By Andrew Ombuni
The date was 18th August this year. This was a day like no other for one, Mr Karisa Fagio and his heartthrob Ms Cecelia Ayuma.
This day will remain memorable in the mind of the bridegroom who had to travel all the way from Milore village in Ganze, Kilifi County to brew love in a Luhya pot.
Truly, as the old adage goes, ‘Love conquers all’. The two knew that Love is patient, kind and never fails. The groom had to travel over 900kilometres and tell the Luhya nation that he was deeply in love with their daughter in open daylight.
Locals thronged the home of the bride to be, Ms Ayuma at Mulwanda village, Khwisero Sub County to witness the rare traditional wedding between lovebirds who subscribe to different cultures.
Mr Fagio, the bridegroom from the Giriama community whereas Ms Ayuma, the bride is from the Kisa sub tribe from the Ingokho eating land.
The ceremony was jointly conducted by elders from the two communities in Kakamega County.
The wedding was conducted at the bride’s native village thus breaking the traditional laws that when a woman is getting married, the wedding ceremony is normally conducted at the bridegroom’s home save for the pre –wedding that is conducted at the bride’s native home.
The ceremony started at 6.00am when the Agiriama elders escorted the bridegroom to Khwisero Sub County to pay dowry of at least 6 cows to get his wife Ms Ayuma.
The cows were left a kilometer away and the convoy of sleek cars allowed to snake into the bride’s compound.
The bridegroom’s family was being entertained by Isikuti dancers from the Isukha community.
After they delivered the cows plus a good sum of money, they ate traditional Ugali made of Wimbi and the traveled back to Kakamega town where the traditional wedding was held at Amalemba estate.
In an interview with the County Guardian News, Bosco Shilingi and the groom’s spokesperson said that women are not allowed to accompany men during dowry payments since it’s considered as bad omen.
“The function is only for the elders to pay dowry. After dowry is paid and then followed by a traditional wedding, women will visit the bride on their own,” said Mr Shilingi.
He said Giriama traditions dictate that when you are marrying from another community with a different culture, you go teach them your culture so that you don’t mix it with western culture that was brought by foreigners.
Mr Fagio and the groomsmen arrived at the venue of the ceremony dressed in a crown, white vest and a kikoi tied around the waist, a scarf and were putting on sandals. He also had a stick to signify that he was now becoming a community elder.
Ms Ayuma and her maids too were dressed in Agiriama traditional loose dresses with sandals also but the bride was barefoot. She had been smeared with coconut oil also.
All this time, Isikuti dancers had been relieved of their duties and now the entertained had been taken over by a band entertaining the guests with Giriama wedding songs and acrobats as they awaited the bride to come out of the house and walk down the aisle.
When the time came for the couple to walk down the aisle, Mr Fagio entered the homestead from the main gate dancing to the Giriama tunes whereas the Ms Ayuma while being escorted by her mother came out of the house also dancing to the tunes.
They two met at the middle of the compound and the bride knelt down and then handed over the whisk (mkia) the husband to be who blessed her.
They are then joined by other family members and dance to the Giriama traditional songs for over 30 minutes, moving around the compound while holding hands together.
After exchanging vows, they ate the cake and Swahili dishes were served to all the revelers who thronged into the compound to be part of the rare occasion.
Mr Fagio said that they came to show Luhyas that they have their own culture that must be observed; adding communities should not forego their cultures and embrace a foreign one.
Ms Ayuma said she has found the love of her heart with whom they already have two kids saying the husband had shown her respect to hold such a ceremony during her birthday.