When society tried to force it’s rules of marriage on Martha Mumbi like it usually does with every woman out there, it was met with a rare form of defiance.

Martha Mumbi, 70 years old and a retired Reverend at ACK church spoke to Monica Kagoni and stated three reasons why she chose to stay single.

According to the 70 year old Kenyan, the first reason was the fact that her mom got married at a very tender age and she witnessed her struggles after her dad was detained in 1952.

Martha said that at the time, her mom was expecting a third child and was left to take care of them all alone at such a young age.

“I chose to be single. There are three reasons I chose the path. The first reason is my mum’s life. She got married at a very young age. My grandmother married her off so that the brother who was following her could go to school… My dad was detained in 1952 and she was left as a young bride. Being the eldest, I needed to help her,” narrated Mumbi.

She went on and said the other reason she gave up on marriage was her ex-lover’s lies.

When her dad returned from jail in 1961, he reduced himself to drinking alcohol and also had multiple women. Her father later remarried, something that affected her mother mentally. They admitted her at Mathari Hospital.

“When my dad came back in 1961, he indulged himself in alcohol and would have multiple women. He later remarried, something that affected my mother. The deep relationship between us and him dwindled. My mom became sick and they admitted her at Mathari Hospital,” added the retired reverend.

Dealing with her mother’s mental health

When her mom got mentally ill, she had to look after their six-month-old baby and at the same time go to school.

The retired Reverend revealed that after her mother left Mathari Hospital, she gave birth to other kids which made her sick every time she delivered. This made Martha miss secondary school as a result. She had to take care of the kids since her mother was not in her right state of mind.

“When she came back from Mathari Hospital, she got other babies. Anytime she gave birth, she ended up being sick and I was forced to be their mother. Being a parent to my siblings at such a young age took away my joy,” added the reverend.

Martha having failed to join secondary school decided to go to college where she studied teaching.

“I never went to secondary school. I went to a teaching college and only became a teacher through that. You could not date while in school. It had tough rules. After school, I started taking care of my siblings as I practiced teaching. I later joined St Paul’s Theology School. They gave me the responsibility of looking after reverends’ wives and this blocked me from dating,” added Mumbi.

Eventually in 1972, Martha met a man who turned out a pathological liar.

“Back in 1972, I dated somebody and I knew he had lied to me. He did not change and that is when I made the decision to stay single,” added Mumbi.

On the matter of children

Martha Mumbi currently runs a primary school in the heart of Kajiado county after retiring from church service.

The single and aged lady says she has never had a baby and has doesn’t regret it.

“I have never had a baby. I cannot do so due to nature of my job and I cannot sire kids without a husband,” she added.

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