31.Aug.2016: Former American ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannerberger paid dowry for his Kenyan wife on Tuesday in a colourful ceremony held at Ololchani village in Narok county.
Rannerberger paid 20 cows as dowry for Ruth Konchellah who he met 10 years ago during a tour at the Enoosaen area.
He had gone to see cows donated by members of the Uasin Gishu clan to the American government, in remembrance of those who died during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
‘’Ruth was among a group of women who welcomed me with a song and dance when I toured the Enoosaen area, after which we spoke briefly [and] she told me that she managed a non-governmental organisation known as ‘Cherise Others’ which was involved in a campaign to fight Female Genital Mutilation and early marriages,’’ Rannerberger said.
From left: Former US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannerberger, his wife Ruth Konchellah and his mother-in-law Grace Mesopirr at the dowry ceremony, August 30, 2016 /EDWIN NYARANGI
The former Ambassador said that they exchanged contacts and “one thing led to another”.
He said after they became an item and they have gone on to confound many who thought that their relationship was short-lived.
He described the payment of dowry as “the crowning of their 10-year relationship”.
Former US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannerberger and his wife Ruth Kochellah share a plate of nyama choma during the dowry ceremony, August 30, 2016 /EDWIN NYARANGI
Rannerberger was all praises for his mother-in-law Grace Mesopirr, who served as a continuity announcer in the Kenya Broadcasting Cooperation in 1960s.
She was also a cultural assistant in the Kenyan Embassy in France for 25 years.
Rannerberger’s wife Ruth was overjoyed that her husband had decided to adhere to the African customs by paying dowry to her mother.
Rannerberger prepares to cut some nyama choma for his wife Ruth Konchellah during the dowry ceremony, August 30, 2016 /EDWIN NYARANGI
He spent a better part of Monday at the Kilgoris Livestock market bargaining for the cattle.
‘’This is a very special day in my life since I do not know what to say but I am grateful that my husband has seen the need to comply to this very important custom to the members of the Maasai community and all Africans,’’ she said.
From right: Former US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannerberger, his wife Ruth Konchellah, his mother-in-law Grace Mesopirr singing a Maasai song at the dowry ceremony, August 30, 2016 /EDWIN NYARANGI
During the ceremony attended by a few invited guests, they ate a lot of nyama choma accompanied with drinks to celebrate the official marriage of Rannerberger and Ruth as per the Maasai Culture.
The couple are going to stay
in the country for a few days after which they will leave for the United States of America where Rannerberger is a Consultant in the Private sector.
From right: Former US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannerberger, his wife Ruth Konchellah and mother-in-law Grace Mesopirr in Mesopirr’s home, August 30, 2016 /EDWIN NYARANGI