In Summary
  • You can clearly tell that the message has been scripted by a person who is not yet ready for marriage, although he or she is actually the one inviting you for their wedding preparation committee.
  • You read the message with a vigorous shaking of the head.
  • Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: life[email protected]

Just like love starts with a kiss (the oldest lie in the universe), a wedding committee starts with an SMS written in a complex programming language and ending with a supplication to God to ‘Blez u as u plan 2 attend’.

You can clearly tell that the message has been scripted by a person who is not yet ready for marriage, although he or she is actually the one inviting you for their wedding committee.

You read the message with a vigorous shaking of the head – if someone expects you to risk your life and limb to attend their meeting in some dangerous parts of downtown Nairobi where the chances of losing your life and property to the area business community members are forever high, they should at the bare minimum have the decency to write to you in full sentences and address you with some degree of respect.

ADDED TO A WHATSAPP GROUP

Just as you are trying to contact your teenage nieces to decipher this syntax coded message for your easy consumption, you receive a notification that you have been added into a WhatsApp group aptly named ‘Philomena and Zachariah wedding committee preparations’, and you now know that you are into this thing for the long haul.

Five minutes after the group is formed, someone shares a lengthy post that starts with ‘Please read to the end, don’t ignore’ and ends with ‘Please share with everyone in your contacts’.

This post and subsequent ones obviously include some raunchy vernacular songs, clips of local comedians plus long reflections from a sweaty American preacher.

Because you attended reputable public schools, you are bright enough to know that you don’t attend a committee meeting on the first date unless you have all the intentions of being unanimously appointed the Chairman.

You bide your time as you persevere the WhatsApp group that provides an endless supply of ‘forwarded as received’ messages and very little content about the wedding, and you finally decide to show up during what you believe is the tenth meeting whereby you expect that things have progressed significantly.

RECESSES OF DOWNTOWN

The meeting venue has changed several times in the ten weeks since the committee was formed, and you are led deep into the recesses of downtown Nairobi where thoughts about your personal safety remain paramount.

You finally find your way into the meeting room with more than a hundred plastic seats and with only less than ten being currently occupied by people who are all on phone and clearly disconnected from the theme of the meeting.

Five more people will show up in intervals of thirty minutes and the meeting shall finally be called to order.

You realise with horror that this is actually the first formal meeting of the committee since all the other nine meetings were called off without deliberations due to lack of quorum.

You continue sitting there trying to comprehend this near-bizarre situation, and you are suddenly jolted to attention when you are unanimously appointed the Assistant Secretary.

The Chairman is undisputedly a brother to the bride, a carefully selected cheerleader whose sole mission is to push a bloated budget down your thin wallets and shoot down any noble cost cutting initiatives at the covert instructions from his sister who is hell bent on having a lavish wedding despite the apparent precarious financial position.

On the wedding day, he will double up as the transport manager who will dump ten flower girls inside your tiny car to deliver them to the photo shoot session, but that is a story for another day.

UNTRUSTWORTHY-LOOKING COLLEGE GIRL

The treasurer is the bride’s younger sister, an untrustworthy-looking college girl who seems to spend all her time, and clearly all her scarce resources on her phone and makeup.

She is also the author of the weekly financial updates whose figures never seem to make any credible financial sense.

The first agenda item is the food menu for the wedding day, and after a two hour heated discussion on whether the rice should be served with five or eight litres of cabbage soup, the committee finally drops the idea and settles for the cheaper option of mukimo with carrot stew.

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