By Tony Mochama
On this Saturday, as I commemorate my late mom’s 18th anniversary since we forever parted, I’m contemplating why our generation of parents was so ‘till death do us part’.
I mean, my folks’ marriage wasn’t perfect — far from it! My old man drunk too much and could be quite the ‘character’. But for them, it was like the church vows they took — ‘for better, for worse, till death do us part’ — were sacrosanct.
If things got really bad, the people our parents’ generation used to talk to were in-laws (council of elders), in African style.
These days, folk who are anywhere from 15 to 50, can confide in just about anyone — and I mean anyone — thanks to social media. Think about it, even mobile phones that are now around in Kenya for the general public were not as dangerous as new creatures like ‘Facebook’.
If the missus began messing about too much on her mobile phone with her old male ‘just a friend’ (usually a euphemism for a guy who’s dying to get into her pants), red flags went up.
‘Sexts’ and suggestive texts were one careless phone call away from blowing covers.
Enter social media — ladies and gentlemen, please don’t clap! And all hell went underground. A ‘friend request’ accepted might lead to harmless chitchat in real time. That, in turn, can lead to more ‘check-ups’ inside inboxes, like “How are you doing?” —and if one is not doing too well in their relationship, and confides this, bas! Pandora’s box is now ajar.
Soon you are confiding all your relationship shidas (troubles) to the sympathetic Facebook counsellor, and one day after days, weeks, or even months of back-and-forth, he suggests you meet for coffee.
Curious, you go for that coffee and open up even more to Mr Sympathetic Ears. Coffees turn to later evening pub drinks, and over wine, you now laugh at the swine in your lives — much better than crying onto a shoulder.
Then one day, with tension too much, things take a turn for the intimate and the relationship Rubicon is crossed.
The funny thing is, after a while, the same chap will now find you an emotional wreck and pity burden and cut you loose, or else if you actually hook up with the glue that held you two together (your ex, the ‘nugu’ gone), you’ve actually nothing in common.