Two-time world junior champion in the 3000 metres Mercy Cherono Koech will get engaged to her fiancé – whom she is yet to disclose his identity – in a traditional ceremony (Koito) at her rural home in Kipajit Village, Sotik Constituency, Bomet County on December 17, 2016.
Cherono’s parents, John Koech and Emily Koech, say they can’t wait to welcome their son-in-law to-be to their family.
News about Cherono’s planned engagement has been received with a lot of excitement on social media, with several personalities in the sports fraternity taking to different platforms to send congratulatory messages to the first born in a family of seven.
Four-time winner of the Boston Marathon Catherine Ndereba said: “Congratulations queen Mercy. May our good Lord be with you and your partner as you prepare for your D-Day.”
2015 Paris and Frankfurt Marathon Champion, Mark Korir Mutai, wrote: “Pongezi Mercy.”
Suspended Athletics Kenya Eastern Branch Chairman, Joseph Kinyua, said: “Congrats Mercy. May your new chapter be successful as your athletics career! We are proud of you, those of us that have inspired you during many athletics championships. ”
Alex Sang, the husband to London Olympics 3000m steeplechase bronze medalist Milcah Chemos, said: “Bye bye singles club Mercy Cherono.”
During Koito the groom-to-be and his family are introduced to the bride’s family.
If the groom-to-be takes dowry with him, and reaches an agreement with the bride’s family, he gets the go-ahead to take the woman as his wife.
The elders would later convene a meeting and sign an agreement that they witnessed a woman of their clan get married off. A colourful ceremony would follow.
Once Koito ceremony is done, the couple may live together as husband and wife; as they plan a church wedding.
Cherono: Top achiever
Mercy Cherono started running while at Kipajit Primary School and later moved to Chelimo Primary School near Kericho and eventually Ngariet Secondary School in Sotik.
Mercy Cherono won the Most Promising Sportswoman of the Year category at the 2009 Kenyan Sports Personality of the Year awards, and repeated by winning the same category the next year.
Reporting by Charity Wanja and Carol Kones.