White snake that ‘told man’ to marry sister-in-law

Sunday March 13 2011

A mysterious snake coiled on the rail of a hut in Evans Wandera Abuoga home on March 5, 2011. Photo/TOM OTIENO

A mysterious snake coiled on the rail of a hut in Evans Wandera Abuoga home on March 5, 2011. Photo/TOM OTIENO 

By STELLA CHERONO [email protected]

When a woman saw a white snake in her kitchen, little did she know that the reptile would call for marriage celebrations between her husband and another woman, a week later.

On March 5, she spotted the snake on one of the posts holding the roof of her grass thatched kitchen in their home in Busonga Village of Budalang’i.

Villagers tried to kill the snake, but they could not reach it as the roof is high, and villagers feared the pure white serpent. They smoked the house for three days, but the snake refused to leave.

Some claimed their hands lacked the strength to kill the serpent. Two days later, the snake had not crept away, so the woman decided to call her husband to inform him of the visitor.

Surprisingly, Mr Evans Wandera Obuoga who lives and works in Nairobi told them to stop bothering it, claiming that he knew the snake.

In no time, the snake became famous in Nyanza and Western provinces, prompting the home to become an attraction site. Hundreds flocked daily to look at the stubborn, shiny white snake.

A week later, the media was curious too. The Nation found hundreds of people queuing to view the snake that stared back calmly from the roof.

Visitors paid Sh20 before entering the traditional kitchen. They said the snake had stayed without food for a week.

When he arrived from Nairobi where he works as a medical representative, Mr Wandera was not hesitant to tell the media that his dead wife, with whom he bore a son, was sending a message to him.

“When I heard that a snake was found in my kitchen, I called some of my relatives to go and try to scare it away, but all the efforts to get rid of it did not succeed,” Mr Wandera said.

After thinking about it, he recalled that his dead wife had said she would come back to haunt him, if he did not marry her sister who was taking care of their son.

“I bore the boy with the woman just after my high school, but his mother died when he was just three months. I took him to his grandmother to take care of him, but after two years, his maternal uncles came for him.”

The now famous Wandera, claims that after marrying his current wife a year later, the child’s mother started haunting him. “There are times she appears in matatus and sits with me and sometimes, the only human being I could see around is her.”

He says there were times when he wanted to take a motorcycle and the woman appeared and occupied the seat and when he tries pushing her, he ends up falling.

Refused boy

Mr Wandera told the Nation that when his second wife refused to accommodate the boy, he decided to take him to a friend’s home in Kendu Bay.

On his way back, he claims, the boy’s dead grandfather appeared and sat with him and told him to marry his daughter as the boy’s mother had said.

He says every time the woman’s images disappeared, he would see a long, white snake creeping away.

“That is why when I was told that there had been a stubborn snake in my house, I asked what colour it was and when I was told it was white, I told my relatives to leave it alone,” he said.

He says when he remarried in 2009, images of the boy’s mother disappeared and he lived in peace until that sister-in-law came visiting and his wife could not allow her to enter the compound.

He claims chaos erupted in his home every time his sister-in-law visited and neither the boy nor the woman could enter the house due to his wife’s hostility.

“On Thursday, when I came home, we quarrelled with my wife and the last word she said to me before I left home for Nairobi was ‘go back to your snake wife’. The next day, the serpent was here,” he said.

So, why was he charging people to view the snake? Mr Wandera says the money would help in a cleansing ceremony that intends to bring peace in the home.

On Saturday, relatives arrived at the home to see the snake as usual. But it was gone. This was the day his sister-in-law was to arrive for the marriage ceremony.

“The snake disappeared because they cannot stay at the same home with my sister-in-law. It had delivered the message!” Mr Wandera, a biochemist, asserted.

A celebration that had a thousand guests was held, immediately his sister-in-law who works in Eldoret, arrived, carrying a two-year-old daughter on her back.

His other wife, a mother of four, was not present. Mr Wandera said she would not bear the shame and pain, and went to her home where she would stay until the celebrations were over. He has no plans of divorcing her, as he “loves her and she is a loving mother”.

At the weekend, song and dance echoed across the village till midnight, with traditional brews and food in plenty as the new wife was allocated land to build her house.