How do you ask Deputy President William Ruto, the second most powerful Kenyan for his daughter's hand in marriage?
Insider reveals details of June Ruto's dowry negotiations
Lead negotiator at June Ruto engagement speaks
That’s a question many Kenyans are struggling to understand, given the cultural significance of dowry ceremonies in Africa.
As the daughter of the deputy president and an ambassador, June Ruto courted attention and intimidated potential partners in equal measure.
Many bachelors have sleepless nights planning and strategizing how to approach such a sensitive ceremony that has broken many couples’ dreams after the dowry talks collapse.
For Dr Alexander Ezenag, June Ruto’s fiance, this kind of high stakes conversation needed someone with enough wisdom and skill to lead the ‘bilateral talks’.
The Nigerian national put the task of convincing DP Ruto’s family that he was best fit to snatch up his diplomat daughter on a team of prominent and wealthy Nigerian elders.
The successful mission was led by Nigeria’s former Aviation Minister Osita Chidoka who is also referred to as Ike Obosi which translates to The Power of Obosi.
June’s fiance and the lead negotiator are from the same Igbo community hence, why he was most suited for the job.
How much did DP Ruto demand?
The DP had to drop his power suit and become June Ruto’s dad as Mama Rachelle Ruto also played her role.
“June’s father kept the event small and simple and family-focused. His position as Deputy President was relegated as he played the role of a father,” the former Aviation Minister narrated following a day-long event at the DP's Karen residence.
The two teams representing both sides of the family had to deal with the elephant in the room, which was DP Ruto’s demands.
According to Kalenjin dowry negotiations, the negotiators from both families enter a private room separate from the other guests.
Mursik is drunk at the end of negotiations by those present to symbolize agreement and this is a crucial step to the process.
In true African culture, the two teams exchanged counter offers and compromised where necessary until a common ground was reached.
Although details of the actual offer remain a secret between those involved, the success of the talks show that the deputy president was well charmed.
“I was the negotiator at the bride price settlement. The Kalenjin and Igbos share a lot in common. We haggled, negotiated and agreed to loud chants of Igbo kwenu!
“Our host Deputy President William Ruto and wife were excellent and look forward to visiting the land of Chinua Achebe,” the lead negotiator added.
DP Ruto and Mama Rachel to travel to Nigeria
He also hinted that June Ruto’s family was also expected to travel to Nigeria for another ceremony.
“I regaled them with Igbo customs, proverbs and mores. They are looking forward to visiting Ani Igbo to eat roasted yam and red oil. They also want to see Umuaro and Umuofia as described by Chinua Achebe. Well I told them that visiting Obosi and Alex's village Uli will suffice,” he added.
To reward himself for a job well done, the lead negotiator decided to enjoy the experience of eating Kenya's most popular delicacy, Nyama Choma and Ugali.
Deputy President William Ruto had teased her daughter’s engagement some months ago, during the wedding ceremony of Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and businessman Sam Mburu.
As he was giving his remarks at the reception, the DP paraded June alongside his staffers Dennis Itumbi and David Nzioka who stood up as he was making his address.
“Now that we have finished with our friends Sam and Susan, there is this young man called Dennis (Itumbi). There is another one known as Nzioka. We also have June. They are our next candidates for marriage and they are good people. So we are ready to come back for more suitors here in Laikipia in future,” he spoke.
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