‘My marriage felt like I was in jail...too restrictive and lonely’

This week, Billionaire Chris Kirubi made a rather shocking confession.

In a candid interview with Comedian Churchill, he revealed that marriage is slavery. He claimed that it is a jail for men and most who are in it are not happy. 

  “Marriage is enslavement and you have to be careful. You have to agree to go into slavery and into ‘jail,’” he said. 

The 79-year-old tycoon revealed that he was briefly married before he divorced his quarrelsome wife.

 “If you marry a good woman, it is such a pleasure. But there are some women who behave as they went to the army. They are too harsh and will quarrel over the slightest thing,” says Kirubi, adding that he found no happiness “going home to a quarrelsome woman…now I go home to my sausage dogs and we don’t quarrel.”

He advised men that there is no point of living in misery just to stay married adding that he found marriage “too restrictive for me, going home at particular times…divorce is a nasty thing but if it has to happen it better happen. There is no point living in misery just to stay married.”

In a past interview, Kirubi told KTN’s Person of Interest program that, though he still sees his former wife from time to time.

“I was outgoing, I wanted freedom but my wife was conservative. People are born different, maybe we were not two of a kind… One has to be happy and to enjoy it. It was too restrictive for me, going home at particular times. I now work until midnight and there are no questions asked,” he said adding that he never remarried and even now “I am not heavily committed.”

Almost 90 per cent of married men interviewed at random by The Nairobian all concur that marriage is slavery.

Jackson Mburu, a 52-year-old insurance broker, says he was married for seven ‘very very very long years’ and when his marriage collapsed, he became a free man.

“I don’t know what would have happened had I held on. I was miserable. It has been years and I have no desire to get enslaved again.”

He says contrary to popular belief, quitting a marriage is never about having the freedom to sleep with multiple women, but it is all to do with peace of mind.

“When you are at peace, you can achieve whatever you want in life, be it your goals or career aspirations,” concurs Engineer Tom Oduor.

He was married for 15 years and raised two children.

“The day my last born joined boarding school, is the day I left everything to that woman and left home”.

Mark Kamau shares the same story.

He told The Nairobian that he was briefly married for two years and were the longest two years of his life.

“I went ahead and married a woman I could live with and we have a daughter. I cannot say I am happy because no marriage is perfect, I think I am contented. I am happy being contented. I can live with this for the rest of my life, if nothing changes,” he adds a disclaimer.

Eric Mulwa who also spoke to The Nairobian said; “I married her when she was in her second year in campus. She was from a humble background and she was very committed to the marriage.”

15 years later, with three kids and a flourishing career, his wife at 37, wanted a divorce.

“She told me she felt she was in prison. She accused me of taking away her youth, and she wanted to do some things she didn’t do when she was young. As a man, I can’t allow my wife to disappear over the weekends on drinking sprees, take unplanned road trips and generally behave as if she is in campus. I swiftly gave her the divorce she desired and took my children. I didn’t feel like I was in jail, but she felt so, so I released her”

Ainea Ojiambo, a thespian and a senior bachelor says marriage is the worst prison one can ever be committed to.

“No woman will marry you because she loves you. Only your mother loves you. A woman will marry you because you can provide, give her security and take care of her children. When you are no longer able to do that, she will swiftly move on. So no matter how happy you are in your marriage, it is because you are doing your duties she delegated for you to do, the day you get into an accident and lose mobility, or lose your job, your wife will be fighting with you from sunrise to sunset. That’s when you will realize this other gender are jailers.”

He adds that years back, “Our mothers could not leave our fathers even if the man got broke because the society expected them to stay married for life. But with modernity, marriage is a contract, if you can’t keep your end of the bargain due to factors not in your control, you will be kicked out and a replacement sought immediately.”

To buffer up opinion by the men for this story, The Nairobian dug for information on divorce from the courts.

In January 2020, about 95 people petitioned the courts to dissolve their marriages, while in February, 149 divorce petitions were filed.

Chief Justice David Maraga released a report indicating that the rate of divorce had gone up since the beginning of the lockdown due to Covid-19.

The report reveals that 2019, by December 31st, about 1,108 couples had filed for divorce. This number was significantly high compared to the previous years.

In 2017, only 909 couples filed for divorce but two years later the number had gone up to over 2,000 couples.

Silas Nyanchwani, a writer who is currently soaring high after the release of his novel ‘Sexorcised’ last week says marriage is slavery for both men and women, and it best to carefully chose your slave driver.

He argues that more men feel entrapped in marriages.

“A woman who is 22 years old, can experience the world and get her heart desires, while it is not the same case for a man.

He explains, “A woman at 28, is ready to get married, so she picks a 32-year-old man whose career is on the rise and is guaranteed to be a good husband and father to his kids. But the lady has tasted life with a big spoon. She has had men who are ready to give her anything she wants since she turned 18. She has travelled, dined and wined in the best places, received expensive gifts, drank the whole night, done all the crazy things money and its freedom can afford. So she is ready to settle down.”

Nyanchwani, argues that on the other hand, a poor boy child struggled through campus, was broke on his first job, and by his third or fourth job, life has just begun, so he marries.

“By the time he hits 40, he has made money, and he wants to do all that he missed when he was broke. Things his wife did 15 or 20 years ago. So, the man is perpetually in jail. He has the money, but he cannot do simple things like go drinking with his boys till morning. Women can enjoy life, at someone else’s cost, while for a man, unless your father is rich, you will start enjoying life when you get money. So don’t marry early, it’s a jail.”

Psychologist and life coach Benjamin Zulu, believes that marriage is not a ticket to happiness. 

 “You do not need to be married to be happy. If a marriage doesn’t make you happy, then it is not worth it. People should value the mission for their life, their reason for being on earth. This is what gives you deepest fulfilment. Something you will describe as your greatest joy. Do not marry until you know who you are and what you want to be. Before settling down, you must know your talents and what you are passionate about.”

According to Zulu, when a marriage fails its purpose and no longer makes you happy, just pack and leave.

Bishop Thomas Wahome of the Helicopter of Christ Church says the Bible is very clear that on marriage, men should love their wives, and women, should respect their husbands.

“From that perspective alone, a marriage begins on unequal terms. We as men started complicating it when we veered off the teaching in the Bible. But we are in modern times. Sometimes when the marriage is too toxic, I advise the couple to separate for a while. Why force a couple to live together then the next day, one kills the other? You should be with whoever makes you happy. As a pastor, my job is to offer advice, counselling and guidance, the decision remains yours.”