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Monday, May 10, 2021 – June Ruto, the eldest daughter of Deputy President William Ruto, got engaged to her Nigerian boyfriend, Alexander Ezenagu, in a colourful ceremony that was held at the DP’s official residence in Karen.

June’s soon-to-be husband hails from the Igbo tribe which is known for crazy rituals especially when a husband dies.

This is exactly what a widow is supposed to do when her husband dies- something that Ruto’s daughter June must do in case her spouse passes on.

The widow’s mourning of the dead husband is viewed as a very important tradition which the living spouse must observe in honour of the dead. 

When the husband of the woman dies, the mourning begins at that moment of his final breath.

The bereaved wife runs about wailing at the top of her voice.

The children join the mother in the wailing together with other friends and relatives of the family. 

In their wailing, they are supposed to regret the big loss as they recount the deceased’s life achievements, his love, and faithfulness, a good, honest, reliable brother, husband, father, or uncle. 

After this stage, the wife becomes the main focus in terms of mourning the departed husband. 

Much demand is made of the wife in terms of mourning to show concern for the man’s departure from earth. 

The wife must be made to tie cloth on the body of the late husband.

The days before the burial of the man are always horrible for the widow as she is made to stay in the same room with the corpse where she is required to be waving away flies from perching on the fast and progressively decomposing corpse. 

She is supposed to sit down and raise an early morning cry before anybody is awake and this continues till the day the husband will be buried.

 Her most painful ordeal occurs at night before her husband’s burial.

 Relatives make sure she stays awake all night with bitter herbs in her mouth to remind her of the bitterness of the death of her husband. 

Furthermore, if the widow had a dispute with the husband shortly before his death, the widow will be made to lie with the corpse for many hours and in addition pay heavily in cash as a fine.

After the husband is buried, the widow is then shaved and cleansed.

It’s not clear when June will wed her Igbo man after receiving blessings from her parents.

The Kenyan DAILY POST

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