Holidays are known for ceremonies from engagements to weddings but the coronavirus pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the African way of life.
In a sleepy village of Kapkiruok in Katiorin location, Baringo North sub-county, Kenya, a very unusual ceremony took place as three women chose to be married off on the same day.
Families of the daughters and the bridegrooms chose to hold a joint and single ceremony to ease the financial burden of holding three weddings for their children.
The bridegrooms travelled all the way from Bungoma, Uasin Gishu and Keiyo in Elgeyo-Marakwet respectively to tie the knot with their beloved betrothed.
It was not an easy decision as some of them disclosed.
“It was God’s miracle to even come this far and even to plan the ceremony for the same day. Our Lord did not disappoint us”, said Cirus Shikuku.
Shikuku said that holding the ceremony on the same day helped the family of the brides to ease their financial burden as well as planning activities.
“We planned for the ceremony for the past six years and it has been a trying moment even to hold it during the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
Dorcas Kulei, Shikuku’s fiancée said that they agreed as the siblings to have the ceremony on the same occasion especially due to the challenges being experienced currently.
“We would have done the ceremony early this year but was rescheduled and thus affected by the coronavirus,” she said.
She said that their budget cost slightly above Sh200,000 that would have cost over Sh600,000 for all of them separately.
Emmanuel Ruto, another bridegroom, said the occasion was a successful one despite cultural differences.
Albanus Chesire, who is from Keiyo, said that he has always longed for a good wife and had been planning but Covid-19 had hampered his plans until the sisters decided to do a joint wedding.
The local assistant chief, Kangogi Chebii, said they had never had a mass wedding the sub-location.
He called on the people to adopt the modern ways of cutting down on extravagant expenditure on ceremonies to avoid wastage of resources.
James Chelal, one of the family members, said that they were having challenges handling individual ceremony due to the rescheduling of the dates until they settled on a single date.
Luka Amdany, the bridegrooms’ father, said that they expected to marry off the first girl some months before the coronavirus pandemic but they were forced to reschedule the ceremony.
“I am happy because all the girls chose to bring their husbands to us. We bless them and I want to encourage all other girls to always seek the blessing of their parents before starting their families,” he said.
Traditionally and in keeping with the customs of Kalenjin, an elder girl should be married off first before the younger ones.