Uhuru postpones dowry ceremony

Uhuru Kenyatta and wife Margret Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta and wife Margret Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta has postponed paying the dowry of his great-grandmother named Musana from Narok after three centuries.

The president wanted to pay the bride price to correct the wrongs his great-grandfather committed in the late 1890s before the Christmas season.

However, the event, which was slated for this month has been pushed forward after Uhuru’s mother, the matriarch of the family, told the family that she won't be around. Family members said Uhuru will not be in Mombasa during the Christmas season but will also travel to an undisclosed location for a rest. The details of the holiday remain scanty.

Mama Ngina, who is traveling outside the country, will be back in February next year for the historical family event.

“We feel bad it has delayed for more than 300 years but we will definitely honor it,” Uhuru’s cousin Kungu Muigai told the Star on phone.

“We are prepared for the historical event only that things have been coming up.”

Among the things that delayed the event are the busy political schedules for the president after the disputed polls and his diary.

The family members told the Star that he is traveling for a short Christmas holiday to rest after a tough election season.

Multiple sources told the Star that the dowry event will provide a rare moment for the Uhuru families –both close and extended –to meet at the Great Rift Lodge. It is long since the family came together.

“At the event, we will only have 50 people from our side and we also expect 50 from the other side. It is a private family event and we would like to keep politics away,” he said.

The family, with the help of Maasai Council of elders, established that Agikuyu warriors raided the Maasai village known as Naroosura two centuries ago. They stole a herd of cattle and a girl who was later married to Magana and baptised Wanjiru. She gave birth to Kung’u Magana who was the father of former President Jomo Kenyatta, James Muigai and Kung’u Muigai. The former president gave birth to Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.

“Because President Uhuru was named after his great-grandfather, Muigai, the onus is on him to pay his bride prize,” Uhuru’s cousin Captain (Rtd) Kungu Muigai told the Star in June last year during an exclusive interview.


On the first week of December, all the family members related to Musana were asked to make their schedules flexible this festive season to honour the tradition of paying the dowry. However, it was postponed on Jamuhuri day.

The family believes paying bride price is mandatory regardless of the time it takes to settle the debt.

Uhuru’s cousins, former Gatundu South MP Ngengi Muigai and his brother Kung’u Muigai, as well as Ole Gilisho family in Narok, are working on the final details of the event. Ole Gilisho family is Musana’s relatives.

The Ole Gilisho family has already constructed a manyatta as per the Maasai traditions at their Naroosura home in Narok West sub-county.

The family will meet at the Great Rift Valley Lodge. It was not clear if the event will be held at the Lodge or at the Naroosura village in Narok.

Sources within the family said they will discuss post Uhuru politics and other family issues.

The event comes after Uhuru promised to trace the roots of his great-grandmother to pay the bride price when he ascended to power in 2013.

The Maasai council of elders played a significant role in tracing the roots of the girl and negotiations.

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