Queen Elizabeth II (c) with President Jomo Kenyatta (r) and his wife Mama Ngina (l) in Nairobi, Kenya on March 1972.
Kenya’s first, President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, did not attend church services for the whole period he was head of state.Kenyatta’s troubles with the church can be traced back to 1921, when he was a metre reader in Nairobi.His biographer, Jeremy Murray, recalled in the book, Kenyatta, that as Mzee was going about his business in Nairobi, he met Grace Wahu, his first wife.
Kenyatta’s first wife Grace Wahu in old age
Wahu was a student at the Church Missionary Society girls’ school in Kabete and Kenyatta wished to wed her in “privacy” to avoid paying dowry.However, the church accused him of “committing sin with a girl whom he is buying as a wife, and as a result of which she is with child,”The members thought the private wedding Mzee wanted was meant to cover up Wahu’s alleged pregnancy.
The church leaders were also concerned with Kenyatta’s drinking habits.He was subsequently suspended from receiving the Holy Communion, ex-communicated and strongly advised to live with Wahu, only after getting legally married.
Kenyatta later agreed to a customary wedding but refused to stop drinking.Despite not being spiritual, Kenyatta made his children join Sunday school at a very young age.
The decision was as a result of the embarrassment he suffered when his children were unable to recite Christmas Carols infront of guests.
Kenya’s first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s family at State Lodge in Mombasa.