Anne met in the mid-90s at the Nairobi Lighthouse Church, where both worshipped.
Anne grew up in Kariobangi North in Nairobi’s Eastlands with her family, before joining Precious Blood High School, and finally Egerton University. Tony, on the other hand, had led a privileged life from birth. His father was a loaded MP from Murang’a. Tony studied law in India.
“Tony’s family is pretty well-off, but they don’t show off. All of them are staunch Christians who serve in the church,” says our source, who has known the family for decades.
Both Anne and Tony were pious and humble; the perfect saved couple who strongly believed in their faith. They didn’t party at nightclubs and were teetotallers.
“Anne met Tony and it was love at first sight. Everybody was really jealous of him. He had the most beautiful girlfriend in town. She was humble, very intelligent and extremely beautiful. She even had a gap between her front teeth,” revealed our source.
“Everybody thought Tony was a lucky man to have married such a beauty.”
Back then, just like today, Anne was assertive.
“At one point, Anne wasn’t happy with some issues at Nairobi Lighthouse Church, where her husband’s brother was a pastor. She raised it and when they couldn’t agree, she quit the church and started going to Karura Community Church, which was then a project of Nairobi Chapel,” reveals a close friend.
It was at Karura Community Church that Anne first met city lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo, who was a member of the church’s Elders Court.
As Anne rose through the ranks, cracks in their marriage began. Close friends say between 2003 and 2004 when Anne worked for economist Dr David Ndii’s Kenya Leadership Institute in Nairobi, the strain in their marriage was palpable.
Our source recalls: “Waiguru was an ambitious and hard worker. Tony was laid back and wasn’t the type of man to engage in the cutthroat world of clambering up career ladders. He had money, he was comfortable and didn’t see the need to strain. On the other hand, his wife Anne was extremely ambitious and nothing could stand in her way.
“She got her work done so well, never let any hurdles stop her, straining to deliver at work, and still be in the lives of her three children. She would go home early, do all the wifely duties, put the children to bed, then get back to work until midnight.
“At five in the morning, she would be up again. Anne was unstoppable,” our source added.
By the time she was seconded to the World Bank, the marriage had broken down and Tony, whose office was at Queensway building in Nairobi, had stopped going to work.
He moved out of their Runda home and went to live in the servants’ quarters of his twin brother’s house in Ngumo estate.
“Anne was battling her divorce, the weight of parenting without her husband and the extreme pressures of her job. It was a miracle she didn’t break down. She started focusing all her energy on three things: Her children, her work and the church.
“Meanwhile, it took Tony about six months to shake off the divorce and re-establish his law firm. The divorce was very acrimonious and the two weren’t on talking terms,” the source revealed.
But when Anne was elevated to Cabinet secretary for Devolution, the two met and ironed out their differences. They are now in talking terms and are actually good friends, each having moved on with their lives.