This has got to be the most romantic Kenyan story involving a KDF soldier. A former Garissa University student married the soldier who came to her rescue during the April 2015, Al Shabaab terror attack on the campus.
Maureen Mayengo married KDF soldier, Ivan Okello, four months after the shocking university attack, whom she refers to as her ‘shield and defender’, a line from the Kenya National Anthem.
The 21 year-old student had met Ivan before the attack and resolved to marry him after he saved her life that fateful day, since she feels safer with him. Maureen had been hiding in a closet for 12 hours when the Kenya Defense Forces soldier found her
Ivan, a 25-year old soldier is currently deployed in Somalia where KDF is battling the Al Shabaab militants and she can’t wait for him to come from his mission.
Mayengo, who is from Kakamega County, now lives in Lanet, Nakuru county, with her husband and hopes they will make their marriage official when she graduates with a grand church wedding.
The attack survivor transfered to Moi University and vowed never to step into Garissa town or the university after the traumatizing incident that took away her friend’s lives.
Speaking to the Standard, Mayengo revealed that she is still too traumatized from the Garissa attack – as loud noises such as moving vehicles or raised voices still frighten her.
On Saturday, April 2, Kenyans marked one year since the attack which killed 148 students and was said to be the deadliest since the 1998 Unites States Embassy bombing in Nairobi.