Screw Driver

Range Rover love: How Daddy Owen’s wife fell for 53 year old tycoon

Farida Wambui’s parents refused to take ruracio from Daddy Owen’s family. They also skipped her wedding

Leggy Rover: Gospel musician Daddy Owen (Owen Mwatia) and his wife Farida Wambui who has since dumped him. Several issues challenge most marriages: acute cultural differences, garrulous in-laws, negative external influence, religion, disrespect and one partner suddenly changing. Like getting born again, yet you fell in love during a weekend of carousal at The Swing Club. Other reasons include  infidelity, cruelty, desertion, glaring age differences, a child from a previous affair, coming from the ‘wrong’ community, economic disparities, educational gaps, family status, marrying for the wrong reasons and money-when it’s too much or too little. In the case of Daddy Owen, being out of gigs emaciated his wallet and women are not wired to foot bills, any bills.

By Camy Akinyi-Gecaga

Contributing editor/Lifestyle

It does not end wrong-even in most marriages-it starts wrong. Gospel musician Daddy Owen was dumped by his fetching yellow-yellow wife, Farida Wambui, before Christmas last year. But red flags started four year’s earlier-with parental disapproval.

Then ‘Miss Rona’ came calling. Daddy Owen went rock bottom broke during lockdown. There were no gigs during curfews. Wambui, tired of footing the bills, fell for Albert Njuguna, a loaded 53 year old married tycoon with interests in microfinance, hospitality, property and real estate, tours and tenders.

Wambui has a son whose Baby Daddy the parents wished was the one marrying her…not Daddy Owen

Mamma Mia: During her ruracio ceremony, Farida Wambui’s parents refused to take the bride price from the Mwatias-Daddy Owen’s family. Never mind Farida Wambui was the only woman he had ever introduced to his parents. For a Kikuyu woman, there is no stronger disapproval for choice of hubby than parents turning down ruracio-which is planned way in advance. Wambui’s parents also skipped her 300 strong invitation only celebrity wedding at the Kenya Assembly of God church in Buruburu, Nairobi on April 2, 2016. One of the uncle volunteered to walk her down the aisle.

It was at Njuguna’s Kika Lodge in Gilgil Nakuru County where Wambui said yes! a week after leaving the down-on-his-luck musician with their two sons.

That ended Daddy Owen’s four year marriage-which, according to family sources, did not enjoy the blessings of Wambui’s parents. See, Wambui has a son whose Baby Daddy the parents wished was the one marrying her, not Daddy Owen. But ruracio is the preserve of paternal uncles who saved the day by accepting Daddy Owen’s bride price.

Their honeymoon was in Belgium, but the marriage which produced another son had other issues

Room with a view: A cottage at Kika Lodge in Gilgil where Daddy Owen confirmed his wife was a regular guest.
The late Ken Ouko was an expert in the sociology of the family. He once explained that women tend to look for socially dominant males to raise their status and gain greater access to resources for themselves and security of their children. Ouko further added that women might go for fame and looks but “power in a man, supersedes everything. It might be political power, financial power, sexual power, or simply physical power. But it is wrong for people to think monetary power is the ultimate aphrodisiac for women.”

Their honeymoon was in Belgium, but the marriage which produced another son had other issues. Like their educational differences: Wambui holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Nairobi and a Masters in Marketing and Strategy from Daystar.

Daddy Owen who had no gigs since March publicly confessed to battling depression

The Boiler Room: Daddy Owen and Farida in happier times. Grace Kariuki, a city family therapist with Harbour Counseling and Consulting once argued that a husband enjoys a healthier self-esteem when he’s able to provide for his woman and family- as men were born hunters and gatherers.  Kariuki explains that “traditionally, women are expected and wired to nurture and take care of their men but not on the financial sense. Women will take care of the men but find it difficult to respect him if he’s unable to take care of her.”

Daddy Owen, on the other hand, left Eshisiru Secondary school in Kakamega and graduated into a petty thief in Nairobi. A near death experience from the harambee of bodily harm meted via a mob justice was his Damascus Moment to accepting Jeso Kristo as his personal savior enroute to finding fame as a  gospel musician from 2003.

Then came the pandemic and attendant lockdowns and curfews in 2020. Living large when the times were good worked against Daddy Owen who had no gigs since March. He publicly confessed to battling depression.

Some of Daddy Owen’s Luhya relatives worked where Wambui was having private dinners

The shrink: Psychologist Benjamin Zulu swears that there will hardly ever come a time when a woman will swap roles and be the provider.  “Women will always define love as being pursued and taken care of, men will define it as being in charge and the woman cooperating with him. Don’t be lied to. Times can change, but our psychology doesn’t.”

Wambui was left footing the bills. She could afford it having been in high profile jobs including her current position as Market Access and Pricing Lead for East Africa at an international drugs company.

In fact, Wambui used her position to move around in the name of ‘price meetings with the Ministry of Health’ since the government was importing ‘Miss Rona’ vaccines through her company. But the outings were mostly to hang out with Njuguna at Kika Lodge in Gilgil and the upmarket Cliff Hotel, Nakuru.

Daddy Owen took his sons to Rufftone’s Karen home and rushed to Gilgil where he confirmed his worst fears

The birdcage: Former television anchor Betty Kyallo separated with fellow newsman Dennis Okari six months after their high profile wedding in 2015. Betty later explained that her in-laws were a factor. They even stood her up during their traditional wedding. “There was always tension around us, between the two families, even between us. And I felt that I was not being protected by him when it came to his family.” Then there were religious differences. Like Okari gravitating towards faith healers.
“When he hinted at divorce I was certain I wanted out; I asked him for a separation.” Betty went straight into the waiting arms of Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho-who gifted her a house along Lenana Road in Nairobi besides a BMWX6 and a Porsche Cayenne.
But when her demands included being First Lady of Mombasa County, Joho dumped her and repossessed the house and cars. “We had cultural and religious differences,” Betty later explained. Okari who had contemplate suicide twice: once by driving on to a boulder and another via an overdose of Piriton. But he missed the huge rock and the next couldn’t find a late night chemist. Okari later remarried in 2019.

Unbeknown to both Wambui and Njuguna, some of Daddy Owen’s Luhya relatives worked where they were having private dinners. It was these relatives who informed Daddy Owen that they had spotted Wambui with her new flame cruising in a grey Range Rover- KCX **1Z- around Gilgil.

Daddy Owen took his sons to Rufftone’s Karen home and rushed to Gilgil where staffers at Kika Lodge confirmed his worst fears: His four year old marriage had ended in premium tears.

I never thought he ever had eyes for me considering his celebrity status and the number of women he met

The nutcase: The late President Daniel arap Moi was disappointed with troubled son Philip Moi for bypassing the family and marrying a foreigner, Italian architect Rossana Pluda. Philip went ahead with his subdued civil wedding at the Attorney General’s Chambers in Nairobi on March 1, 1993. Pluda recalled seeing him removing the wedding band dropping it in his coat pocket and driving to Kabarnet Gardens where he lived with his father. Pluda left in a separate cab to their Muthaiga home. Her monthly credit card expenses were capped at Sh20, 000, according to her divorce petition.
“The marriage was wrong from the start,” she recalled. “There was no communication from his side. He never asked me anything about my past or about who I was, my family or friends. I later discovered I had made a mistake but already with two little kids, resigned to hoping Philip would change.” They divorced 20 years later in what she termed “the most gruesome journey of my life.” Pluda filed for divorce in 2008 citing adultery, cruelty and desertion.

It had all started one evening in 2012. Daddy Owen was in a business meeting at Java Café, Junction Mall in Nairobi. Wambui recalled that although he had seen him perform “I never thought he ever had eyes for me considering his celebrity status and the number of women he met.”

Daddy Owen on his part also experienced palpitations of the heart at the presence of the gorgeous beauty: “I knew she was my wife from that moment I set my eyes on her. Instantly, I felt that she was the bone of my bones and the flesh of my flesh.” 

Daddy Owen has since moved from their house in Westlands Nairobi and rented an apartment

Cynthia Otieno, a relationship coach with Lamead Woman Network explained that when one introduces a future partner to parents, it is not usually to get approval but blessings.
“Parents raise their children to certain standards and already have in mind the kind of person they children marry. Parents disapprove of their child’s partner when those particular things they had in mind are not met. Simple things like non-verbal cues tell a lot about the future spouse and “parents look at the chemistry…are they all lovey-dovey or not? Is one partner more controlling and over bearing, by the end of the day they already know if the relationship is going to work or not.” 
Children should investigate reasons for parental disapproval as sometimes we get blinded by love. “If the reason is legitimate then consider parents advice. But if not legitimate then go against their will.” Doris Elizabeth Moi, for instance, married her brother’s friend and farm manager, the late rally driver Ibrahim Choge, against the wishes of her father, then President Daniel arap Moi.

Daddy Owen has since asked his fans for prayers “as I journey through this season.” He has since moved from their house in Westlands Nairobi and rented an apartment besides deleting all the photos of his wife on social media.​

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