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Women spend more than men

30 March 2015, 16:26 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi - Recently most talk has been about big spenders, and most of them are usually the men. If we are not talking about them we are talking about the women we see getting spent on or given what they did not work hard for, accompanied by brutal name calling.

Today, I had to talk about women I see that are constantly if not always working hard. It is not even just for them but for the whole extended family, not the nuclear one the one they start with their man. But the one that they grew up and left, the one that lived next to them when they were growing up even the one that she did not know they existed until they knew she got a job.

I like family, okay, maybe I am lying because most times I just do not even want to see them. Family is where everything just comes together and most of the time money is the key that glues everyone together. In Kenya, family is not defined by what you have now but generations of people you know, people you might have met, people you hear of and others that you have not met (that is why parents insist on questioning where who you are seeing comes from).

It is true that men make the money and the women take care of the family. That is why the husband will drive the guzzler while the woman has a mini. In families, one or two apples may do well the rest become the black sheep of the family who wait for handouts. That is the real truth when I think about Kenyan extended families.The success of one is what maintains the lives of the rest. Most men after their children’s fees is paid for, their chapter is closed. The same case does not apply for the women though. There are the sisters, the brothers, the aunties and uncles, basically anyone who can link their family tree on an imaginary branch will find a way to get a handout.

When you see a woman who is successful yet when you go to her rural home all you find is a mud hat, it is not because she is selfish but because she is being bled dry. A lot of women, even when they make something of themselves, they do not want it publicized but kept under wraps. It is for a reason and not because she is trying to hide it from her man but because she wants to make something out of the success before the wolves are set free. That is what family becomes when money is involved.

Men do not care two hats about some distant relative’s children and what they will eat. His thinking is that he was not part of the sowing so why should he be the one to pay for it. The woman on the other hand is the one who is normally called upon because so and so is late on the fees. Someone needs money to plant, so you send the money because you know at least you will not be asked for a bag of maize come harvesting season. It is better to teach them how to invest in getting the fish than actually give them the fish. You might end up feeding someone all year round. The woman has to practically put her life and plans on hold even at times at the expense of her children because someone back at home needs to be buried and they sold the land a long time ago.

Being Mary Jane, the series, outlines the lives that a lot of Kenyan women go through when it comes to their success and them having to support the whole family. At the end of the day, she is working hard, it might have been for herself initially but at the end of the road it becomes a necessity to sustain everyone else. Everyone else folds their arms and takes a backseat because the breadwinner has been identified from the whole bunch. As long as she is alive, they are all sorted out. 

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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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