Man divorces wife, cites poor cooking skills, childlessness

Wednesday October 24 2018

pilau dispute

Woman says she sought help from a neighbour, who gave her a recipe for pilau.  

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A man in Tana River County has reportedly divorced his wife over poor cooking skills.

Mr Said Kofa is said to have dissolved his marriage with Ms Mariam Hiribae after she prepared his favourite Swahili dish – pilau - poorly.


The couple has been married for one and a half years.

The marriage ended after Mr Kofa reportedly vomited after eating the pilau. According to Ms Hiribae, Mr Kofa has been putting pressure on her to cook pilau, which she has confessed several times that she’s not well conversant with the recipe. 

"I have told him several times that however much I try to learn how to prepare the dish, I never achieve the desired results. I needed more time to practice preparing the meal, but he would hear none of it,” she said.

She noted that in the past, she would hire someone to prepare pilau for her husband at a fee and that he would enjoy the delicacy. But on the fateful day, he insisted that he wanted her to prepare the meal by herself. 

Ms Hiribae said she sought help from a neighbour, who gave her a recipe even as Mr Kofa watched to ensure that no one would help her cook.


After spending two hours in the kitchen, Ms Hiribae said she was convinced that this time she had got it right.

 "I took my time to prepare that dish. I tasted it before serving, and it was okay. That was the best I ever did as a learner,” she said.  

However, hell broke loose after Mr Kofa started eating the pilau. Ms Hiribae noted that he ran to the washrooms while coughing and spit out the food.  

She got scared and followed him to find out what the problem was only to be slapped by Mr Kofa, who accused her of trying to kill him.   

"He has never even pointed a finger at me, but when he lay his hands on me, and accused me of wanting to kill him with a lot of spices in food, I got angry and hit him on the head with a stool," she narrated.  


With blood oozing from his head, Mr Kofa went to his in-laws and asked them to pick their “violent daughter” as he headed to hospital.

Ms Haribae noted that she also went to her in-laws and explained what had happened, but they accused her of being arrogant, dressing indecently and being unfaithful.

"I was shocked to hear what my husband has been telling his mother about me," said Ms Hiribae. 

The following day, Mr Kofa came back alongside his sister and gave Ms Hiribae a divorce "talaka" as outlined in the Islamic laws.  

"I came back home in pain. I still don’t understand why he reacted this way. I loved him. We were happy and I never thought pilau would get us here,” she said.  


When reached for a comment, Mr Kofa said he owed no one an explanation for the decisions he makes in his life. 

He also hinted that the pilau could not be the only issue, but also lack of a child a year and a half into the marriage. 

"I owe no one an explanation for decisions I make in my life. It doesn't concern you. Are you married? Do you have a child? How long can you live in a marriage without a child and a wife who can't cook?" He asked furiously.  

Sources in the village, however, told Nation Mr Kofa could be seeing another woman got for him by his mother, and she was already pregnant, hence the divorce was just engineered to pave way for the two to get married.