I come from a country of 42 different tribes but the number could be higher, judging by the fact that, a few smaller tribes claim to have unfortunately been excluded in the number and also the fact that a section of Kenyans, including moi, are of mixed tribe. Of the 3 East African countries (there are other East African countries too but i would like to talk of the 3 now), Kenyan women are the ones known to be more outspoken, less submissive (according to some) and more aggressive when compared to their Ugandan and Tanzanian counterparts.
Ugandan culture requires the women to kneel while addressing the men as a sign of respect. Something that our Kenyan men dream of one day happening here. As a typical Kenyan woman, i can confidently attest to the fact that kneeling for our men will never happen. First because it is not a part of our culture and second, i can almost imagine a Kenyan woman going `What the hell??!’ `Nimpigie magoti kwani yeye ni Mungu?’ (I kneel for him what for? Is he God?). Yep, the hard truth. I once read an article where foreign men (mostly European and American) who had at some point dated a Kenyan woman, were currently dating one or married to one were being interviewed on what they thought of us. The interesting bit is that most claimed that we were too aggressive (careerwise) as well as outspoken but overall good or exciting if you may.
When it comes to sexual prowess, according to rumors flying around for years, Ugandan women have been said to rate higher. There is talk of traditional sex aunties in Uganda who train the pubescent girls as well as those about to be married on how to treat a man in bed. If there is any Ugandan woman reading this, kindly clarify. There also has been talk of if a Ugandan woman manages to nab a married Kenyan man, then his Kenyan wife should prepare herself to forget him for good cuz word out there is that he aint coming back. Again, i need clarification on this. Back home, Kenyan women’s sexual prowess has always been rated according to which tribe a Kenyan woman belonged to. There are those women from certain tribes who according to our men, are tigresses in bed, others from another tribe who are supposed frigid and boring in bed, others from yet another tribe who are purported to want sex morning, afternoon and night time…and the list goes on.
About 3 weeks back, i was travelling to a small town on the outskirts of Nairobi and there was this guy who was sitting next to me that decided to start chatting me up immediately after we left the city. He was basically a stranger to me so i was very guarded on how i engaged him but he was the very chatty type and soon he was telling me about a past girlfriend of his from a particular Kenyan tribe. Now the thing that caught my attention was a statement he made regarding her which went something like `you know (tribe name) are naughty.’ I immediately interpreted that to mean naughty in bed because of the next thing he continued to say…`she had gotten me used to some things which i found hard to adjust after we broke up.’ Well, i didn’t bother prodding him further about the `things’ as i didn’t want the conversation to head in a direction that i wouldn’t be comfortable with. But i couldn’t help making the conclusion that there are so many deeply entrenched stereotypes regarding the Kenyan woman’s sexual prowess.
Of course society and culture plays a huge role on how women view and engage in sex. In conservative societies, sex is mostly associated with procreation purposes and women from early childhood, are trained to know that sex is dirty and something that shouldn’t be enjoyed by the woman. Sex to them is actually an unnecessary bother for the enjoyment of the husband. So if he asks for it, he shouldn’t be denied and in most cases, since society and culture prohibits the woman to use contraceptive methods, she may find herself pregnant each time she has sex with her husband. No wonder some societies go as far as encouraging FGM to further cub the enjoyment of sex by the woman. The idea behind societies engaging in FGM is to make the girl not to engage in sex acts before marriage so those parts in a female’s genitalia designed to bring pleasure and satisfaction to a woman during sex are usually cut off or tampered with. And soon after FGM in some of those societies, the girl is married off as a sign that she is now woman enough. I don’t want to go further on this particular female circumcision issue as it could still be a highly sensitive topic to some which may generate a lot of negative as well as positive debate. However, the point i’m trying to drive at is that changing some deeply entrenched societal and cultural matters in an individual and a woman for that matter, could be very difficult.
But then sexual prowess may also depend on the open mindedness and exposure of the woman never mind the fact that she could be from a community where the women are considered `boring’ in bed, if there is such a word even to describe the sexual prowess of a person. In such a case, i don’t think it would be fair for the men to generalize. Just because there are rumors flying around concerning how women from a particular community are in bed, doesn’t mean that all the women in that tribe are actually the same. This is the 21st century and most Kenyan women are enlightened and learned. Most are also interested in having fulfilling sex lives with the men in their lives and therefore, they may not be that inhibited in bed. If indeed there are those who still choose to be inhibited, then it is a matter of personal choice and not the tribe she comes from.