African man

Are African Men Entirely Clueless On Romance?

I recently stumbled on a comment on some Kardashian related post. Someone had posed this question in what seemed like anger, disgust even; “why are all the Kardashian women dating Black men?!” I must admit that I have in the recent past equally got puzzled by the choice of men to date or get married to in the Kardashian family. Whenever I pore over Kardashian related news and  comments, I always seem to get the idea that Americans are pretty tired of having this family constantly shoved into their faces by the media. Well, Americans, you are not alone.

You see even here in Africa, Kenya to be precise, we are starting to get a little too tired of all the Kardashian themed shows that seem to dominate the E channel. And while quite a number of women genuinely admire the Kardashians’ fashion sense, yet a sizeable number gets really irked by the domination of this family on the media. So fret not brothers and sisters, we are in the same boat of irritation, if we choose to put it like that.

Kim Kardashian and hubby Kanye. Photo courtesy of www.people.com

Kim Kardashian and hubby Kanye. Photo courtesy of http://www.people.com

As a Kenyan woman, I’m very aware of how we tend to rate our fellow Kenyan men on a lower scale while compared to the European and American men or any man who is not of African descent. It’s really interesting that nowadays, I tend to bump into interracial couples on almost a daily basis with of course the man being White and the woman, Kenyan. I mean, these White men are very romantic when compared to the normal African man who probably grew up in the village, went to school at some point barefoot and only landed in the city for campus, we may be tempted to reason.

Well, I would like to question what romance really means to some women. Is romance the ability of a man to be loaded (with cash of course) and to spoil a woman silly, upgrade her even? Or is romance the tendency of a man to treat you right, to listen to you, to support you, to comfort you while in distress and to respect you as a woman and the role you play in his life? If we choose to look at romance from these two perspectives, then I begrudgingly have to admit that most of us Kenyan women or just to be fair, African women are lost.

I have no idea whatsoever why the Kardashian women settle on their choices of Black men but seeing how high maintenance these women come across to be, I tend to reason that these Black men are up to the game. Could be to boost their ratings, who knows? It would be unwise of me to carry on with my list of probabilities seeing that I’m Kenyan born and bred.

However, there was a wide range of wealthy romantic White men for these women to take their pick from but they instead settled on these particular men. Could it be far fetched for us to actually conclude that the Black men in the Kardashian women’s lives are actually romantic? And that the poser of the aforementioned question, happened to be a Black/African woman who over time has accepted the stereotype that Black men are no good or only good for Black women, so why are these White women with them in the first place?

I have nothing against an African woman choosing to date a White man. But if at all she’s of the notion that African men are clueless on romance and therefore her choice to date the former, then I have a problem. We have to admit that as Africans, for the longest time possible we have battled esteem issues with our kind. Why do we have this idea that we are inferior when compared to other races and therefore consider the weaknesses of our African men, as something that is equally inferior to other races? Is it because we allowed our once oppressors to totally brainwash us into believing that nothing good can come out of our race? Just to make things straight, our once oppressors being the colonial masters of many years gone by.

Well, it might surprise you that domestic violence is also an occurrence in countries in the West and is perpetrated by equally, men of descents that are nothing close to being African. So that is not reason enough to dismiss our African men with the notion that they can be violent toward women. Men looking down on women happens all over the world. It simply depends on the mindset of a man and at times has nothing whatsoever, to do with culture or how the man has been socialized to view women after circumcision. Yet another reason that is not justification enough to rate our African men poorly. Levels of civilization depend on one’s open mindedness and if he is not willing to be civilized, then you have no business being with him. However, there are numerous African men who are civilized or act as urbanites and not countrymen if we are to be blunt in that sense.

Media has contributed greatly in giving African women the false illusion that White men are better in matters love and treatment than the normal African man. African women on the other hand are wrong to judge the African man based on how society has groomed him to be a man. We do not expect our African men to hold hands in public and to plant wet kisses on our lips in full view of everyone just to appreciate us, yet we secretly do. To be honest, most African societies frown on emotional men. Even in funerals which are obviously sad and painful affairs, men in many African societies are expected to remain strong and not shed a tear in public even if it happens to be their wives who have passed on. We then have our Mexican soaps where men openly shed tears while professing their love to women and we subconsciously internalize that to mean romance?!

Romance should not be gauged by one’s race. As a matter of fact, romance has absolutely nothing to do with race. And if as a woman you desire to have a romantic man in your life, then perhaps it is time that you truly appreciated yourself to the point where even an African man will see the need to romance you.

 

 

 

 

 

African Men And Polygamy

Are African men naturally polygamous?

I got thinking about this after a story surfaced on the internet sometime last week concerning the African country of Eritrea. It was alleged by an unknown source, that the Eritrean government had passed a law requiring all men to take up two wives or a second wife or face life imprisonment. The story has since been proven to be a hoax according to http://www.tesfanews.net/eritrea-forced-polygamy-story-exposed/ 

Knowing how creative and hilarious Kenyans can get, the news immediately sparked a horde of memes mainly communicating the glee and anticipation that the story had caused in Kenyan men. Almost like they all couldn’t wait to get a go ahead to woo and marry Eritrean women considered very pretty together with their Ethiopian counterparts in the African continent. The author of the above post on the link provided, has quite some harsh words to say with regards to the reaction, the supposed hoax of a story caused.

I’m not basing my post only on Kenyan men but on African men in general. For generations, most African men have been painted to be polygamous by nature. The practice of polygamy is so deeply ingrained in some African countries that their own leaders have no qualms, getting several wives and being actually proud of it. After all, it is considered normal for an African man to prove his manliness by not sticking to one wife.

African women on the other hand are expected to go along with the flow and accommodate the additional wives. They should consider it healthy competition and accept that their men’s needs have to be met. They should actually keep up with the timetable if there happens to be one, dictating what days of the week or month the husband will visit particular homes of his many wives.

After the introduction of Christianity in my country, many Kenyan men felt embarrassed to openly exhibit their polygamous sides and therefore opted to keep concubines. For some whom the polygamous bug had bitten them to the point of no return, one woman could have been wedded in church thus paraded as the legitimate wife while the other could have been wedded traditionally.

Of course once the secret leaked that this man had more than one wife other than the one people were used to seeing, the man would indeed be at horrible pains to explain his situation and especially, if he had a position of some sort in the church. No wonder the need for our own president to sign a bill into law permitting men to marry additional wives even if the first wife does not approve of it in 2014. I have a feeling that the African patriarchal way of thinking regarding polygamy pushed the president to do this.

With the emergence of the HIV/AIDS virus at some point in time, a couple of polygamous homes suffered gravely. Many homes too, where the husband kept a concubine or side chick were not spared either from the spread of the deadly virus. Suddenly, polygamy did not seem all that fashionable if people in marriages got infected with HIV and had to suffer the consequences of living with the virus. But still, a huge section of African men felt that they could not survive with only one woman.

Is this really true? Could this be a myth that over time turned into a fact for some?

Polygamy in my view, is another form of cheating in a marriage that is only coated with terms of culture, tradition or male nature. In these times where the economy is never that favorable, you cannot quite convince me that a polygamous man will give his extensive family the very best of his abilities. As per my understanding, one cannot serve two masters.

Many Africans for the polygamy idea may argue that most men who take up additional wives are in fact capable of providing for the whole brood of children as well as the wives. After all, polygamy is yet another sign of wealth in Africa. However, a man with over 12 children from different women may find it difficult to give all of his children and wives his undivided attention, education and livelihood of a similar standard. Of course there is the school of thought that the women should understand the situation and live with it.

But could it be the reason why many co-wives suffer bitter rivalry among themselves all through their lives? There is no one woman who is similar to another and in such a situation, the man may tend to favor one woman over all the others. It is human nature to develop preferences over some things of a similar nature. Jealousy is bound to arise as well as unhealthy competition. It may be hidden in some situations but deep down, it will always exist only to further hamper the success of the whole family. You may even encounter children of a particular wife being more learned than children of the other wives or vice versa.

A section of people advocating for polygamy look at it from the Biblical point of view. Indeed some notable men in the Old Testament of the Bible had more than one wife and God endorsed it. Why is it now considered a taboo in some circles to be polygamous? It should be noted that in Biblical times, population was not as dense as it is in modern ages. Perhaps it was God’s way of fulfilling his multiply and fill the earth law if we choose to look at it that way. It should be remembered too that Jesus Christ in the New Testament came to amend many of the laws that had existed in previous times.

Patriarchal societies have however seemed to twist the whole idea to suit their patriarchal needs over time. African women are now expected to put up with this culturally endorsed form of cheating by turning a blind eye to their men’s philandering ways or welcoming a new wife in the house. Quite recently, there was a story of a Kenyan woman whose own adopted daughter ended up stealing her husband and her husband blaming her for it.

It is despicable really that many choose to justify their lustful transgressions by riding on the wave of polygamy being a male nature. However, polyandry should be frowned upon and such a woman stoned to death if possible. If African women should have no qualms whatsoever sharing their husbands, shouldn’t the African men too have no qualms sharing their wives?

Issues of polygamy in African societies can transform into a raging debate of sorts. I however firmly believe that polygamy is based on personal choice and not biology as many would like us to believe.

 

 

 

The kind of men aspiring wives should avoid.

fancyandshmancy.blogspot.com

fancyandshmancy.blogspot.com

For many young women, the desire of walking down the aisle someday in future is always somewhere within the precincts of their hearts. Men have accused us for equally having very elaborate plans of how our weddings should be and what color our bridesmaids should wear. Apparently, for the African man or Kenyan man for that matter, a wedding is usually an unnecessary expense for a one day event. They like to make it seem like they are such economists, these men and women, spendthrifts. Well, we have been told that men come in all shapes and sizes and that Mr Right is only a figment of our very delusional imagination. I don’t dispute the all shapes and sizes fact but as an aspiring wife and a woman who calls bulls***t, bull***t and not a coated term, there are certain types of men that i firmly believe should be avoided at all costs no matter how fast the biological clock is ticking. Here goes:

1. Men threatened by a financially independent woman.

In the 21st century, many more young women are being encouraged on almost a daily basis to be financially independent. You don’t want to get married to a man and be so financially dependent on him to the extent where you can’t afford your own inner wear and tampons. Men have always been screaming from the rooftops about gold diggers and the fact that they don’t consider themselves money machines for women. The surprising thing is that quite a sizable amount of men get very threatened by a woman who can actually afford herself and much more. I thought you hated us asking for pesa ya mboga (grocery money) and would rather spend that 100 kshs we are asking for to buy spinach and tomatoes on a bamba 100 (phone credit) then sulk at us for being so pathetically broke afterward. Or actually have the nerve to demand for meat when you come home later in the evening yet you know very well that 100 bob cannot buy a kilo of meat, spinach, sukuma, tomatoes and onions. Didn’t you consider us a bother when we requested for capital for a small business yet you wanted to construct your parents a permanent house or were already in the process of doing so?

So for some men to actually feel threatened that a woman can afford her own investments, i find it highly contradictory and a put off. Any man who cannot handle the healthy competition from a financially independent woman probably has unhealthy ego issues that need to be checked. He is going to be a thorn in the flesh if you decide to give him a chance to marry you. This is the kind of man who will brand you kichwa ngumu (hard headed) for making your own financial decisions or mchoyo (selfish) and sneaky for having properties in your name. He will fight you every step of the way in a bid to validate  himself and if all his efforts fail, he will divorce you or move out while branding you an unbearable wife. Next minute you will see him with a pretty young thing who is less financially independent than you because he prefers as minimal competition as possible from a woman. She will be much easier to handle and you will beat yourself thinking that he left you because he considered you inadequate and ugly yet the problem is solely his. So young woman, save yourself from unnecessary trouble by avoiding such men.

2. Insecure Men.

A man who is always accusing you of flirting with other men or dressing for other men while still in a relationship is a man who will stress you out big time in marriage. The minute you become his wife, he will place an unspoken `no talking to the opposite sex’ rule on you and will react with anger when other men look at you while in his company. He will accuse you of sleeping your way to a promotion, sleeping with the local male shopkeeper, flirting with your male colleagues, eyeing the neighbor’s shamba boy (gardener) and just about any human that walks around in a trouser. If you try to justify your actions, he may resort to being violent with you or those men he considers threats to his marriage. Another NO-NO.

3. Men with a patriarchal kind of thinking.

Last time i checked, the Bible stated clearly that `Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the Church’ then it went on to say `Wives submit to your husbands.’

Chauvinistic men or men with a patriarchal kind of thinking choose to ignore the first verse and stick to the second. Such men believe that women should submit to any kind of man as long as he owns has married her. They assume that their dowry payment for that woman means that she is now a commodity to be treated like a second hand T-shirt in the market stall or a doormat. The idea that a woman can only submit to a man who loves and respects her and finds it hard to submit to a man who mistreats her, is completely lost to them. They interpret fear as submission from a woman and in some cases may not hesitate to brag to their male friends about just how much their wives respect them.

A woman who is fearful of her husband does not love him neither is she submitting to him. She is only doing those things she knows will not anger him for the sake of peace and their children. In some situations, the minute her children are grown and have attained their degrees, she might leave that husband or move into a different room.

Such men are the ones who tell a girlfriend that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and nowhere else or a woman should only listen to her husband’s instructions and follow them to the latter or that a woman who is learned ni kisirani (trouble) or men have the right to discipline beat their wives if she is on the wrong. If you young woman are actually sitting down listening to such bullcrap from your boyfriend and trying to argue out your point in the hope of changing him, just know that your efforts will not bear any fruit. Run as fast as you can because should he marry you, then your very existence will wither off and be replaced by your husband’s tyranny over your life.

4. Violent men.

There are communities in my country which used to believe that beating a wife is a sign of love.  And those wives enjoyed the act of the husband chasing them around in the compound in a bid to catch and beat them up. Let me make it clear that such kinds of thoughts remain in the pre-colonial era. If you are a man who has lived in independent Kenya, went to school, have a well paying job, wear the latest suit and casual men’s wear and in the vicinity of your bedroom walls still strangle and hit your wife, then you ought to hide yourself in shame from the rest of the world.

Violent tendencies in a man do not begin to show while in a marriage. For most women who have been very unfortunate to be with such men as husbands, they began to notice the tendencies from the time they were dating. Any boyfriend who occasionally slaps you then claims that you made him do it is an abuser. It doesn’t matter how desperately in love with him you are, he will make it worse, the minute you get married to him. Any boyfriend who throws you out of his house at odd hours of the night because of a disagreement is also an abuser. Any boyfriend who displays violence towards animals, walls and tables and never toward you is also an abuser. Run very fast as if you are fleeing from ghosts because if this ghost catches up with you, he will gobble you up.

NOTE: For my readers who are foreign, forgive me for the over use of Swahili words  😛 Sometimes i think some things are explained way better in our native tongue.