EXCLUSIVE: DJ Mohz and wife Deborah open up about their marriage of 8 years
Citizen TV’s Kubamba host DJ Mohz and wife Deborah Kimathi are such a happy couple; happy because they understand their purpose in marriage – at least fully.
The parents of two and “a bit” children, as Deborah Kimathi says, divulged their love journey in a candid interview with EDAILY.
EDAILY: You have been married for eight years now – and we know that eight years of marriage is not a walk in the park. What is the main factor that has contributed to you sticking together?
DJ MOHZ: I think we learn every day, but there is definitely commitment, you know? When my wife and I got into a marriage setting, we knew that there is no plan B. This thing had to work out. And of course there is love – we love each other. We have loved each other for 11 years now. I met her in 2005 in November or December. So, there is love that has been brewing for a long time, and every day, we continue loving each other. It does not mean that we do not face challenges, but you know our love overcomes all those challenges.
EDAILY: Deborah, talking of challenges in a marriage, what is that one big hurdle you have faced? You just remember it and say: ‘No, we cannot afford to go back that way’.
DEBORAH: (Laughs). I don’t think there has been one big hurdle as such. I think the season of having young children is difficult coz no one is sleeping, everyone is stretched and everyone is wondering if the baby is healthy, if you are doing the right thing as you try to learn how to parent – and whatever. That is a stressful season on young marriages. So, that is probably a challenging season, but not a bad one. We learnt through it, we have grown and we love each other.
DJ MOHZ: And the other thing, my wife and I do not have a house help. We thank God that He has allowed us to be in direct contact with our children. We were intentional in making sure that we are there for our kids. We would drop the kids to school and pick them up – and we intentionally spend time with them, which is not easy. Just to back up what she (Deborah) was saying – that when the kids are there, they are very needy and want you in their space, you know? But we appreciate this time because a time will come when they won’t anything to do with us (laughs). But we are like: we need to establish a relationship with them such that when they get to their teenage years, they’d look back and say: ‘Our parents are our best friends’.
EDAILY: How many children are you blessed with?
DEBORAH: Two and a bit (laughs). One is on the way; I am left with three months to go.
EDAILY: (Looking at the baby bump). It is not showing…?
DJ MOHZ: She has done well (breaks into a smile).
EDAILY: Looking at the current dating patterns, many relationships tend to last shorter, if they don’t lead to marriage. What do you think are the contributing factors to short-lived relationships?
DJ MOHZ: I think there are many contributing factors. Some guys could be genuine – that you actually are dating someone hoping that it would end up in marriage, then you realise that the two of you were chasing after different things. For other guys, it is just lack of commitment or lack of focus. Sometimes people do not understand the purpose of being in a relationship. Some do get into a relationship because they are lonely. But once you understand the reason why you are getting into a relationship, then I think it is easier for you to transition into the next space. One should not just get into a relationship for kicks. But then, commitment is very important! That you get into a marriage or a relationship for the long goal.
DEBORAH: I think it is just a case of asking yourself what you are looking for in a relationship, especially as women. Some of us often have the tendency of looking for money, nice car, nice house. And actually, those things are meaningless really when it comes to a union. You’d rather be looking for values, for somebody who has the character that you want and you build from there. Those other things – money, cars might come or might not (laughs). If they do, consider it a blessing.
DJ MOHZ: And it is important for people also to be content. Maboys tukiwa mtaani si hutembea tukivunja shingo na saa hizo tuko na wapenzi wetu. Just be content with what God has given you.
EDAILY: What are the key stages that couples must follow to ensure that they have a successful marriage?
DEBORAH: It is important to engage parents, that obviously vary from culture to culture, but I think your parents or somebody in their generation is there to bless you as you enter marriage, I think that is really key! Then I think some form of premarital counseling is important. Again, it varies from setting to setting. But some space where you can sit together and ask yourself some of the hard questions, potentially with a third party who can also guide you through some of those issues – talk about things like intimacy, money, children; the things that are going to come and give you difficult conversations later. Try to have those conversations now so that you know by the time you are walking down the aisle, you are on the same page.
EDAILY: And Mohz has a new look; the dread locks that he had were cut…Did you, Deborah, contribute to him embracing the new look?
DEBORAH: It was nothing to do with me (laughs). He actually shaved after the birth of our first daughter. But I don’t know if that was significant.
DJ MOHZ: I was just tired of the dread locks. I had had them for 11 years. My wife did not know me without dread locks before. I had told her, like for three years, that I would shave them, but I was not doing so. One day I left home and went to a barber, who used to do my dread locks, and told him: Steve, I am done with these dread locks, just shave them. When I went home, my wife was like: ‘Where is my husband?’ But there are no regrets. I do not even miss dread locks at all, no!
EDAILY: What advice will you give to a young couple, who just got into a relationship and are uncertain of what the future holds for them as a pair?
DJ MOHZ: How many of us can say they are certain of what the future holds? I would tell them: walk into this thing with faith and allow God to be in the center of the relationship. You need to lean on God and commit the relationship to Him. Take the relationship one day at a time, and appreciate each other’s company. Let your partner be your best friend. Talk about things. Goof around together. Play together. Go for dates. And when the kids come along, enjoy your time with the kids, don’t just let the house help come and be the one who is running with the kids and the two of you are just lazing around with your feet on the table. Enjoy every moment that God allows you to be together because life is short.
DEBORAH: But I will also add: if you are dating and you are really uncertain about your partner; or you have unanswered questions, just address them. Don’t expect them to be magically fixed when you get married, coz you’d rather break off that relationship now than you get married and at some point later it becomes a bigger thing to deal with.
EDAILY: Being in a multicultural union – Scottish and Kenyan; how easy or how hard has it been for you?
DJ MOHZ: Oh man, I haven’t struggled. Speaking as a Kenyan, one of the things that God has allowed me is the exposure to different cultures. And I was always open. I was not caught up in the Kikuyu tradition, in the African tradition. I wasn’t raised up that way. So, I did not struggle through the dating and courtship stages.
DEBORAH: By the time we started dating, I had been living here a few years. I guess that helped coz I had some understanding of local culture and DJ Mohz’s family is not very traditional. It helped a lot during our dating phase. It is good to respect tradition and allow space for it, but to find the balance that works for you is even better.
EDAILY: Deborah, your parents in Scotland, how did they react when you broke the news to them that you will be married to a Kenyan man?
DEBORAH: Getting married, they knew it was going to be probably longer term. My parents have a very strong marriage themselves and they have a very strong faith. That definitely gave them a positive position from which they’d be able to bless us. And I guess having a very strong faith, they understood the nature of God calling us to a certain place sometime and relationships.
EDAILY: How did you meet – and when was it?
DEBORAH: We met late 2005. I was part of a church plan team for Mavuno Church Downtown, which at the time was under the Nairobi Chapel umbrella of churches and we were having our first outreach event and we had a DJ.
DJ MOHZ: I was the DJ and the gig was at the Village Market. We met that night, you know? When the gig ended, there was not enough transport and guys were giving each other lifts and we were left in the parking – me and Deborah. So, we just bonded that night. That was the first contact. But then we did not start dating immediately. Then I lost my phone, but later bumped into each other at Java Adams. We exchanged contact and started keeping in touch – and the rest is history.
EDAILY: As we wind up, what are your Valentine’s Day plans?
DEBORAH: We already had our Valentine’s celebration last Friday (laughs). We sent our kids to their friends’ house for a sleepover and we went out for a meal and had a nice evening and morning together.
EDAILY: DJ Mohz, is Valentine’s Day an overrated day?
DJ MOHZ: It is not, if you ask me. You know, it is just one day that people set out for people to celebrate love and you know, it is how you take it. Some people have decided to monetize it, and monetize it really well! Nonetheless, love should be a constant feature in a couple’s life. You shouldn’t wait for one day to express it. And it doesn’t have to mean doing grand things. Sometimes it is also the small gestures that actually show someone that you really love them, you know? People shouldn’t take loans to impress their loved ones on a day.
DEBORAH: It is a nice day, but it should not be for pressure. You shouldn’t be spending your life savings into impressing someone on one day.