Pastor Joan Wairimu has opened up how she stuck with an abusive pastor husband for more than 17 years.
The ‘Pambazuka’ hitmaker was married to Bishop William Mwangangi until the two filed for divorce in 2013.
Joan says she remained in the abusive marriage for fear of how people would judge her because she was a public figure.
“For the sake of all people who know you as a role model, the congregation, it was difficult for me to walk out. I would smile and pretend it was all okay, but I was not because he did all wrongs to me,” she said.
“He was cheating with church ladies, beating me and many times he threatened to kill me.”
Joan says she did everything including washing his feet every Monday but the pastor husband still cheated and mistreated her.
“I loved my husband and did all that I was supposed to do as a woman but nothing seemed working.
I used to even wash his feet after he preach every Monday just to make him happy. I would ask him what wrong I had done to him but simple things like not picking up his call could make him shout at me and even beat me up. The kids were even traumatised. It was difficult,” she said.
Joan says everyone, including his mother, saw danger, but she loved her husband. “I lost a nerve in one of the ears because of being beaten. My mother-in-law even told me to take care,” she said.
Joan says what made her walk out was when he denied his three children, despite being the first man in her life.
“After many years of beating, he denied he is the biological father of my children. A person who has made you deaf wakes up one day and say he is not the biological father,” she said.
“I asked myself, who will I tell the children their dad is? The children had to do a DNA, and so I had to explain to them the reason they had to go through the DNA,” she said.
She says that when God finally removed her from that marriage, she cried and asked God for forgiveness for allowing herself go through such moments.
Joan relocated to Canada with her children and is the founder of Queens Ministry International.
Joan advice that people should stop judging people who walk out of their marriages.
“I am not advocating for divorce but if someone have threatened your life, do something. Marriage work and it is sweet but you don’t have to die,” she said.
Always remember that abusive is real and even the most powerful can be abused.