‘Everyday’s been Valentine for 50 years’

PHOTO/ANTONY OMUYA  Mr Joshua Njuguna Mbugua with his wife Anna Wanjiku at their home in Lari. Anna was First Lady Lucy Kibaki’s pupil before this couple got married in 1962.

PHOTO/ANTONY OMUYA Mr Joshua Njuguna Mbugua with his wife Anna Wanjiku at their home in Lari. Anna was First Lady Lucy Kibaki’s pupil before this couple got married in 1962.

By NYAMBEGA GISESA engisesa@yahoo.com
Posted  Tuesday, February 14  2012 at  22:30

That deal did not give him any cash, but his well-paying job plus his age convinced him that it was time for marriage.

Growing the love with Anna was not easy. She was still a student, and her teachers were strict about her education.

Her favourite teacher, Lucy, had assigned her the role of taking care of flowers, an extra duty that kept her away from boys.

“I was more of a prefect for flowers,” she said as she walked us through flowers planted in her farm, a passion she developed from those days in college.

That teacher is now better known as Lucy Kibaki, the First Lady.

Anna’s husband Njuguna recalls the relationship that turned into marriage within a very short time: “(President) Kibaki took the teacher, and I took one of her best students.’’

Anna knew that Njuguna was the man she wanted to marry months before he proposed.

When the time came, Anna sat for days and sewed her wedding gown. The budget for the whole wedding was less than Sh260.

“We spent Sh12 on shoes, a suit for Sh50 and the other cash for other expenses,” Anna who still keeps the piece of paper where the budget was scribbled, said.

She wore a light white dress with white laces, while he donned a black suit.

Most of the bridal team, who shared that joyous occasion with them, have since died.

The wedding was a big family affair, bringing together two families from neighbouring villages, Anna from Lari Location and Njuguna from Kaaga Location.

Anna was among the few lucky survivors who escaped from a burning hut during the Lari Massacre, one of the worst pre-independence attacks that left almost all those targeted dead.

Hundreds of family members attended the wedding that took place at St Stephen’s PCEA Church, Kaaga.

When it was over, a number of them travelled 50 kilometres for a photo shoot in Nairobi.

That deal did not give him any cash, but his well-paying job plus his age convinced him that it was time for marriage.

Growing the love with Anna was not easy. She was still a student, and her teachers were strict about her education.

Her favourite teacher, Lucy, had assigned her the role of taking care of flowers, an extra duty that kept her away from boys.

“I was more of a prefect for flowers,” she said as she walked us through flowers planted in her farm, a passion she developed from those days in college.

That teacher is now better known as Lucy Kibaki, the First Lady.

Anna’s husband Njuguna recalls the relationship that turned into marriage within a very short time: “(President) Kibaki took the teacher, and I took one of her best students.’’

Anna knew that Njuguna was the man she wanted to marry months before he proposed.

When the time came, Anna sat for days and sewed her wedding gown. The budget for the whole wedding was less than Sh260.

“We spent Sh12 on shoes, a suit for Sh50 and the other cash for other expenses,” Anna who still keeps the piece of paper where the budget was scribbled, said.

She wore a light white dress with white laces, while he donned a black suit.

Most of the bridal team, who shared that joyous occasion with them, have since died.

The wedding was a big family affair, bringing together two families from neighbouring villages, Anna from Lari Location and Njuguna from Kaaga Location.

Anna was among the few lucky survivors who escaped from a burning hut during the Lari Massacre, one of the worst pre-independence attacks that left almost all those targeted dead.

Hundreds of family members attended the wedding that took place at St Stephen’s PCEA Church, Kaaga.

When it was over, a number of them travelled 50 kilometres for a photo shoot in Nairobi.

Once in the city, not all of them could fit in the photo studio.

“We took photos in turns. A few family members gave way to others and hours later, we were done,” Mr Njuguna recalls.

Taifa Leo published their wedding photos two months later as a “wedding that just happened”.

Months later, the couple welcomed the first of their six children.

This March, the lovebirds that got married on March 3, 1962, will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary at their Lari home.

Has it been bliss all these years?

“Except for the normal arguments, life has been smooth for us,” the couple said.

During our visit, they argued about how best to take their photos.

Anna wanted to change to more presentable clothes and apply some lotion, but her husband insisted she was just fine.

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