A woman who turned down the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta marriage proposal has revealed what their relationship was like.
More than six decades later, Wanjeri, one of the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s great loves has finally spoken of their encounter in the 40s. She missed out on being Kenya’s first lady after she was replaced by Mama Ngina.
“Our great friendship started while I was a young girl of 18 at the college where he was principal after succeeding Mbiyu Koinane. He used to come for supper at our house which was next to the college and he was close friends with my father, the late Kibuja Kinuthia,” the Nairobian quoted Wanjeri.
She went on to narrate how her dad would ask her to prepare meals for his friend, and this is how it constantly set her on his path.
“I felt uncomfortable whenever he approached me, especially his unkempt beard. There was no way I could have married someone who was that old, but he knew how to tune a woman and he was a great man,” she noted.
Simple math shows that in the 40’s, Kenyatta was between the age of 49 or 59.
She said that each time her father would send her to him with food, Kenyatta would say how he was in love with her even though he was married and had children.
“He would be my chaperone on my way home and used to tell me I was the ideal woman for him even though I turned him down several times. One time he got so mad at me for rejecting him that he went to his house crying,” Wanjeri recalled.
But Kenyatta didn’t give up, he would constantly remind her of what she did to him, and even at some point sent his daughter, Wambui, to talk her into changing her mind and marry him.
“She would tell me that her father was hurting because I refused to marry him and that is when I realized I broke his heart,” Wanjeri said.
But Wanjeri had made up her mind and no matter the attention, she married another man, a farmer named Kamau as Kenyatta went on to meet Mama Ngina Kenyatta.
If she had accepted his proposal, we’d be talking of Mama Wanjeri Kenyatta. Kenyatta and Ngina went on to become the founding president of Kenya and the First Lady.