Woman who 'wedded holy spirit' feared dead

Elizabeth Nalem with her bridesmaids during her wedding to a holy spirit at Ng'otot area in West Pokot county in August 2021.

Photo credit: Oscar Kakai | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The woman's husband Joshua Nalem had reported her missing to the police and to radio stations. 
  • The 42-year-old mother of six had been missing for three weeks.
  • Mrs Nalem was buried on Monday by her family members after they declined to have a postmortem conducted

A woman who made headlines for wedding the “holy spirit” in West Pokot County last year has died, her husband has said.

Elizabeth Nalem, 42, from Kalorema village in Psirio, had been missing for three weeks.

A badly mutilated body suspected to be of Mrs Nalem was found by a goat herder in Kopoch forest, Kapkoris location, Mnagei ward, on Saturday.

“The body was badly mutilated and stinking. Some body parts are missing,” her husband Joshua Nalem told the Nation.


Mr Nalem claimed that his wife had left home on March 14 carrying only her handbag. She left behind her Bible, mobile phone and identification card.

“I saw her and her handbag and confirmed that she is my wife,” he said.

Mr Nalem said it was usual for his wife to go away on missions, but this time she never came back home.

"We never quarreled. We have just been living peacefully. Those who saw her told me she was all alone without talking to anyone, " he said.

He said he had searched for his wife and reported her missing to the police and to radio stations, without getting any leads on her whereabouts.

"I heard over the radio on Saturday that a body had been found in Kopoch. I took the initiative to go see it. That's when I discovered it was the body of my wife," he said.

He said he reported the incident to the police station and officers picked up the body.


Mrs Nalem was buried on Monday night by her family members after they declined to have a postmortem conducted, as advised by police.

Kapenguria OCDP Kipkemoi Kirui said family members, including Mr Nalem, swore an affidavit before the police.

“They said that they don’t want any case concerning the death of the departed woman,” he said.

He said the family collected the body from the morgue and took it for burial.

He said police were still following up on the matter to establish the truth.

“We are still investigating and in case we find that there was any foul play, the body will be exhumed,” he said.

Mr Nalem confirmed that he had buried the body.

“If someone has died, there is nothing more we one can do.  I have no strength to speak now,” Mr Nalem told the Nation by phone on Tuesday.

Colorful wedding

Last year, the 42-year-old mother of six had a colourful, unique wedding at the Chelang’a Gardens in Kapenguria.

It was reported that one hand had been ripped off the body by a hyena.

But Mr Kirui noted that police had not confirmed that the body was of the woman who wedded the holy spirit.

“The husband said that he had identified the body but we are not sure if she is the one who wedded the holy spirit,” he said.

Elizabeth Nalem when she announced her first assignment to Uganda.

Photo credit: Oscar Kakai | Nation Media Group

Last year, the woman claimed her first task from God was to head to Uganda and the United States to preach the word of God.

She was blocked by residents of Amudat on the Kenya-Uganda border, telling her to go back home.

In the Ngotut area, she told journalists that she was being directed by the holy spirit.

Husband unamused

Her husband had complained that his wife left him to do all the work in their home, including taking care of their children.

He had dismissed the so-called wedding to the holy spirit, saying they were still married.

“She didn’t inform me about the wedding,” he said.

The woman had maintained that she would continue with her new task of preaching the gospel.

“I will not go with this man. I am married to the holy spirit. I don’t want him,” she said.