Journalist Interrupts Girlfriend's Ruracio Negotiations

  • Ladies hide their faces as groom tries to identify lover during a past ruracio ceremony.
    Ladies hide their faces as groom tries to identify lover during a past ruracio ceremony.
  • The day began on an upbeat note because our colleague Alex Maina, a journalist with, was poised to be at the center of cutthroat dowry negotiations during the world-famous ruracio ceremony.

    Known for his flamboyant extravagance and big-ego demeanor, for the first time, Alex was somewhat recluse and withdrawn in what, as I thought, was a sign that he was afraid of what the day had in store for him.

    I knew that because the previous evening, he had confided in me that he did not have the courage to face his father-in-law King’ang’i Munene, a burly, sports-loving Arsenal fanatic that never minces his words. Alex was not sure he could face him and still tactically roll the dice associated with identifying his lover correctly.

    In the past negotiations of which I was a part of, the family of Alex’s lover, Betty, who was his high school sweetheart, had demanded not less than Ksh500,000 in dowry payment before giving away their daughter.

    Women wear masks during a past ruracio ceremony
    Women wear masks during a past ruracio ceremony.

    In the nature of ruracio, several ladies of a similar build as that of the bride are often lined up and the groom asked to identify his lover. For every wrong choice, a fine is imposed and in this case, it was pegged at Ksh 50,000

    The scribe was jittery that his salary range would not be able to cover the wrong choices that he had anticipated to make, and he makes a whole lot.

    We, a team of 5, arrived at the homestead in Nyeri at around 10 a.m. to ululations from women dressed in lux flare dresses. The gentlemen in the crowd were poised but permanently with a ‘Let’s see what you are made of’ expressions on their faces.

    By this time, our groom had amassed some courage and threw a few dance moves during the welcoming ceremony but as his most trusted friend, I could sense that he was not completely his confident self. The only other times he gets out of his element is when his premier league team, Manchester United, loses a match.

    We were first ushered into a buffet section and man, it did not disappoint. All meals found in the age-old ceremonies including mbuzi choma and mokimo were available. Our first interaction with Mzee King’ang’i was at the meal table and he was preternaturally psyched. Most likely because his die-hard team, Arsenal was set to battle it out with Man U later.

    In between bouts of chitchat over Miguu za Mbuzi, the father-in-law would pause to make a toast mostly showering praises on his daughter on how educated but still down-to-earth she is.

    The most interesting stage of the ceremony came at around 3 p.m. - coinciding with the epic game between the two Premier League giants. As we proceeded to the front yard where 8 women covered in Kitenge from head to toe sat, highlights from the game 1,000 miles away in the UK began streaming in.

    Alex was put on the spot to identify the love of his life, he identified the wrong one and forfeited 50 grand. In bated breath, attendees observed keenly as he was ordered to the stage once again but seated quietly in a corner showing a lack of enthusiasm was his father in-law. No one understood why he did not celebrate when the journalist lost his shot.

    As the event progressed, King’ang’i became more and more distant and distracted. It was then that my colleague ordered the MC to halt the ceremony with 5 women still on the line up as he proceeded to talk to his father inlaw who was getting more distracted

    After a hushed-tone chat, Alex discovered that his in-law was on the verge of watching his team Arsenal lose a game which would have earned him bragging rights at the after party. He also confirmed that he had placed a bet on his favorite platform - Betika - something he often does to demonstrate confidence in his team.

    A screenshot of Betika website
    A screenshot of Betika website.

    Arsenal had a slight 1-0 lead but had received two red cards in a span of five minutes. Man U were surely going to turn it around and win!

    In a quick turn of events, Alex introduced him to the cash out feature allowing cash outs to mitigate losses. This meant that he could emerge a winner even if Arsenal went on to lose the match. On the Betika site, cashout can be found under the “My Bets” tab.

    The feature allows one to withdraw their winnings before the end of a game or an event.

    This means that one can make a profit depending on the actual odds at the time you decide to cash out. The game-changing deal is available on selected events, fixtures on both pre-matches and live bets, on single and multiple bets.

    After talking for roughly 15 minutes and the scribe helping his father in law activate the cashout feature on his Betika app, the two bounced back into the ceremony with the father-in-law resuming his burly persona in a force of good.

    He made sure Mzee understood that the amount you will be offered on Cashout will reflect in your “My Bets” tab and will be based on the actual odds at the time you chose to look for a Cash Out offer.

    The amount on offer will never be more than the total potential win of the bet slip. Cash Out allows you to: Pay out a portion of a bet before it is settled, reduce your risk and collect some winnings if you’re concerned about the remaining time in an event, or your selections in your Multi Bet not going your way, cancel your bet before kick-off and receive a portion of your bet back if you’ve changed your mind.

    After the event was closed at around 4:30 p.m. mzee slashed the dowry payable by a quarter due to the convenient feature he had learnt. The two then bonded over their newfound friendship.

    What are you waiting for? Head over to Betika and try it out yourself!