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When he is just not into you

By By Oyunga Pala | May 27th 2013

By Oyunga Pala

I got a letter from a keen reader with a ‘Dear Dolly’ situation. She met a man on Facebook and things got cosy when she discovered they went to the same high school.

From text messages, they graduated on to actual house visits at which the man hinted that he needed a woman in his life.

Six months after the declaration, he seemed to make no effort towards securing the relationship. He was even too polite to take her to bed.

The girl grew impatient and decided to prod him for an answer. Do you want us to be friends or lovers? The man hesitated before saying they could be more than friends.


So the woman, hoping to reinforce her case, declared her unwavering love.

Listen here, lasses, and listen carefully:  There is nothing a man detests like responding to, “Do you love me?” when he doesn’t. Therefore, he replies ‘ok’ or slinks into silence. When a woman further makes the rush decision and demands an answer or else, many get surprised when the man doesn’t come chasing after.

Here is the thing. Men are not socialised to hold a declaration of love with much importance. If you have to ask, he doesn’t love you. When a man loves a woman, he will show her, always make time and practically hover around her.

Women wonder why a man would invest so much time courting her and then suddenly drop out after a flimsy excuse, ignoring text messages and calls.

It is not about something you said or did. He simply is not that into you and he does not know how to let you down gently.

So he keeps you around in case of an emergency when the real woman of his desires fails to come through. It isn’t a very nice thing, but that is just the way it is. 

Of Kenyan wannabes and flaunting

It was a modest funeral in the rural countryside. A simple coffin draped in white lace, resting on a low coffee table, the paint still fresh you could smell it.

Hurdled under the rickety structure covered by canvas, torn in parts, the mourners numbering about 50, sang gospel hymns in between listening to one testimony after the other.

Three mud-walled houses dotted the compound, and there was a conspicuous pit latrine at the edge of the compound with a sisal sack draped over its entrance.


There was not a single car in the vicinity, but several motorcycles and bicycles were parked along the bushy border of the homestead. It was clear the pastor was buying time in anticipation of the return of a long lost niece. She was adopted by a volunteer Australian teacher when in primary school, and moved to Sydney and got married into money.

She was beholden to her deceased aunt for taking her through school as an orphaned child, and had kept the funeral on hold for two weeks as they expected her arrival.  When she finally arrived fashionably late in the middle of the ceremony, the funeral was disrupted for a full 15 minutes.

After a futile attempt to navigate the SUV through the narrow footpath, she reluctantly abandoned the car. Traipsing in high heels, sinking in the mud, she made a beeline for the podium flanked by a small entourage.

She was wearing large sunglasses, bedecked in costume jewellery, on one hand holding a large packet of juice on the other, an umbrella. Relatives who had known her as a child remarked at how light skinned and chubbier she had gotten. 

The contrast in just six years was startling, and they could only marvel because she was now rich. When you become rich, the simplicity of the past is despised. Once we are moving on up, we have to behave in a manner that illustrates our newfound grandeur.

Extravagant display of material trappings is a behaviour that is rampant in this country.  In Kenya, when you have a little money and it has to be flaunted or no one will believe you have it.  Usually, it is the people who should know better, raised in poverty who make greatest effort to distance themselves with any association of their past. People, who ran seven kilometres to school, won’t walk a 100 metres from their office to the bank for fear of looking ‘poor’.


You come across those characters that rent the biggest car, buy the most expensive gadgets, ordering only top shelf liquor to emphasise their liquidity. If the watus can afford it, it can’t be good. They demand the highly priced item for no other reason than gloating every time the price tag is mentioned.

In showbiz, image is everything. It is the only way you get noticed. You flaunt it to maintain relevance. It is, however, disturbing when the staged opulence of a rap artiste becomes a leader’s aspiration.

Therefore, in case Deputy President William Ruto is wondering about the fuss over his recent jet setting Pan African, uh, tour, it is because he reminds us of a funeral committee chairman who picks the most expensive coffin simply because he has money to spend that he does not have to account for.

Lions going like the dodo

I follow Dr Paula Kahumbu on Twitter. Dr Kahumbu is the Executive Director of WildlifeDirect, a conservation body that uses social media and bloggers to raise awareness about pressing wildlife issues.

It was at WildlifeDirect that I learnt about the rapidly diminishing number of lions. Pesticides have become the latest assault weapon in dealing with human wildlife conflict.

Furadan, a chemical intended for agriculture is now a regular choice in the control of predatory wildlife near inhabited areas. Conservationists have warned that Kenya’s lion population is in danger of becoming extinct within a decade if nothing is done to stem a wave of poisonings that have already left at least eight of the charismatic predators dead in recent weeks.

There are less than 2,000 lions across the country.  At this rate, lions will go extinct in a decade and we will be just like Mauritius.

The panoramic Indian Ocean islands were once home to large dodo populations, a flight less bird that looked like a turkey.


They were rendered extinct by the late 16th Century, thanks to human taste of exotic meat and our myopic ways. I sincerely hope we won’t be the generation under whose watch lions go extinct.

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