Are you dating your cousin?
06 September 2014, 17:01
Nairobi - Everyone has that funny aunt whom during family gatherings
is always making everyone laugh. I have
such an aunt, and in every family gathering she makes us all hurdle up, then
tells us to look at each other, at first it used to be hilarious because we
would always wonder at the point she was trying to make. So she would
eventually just crack up and tell us she was trying to prevent a disaster from
In this case the disaster would be cousin dating cousin because they
were unaware they were related. Lucky for us, we are such a small family unit.
I do not think I have more than twenty direct cousins and if there are any
extended they are definitely less than fifty, So our grandparents form of procreation
was very effective in preventing this matter. Aside from that, the idea of any
relation between me and any other person is just enough to burn out any flames
that may have been kindled. It is an eek factor for me.
Other families are not so lucky, you may have as many as
over a hundred extended family members, each week you are hosting a certain
member or welcoming a new one. In such a case, then things are bound to happen
as is prevalent in our society, happening even now as we speak.
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In most cases, people never find out about it or it is done behind the veil since we all recognize it as a taboo. While in other cases, one party
is usually being taken advantage of by an older more experienced relation when
they come to visit with the family, in such a case parents must educate
their kids on the extent of intimate interactions; ignorance may lead to abuse.
When people barely interact with each other it rarely happens, the ones we have
to watch out for with a baleful eye are the ones who are constantly in each
other’s presence. I am not saying it is not good to be close and friendly with
your relations, but there just has to be a limit. Consensual incest manifests
itself mostly in circumstances where familiarity is built.
Traditional society frowned upon it and they had very
stringent methods to deal with those who would even dare to, so no one even thought
to do so, thus we cannot cast aspersions and say it came from them. So what
went wrong? Moral decay in our modern society is what went haywire at some
point in time because no one will dump you in a crocodile infested river for
bringing in evil spirits through your evil deed. We should bring such
punishments back and see how fast people get back on the right track.
At least in this case, the law has made a provision in which
it criminalizes incestuous relationships whether there is consent or none
through the Kenyan Sexual Offences Act.
The law states that: “Any person who commits an indecent act or an act
that cause penetration with a female person who is to his knowledge his
daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, niece, aunt or grandmother is guilty
of an offence called incest.”
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But truth of the matter is that most cases go unreported
even when the parties’ parents are aware as they would like to solve the
problem within the family. To be fair though, who would want such dirty linen
advertised for all to see and hear about it?
Take this case, Rose
23* and her second cousin Martin 23* were introduced a while back. None knew that they might be related, as they
met through a mutual friend. Fast track the relationship, and they were soon
dating. So one day, Martin takes her for a visit at the family home
introductions are mad, family history discussed, nothing is amiss for the young
love birds. But, it seems the parents decided to hold something back until
further investigation had been made. A week later they are both called and Rose
unbeknownst to her finds her parents there. This two are related, they are in
love and obviously they have gone past the casual pecking. We cannot blame them
here, because in their case, it is the parents who were neglectful in their
duties due to not keeping in touch. The parents think that they have at least
prevented further damage, but these two decide it is not their fault, and
“love” knows no boundaries. The case is still ongoing but obviously they are
not taking it to the police but trying to solve it as a family. Last I heard,
they are trying to get married. The worst thing you can tell someone is ‘NO’ to
a forbidden fruit, makes it more enticing. I am sure their ‘love’ would have
faded but all the furor is making it more palatable.
Such a case just goes
to prove that, not that many cases make it outside the family, but Kenya has
been making headlines over the past few months with its fast rising cases on
incest especially within the nuclear family unit.
I once dated a guy whom every time I
would go and visit would tell me he had a cousin who I was related to. I am not
sure if she was trying to say we were related or she was just trying to raise
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