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Stolen TV set ends ten-year marriage

By By Ndungu Wainaina | May 28th 2012

By Ndungu Wainaina

Villagers are still in stitches wondering how a mere TV set could have ended the marriage of a loyal and hardworking wife in the remote Mundoro tea-growing village of Gatundu South.

As happens, the woman, who is aged about 40, had little access to the proceeds of the family tea farm. Never mind that it is her and the children who did the bulk of work — tending the farm and plucking the tea leaves.


According to neighbours, her husband was, however, a prudent man, hardly known to waste money on common male distractions like boozing and wooing barmaids.

Instead, his focus was ensuring that his family had enough food and that his five children attended school without disruptions.

His hardworking wife was, unfortunately, not happy. She is said to have constantly whined to her close friends, saying she was bored with the drudgery of village life.

It was this desire to rejuvenate life at home that probably made her join a local women group where members contributed Sh600 a month, pooling a tidy sum for each member in soft loans monthly.

‘Side boards’

The group transformed members’ lives in a big way, enabling many rural homes to acquire kitchen utensils, basins and a few pieces of prized China complete with “side boards” in which the new acquisitions were proudly displayed in living rooms.

A year ago, the chama went a notch higher by raising members’ contributions to Sh1,000. The woman in question luckily drew the first lot for a loan, enabling her to achieve a lifetime dream of purchasing a 21-inch colour television, complete with a battery for powering it. The TV elevated the home to some sort of celebrity status in the rural village, earning her much respect among her peers. In total, she is said to have exhausted the Sh18,000 loan on the project.

Unfortunately, the celebration was cut short a few months later when the family returned from the farm to find their house broken into and the ‘entertainment equipment’ missing. The theft is said to have so infuriated the woman of the house who, besides making a report at the local police post and chief’s office, sent word around the village that she would seek the services of witchdoctors known for inducing thieves to eat grass.

While her husband is not particularly religious, he strangely took a hardline stand against hiring a witchdoctor and threatened to divorce her. There was no way his home was getting associated with such outdated practices, he said.

Pack up

But she didn’t pay heed.  The reality that she would have to continue paying back the loan didn’t dull the pain of losing her prized TV set, either. Villagers, therefore, woke up one morning to hear the stolen television set and other equipment had ‘come back’.

Unfortunately, her joy was short lived. That evening, her husband ordered her to pack up and go, saying the TV set’s mysterious return was proof that she had indeed consulted a witchdoctor against his express orders

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