Why some Kenyan men never want to marry
11 July 2016, 17:00
Nairobi - I have not told my colleague I am writing about him but he is the most ridiculously funny man I have ever met.
So after the initial introductions and what not and I made him comfortable enough around me for him to spill his life details.
One of them was that he never wants to marry. In my head and in your head you are thinking, maybe he hates women, maybe he has seen bad experiences. What he tells me though is that he does not want any dependants.
At all! No dependants.
I ask, ‘what do you mean? No kids?’
He is Luo-Luhya so he has that light mother tongue influence from both sides so when he explains himself, it is very funny.
‘I don’t want people depending on me. When I get home it is daddy this, daddy that. You cannot even have a break. All the time it is I want, I want.’
‘Mimi mambo ya bursaries and harambee sitaki.’ (I don’t want anything to do with begging people for help because I have had kids.)
‘Another thing, in Kenya when you marry, you marry the whole clan. All of them they come to your house to ask you for things. They want to eat your whole salary. You educate them, their children and their children’s children then you have to send monthly stipends for them to eat. Just because I went to school; they think they have a right to my salary. Just because I married their daughter, they think I owe them something.’
‘You cannot even save and move ahead in life once you marry. You take over the burdens of everyone and it is not about you and what you want but what they want. I see the way my dad has to deal with all these people and I just don’t want (this is the reason he has funny ideas about marriage).No marriage.’
It was hilarious while he explained himself but at the end of the day, these are actually facts in most Kenyan homes. The children bit, I just rolled my eyes, but when it comes to marriage, especially in some homes and tribes like Luhya, they all sit around and wait for that one person to figure them out.
If you conk up and die tomorrow, they are also finished.
I told my new friend, he is still young. He will change his mind later in life. He is still adamant though. He says he will never marry and he will make sure not to have children. His mother is sorted she has a grandchild from none of them so she is not bothering him about his decisions.
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