Nairobi Bride Cancels Wedding Hours to Ceremony

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    A file image of a bridegroom and bride
    COURTESY
  • Wedding planning is time-consuming, draining and often chips a lot into our finances. It's every girl's dream to walk down that aisle. 

    It’s a day lifetime memories are made, forever etched in one’s memories. 

    Thus cancelling a wedding, hours before the ceremony, especially on the eve, is a huge decision to make, right? 

    Depak Chopra, an American author points out that if you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

    There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action you experience.

    For Sasha, my fiance, the decision to cancel our wedding that night did not reward and punish her but just postponed her dream as she celebrated another life milestone. 

    Sasha cried while clutching the pillows of the hospital bed. She shed tears, not of sorrow, but of joy.

    She shed tears, not only because her wedding was cancelled on the eve, but also because her newborn twins were safe and sound, though one month to the due date. 

    My name is Dickens and I am a software engineer. Six months to our wedding, I landed a short-term but lucrative contract in the US and had to leave my six-month expectant wife back home in Nairobi. 

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    An undated photo of a wedding convoy in Kenya
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    It was my first time abroad. 

    She had a lot to do on her own, planning the wedding, attending the prenatal clinics, taking care of our two-year-old baby, Joe, and missing me too. 

    Though my cousins Linda and Tina stepped in to help her.

    You see our tradition as Africans is that a woman’s pregnancy is not her own but society’s. She cannot be left to care for herself. 

    But I’d keep her company some nights after work, video calling her to argue and debate, laugh and joke. 

    She was my happiness. 

    We’d argue on which decisions to make. “I don’t want these forks or those ones. The guests will not even remember what napkin holders we chose.” She’d argue.

    “I don’t think we should have more flowers,” or “Should we even have all those guests and the bridal team?” “Should we stick with the purple?” We’d laugh all night.

    “We need more cash for the budget,” she reminded me one night, noting that we had agreed on not spending cash in our Co-op bank savings account as it was for our baby Joe’s school fees and insurance. 

    Coincidentally, my contract agreement had been reviewed and we had agreed that I would get an advance and the balance at the end of the contract. 

    My wife had quit her job two years ago to raise our first baby with twins on the way, she wanted to stay home for two more years managing our SME business and studying for her PhD. 

    “Not to worry love, I got it all sorted, I told her.”

    “I had a call with our Co-op bank branch manager and will be sending cash by next week. I'm ever spoilt for options as Co-op has a bouquet of money transfer solutions for me to choose from.

    “The manager told me about Remitly, PesaLink, MoneyGram, Western Union, WorldRemit, Poa Pay, Instant cash, TransFast, Wave, Swift Transfers, CoopRemit and other Money Transfers,” I explained. 

    Literally, I had a wide range of money transfer services that met my cross-border needs. And I sent the cash. Co-op aided us in speeding up our wedding plans. 

    “Those in the diaspora should understand that we got them covered. The money transfers are not only used globally but also locally,” I remembered the Co-op manager’s advice. 

    A month before our wedding, I was back home. Sasha was seven months pregnant then. 

    The Co-operative Bank Building in Nairobi
    The Co-operative Bank Building in Nairobi.
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    And I took up the whole planning.

    But the night of the event and month to her due date, she raised an alarm stating that she was feeling labour pains and her water was about to break. 

    You should have seen the panic in my eyes. I was testing my new tuxedo with my elder brother fixing my bow tie. 

    But he calmed me down as we waited outside the maternity.

    I held the two babies in my arms, rocking in a chair at the hospital as Sasha cried her tears of joy. 

    I didn’t know if I would proceed with the names we had debated on and failed to agree on, but I knew we had names for our newborns.

    Levi and Maya. fraternal twins.