Nairobi News


5 times Ruto spearheaded dowry negotiations for high profile personalities

Dowry, a custom ingrained in cultural landscapes worldwide, stands as a living testament to the elaborate interplay between tradition, gender dynamics and societal expectations. At its core lies a practice that often compels men to negotiate- not with the woman they seek to marry- but with her male family members. This tradition often serves as a means of financial security for newlyweds in some foreign cultures, facilitating the establishment of households and the formal bringing together of two families as official weddings are planned for.

Dowry negotiators- often male relatives and friends of the father of the bride and of the groom to be- meet at the bride’s home and discussions are held over what the bride’s family expects from the groom as a token of appreciation for how his bride was raised to adulthood, and a sign of respect to the family of the bride.

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It is here that the groom’s team is expected to dust off their negotiation and communication skills, remember their ‘calm under pressure’, adaptability and patience strengths, remember how to problem solve on the spot and show empathy to the bride’s family because their daughter is no longer their little girl as they work to allow the bride’s family to release her to her future husband.

Lately, it would appear that Kenya’s President William Ruto has been dusting off his dowry negotiating skills considering the several traditional ceremonies where he spearheaded talks between two families set to become in-laws.

  1. Mr David Ruto- Four years ago, while deputy president, President Ruto joined elders in negotiating dowry for his younger brother, David Ruto, in Ziwa illage, Uasin Gishu County. Mr Ruto sought the hand of Carol Kitur. President Ruto was then accompanied by several senior politicians from Rift Valley region to the private koito (Kalenjin dowry ceremony).
  2. Ms June Ruto- while deputy president, President Ruto was part of the dowry negotiations for his eldest daughter, June Ruto in May 2021. The ceremony was held in President Ruto’s turf as June’s as June’s suitor, Nigerian Dr Alex Ezenag, sought to make her his wife. A host of elite Nigerians were part of Dr Ezenag’s negotiation team including a former Aviation minister.
  3. Mr Nick Ruto- In January 2022, while deputy president, President Ruto was part of the dowry negotiations for his eldest son, Nick, in a koito that took place at his private Karen residence. Nick sought the hand of Evelyn Chemtai and the entire Ruto family, including his mother, were present at the traditional ceremony that was fused with modern fashion and luxury.
  4. Ms Nyambura Wambui- In January 2023, President Ruto attended dowry negotiation talks for Nyambura, the daughter of Mary Wambui, the Communications Authority of Kenya Board Chairperson. It was his first negotiation ceremony as head of state.
  5. Hopefully, MP Peter Salasya- Yesterday, President Ruto said he was willing to pay the bride price to get a wife for the first time MP for Mumias East. Ruto claimed Salasya had become stubborn and he needed a wife to settle down. He said this in reference to Salasya’s interactions with his senior Azimio La Umoja Alliance colleagues whom Ruto claimed were derailing the youthful politician.