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The Dance That Broke the Marriage of Former President Moi.

The Untold Saga of Presidents' Moi Marriage

By alex kimuyuPublished 10 months ago 3 min read
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https://www.nairobileo.co.ke/features/article/12789/the-dance-that-broke-marriage-of-kenyas-former-president

In the annals of Kenya's history, a love story unfolded, intertwining with political power and personal convictions, culminating in a dance that shook the very foundation of the nation. At the center of this narrative stood Mzee Moi, the country's second president, and his enigmatic wife, Lena Tungo Moi, whose love and struggles painted an intricate portrait of a bygone era.

Theirs was a love forged in the small town of Tambach, where Mzee Moi's career was just beginning to bloom. As they exchanged vows in 1950, little did they know that fate would thrust them into the limelight, forever altering the course of their relationship. The responsibilities of being Kenya's Deputy President beckoned, bringing both acclaim and challenges.

Lena, a devoted wife and mother, selflessly relinquished her career to focus on family life in Tambach. Together, they were blessed with two children, Jennifer, and Jonathan Kipkemboi. Yet, as Mzee Moi's political stature grew, the time he spent with his family dwindled, and the once-solid bond between husband and wife began to fray.

The turning point came at the Rift Valley Technical College, where a dance event would seal their fate. Surrounded by political heavyweights, including the late President Jomo Kenyatta, Mzee Moi danced with the revered former First Lady, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, in a symbolic gesture of camaraderie. It was expected that Lena would follow suit and dance with President Kenyatta, but she declined, citing her religious convictions against dancing. This decision not only raised eyebrows but also deeply embarrassed Mzee Moi.

"As an uncompromising Christian, Lena believed that dancing was sinful, but the insult to the President gravely embarrassed Moi," revealed Mzee Moi's biography, "The Making of An African Statesman" by Andrew Morton.

The aftermath of that dance reverberated throughout their lives. Lena's decision triggered a cascade of events, leading her to leave the city residence and retreat to the serenity of Baringo. The geographical distance mirrored the emotional chasm between the once-inseparable couple. In 1979, their marriage officially dissolved, marking the end of a union that had lasted nearly three decades.

Yet, the complexities of their love story did not end there. Lena settled in Baringo, living a reclusive life, seldom making appearances in the media until her passing in 2004. The void left by her departure was palpable, and the public's curiosity about their unfulfilled love story lingered.

Throughout their marriage, Mzee Moi and Lena had welcomed five more children into their lives - Raymond, Philip, Doris, John Mark, Gideon - and an adopted daughter named June. Each child added another layer of complexity to their intertwined destinies, grappling with the dichotomy of being born into a family of political prominence while yearning for the love and acceptance of their parents.

The tale of Mzee Moi and Lena's love saga continues to fascinate Kenya and the world, as the dance that led to their separation became a defining moment in the nation's history. It serves as a poignant reminder that even the most powerful individuals are not immune to the trials and tribulations of personal relationships.

Their story remains an enigmatic ode to love's fragility and resilience, encapsulating the human spirit's triumphs and travails. Beyond the corridors of power and public scrutiny, Mzee Moi and Lena's love story reminds us that, in the end, we are all bound by the threads of our own emotions and convictions.

As Kenya moves forward, their legacy endures, immortalized in the pages of history. Their love, though marred by the dance that changed everything, serves as a testament to the complexities and contradictions that underpin the human experience. The dance that shook Kenya's history will forever be etched in the hearts of those who remember, a poignant reminder of the power of love and the choices that shape our lives

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