Saboti 2013 parliamentary seat aspirant, Caleb Hamisi, stirred silent Kurgung’ village in Nandi County when he paraded over 60 top of the range off-road guzzlers at a Koito – better known dowry negotiation.
The suitor, who made headlines in August when Saboti youth got injured after hanging on to his chopper, graced the event which had more than 300 guests.
Hamisi, who was seeking Whitney Chemutai’s hand in marriage, was accompanied by his family and Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter.
The wealthy businessman had his guests booked in five separate hotels in Eldoret town with a robust security detail guarding his colleagues and himself.
“I have known Whitney Chemutai since October 2011. We promised ourselves we’d carry out a colourful engagement party and I am glad it came out well,” Hamisi told Citizen Digital.
“I am appreciating the parents for bringing up a good woman, and also showing my respect for the institution of marriage,” he added.
Hamisi’s family and guests spent an estimated Ksh1.2 million plus a breakfast budget of Ksh450, 000 for the two days they stayed at the Eldoret hotels.
Another estimated Ksh890, 000 was used for hiring and fueling vehicles that ferried relatives and friends from his Kiungani home to Eldoret.
“Eldoret to Nandi is quite a distance, and there were very many vehicles to ferry people between the two places. We needed heavy duty cars. We had Land Cruisers, Prados, Range Rovers and other off-road conveyances.”
It is Hamisi’s personal finances which went into the booking of hotels plus car hiring. Why didn’t he ask for financial assistance from his fellow moneyed friends?
He responded: “I did not want them (friends and family) to incur any cost; I am not the kind of person who asks people to contribute towards his marriage. No one contributed even a shilling.”
“I came with 300 guests; but I’d say the event was graced by more than 1000 people – the ceremony attracted the whole district’s attention. The villagers were very excited when they saw the abnormal activity,” he said amid laughter.
“I could not chase them (villagers) away; otherwise I would have spoiled the whole thing. The event also took place in an open village, so I could not put restrictions.”
Before Whitney’s parents agreed to take the token Hamisi had brought them, he was given a challenge – to prove he knew his woman well.
How was it done?
“She was grouped with several ladies her age. They all dressed in similar outfits, with their faces covered. I was told to go choose Chemutai from the group – if I failed to, then I was to be fined. I couldn’t miss her – I know her like the back of my hand! Six years of dating does not come in vain,” said the millionaire.
He added: “We used Ks150, 000 for Whitney’s dress and accessories. I allocated extra Ksh100, 000 for her best friend’s outfit and Ksh250, 000 for other girls’ clothes.”
After the main ceremony, guests were treated to a pre-wedding party held at the well-known Club Signature in Eldoret.
“At the entertainment joint, everybody binged on my bill. I incurred a bill of Ksh450, 000 which I easily paid,” told Hamisi.
“Over Ksh365, 000 was used to pay entertainers that included Webuye International Band and comedians,” Hamisi told.
Photographers and public address facilities were hired at a cost of Ksh490, 000.
The politician also spent an additional Ksh1.95 million on gifts for family members to take to their in-laws.
“The whole ceremony cost well over Ksh13 million. I’m now looking forward to our grand wedding next year March,” said Hamisi.
Asked if he was imitating the flamboyant way Jared K. Otieno paid dowry in Meru early 2015, Hamisi said: “I am Luhya and I think you have seen for yourself! I have actually done more than what my Luo brothers can do,” he retorted.
His life story
“I don’t know my parents. I was raised by my grandmother who took me in after my mum passed on when I was 9-months-old.
Granny saw me through education. I sat for my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) where I was the second best student in Western Province before later joining prestigious Starehe Boys Centre and School for secondary education.” he divulged.
Hamisi was admitted to University of Nairobi and upon completion of his four year course, he taught at a High School in Vihiga.
Hamisi would later relocate to Nairobi where he worked as a casual labourer in different companies.
Things would change for the better as he saved money to establish his own company – Mudom Investment Company which deals in supplies and Freight management.
“Without education, I would have been a shamba boy,” he concluded.