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Keroche heiress divorce & why men shouldn’t marry richer women!

I did not know Anerlisa Muigai was a multi-millionaire. I was only attracted to her beauty-Musician Ben Pol

Summit of malted love: Keroche heiress Anerlisa Muigai and Tanzanian musician Ben Pol during their wedding last march. Dr Taji Shivachi, a sociology lecturer at Rongo University, advises that “it’s always advisable to marry as close to your social class as possible.”
Dating or marrying from a different social class is often a challenging affair considering it dictates how the couple views finances, investments, education, friends, neighbourhoods, expenses, leisure, extended family and lifestyle.

By Shifa Mwihaki

Feature writer/Essayist


The marriage didn’t last a year. And when the divorce between Keroche heiress Anerlisa Muigai and Tanzanian hubby Ben Pol, a musician finally came, it was a “slow and painful affair” as he put it.

Anerlisa has since removed the wedding ring and deleted ‘Wife of Ben Pol’ from her social media pages. She has also unfollowed Ben Pol.

Dude, experts always advise: never marry a woman of a higher social class, one from a family more loaded than yours, one whose bank account reads like an international telephone number-while your bank balance appears like a pass code.

Ben Pol regretted ignoring all the red flags before he wed Anerlisa

Closed fermentation: Ben Pol is from a lower social and financial class than Anerlisa Muigai who runs her own Nero Water Company besides her folk’s bottled beer empire.
Dr Taji Shivachi advises that a man should “marry from your own class or lower. Marrying upwards is always a big challenge for men. It’s very difficult to adjust, unless you find a way of making more money or find another way of achieving superiority like having more education, get into politics which gives you power.”

Ben Pol (Bernard Paul Mnyang’anga) regretted ignoring all the red flags before he wed Anerlisa in a small private ceremony in Tanzania last March. “I filed for divorce” he told Simulizi na Sauti of what happened early this year, and that “the process is going on.”

Surveyed closely, Ben Pol married beyond his social class. The two met in Nairobi in 2018 and the Moyo Mashine hit maker told Cloud FM: “I did not know who she was; I did not know whether she was a multi-millionaire. I was only attracted to her because she was beautiful.”

 But in several messages posted on her Instagram account when they were going through hell, Anerlisa wrote: “A man is supposed to provide and (protect) Not (Beg) and collect.”

Parting ways came in small bitter doses, like quinine

Bittering hops: “That period was tough,” recalled Ben Pol of their marriage after wedding Anerlisa Muigai. “I can’t pretend to be a commando since love matters are sensitive. I would wake up at 5pm and have my breakfast, take my lunch at 9pm then sleep till 5pm again.” Looking back, Ben Pol had become a philosopher: “We all have the gift to predict the future. Always listen to your guts…I would not have wedded her last year.”

Ben Pol recalled that parting ways came in small bitter doses, like quinine: “We separated last year for like one and a half months, then in September, we got back together and in February this year, we separated again,” he recalled adding “I think I did my best from my end to keep our love, but I can’t change anything.”

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At one point, Anerlisa’s lawyers served Ben Pol papers barring him from discussing their marriage in media interviews or online. And Ben Pol was mentally devastated when it all ended.

There are other examples of men who married above their class. And it all ended in premium tears. Take gospel musician Daddy Owen (Owen Mwatia).

When all is said and done, Daddy Owen had married up, Wambui had down-married!

Bottom of the barrel: Gospel musician Daddy Owen and ex-wife Farida Wambui. The root of their marital woes can be fingered to one thing: Wambui was more educated (she’s a university graduate while Owen is a high school one), had more class, higher pedigree. Also, as a marketer for a drug multinational, Farida was in the money while Daddy Owen was nursing a malnourished wallet after the pandemic dried up music gigs. While women hack it marrying upwards, it’s harder for men from the wrong side of the tracks to fit in elite circles through marriage.

His marriage to Farida Wambui crumbled four years after their highly publicized nuptials-which Wambui’s parents skipped besides turning down ruracio from Daddy Owen’s family. When all is said and done, Daddy Owen had married up, Wambui had down-married!

Another specimen in this lot is guitarist Gido Kibukosya. He married Zanaziki band owner, Suzanne Kibukosya, a scion of the Gachukia’s who own the Riara Group of schools empire including Riara University. The parents, Ambassador Daniel Gachukia and educationist Dr Eddah Gachukia, were against the marriage.

it’s better to marry from your own class to avoid incompatibility and culture shock

Bottled conditioning: Benjamin Zulu, a counseling therapist and motivational speaker says “it’s better to marry from your own class to avoid incompatibility and culture shock” that comes with lifestyle considering that the lower classes are trained to survive while the upper classes have a culture of saving, building business empires which in turn births a culture of inheritance which a spouse from a different class is not accustomed to.

Never mind Gido’s Old Guy, Peter Kibukosya has a primary school named after him for his contribution to music besides being among those who composed Kenya’s national anthem.

After nearly two decades, the Kibukosya’s called it quits with Gido leaving with nothing but speaker connector cables. Suzanne had a fling with then famous television anchor Louis Otieno before marrying Robert Opembe, Kenya’s ambassador to Ireland- where Suzanne now lives.

Gido repaired back to his shags in rural Kakamega. Surveyed closely, Suzanne was from a wealthier family and Gido had married up!

Traditionally, women are wired to nurture their men but not in a financial sense

Home brewing: The rich almost always marry fellow rich. There is a subculture within the upper class where they settle down with their own: Fiona Achola from politician William Odongo Omamo’s family, for instance, married Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru Kenyatta’s son. Her aunt is Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.
Dr Taji Shivachi, a sociology, explains that “social class plays a huge role in the power dynamics within a marriage where self-security is an issue, especially for men as “it’s about power systems, the balance of power within the marriage. Power follows money. When you have money, power comes with it,” he once explained, adding that “men will feel insecure when they marry someone who has more money and therefore more power.”

  Women are more willing to learn and settle and are thus hardly affected by differing social classes compared to men who have bigger egos to deal with.

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Grace Kariuki, a family therapist says that “traditionally, women are wired to nurture their men but not in a financial sense. Women find it difficult respecting the man when he’s unable to take care of her” and that most women feel men who don’t provide also fail to offer leadership hence rendering them irrelevant in the home.  

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