Nairobi News


BLOG: Why I’m a big believer of official marriages

People seeking to add their spouses in their NHIF cover will now have to produce valid marriage certificates to do so. Why does this look like couples are being forced to get married officially without it being said outright?

By the way, I am very happy about this. I feel people should make their marriages official. If it takes medical insurance covers to ensure that happens, the better. I have several reasons why this new regulation is exciting for me.

If a marriage is made official before the eyes of the law, at least, then so many problems would be solved. Feelings of insecurity in the relationship would be a thing of the past because this person has made their commitment to you official.

“Whether someone does an official wedding and gets a certificate or is cohabiting does not get them immune to most of these problems faced in marriage. However, for most come-we-stay marriages, ladies seem to complain more. Most are uncertain about the future and seem to look for some guarantees beyond verbal assurances. It is the belief of some spouses I have interviewed in the past who opt for a come-we-stay marriage that one partner did this to avoid long term commitment. This becomes a faulty platform on which many other issues begin to breed,” said Rev Philip Kitoto in a past interview.

These days, I always encourage people to have weddings. I had initially wanted a small intimate affair but was convinced otherwise and now I am a big believer in grand weddings. Note well, it does not necessarily have to be expensive. A simple party where your friends and family celebrate your union can be pocket friendly if the unnecessary items are foregone.

There’s no better feeling than having those closest around you witness your unification. I believe it gives more legitimacy to the relationship. This way, even if things go south, other people can help bring the two warring sides back together again.


There is no better way to know how your better half handles pressure or how the two of you can handle a situation where you have differing points of view than when planning a marriage. This is where the skills to compromise or even take the high road come into play in an otherwise amicable relationship.

When one person wants to go to the AG’s chambers on some Friday while another wants to fly everyone to Malindi for a four day wedding, the true colours of the person you are going to marry finally come out. This especially happens when the couple hasn’t been together for very long and hasn’t really experienced each other’s bad sides yet.

Signing a certificate also has the benefit of eliminating the possibility of being left high and dry when the relationship stops working. It gives one the backing of the law and helps one get legal reprieve in the case of misunderstandings and an eventual dissolution of the relationship.

If children are in the picture, at least they can be taken care of and it also helps in the distribution of property.

Which brings me to another point. How do you acquire property with one who is not legally your wife/husband? I was once told that a young couple saved very hard and really sacrificed a lot for them to build their dream home… before they were married. After the house was complete, they however had a small ceremony and lived happily ever after.

There are so many other endings that story could have had and I commend them for their courage and trust in each other. The person under whose name the land title deed is could have kicked out the other once the building was finished, for instance. Or the two could have broken up and had to divide the property between themselves. It is tricky.

When the love is still there, there is nothing one cannot do for their sweetheart, but when things sour a difficult situation is created.

All in all, NHIF, good work. Other institutions should now follow suit and make people take commitment seriously.