Shock as Homa Bay man attempts suicide after dad rejected his choice of wife


  • Opila climbed down into a pit latrine and swore to starve to death after his father objected to his marriage
  • His father opposed Opila’s bid to marry the woman, who is slightly older than him and has a child from a previous marriage

As much as arranged marriages are no longer practiced in Kenya, parents and close kin, especially in rural areas, seem to still have a lot of influence on whom their sons or daughters marry.

Locals at Konuong’a area, Kasipul Sub-County in Homa Bay County came face to face with this little reality last Thursday when a family got embroiled in a protracted dispute after a father bitterly objected to a woman his son was planning to marry.

So nasty was the disagreement that the would-be husband, surnamed Opila, expressed his displeasure in a rather strange fashion that left many locals in shock.

At his wits’ end, Opila climbed down a 30 feet latrine, which was under construction, threatening to kill himself if he was not going to be allowed to marry the woman of his choice.

Slamming his father for his dictatorial tendencies, Opila staged a one-man protest before getting into the pit in a fit of rage, vowing to remain there until he died of hunger.

Being the only son and last-born in a family with six girls, his parents, particularly his father, had placed high premium on him and thus were keen on his choice of wife.

So when it emerged that the woman he intended to settle down with was slightly older than the 26-year-old man and had a child from a previous relationship to boot, his father objected strongly.

He insisted that his only son was only going to get married to such a woman over his dead body. The old man threw spanners of all sorts in the works, trying to dissuade and scuttle the young man’s plans to marry the woman.

He loudly wondered what his son saw in the “experienced” woman, yet they were many other younger ones with no baggage whom he believed would make great wives.

Arguing that she was “tried and tested” and thus a good candidate for a spouse, the young man stuck to his guns, prompting his father to threaten to curse him and jinx the marriage.

To express his anger, Opila went into the pit, even as his mother wailed and begged him not to in vain. A crowd on curious locals milled around the pit, trying to beg him to get out as they prevailed upon his father to amicably resolve the matter.

It took almost three hours of persuasion by the parents and other concerned locals to get Opila climb out. The fate of the impending marriage is not clear, even as locals try to beg the old man to let his son make his own choice.