I was outgoing, I wanted freedom but my wife was conservative… maybe we were not two of a kind…
By Shifa Mwihaki
Billionaire Chris Kirubi lit up conversations on marriage when he called it slavery. “Marriage is enslavement and you have to be careful. You have to agree to go into slavery and into ‘jail’” he recently piped on Churchill Show.
The tycoon, 79, is a bachelor. He was married very briefly but with enough time for two children; Mary Ann-Musangi and Robert Kirubi.
Of women, Kirubi reckons “if you marry a good woman, it is such a pleasure. But there are some women, who are like they first went to the army then came back for you to marry them.”
Divorce is a nasty thing but if it has to happen it better happen. There is no point living in misery just to stay married
Kirubi’s wife has remained in the shadows since their divorce in the 1970s. He found no happiness “going home to a quarrelsome woman…now I go home to my sausage dogs and we don’t quarrel,” he told Going Out Guide magazine years back.
Kirubi said he married and divorced young but with “several years to have two children” and that though not acrimonious, “divorce is a nasty thing but if it has to happen it better happen. There is no point living in misery just to stay married.”
I was outgoing, I wanted freedom but my wife was conservative
Kirubi told KTN’s Person of Interest program that, though he still sees his former wife “from time to time” the divorce came when he was starting out in business. “I was outgoing, I wanted freedom but my wife was conservative. People are born different, maybe we were not two of a kind… one has to be happy and to enjoy it. It was too restrictive for me, going home at particular times to help with homework. I now work until midnight and there are no questions asked,” he said adding that he never remarried and even now “I am not heavily committed.”
Kirubi was left to bring up the children; Mary Anne, the most known. She runs Haco Industries, Secret Garden Restaurant at Riverside Drive and Olpul Steakhouse at Two Rivers. The other sibling, Robert Kirubi, lives in Belgium where he works for DHL as the Vice President of Operations, Service and Logistics for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
I am from a divorced home so I never got an opportunity to experience family life
Mary-Anne told Business Daily in 2017 that her toughest upbringing was coming of age in a divorced home.
Of her mother, Mary Anne said “she’s a lovely lady. She’s very low key. That’s where probably I get that from. She’s very hard working too. She’s retired now. She loves her kids. Her life is her children.”
Mary Anne is married to lawyer Andrew Musangi who “puts up with me” she said considering “I am from a divorced home so I never got an opportunity to experience family life in that respect. So for me, I was very scared of getting married because I didn’t know how that would work. Nobody really taught me. I have a very patient husband, easy… We are similar in personality and it’s just like living with your best friend. Honestly, he’s very supportive, he’s there, he works with the kids… it’s been a home of fun.”
My father was an orphan. He grew up on the streets. Yes, people say he’s proud, but he deserves to be proud
On lessons she learnt from her father, Mary-Anne said, he taught her that there was “no excuse to give up. No excuse at all. My father was an orphan. He grew up on the streets. Yes, people say he’s proud, but he deserves to be proud considering where he’s reached, from where he came from.”