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Diaspora woman marries herself, parents skip event

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A student sick of being asked when she was tying the knot got married to herself and the entire day cost just £2 approximately Sh265.

Lulu Jemimah, 32, was fed up of her family lecturing her on the importance of settling down with the right man.

But marriage is the last thing on her mind as she studies a masters in creative writing at Oxford.

So to get her parents off her back she decided to stage a full mock wedding and sent formal invites out to her pals.

The  Oxford University student  hired a dress, walked through the venue to the traditional wedding march and even gave a speech to her guests explaining the lack of a groom.

Lulu admits her Ugandan parents are baffled by her decision – but said she feels it was the perfect commitment to herself and her studies.

Lulu is all smiles after marrying her self Photo:Courtesy

And the entire day cost Ksh260 for her taxi to the pub venue – as she managed to get the rest of her big day for free or as gifts from pals.

Proudly single Lulu said: “I have a strong passion in life and I am committed to achieving my goals at becoming an academic.

“But all my family wanted to ask me was when I planned to get married, which is very important back in Uganda, followed by when I would be having children and starting a family.

“Every birthday my mother prayed for me and in recent years this has included a plea for a good husband. But I just didn’t want to think about walking up the aisle. It’s not the thing which keeps me up at night.” she said.

Lulu previously worked as a freelance journalist and a communication consultant for the International Organisation for Migration.

But in 2013 she received a BA Media (film) scholarship from Macquarie University in Australia.

After completing her studies in Australia, she turned her attention to the UK and applied to Oxford University to do a master’s degree, which she started in August 2017.

But all her parents could think about was when she was going to get a boyfriend and tie the knot, she claims.

Lulu says she was tired of being asked when she will get married Photo:Courtesy

Lulu returned home to Uganda for her birthday in August and was planning a “low key” celebration, until friends convinced her otherwise.

She joked she’d “show up in a wedding dress” but the idea stuck.

She arranged the last-minute ceremony at Quepasa Bar in the Ugandan capital Kampala on August 27, her 32nd birthday.

A friend who works as a web designer made and printed her invites, and her friend paid to hire her dress, while her brother baked her cake.

Lulu added: “As soon as I sent these out I immediately received phone calls asking who the groom was. I told people it was a surprise.

“It’s shocking the price of wedding gowns in Uganda but when I told them I was marrying myself they offered to find me their cheapest dress. I did feel a bit crazy trying on the dress and explaining that I was marrying myself.

“It really is a special moment and I understood more than I had the excitement around weddings.”

Her parents didn’t attend the big day.

-Standardmedia.co.ke

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Africa

CNN’s Quest ‘more than impressed’ in Nairobi

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Gliding into Nairobi’s airport early on Monday morning, the first thing I noticed was the light. Even over the terminal buildings, it was just gorgeous. I was back in Africa.

Almost immediately, my reasons for coming were further reinforced.

Yes, there were queues at immigration, but no more than one might find during a busy period at JFK or Heathrow.

Perhaps it felt a little chaotic, with some confusion in arrivals about where exactly passengers should go and what was required of them. But overall it worked. The staff was excellent and determined to help.

The building was modern, clean, attractive and made sense. The lines outside for taxis and Ubers were neat and orderly.

Of course, once I began my journey into the city by road, the cliche of traffic-clogged streets revealed itself to be true.

At one point I was able to hop out of the car to stretch and remove my jacket, with no fear whatsoever that my driver would gain more than a few inches of ground on me.

As we reached the city centre, that cliche was overtaken by something else though: a sense that Nairobi’s citizens take pride in their home.

The flowerbeds and neatly trimmed trees, the new roads, the signs, the general respect for other road users. There is something both gentle and genteel about it.

We spent the afternoon in Karura Forest. If you wanted something to underscore this sense of pride you would be hard pushed to find a more pristine example.

Here is a park that rivals New York’s Central Park, London’s Hyde Park, or Sydney’s botanic gardens.

Of course I discovered Karura’s remarkable history, learned about its sometimes checkered, shady past, the land grabbers, and the ultimately successful campaign to save it for the people. But more than that, I saw a place that Kenyans have taken to their hearts. This is a place that is ring-fenced, literally and figuratively, for ordinary Nairobians to enjoy. We saw couples hand in hand, joggers, women walking alone. We also saw wildlife, different species of monkey, all kinds of birds, all around us. It was safe, spotlessly clean, peaceful and completely beautiful. All this, just minutes away from the city centre.

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting this. Our guide told us that 37,000 people visited Karura last month. I can see why.  I’m more than impressed.

nation.co.ke

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17 Somalis cause disturbance at JKIA, get repatriated

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Kenya on Sunday repatriated 17 Somali nationals who caused disturbance at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when they were denied clearance to travel to Uganda.

The passengers, according to Immigration PS Gordon Kihalangwa, landed from Mogadishu but they could not be cleared because of security concerns and anomalies with their documents.

Kenya Revenue Authority, the police, National Intelligence Service, Port Health Service and other agencies have been strict on security as Kenya prepares to launch direct flights to the United States.

The repatriation matter came to the fore when Thika MP Patrick Wainaina said “illegal immigrants” had been casually handled by government officials at the airport.

The MP who had jetted in from the United Arab Emirates around 6am said while queuing at passport control, he saw three young men arguing with an immigration officer.

He added that they wanted the official to stamp their passports.

Mr Wainaina said he sought to find out what was happening and was referred to the officer on duty.

He was told that the three, “who were roaming freely at the airport”, were to be deported.

The lawmaker told the Nation that he discovered the immigrants were not three but 17. He took photos of the three men.

Mr Wainaina said when he demanded to be shown the plane to be used by the group, he was given a passengers manifest but the 17 were not included.

“It is not possible that they could have moved from terminal 1A to T2 within 10 minutes and boarded the plane. Deportees are usually confined and do not have room to persuade officers to allow them into the country,” the MP said, adding that he raised the matter with the National Assembly Security Committee.

However, committee chairman Paul Koinange told the Nation that Mr Wainaina’s account of the events contradicted one given by the JKIA management.

Mr Kihalangwa said the 17 were to be repatriated, not deported. He added that the airline that brought the group was indemnified to return them to Mogadishu

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What Raila’s new Africa job means

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NASA leader Raila Odinga’s appointment as African Union Special Envoy elevated him to a continental statesman whose time will now be divided across Africa.

Raila joins the league of former presidents and senior leaders in the continent and this places him near a climax of his pursuit as a Pan Africanist.

With a lot of travel around the continent rallying political support to his new cause, Raila might find himself divorced from local politics.

But just where does this appointment place the opposition leader?

As a special envoy of the AU chairperson, Raila will have an office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but with frequent travel across the continent.

He will mediate in peace negotiations and conflict resolution. Raila will also have a fully-furnished office in Nairobi, with staff and advisers to boost his local presence and unity programmes with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Addressing the country during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County Saturday, President Kenyatta celebrated Raila’s appointment.

“When we come together, it allows us to be better. See now our brother has got a continental job, the biggest beneficiaries is us as Kenyans,” Uhuru said.

He said the new appointment will help his government achieve the Big Four agenda in terms of infrastructure and development of the country. “Raila will work closely with my government to ensure he allocates more resources to Kenya to fast track infrastructural development so as to make Vision 2030 a reality. We have made history as a country and with the handshake deal in place, Kenya stands to achieve more,” he added.

Mr Odinga meets with an AU dignitary in Addis Ababa. FILE PHOTO

Bury hatchet

“Our agreement to bury the hatchet and work together with the Opposition leader has been recognised globally. The AU Commission has appointed Raila as the High Representative for Infrastructure and Development in Africa,” Uhuru said.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said Raila’s appointment was well deserved at the continental level. “It was a great recognition of the roles he has played in our country,” Muturi said.

Senate speaker Ken Lusaka wished the Opposition leader well, saying Raila has what it takes to transform the continent in infrastructure.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale congratulated the Nasa leader for the new posting and urged him not to forget the Building Bridges Initiative that he initiated with President Kenyatta.

Political risk analyst Dismas Mokua says in theory, with such an appointment Raila should now exit the local political space and stay focused on the infrastructure at the continental level.

However, in practice, Raila is not likely to leave the Kenyan political scene and will therefore be forced to balance between the two.

Saturday, he said he had accepted the position and promised to use his political experience spanning over 30 years to fast track infrastructural development in the continent.

Raila is expected to pay much attention to the missing links along the transnational highway corridors identified as part of the Trans-African Highways Network, with a view to facilitating their development and modernisation.

He will focus on the continental high-speed train that is one of the flagship projects of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063.

In making the appointment, AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki acknowledged Raila’s “rich political experience and strong commitment to the ideals of Pan-Africanism and African integration, as well as a deep knowledge of infrastructure development.

“In this respect, his mandate includes mobilising further political support from Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and facilitating greater ownership by all concerned stakeholders on the continent,” Faki said.

-Standardmedia.co.ke

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