Photo: Hon Rachel Chebesh, the immediate former Nairobi Woman Rep who was slapped by ex-Nairobi governor Evans Kidero
By Silas Nyanchwani
Memo 12 from National Desk of the Welfare of Men.
Don’t Hit A Woman.
Ten years ago, I nearly became an alcoholic. I would sit at a counter drinking Guinness and not touching my phone or even stare at the TV. I will just sit there and ponder life. My mind was a mess.
Now trust me. If you ever see a man or a woman solo in a bar drinking bad beer, know they are going through a lot.
At the moment of my spiraling into alcoholism I was dating a girl who used to insult me, demean me, chide me, deride me, and put me down in every possible way.
She did everything to provoke me and if I was inclined to violence, I would have badly beaten and wounded her. Vibaya sana. Or I would be in jail and she would six feet under.
See, I was raised properly. I lived in a family where I never saw people exchange insults or get violent. I grew up in a family where everyone did their share of responsibilities, we gathered in the evening for a meal and the old man would read us a verse and we would sleep and wake up. And repeat.
And in my adult life, that is how I have wanted to lead my life. No insults. No violence and I respect everyone, save for people who say bad things about avocadoes and Chapatis.
But being kind, being respectful, being reasonable will not protect you from female insults. It never did in my case and I was lost in what to most of the time.
I don’t know of a man who has never been abused by a woman. I don’t of a man who has never been told that he amounts to shit by a woman he loves. Like every other man I know, has been insulted, chided, despised, mocked and sometimes in horrible ways.
Some respond in kind. Some beat the hell out of the offending woman. Some drink. Some travel. Whatever.
And let me tell you, women get beaten out here in annoying frequency. They get beaten for all manner of reasons and most of the times even for mistakes they didn’t do. They get beaten for holding men accountable. I know of a lady who asked his man why he was cheating and she saw fire and fury from the man.
But guys. Under no circumstances should ever raise your finger to a woman. And here is why.
Anger and violence are the worst form of weakness. I am not saying this in a mocking sense. If you have to use violence as a means to solve a problem, it is a failure on your part.
As an adult learn to express your displeasure in a more mature and restrained way. And if words and other actions can’t relay the point, then nothing will. Neither whipping nor fists will.
As a man, stay on top of things. If insulted, find a way to hold her accountable(there will be no apology by the way, no woman in the history of humanity has ever apologized). If she is calling you to account on different issues(finances, infidelity) the response is not beating the hell out of her. Sit and reflect and hear her out. Because one day, you may need her to listen to you and she will be gone. If she is reckless, irresponsible or cheated on you, just leave. Don’t beat her. A cheating woman will still cheat, so save yourself and walk away.
I know it is difficult. Easier said than done to some men. But it can be done.
In my case above, I did summon the courage to leave. And I did find someone who was respectful. And I didn’t sink into alcoholism.
I have an inmate systems that completely abhors violence not just to women but in every situation. It has helped me a lot.
Dear men, from today, don’t let the other gender stress you kabisa. If it is not working, try fix it, bit have limits. Don’t allow to be insulted more than once. Do your part diligently, pray every day, but the moment you realise your efforts amount to nothing and you are frustrated, don’t take it out on liquor or drugs. Or beat her. No one and nothing is worth dying for.
Lastly part of the reason heshima hushuka is constant proximity. As a man, jipe shughuli. Go to the village from time to time. Go to a place for a drink or uji. Have friends you spend time with and catch up on stuff. Don’t be a recluse. It will go a long way to help minimize points of contact..
Minimize the points of friction by being busy and any time someone brings drama, always indicate from the outset that you will not partake in any BS. Or trade insults.
In unmarried, just know there is every chance utatusiwa once you marry down the line… How you use this information is up to you, but violence must never be a solution.
PS: For men what is the worst insult have you ever received from a woman you love?