I am sorry my wife: Here are top three public apologies Kenyans will never forget
A President, a Kenya Defence Forces soldier and a police man all publicly apologized to their spouses over allegations of having ‘another woman.’ Other Kenyan men not in a similar predicament laughed, ridiculed, swore they can never make public apologies to their wives.
But what pushes a man to call a press conference, run a paid newspaper advert or publish an online sorry to a woman? Just this week, a policeman by day and popular musician by night issued a public apology on social media to his wife, friends and family over a love affair with lawyer and politician who also doubled up as the mother of their son.
Mugithi musician Samidoh (Samuel Muchoki) apologized to his wife of 11 years over his fling with city politician Karen Nyamu igniting an online fire over the fading place of patriarchy in 21st century.
President Mwai Kibaki called a Press Conference at State House
Samidoh was not the first as there a president and a military man before him. In living memory, Kenyans witnessed President Mwai Kibaki calling a Press Conference at State House Nairobi on March 3, 2009. Such Presses were usually for addressing national issues, but on that Tuesday afternoon it was a pressing domestic one.
It was barely a year after bloody violence over botched elections of 2007 and the country was being government via an uneasily stitched blanket called the Grand Coalition Government with Kibaki as president and Raila Odinga as prime Minister.
So, while Kenyans expected the Presser to be about a sudden cabinet reshuffle or sharp differences in the ‘Nusu-Mkate’ government, well, they were wrong. Shock awaited the country.
The sombre president slowly shuffled to the rostrum, wearing a charcoal grey suit and stripped tie. The late First Lady Lucy Kibaki, looking emotional and combative was dressed in a yellow dress with black stripes. Her belt was tired firmly in her midsection and the look on her face could thaw the ice atop Mt Kenya.
Standing behind the president, like obedient school boys were Head of civil service Francis Muthaura, government spokesman Alfred Mutua, trying to suppress a giggle, and Inspector General of Police, Hussein Ali who wore a suit, his eyes avoiding the cameras.
The president started by saying he was in a very foul mood. He was fed up with persistent rumors about his marital life. He stated he only had one dear wife before the first lady took over the podium. Shrieking at the press, she said was first, with no equals! She erupted with volcanic fury, threatening to sue any media house that wrote about the president’s secret family. She then invited questions, as the president looked down at his shoes, deep in thought, probably fuming at the thought that the media could suggest that he, a Makerere trained economist could be a polygamous man. After the 10-minute spectacle of a press conference was over, none of the senior journalists dared ask a question considering State House has a cell. The befuddled press corps only suppressed giggles.
President Kibaki became the talk of the country. That stereotype of harsh Nyeri women was floated again, but what could have pushed the Commander-in-Chief of Kenya’s Defense Forces, who took our soldiers to Somalia to tell the whole country “I have only one dear wife, Lucy?”
Memories of President Kibaki were rekindled this week after Samidoh posted a long embarrassing apology on social media. Samido yielded to pressure from his wife, the real serikali, and apologized publicly for siring a baby outside marriage with Karen Nyamu.
Samidoh’s apology included reaffirmation that he loved his wife, and he will not leave her for Miss Nyamu-who in a rejoinder asked him not to apologize or else he will become a slave. At least the apology did not cost Samidoh anything besides being trolled on social media.
Francis Onyiso, a solder, Kenya’s former national team goalie
The same was not the case with Francis Onyiso, a solder, Kenya’s former national team goalie.
The soldier paid for, and had published in the newspaper, a public apology for cheating on his wife. In search of the elusive peaceful and happy marriage, Onyiso’s advert read: “I, Francis Onyiso, take this opportunity to apologise to my beloved wife Janet Aoko Owino for the pain I have caused her and the family. I ask for forgiveness and promise never to repeat again.”
Of his actions he later explained: “Publishing that apology was one of the most courageous things I have ever had to do. People call me a coward, but they do not know the courage it takes for a man to put everything down and make such a move.”
Psychologist Faith Atsango says no woman would willingly agree to be in a polygamous marriage because sharing of resources becomes strained.
“Many also look at the investment they had put in place with their husbands, be it financially or emotional support, and they see the new wife an usurper who has come to reap where they didn’t sow,” says Atsango.