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3 people to NEVER introduce to your man

18 January 2016, 13:06 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi - The Luhya community is always the butt of a lot of jokes on social media. I am not even offended most of the time because most of the time they are actually true and they make us laugh because we resonate with them so well. Yes, I like to eat. Yes, I love, love, love * infinity chicken; I would die for chicken. And yes, I do have that cousin who owns an orange jacket and would match it perfectly with a luminous green pair of pants. I would also have to show him/ her how to properly wear a seatbelt. But enough of that; what you guys do not know are some of our customs and taboos.

I will talk about the one in relation with this topic. While on Social media off late I see a lot of complaints being advertised to all and sundry by people on how they caught so and so in a situation they should never have been caught in with so and so. I caught my girlfriend with my father, or I caught my mother-in –law blah blah blah; but see who do we blame because at the end of the day our traditions are no longer passed on. Some of our parents don’t even know most of them. I will also admit that I do not know most of my own.

I will tell you about the one I have observed though every time my grandmother comes to visit. In my Luhya tribe, the mother-in-law and her son-in-law can never cross paths. Ever! My mother’s mother and my father should never look at each other in the eye, literally. She also has to have her own seat which comes from one of our rooms, where our father has never sat and it is placed in such a way, it is looking away from him -you know what I mean (like she is in this corner and he is in another corner)! Where she sleeps, he can never come across it and if she is visiting a place where you live like in smaller quarters, you have to look for her sleeping arrangements outside; just somewhere where her and my father will never cross paths. So you can imagine when we were watching Naija with our mum and we all look shocked when they are hugging and giving pecks on the cheek.

It was so confounding while we were children because we could have easily shared rooms to make the poor old woman comfortable but it would not have mattered. She can’t go near the bedrooms because the Master is there and heaven forbid they come across each other in the corridor.

This custom might seem very benign and shallow and ignorant and all those other adjectives you can think off but it was basically a mother-in-law showing respect to her son-in-law and the son-in-law doing the same. After learning this custom we just cannot wear a mini-skirt in front of our father for all of us or wear flimsy pajamas. If you are cooking and he comes suddenly, you go get a leso or hide behind a cupboard and go get one as soon as he is out of sight. Respect!

These days we don’t respect each other’s relationships and marriages. When you see someone else’s grass is greener than yours, you decide to go plant yourself there rather than water your own lawn. That is apparently how we do! Just go take someone else’s grass; save yourself the trouble. Have fun with it or commit to it.

To that effect, when you cannot beat them, join them. You have yours; it is going fine, so you need to think as they are. You cannot safely say everyone is looking for the best interest of your relationship. There are a lot of snakes crawling in the grass. You need to watch out for them before they bite your heel.

Read also4 dangers of stealing someone else's man

Your friends and colleagues

Women are very interesting creatures. I can say so because I am one of them.’ Darling, please, here is my friend’s number in case you cannot reach me, call her.’ Then while you are with your girlfriends having a chit chat, ‘You want to say hi to him? Here is the phone, say hi!’ Yeah, dumbass; keep passing your man’s number to that one friend and then you look shocked when you find out they have been having something behind your back. It is great for your friends to meet your man, but establish boundaries. That hugging, pecks on the cheek and ‘ki ki ki’ is what helps a friend fall pregnant by accident by your man. They can get together and arrange a birthday, but that is a once in a year thing and if anything once in a while; he gets the drift afterwards. If it is an engagement, well what do you know; you can only get engaged once to one man. They do not need to be talking on the phone all the time and discussing what could be the reason you are mad. He should be able to come talk to you about it.

Your sister, relatives and extended family

Sisters are amazing but there is just something about sibling rivalry when you think it is dead, it is not! Let me tell you my own incident. We are three, I am the first, and then there is the second, the middle born; follows me closely behind. There is this time I was single and having fun with this dating thing. I invite one of these male friends to a family hang out with my other sisters. He was not my man yet but it seems my sister figured, ‘since you are not there yet, I might as well get ahead.’ She goes after him and the man flirts along trying to twist my arm so that I can apparently fight for him and finally decide to be his girlfriend. You know that game men play, introduce competition so that the women pull each other’s hair out, but I lost respect for him instead because no good man will ever put you and your sister in such a position. I was like you can have each other then; but then they all back out because I am no longer interested.

It seems my sister figured since I have very good judgment when it comes to men, she should go after this one before anything serious happens and on that day I learnt a lesson. I will use the mother-in-law custom in my house when I am married and my sister is around. She is someone I need to watch out for because it seems she has figured; in order for her to have the best, it will have to be my best. It is not insecurity but me knowing how to properly water my grass.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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