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Rare ‘wedding’ at groom’s funeral

John Mwangi’s wife knew what her husband wanted and she gave him exactly that on his burial day — a “wedding”.

Ms Irene Chepkemboi wept hysterically for the loss of a man she had lived with for seven years, the father of their two children — Teresiah Wangare, 5, and two-year-old David Macharia.

Mr Mwangi died on the eve of his wedding, when his vehicle plunged into the Kirandich Dam in Kabarnet, Baringo County. He had gone to the area to collect his in-laws for the big day.

Mr Mwangi and his wife had invited a comedian to emcee at the wedding. The comedian turned up for the funeral to provide comic relief at the sombre occasion, as friends and relatives mourned a man who had sought to solemnise his marriage to his childhood sweetheart.

The guest list for the funeral on Thursday was the same one that would have been used during the wedding.

Ms Chepkemboi was dressed in a red outfit, which she would have worn on the wedding. The bridal party was also dressed in matching red.

Speakers described Mr Mwangi as a humble man who had worked hard for both the church and society in general.

The St Luke’s Catholic Church Parish priest, Fr Peter Njoroge, said Mr Mwangi had grown up in church and changed the lives of many people in the various capacities he served.


“Being one of the pioneers of St Luke’s Church Meloreni, Mwangi had impacted many people, especially the youth, who looked up to him,” said Fr Njoroge.

Ms Chepkemboi is expecting their third child. Unfortunately, the baby will not meet its father.

The best man, Mr Peter Muhoro, said he had known Mr Mwangi for being a kind and outgoing man.

He said the couple had undergone counselling to ensure they would perform a bigger role in church, and all preparations for the wedding had been done before tragedy struck.

This saw the wedding committee’s role changing. This time it was dealing with the funeral.

Mr Mwangi’s uncle, Mr Francis Njoroge, said relatives had accepted Ms Chepkemoi as part of the family, and had welcomed their plan to be joined in holy matrimony.

Plenty of food was served at the funeral, which was attended by hundreds of people, with Ms Chepkemoi urging them to eat as much as they could, as Mr Mwangi would have wanted.

A five-tier cake that was meant for the wedding was also served at the funeral.