PHOTO: Governor Mike Sonko is an advocate of cross cultural marriages, he is happily and peacefully married to a lady from Central.
If in 1988, I showed up in the village with a girl and I said that she is what my heart had elected to be my wife, older people would inspected the girl, ask a few pointless questions and shut up.
Because there were no phones back then, through some magical alchemy, or emissaries, the elders with start a massive investigative process, so intricate that even our NIS and CIA combined cannot beat. And within a few days, they will give their detailed transcript.
If the girl came from a family whose matriarchy is the carrier of the sorcery/witchcraft charms, you will be warned in no uncertain terms the danger of trying to marry from such family, because according to the Kisii traditions, that thing is passed along the female line, and occasionally the odd male. Nobody wants to marry a woman who possesses dark energy. We have seen wale wanaume wamerogwa na mabibi…chei!
Secondly, the elders had the oral history of virtually every clan and families and if the lady’s ancestors were murderers or thieves, this information will be availed. Because elders knew bad habits in families persist, and you can look at our top political families and you see what I mean.
In the last 48 hours, a man was badly burnt in the Eastern side of Nairobi with boiling cooking oil. You can’t erase that picture once you see it. And another man was discovered burnt to death in a car in Buru Buru. The pictures are just too bad. In the second case, we don’t know what happened, but there has been a lot of speculation, pointing towards you know where.
I spoke to an elderly person and he pointed out that lately, as young people sometimes we marry strangers, in the name of love.
It reminds me of a weird encounter that I narrated here a while back. I met this lady, wearing tights, that stuck on her body like skin, and she had a body that could distract the Pope. Beautiful. By coincidence, we boarded the same matatu and sat at the front. While beautiful, she had the bloodshot eyes, and the tightening of the skin around the forehead, featured common among women who have been drinking for quite sometime, although well-kept.
We struck a conversation, and I remember it was one of those Saturday afternoons that Arsenal was playing one of those numerous FA cups we won in the mid-2010s. We got to town, and the woman happened to be going to River Road to buy a weave and I happened to be going to the Embasava bus stage, hence we walked down, carrying on with whatever little small talk we had started in the matatu. She seemed to be having some issues with her husband. I probed further. Her marriage started as a Chips Funga.
The sex was good, and she was called back. One thing led to another, and when we were talking she had been married, two kids later, and she was so bitter with the man. She called him a STUPID (his tribe).
It made me think a lot. I know a dozen men and women who married someone they met in a night club. The world is changing. Some of those marriage are working. Maybe. A good number rarely hold.
The bone of contention is that, in our bid to be liberal, intelligent and everything that movies tell us, we have shunned tradition, thinking that we are cleverer than our parents and elders. You meet someone, and you rush things so fast.
I know a man who meets a 28-year-old woman who ticks all the boxes. The 28-year-old woman is done with the wilding of the 20s. Ready to settle. She meets the clueless guy, who finished campus, and started working for Equity in Laikipia, and most recently moved to Nairobi, headquarters. The guy has every good intention, wants to marry, have kids who will understand sciences, drive his Allion in peace and live in his house in Utawala.
Now, a 28-year-old woman is smarter than most men in her age bracket and has her sh*t together. When he meets the clueless fellow, she will give him the version of the wife the man dreams. If the man likes a woman who cooks, washes clothes, and goes to church, and the woman thinks the man meets the material threshold, she will act like a good wife. Force a man to take a loan, great wedding and the first two years will pure bliss.
In all these, the family is rarely engaged in the process, save for the visits. As soon as the woman settles in the marriage, he takes over the life of the man, and he will spin the man around like a roulette.
Because the man will think it is love, he will ignore every bad alarm. He will charge her toxic behaviour to the fact that, “wanawake wako hivyo”. Soon, he will hate going home, preferring to drink, because going home triggers him. If she gets too much, he may even get a mpango, to run to when the temperatures at home are so hot.
Because as men, sometimes we don’t know how to solve problems in the domestic front. We assume that as long we taking care of the bills, and other responsibilities, it is enough. But if you end up in the wrong hands, kiss goodbye inner peace. Only death can liberate you.
Most men enter a station of inertia when they meet a woman they think is the love of their life.
Now, boys listen. Love is a flimsy, actually a silly premise of marriage. In fact, loving someone is the best predictor of divorce.
A loveless marriage where respect thrives is likely to last than a marriage where you call each other babes, go to photo shoots together.
By loveless I don’t mean that there is no romance or such. But I mean a marriage based on pragmatism, mutual respect and responsibility. All these are external factors and easy to control. Love is an emotion. Internal. Once you let it control you, it blinds you. And once a woman knows that you love her and you are helpless without her, you are toast. Brown toast bread.
I know there are men here going through hell. Women who kill, or express their anger as violently as the ones in the news recently are fewer than women who mete the worst form of violence on their men: psychic violence. It is something any millennial woman is capable of.
She will put you down. Severally. Nothing you do will ever measure up in her eyes. If she wants kids to study a Cambridge System and you can only afford Malini, you are a vulgar failure. If she wants you to live in Kileleshwa, but at your best you can afford Lang’ata, you are a lazy, stupid man. If she wants a vacation to Mauritius and you can only afford Naivasha, you are useless. She won’t leave, but she will kill you slowly, like a bad cancer, that pulls you down and weighs you down.
Men are suffering and I don’t know how we can help them.
There are no easy solutions.
But once Corona is gone, as men, we must come together and talk about this.
PS: This post is for men. So, no “WhatAboutism” about women issues. We can talk about that in a different post.
May day break