A Kenyan gay couple caused an outrage when they decided to be joined in a civil union, the whole nation cried “foul, that's not right.” Charles and Daniel legalized their union on October17, in London. The country went in an uproar and expressed their disgust and engaged in a heated debate for the whole week. The Daily Nation, a Kenyan leading newspaper published the story the very next day together with the pictures:
Two Kenyan men on Saturday became the first gay couple to wed in London. Charles Ngengi, 40 and his bride, Daniel Chege Gichia, 39, became civil partners under the controversial Civil Partnership Act which came into effect in the UK in 2005 allowing couples of the same sex to have legal recognition of their relationship.
The couple tied the knot at a civil partnership ceremony at Islington Town Hall in North London at 11.30 a.m. UK time. According to the Act, a civil partnership is defined as a legal marriage between gay and lesbian couples, and any couples who enter into a civil partnership obtain the new legal status of civil partners, instead of the traditional husband and wife status.
Tamaku, a blogger on The Diary of a Gay Kenyan was the first to publish a post expressing his excitement in the transition Kenya is going through and the story hitting the stands:
I am overjoyed that a gay wedding of Kenyans in London has made the news of the national press. We wish the lucky couple all the best in this new chapter of their lives together. George and I are thinking of the same, to deepen our commitment to one another – even though these unions are not recognised here. It's early days yet but we are determined to have a ceremony to exchange rings and vows witnessed by close friends and family. I'll wear white of course, don't even think to mutter but Tamaku's been around the block a few times unless you are a nun yourself. lol!
We hope you'll accept our invitation when the time comes. Tonight we are just both so happy to raise a glass or two to the newlyweds.
Donn, a gay photo blogger says he knows and has heard of a lot of Kenyan gay couples legalizing their union and he is wondering what the outburst is for, he says gay couples have wed in different countries where gay marriage is legal:
The two gay men above, who got married in the UK last Saturday….was really an eye opener for many Kenyans.The news of the marriage was on the airwaves throughout the weekend…I am sure now every corner of this country knows about it…since it was a hot topic in almost every radio station.Well to me they are not the 1st…there are other many Kenyan gay couple i know who got married in Spain, Canada, South Africa, and UK as well, but the
Most bloggers were not happy with the way the story was handled, the journalists have been described as lopsided; hungry-for-story; fame, self benefit and monetary pay. The journalists tracked down the home of the family members of the newly wed and camped outside the compound waiting for a comment from the parents on what they think of their son marrying a man. The family have been tormented as visitors always coming to the homestead just to witness:
Everyone in Kenya is hungry for something, now adding to the pack is journalists, this people are hungry-for-story, they wait for the slightest twitch to hit their headlines. If you think Mohamed Ali from KTN was the only journalist in Murang'a waiting to interview the parents of the newly wed couple, you are wrong, he is not. Well, apparently journalists are actually camping outside his home town, is it Charles, the supposed “bride”, waiting to interview the mother on what she thinks about her son being in a sexual relationship with a man. They went with the wedding pictures to show the parents and the mother was shocked beyond words, she has gone mute, she doesn't talk or eat. The father is since drinking his life away and hasn't gone sober since, but he was heard saying he is waiting for the bride
According to the website misterseed, the newly wed had a telephone interview and they were not pleased in how the Kenya media have portrayed them, they feel journalists had crossed their boundaries, they ask why they had to drag the family into “this”, but they still still remain hopeful that the laws in Kenya are changing and they will have a second wedding back home:
Mr. Seed telephone conversation with Mr. Chege and Ngengi the gay couple who married in London on Saturday 17th October, 2009. “Good morning Ngengi, how are you doing.” Mr. Seed asked on Thursday afternoon (22nd October). “I am fine Mr. Seed although disappointed that the Kenyan media has gone beyond the limits by visiting our parents in Murang'a to interview them. We understand that the KTN and Nation screened the story on Wednesday evening. How can they visit our parents because of our case. The parents and family has nothing to do with our case. We have not committed murder. The law allows this in the UK. Tell them to concentrate on taking the killers to Hague than concentrating with us. We are innocent people. Furthermore we are on honeymoon and they should not try to spoil our honeymoon. You know what Mr. Seed, the law in Kenya is changing soon and we might even decide to go and do another wedding down there.” Mr. Ngengi concluded with a light touch while laughing.
Radio disc jockeys engaged listeners in the debate igniting the rage and callers called in to call the union unafrican, uncultured and sinful:
Interesting, today morning this was a topic of discussion at Kiss 100 and the guy hired to be a comedian a fake ass one said, ” unethical, unpalatable, uncouth and unafrican.” He went further to say that he would throw his brother from a fourth floor flat if he came out to him and said that he was gay. He also said that gays should be burnt. Really! gays have got no place, some callers went on to say not in our culture and again “unafrican” What's that? J