unnamed 13 350x233 - ‘He was arrested on wedding eve,’ Beth Mugo on 61 years in marriage

At their family home in Kitisuru, Nairobi, guests including family members, friends and dignitaries among them Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka are seated.

Nominated Senator Beth Mugo and her husband Nicholas Mugo hold hands as they march slowly to a tent where a service is being held.

Behind them is their best couple and then their grandchildren.

“There come the bride and her team,” Evangelist Lucy Wangunjiri, the leader of Prayer Without Borders Ministry announces to the now cheering gathering.

The Mugos take their place in the front row. Wangunjiri is leading the service with hymns and interludes of prayers.

It is a celebratory service marking the 61st anniversary of Beth and Nicholas Mugo’s wedding.

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unnamed 5 - ‘He was arrested on wedding eve,’ Beth Mugo on 61 years in marriageIt was also a celebration of the senator’s 80th birthday, having attained that in July.

It is approaching the climax and the gathering is in a refectory mood; Wangunjiri invites the couple to make a speech.

“[Couples present] please join us and read to each other, meaning every word. Those in relationships or still praying for partners also read it,” Senator Mugo arose and told the gathering.

The couple read from a poem printed on the programme booklet.

“Sometimes, I know I have behaved stupidly, let me acknowledge, you have forgiven me happily. On such occasions, I have more understood that together, we are meant to overcome our stupidity. For indeed, you are the bone of my bone,” part of the seven stanza poem read.

Reverend Lucy Mbugua, the founder of Homecare Spiritual Fellowship in her sermon taught about ‘keeping the fire [of love] burning.’

Mbugua hailed Beth’s commitment to her marriage and family, quoting the senator’s speech during one of her campaign stops in 1992.

“If you are deciding to give me your vote, decide quickly because it is almost six and I want to go home and cook for my husband,” Beth is said to have told a gathering at Uthiru area during her first campaign for Dagoretti seat in 1992. 

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unnamed 6 - ‘He was arrested on wedding eve,’ Beth Mugo on 61 years in marriageReminiscing on her marriage, the senator said her public life came second to her role as a wife and a mother.

“My public life has never kept me from being a wife and a mother. In fact, I know I’m a wife first, then a mother and them the public life,” she said. 

Beth said only tolerance and communication has sustained their marriage.

“In all my married life, I have known that no conflict or disagreement is too big to be overcome by dialogue. Nick and I have always known that dialogue is the only way to solve things,” she told reporters after the service. 

Having been married at 19, the former minister and Dagoreti MP recollected that both of them did not have money to afford a honeymoon, hence stayed at home after their wedding.

        “In fact on the eve of the wedding, Nick was arrested because it was the times of a colonial State of Emergency. It took the intervention of my dad who was a D.O in Gatundu to have him released for the occasion,” she said. 

The couple has four children and five grandchildren.

On what melted her heart for the first time, Beth said, “He told me that loved me and that I’m the only girl that he ever loved.”

Her cancer foundation was at the heart of the celebration with guests told not to carry gifts but to donate towards the foundation.

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The foundation conducts prostate, breast and cervical cancer screening for free.

As part of the celebrations, free screening camps were held on Saturday and Sunday at St. Andrews church in Nairobi.

Here are photos from the ceremony.

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 GORDON OSEN/The Star

 

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