Why Elderly Couple Finally Say ‘I do’ After Living Together for Over 65 Years | See Photos

A 94-year-old man and a 91-year-old woman have finally solemnized their marriage in front of family and friends after 67 years of living together as man and wife.

The groom, Jackson Muriuki, and his wife, Agnes Njeri, exchanged their vows on Saturday at PCEA Church in Gachika, Nyeri County, Kenya.

Mr Muriuki walked down the aisle on crutches and arm in arm with his bride, Agnes, who was supported with a walking stick. For the ceremony Muriuki wore a blue suit and red necktie while Agnes had a white dress with a matching hat and gloves.

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The couple had been living together as man and wife since 1954 and had 13 children but never formally exchanged vows, Daily Nation reports.
Muriuki, who was flanked by his best man, Zacharia Githinji, described the ceremony as the best experience of his life and thanked God. At the reception, the couple fed each other and giggled as they celebrated their wedding, surrounded by their more than 21 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
Throughout the ceremony, excited Agnes touched Muriuki’s face and gently fondled his hands with a satisfied look on her face.

“Furaha, furaha, furaha, furaha tele (happiness, happiness, more happiness),” Agnes said, beaming.

“It is such a joy to experience something that I haven’t before and we did this so that we can be closer to God,” said Muriuki said.

The wedding was presided over by Reverend Ignatious Kang’ang’i Gitonga, who said the elderly couple’s move was a lesson to young couples and youths that “you can love your spouse genuinely”.

When asked why he had taken more than half a century to walk his wife down the aisle, Muriuki said he first wanted to educate all his children and ensure they achieve their dreams before putting money aside for a wedding.

“I supported my children’s education and now they are learned people and they have in turn funded the wedding,” he said.

All his children have academic degrees in various fields, including medicine, business and agriculture.

Muriuki advised young men to marry and protect their wives, and respect their marriages. He also urged couples who have not formalised their unions to do so.

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“They have been aspiring to have a church wedding and as their children we could not block their wishes. We facilitated and financed everything so that they could realise their dreams.

They also insisted that it should be in church. They have been together for 67 years, so this ceremony today is a culmination of their love.

We have never seen them quarrel or fight,” their daughter, Dr. Jennifer Muriuki, said.

She added that the couple also wanted to be allowed to receive the Holy Communion in church – they could not do so before solemnising their marriage.

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“We started planning the event early this year and they agreed [to it]. They are friends and very supportive of each other. We have never seen them engaging in violence or quarrelling,” said Dr Muriuki.

A guest at the wedding, Joyce Wanjiku Kairu, who is the director of Purity Elderly Care Foundation (PECF), urged residents to take care of their old parents and relatives. She said many old people are neglected.

“It is the festive season and we usually see people in posh cars visiting their parents with packed shopping, dropping it off and leaving for their holiday destinations.

The old parents need attention and to spend time with their children,” said Ms Kairu.

Photo credit: JOSEPH KANYI