We hear the advice that “Kenyan women need to take care of their men to keep them” so often that it should be officially retired to the ‘Museum of Cliches’. That in 2010 a man my age needs ‘taking care of’ bothers me. As I commented in a reply to a comment left here:
I find that when it comes to relationships between Kenyan men and women, the onus seems to fall on women to do all the self-improvement, the caring, the work related to being in love…where are the rules for men? Do they not also have responsibilities? I believe that a man who, while in a relationship that he chose to enter freely, cannot be an equally caring partner or treat his woman as well as she treats him, is better off wandering off to someone else who enjoys being disregarded.
Apologies- this is long…with usual digressions…am just exuberant to be back!
Recently my friends and I were discussing a gossipy story out of Nairobi regarding a certain man’s (alleged) infidelity. A story that came complete with the usual villains: a pregnant mistress (alleged) aka ‘the Homewrecker’ and angels: an (allegedly) estranged wife. Firstly, we were all highly amused by the amount of detail contained in what we can only call third party hearsay- I mean, word out of Nairobi had the gestational progress of ‘the Homewrecker’ well charted and am sure that out there in the ether, exists a story detailing the Whens and Wheres of this affaire. Secondly, we found that most of the vitriol was (not surprisingly) being poured over the alleged mistress- I wondered aloud to one of my friends, “who- under the age of 40 calls such a woman a ‘Homewrecker’?” Thirdly, the gleeful-yet-tempered-with-holier-than-thou attitude which had otherwise decent people spreading this story in their social circles left us feeling uncomfortable- after all, wasn’t this a private matter for the principals to sort out amongst themselves rather than cannon fodder for the gossip militia?
Am not one to sit and pontificate over what is right and wrong about people’s relationships- as a human being prone to error myself and all, I think that I am barred from writing the ‘New 10 commandments’ of relationships, so hearing about another man with another woman not his wife didn’t shatter my world or leave me urging vengeance on ‘the Homewrecker’ or ‘the Philanderer’ or feeling excessive pity for ‘the Devoted Wife’. Rather, I was left thinking, “and how does this affects me?”
Here are some observations made which have brought me to this conclusion: