Two Funerals and a Wedding – Classic Love Story

For the first time; I attended two funerals in one—and amazingly, it was like a sober wedding. Just that most people were dressed in black and were crying, tears of sadness and goodbye. Adieu to the couple starting another life. Farewell to the couple of Wahito and Mbugua, so inseparable, that they died in each other’s arms at the devastating Westgate Terrorist Attack. The duo had been at Westgate to buy wedding bands for their upcoming wedding just before the shooters stormed into the mall. Wahito Anyiko

The late Rosemary Wahito was never a bridezilla, I was. At least from a 2011 photo shoot we did together for our friend Tabby’s business catalog for her line of wedding gowns. I remember I had to rush back to my former office (BBC) for some work. I literally made Tabby and the photographer hurriedly finish with my part of the shoot. But they convinced me to share the moment indoors with Wahito, as she would be having a special solo out-door shoot as soon as I left.

Wahito was down-to-earth, gracious and a very classy lady. I met her through my cousin Lau and her best friends. It’s always been a tight-knit friendship between about five girls: Wahito, Lau, Mtoni, Sarafina, Tabby and Herenia. During family events of either girls, from graduations to weddings and photo shoots, my cousin would drag me to most of them. A lot of times, I was envious of how the girls would do lunches and dinners and all those fancy things. Because they were a little older than me, I must say they inspired me to be as classy.

Wahito was very fashionable and I never saw her not wearing high heels. “Her impeccable fashion sense and jaw dropping collection of shoes will be frozen in time forever in our minds,” – never read a more befitting eulogy. I remember meeting Wahito and Mbugua at a concert recently, where they were supporting one of Mbugua’s relatives – a female singer. The two were all up on each other and clearly in love. That’s the only time I met Mbugua, Wahito introduced him as her man. I got the vibe that he was a good man and protective, the good-kind. But I could never imagine that he would soon be taking eight bullets while shielding his wife-to-be. Wahito Mbugua

At their joint-funeral dubbed, “A celebration of Love”, it was so uplifting to hear both families of the deceased console and applaud each other, almost like it really was the wedding-that-never-was. Mbugua’s Dad said, “After meeting her, Mbugua called me and asked, ‘Dad what do you think?’ – And like he’d taught me, I said, ‘Good Stuff!’ I had already started thinking about the future lineage of their family. Wahito’s family, so sorry for losing your beautiful daughter. I thank her for bringing my son such happiness.” And the sisters of Mbugua said, “Thank you Wahito for taking care of our brother, you were always like a sister to us.” Among other tributes, Wahito’s nephews and nieces were twice as sad. That their auntie has passed on and they won’t be matching as flower boys and girls at her wedding. That’s when I remembered that beautiful day, when we had an entire afternoon doing the wedding gowns photo shoot. She was such a natural, and beautiful, and all her gowns fitted perfectly. I miss you Wahito.

But who are we kidding? What happens to wedding vows when you actually die and get laid to rest together? Death can’t and won’t separate you Wahito and Mbugua. Exactly a week, after your untimely demise, you would be both engaging your families in dowry talks, and in another, getting married. But like Monopoly, now you’ve got a free pass – do not stop – go directly and pass the finish line.

BONUS: To Wahito’s girls, stay together in her honour. My condolences to families and friends of the lovely couple; you are now one because of the power of love. You might like this poem I wrote in memory of what happened at Westgate: Lessons of Love


  1. P.E (@Kenyangriot) · September 28, 2013

    Thanks Anyiko for the wonderful written piece.I have seen the side that media never illuminated.The unwritten narrative of the two love birds.May God rest their soul in peace and comfort all those who are hurting.
    Thanks Once More.

  2. N · September 28, 2013

    As one of Mbugua’s sisters i wanna thank you for this beautiful piece on Rosemary and Mbugua…God Bless..

    • Miss Roses · September 28, 2013

      Thank you N. I could never say sorry enough. I know your family is heartbroken but may God give you peace to find closure.

      • N · September 29, 2013

        We are heartbroken but when we read such beautiful and poignant pieces such as yours it does bring some comfort to us…so thank you again…

  3. Ruth · September 29, 2013

    It’s a sad but great piece,may God rest them in eternal peace.

  4. Wangui. · September 29, 2013

    true love even in death RIP.

  5. whisperywind · September 29, 2013

    tears threatening here… :/ It’s such beauty and absolute grief at the same time. 😦

  6. James Gichanga · September 30, 2013

    AMEN AMEN AMEN!!! R.I.P Mbugua & Wahito

  7. Julie · September 30, 2013

    Just lovely.

  8. C · October 16, 2013

    This is such a beautifully written tribute to the couple. I went to primary school with Mbugua and was friends with him all those years ago in the early ’90s.

    Mbugua and Wahito it is so sad to hear about your death – I am touched by your love for each other..even more so as I recently got engaged and will be getting married shortly. Life is fragile – I have a responsiblity to make mine count and live a life filled with happiness and joy with my future wife. God bless and rest in peace – your love story is a true inspiration to us all.

    • Miss Roses · October 17, 2013

      C, thanks for that. Congrats on your upcoming wedding! Wish you the best in life and sorry for also losing a friend in Mbugua. Bless.

  9. shaurizamoyo · October 17, 2013

    Talk about tear flow. Beautiful. Thank you Anyiko

    • Miss Roses · October 17, 2013

      Thank you. All the comments here give strength.

  10. mimi · October 28, 2013

    So, I have looked at all the photos of Mbugua and Wahito on Facebook, and I know one thing for sure, they were made for each other. They loved each other unconditionally, and I am so impressed at how they wanted to do everything the right way (Mbugua not only proposed to Wahito but he asked her papa for her hand in marriage; Wahito got along so well with her future mother-in-law).

    Morbid as it may sound, I am glad that they both died together – if one of them had lived through this without the other, they would just die of heart break…that is the worst way to die.

    • Miss Roses · October 28, 2013

      Mimi, that’s exactly what we all said. And what many of her friends said, that it’s good they went together. They are together. It would have been twice as hurtful for any of them to be left alone. Thank you for your comment.

      • mimi · October 28, 2013

        Somehow, I cant seem to get this particular couple out of my mind. I do hope family and friends will find closure one day.

        This was a well-written piece.

  11. Wairimu Murigi · September 22, 2014

    …death will surely not separate the two…I couldn’t help but tear while reading through. May their souls rest in peace.

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