Wedding bells go silent
Posted by Administrator on February 7, 2012
Muthoni died in a road accident on Friday January 27, just a week before the wedding, and was buried last Friday.
After months of preparations for their big day and the sleepless nights that came along, Charles Ikama and Muthoni were happy that the involving activities were coming to an end that week.
Muthoni, 22, decided to pick her wedding dress and a few other items from Nairobi on a Friday, just a week before the wedding, and visit her sister who had given birth at Kenyatta National Hospital.
After visiting her sister, Muthoni made a telephone call to her fiancÈ at 5.30pm telling him that she had just left the hospital and was heading for her uncle’s house in Nairobi’s Mwiki Estate where she was staying for the night.
At 7:30pm Muthoni had not yet called him; it was unusual for her not to tell him she had arrived home but two hours later and no call from her, he assumed she must be home and decided to call her instead.
With that call, his world came crushing around him. On the other end of the line, a woman was wailing.
He didn’t recognise her.
“I told her I wanted to speak to Muthoni but she told me that I could not speak to her at that moment. It did not make sense to me. In the background I could hear commotion and more wailing,” says Ikama.
Being alone in what would have been their new home in Githunguri, Ikama walked down to a neighbour’s house seeking company to calm himself as he was shaking like a leaf. It was while at the neighbour’s that he received the heart shattering call from his fiancÈe’s uncle.
“He told me that Muthoni had passed on and that they were taking her to the mortuary. All I could ask is why they were taking her to the mortuary … I didn’t understand. I later came to my senses and called him back telling him not to book her in before I saw her,” he said.
In Nyeri her parents and family received the same heart shattering call. All they knew was that they were going to walk their daughter down the aisle to meet her groom the following Saturday, on February 4, and it took a while to comprehend that their daughter had actually died.
Muthoni, who was working as a computer tutor at Pinnacle College in Nyeri, was so organised that she wanted to plan her life quite quickly. A week before her big day, everything was almost ready and invitation cards had been sent out. The church announcements had already been done and a venue set.
Because she didn’t want to do things in the last minute, Muthoni had gone to Nairobi to collect the last of her wedding supplies, among them her wedding gown.
At 7pm, the matatu she had boarded stopped at a Mwiki Estate stage for her and three others to alight — a male passenger, Muthoni and her cousin.
The man was the first to step out while Muthoni was next. And that is when it happened. As she stepped out and one foot on the ground and the other still in the car, the tout signalled the driver to drive away.
Muthoni fell and the matatu drove over her, crushing her ribs and head.
People started screaming at the driver, asking him to stop while Muthoni’s cousin, who was still in the matatu, wanted to know why she had been taken beyond her drop-off point.
Soon, a crowd gathered around Muthoni but it was too late, she had died on the spot.
And that is where Ikama found her that night. “It was heartbreaking, sudden, an uncertain and extremely painful moment for me,” he told The Standard in an interview.
Just like Ikama, Muthoni’s parents, friends and siblings are yet to come to terms with her tragic death saying that all they pray for is strength to carry on.
“It is a very difficult and painful moment for our family,” says her father, David Mwangi, tears welling up in his eyes.
Her brother, Peter Karite, and sister, Catherine Nduta, remember Muthoni as a person with a big heart, whom they will miss terribly.
With a distant look in his eyes, Ikama recalls the last moments he spent with his fiancÈe, whom he had dated for two years, with nostalgia.
“The last thing I told her was that I had a beautiful surprise for her and she would love it. I was referring to the house we would move into after our wedding, she was never to see it. I only pray to God to give me strength to move on from this point.”
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