By Silas Nyanchwani via FB
MEMO FROM THE NATIONAL WELFARE DESK OF MEN
Talking Points for I never Used for my TV Appearance
A while back, I got a call from a major TV station courtesy of these memos. I was to appear alongside other panelists to talk about the plight of the boy child.
Now, the TV as a medium has never been my strongest point, and each appearance kills any hope of ever gaining confidence in front of the camera. I suck so bad, and on screen, I tend to bleed from orifice on my face.
Learning from the mistakes of the previous appearances, I asked in advance to know the topics that we were to discuss, so as to have my notes, at least mentally.
The day came, and as usual, I was not prepared, especially at a technical level, since I have this nice laptop with the worst audio for Zoom Calls (God knows how I loathe them). Long story short, I was largely a spectator, and my notes were not as useful. Needless to say, the conversation was OK, the moderator did a good job, but sadly I didn’t make any use of my notes.
Rather than let them go to waste, may I share what I had prepared for the day (of course with the help of a friend). I will supply brief notes for each point.
NB: Some of these points have appeared in one version or another on previous memos and will appear in great detail in the upcoming collection of the 50 memos so far. So this, may count as a summary of the much we have talked, but don’t miss out on the anthology.
Without further ado, here we go.
-MEN RELATIONSHIPS & MARRIAGE
Pursue women who reciprocate your energy.
A lot of men are stuck with women who suck all the energy out of them. There are men who dread the thought of going home every evening. If you are a man and you are never happy around your homestead, you may want to review your choices. A man’s home is his castle. If she belittles you. If she compares you with other men. If she insults. If everything you do is not appreciated, just know you deserve better.
Good relationships are rewarding but require work.
I know couples who struck gold in each other. They are so good for each other. Their energy levels are simply enviable. They all act and behave like adults. Are respectful of each other. Trust each other and they know what they want out of life.
One thing I have noticed, it is the work each party puts into the relationship. Good relationship, require a lot of work. When they work, it is the best bargain out of life. For your health (mental, financial, sexual, social and all).
But it takes two to tango. The two of you are like four wheels of a car. Any time one of you gives you less in a relationship, it is like a car traveling on 3 wheels. You can’t get anywhere. You careen and the car gets out of the road.
Work hard. Daily. Prayer also helps as the devil gets pissed off easily at a happy family.
Look for women who are kind and generous.
I know we are all damaged, but we can’t muck up the world any worse than it is. I know rude and abusive women are sexy and you all like their attitude at times. But boy, so many men have died of depression by making wrong choices in life.
For those not yet married, get a woman who is kind and generous. Lately, these two virtues are loathed by women as they claim that men abuse women who have been kind and generous. They take advantage of them. Their fears and doubts are reasonable.
Hence, if you find a kind and generous, try and reward her in the best way possible. And if you can’t match up, be a gentleman like in the days of the old and leave her the hell alone for the next good man. Good people deserve good people.
If you choose a selfish woman assuming that you are going to carry the burden of provision as a REAL MAN, you will see what my great-great-great-great-grandfather saw pale Kabianga in 1854.
Intentionality is everything.
This means, any time you are dating someone, have clearly defined boundaries and be clear to tell a woman what you want. I notice most men including myself are afraid of telling women the truth, and we end up stumbling into relationships that were a joke that was taken too far. If it is any consolation, just know, when a woman wants to leave you, she will never agonize as you are agonizing.
Be clear from the word jump. Avoid situationships.
2. MEN AND FINANCES
This will be our point of focus going forward. But for a start:
Have at least one marketable skill. Should one that can easily adapt with the changing times.
Pursue passive income. I know it sounds fancy theoretically, but whether it is avocados you plant in your village shamba, or some kienyeji chicken you trying to rear, or some goat business. Always have an idea at the back of your mind to have at least 2-4 revenue streams.
During this pandemic, go slow on major lifestyle upgrade. Those fancy chairs can wait a little. Your TV is enough. You can always replace the carpet. The car you are driving is enough. Speculate well, and only upgrade when it is justified. This does not mean that you are not ambitious. Just circumspect.
Join a SACCO. Save whatever you can with the saccos and be patient, 3-5 years from now, the money will go along way.
Remember the second bottle of whiskey is almost always unnecessary. And if you insist, have comprehensive insurance for your car.
3. MEN AND WELLNESS: HEALTH, MENTAL HEALTH & COPING MECHANISMS
I can’t over-emphasize this enough: Don’t bottle verbal/emotional abuse in the name of “wanawake hukua hivyo’. If you are sure you doing everything right and you are not happy at your homestead, walk out if you there is no behavioral change. We are living in an era, where if a woman wants to leave you will cause you so much needless pain and subject you to standards you will never measure up only for her to dump your ass. Do your best. Do what is right by God. But don’t die from abuse. Speak up. Seek professional help. Talk to elders. A relationship may have its fair of challenges, but if it chokes you, don’t stay in it. Not for her. Not for the kids. Seek a solution that have the best interests of the kids and go out there and breathe. You were not born to suffer. Don’t kill yourself. Don’t drink yourself to an early grave.
There is a very thin line between being a breadwinner and being financially taken advantage of by your woman. Whereas you do your part as a man to provide, if it is a marriage, hold her accountable as well. And if she can’t cooperate on such a basic thing, open the door and usher her back to the street. Don’t play hero. Don’t play hero. Don’t play hero. How many times did I say that? Most of these men talking to themselves in bars did that and see what happened to them.
Pick a hobby: Cycling. Biking. Swimming. Martial Arts (beware of your bones.) It is never too late to start. My man Shawn Carter (some of you know him as Jay-Z), learn how to swim when he was 40+. I am also trying to upgrade my swimming schools from swimming in rivers to swimming in pools.
Lastly: Have basic discipline. Take a shower daily. Get some mouthwash routinely. Remember cologne is not just a city in Germany. Would you get some sleep. 7-8 hours. Tidy up your room. Look and smell good.
HOW TO BE BETTER TOGETHER
Don’t put another man down.
Don’t buy your broke friend alcohol. Give them the money for gas. Shopping. Anything.
Don’t promote any kind of literature that belittles, mocks, or demeans men. We can correct each other without being condescending. We are all learning these things.
Don’t sleep with another man’s wife. Or covet your friend’s girlfriend.
Accept that certain gender differences are necessary. And remember men and women will always process stuff differently.
I still got some three memos to go before the release of the book.
As we draw to a close of the first batch of his memos, I would like to thank the men who have shared with me some of the ideas that I have written about.
Even as we move into a more positive future, a future of possibilities, we have to learn from our past mistakes, correct ourselves and then grow ourselves. To that end, we need to spread a message of hope to all men. That all is not lost. That there are still godly, respectful, kind and generous women for men inclined to start a family. We need to remind men that losing a job, being divorced or anything more tragic is not the end of life. It is never too late to start over bro. Be easy on yourself. We all trip. As my people say, ‘the road does not tell the traveler’, we don’t know what tomorrow brings.
Those who have benefited in anyway from these memos and sermons, you may want to reward my devotion for the last one year, week in, week out. You can buy the book, or if contented, there is always a friend somewhere who can learn a thing or two, or three from the memos. That way, I can always get something to buy more books to borrow wisdom from, afford a cup coffee (we going slow on liquor), travel around to gather wisdom from sages, or even buy bundles. You know?
While at it, I can also buy my tots, something, lest I become a bludpuckin father.
Here is to a blessed and productive week. Stay positive. Stay fearless.