Teachers and nurses make the best wives. Just ask any Kenyan man at random.
Nine out of ten would marry the chalk and syringe holders, in that order, without thinking too much about it.
Given that there are not enough teachers and nurses to marry, Kenyan men have often been forced to look elsewhere for the future mothers of their children.
Men long reconciled with the fact that having a housewife is no longer tenable since an extra-income invariably goes a long way in ensuring that the family bacon is of at least middle-class quality.
But then again, divorce and separation are higher in marriages between individuals in certain careers as opposed to others.
Forget statistics and consider anecdotal evidence, which has persistently shown that marrying a journalist is more risky in terms of divorce than marrying a teacher or a doctor. Ditto a politician. Ditto a lawyer. Just take a cursory glance at the country’s top women in politics, law and journalism for a grim picture of what we mean.
So which career, going by the traditional expectations of men, do they prefer when planning to jump the broom? Further, why do men shun women in certain careers?
A random survey by The Nairobian revealed that men prefer a wife who is guaranteed to be at home by 5pm.
She must also be ready to raise children. Thus, flexibility in terms of time is very key. Men prefer a wife who earns less. She is easy to control.
Careers that don’t expose women to life in the fast lane are generally preferred. Men also perceive certain careers to have a higher promiscuity index than others. They thus prefer careers where they can easily monitor their wives.
Here are careers that can guarantee any woman a hubby, pap!
Indisputably, the most favoured career for a wife by Kenyan men is teaching.
Maybe because most of us have been raised by teachers. Despite always demanding a fat cheque every year, they have raised some of the country’s best white collar ‘jobbers’. Teachers are disciplinarians and your children will walk the straight and the narrow.
“With teachers, you are sure they will be back home by 5pm to attend to other family duties,” says David Kamande, a travel consultant based in Nairobi.
Also, “...they have more permanent stations mostly in the countryside, thus you can build a family around their career,” adds Kamande, who says that when the right time comes, a teacher is on top of his list.
“Their profession involves guidance and counseling. This helps in teaching the children virtues, thus they have firsthand impact. Most teachers, especially women will practice what they teach.”
This, he says, makes them the best role models.
“By virtue of their career, they have to be upright so naturally they will make good wives.
They are paid less and mostly are too contented with the job to leave. Generally, they are less materialistic compared to women from other professionals. So as a man if you make less, they will remain faithful and still respect you,” he opines.
Farmers are marriageable, for the same reason as teachers, that is, they easy to ‘domesticate’. Given they have tied themselves to farming, men argue that it is easy to monitor their lives. They also have enough time on their hands to juggle both farming and motherhood. Boniface Mogusu says a farmer is as good as it gets. “As long as she is learned and sociable, I will pick her any day over any woman. You are guaranteed that she will be at home, always,” he says.
3. Nurses, doctors trained to care
Nurses and doctors make for desirable wives because of the nature of their careers, if you ask Peter Leto, a Nairobi based publicist.
Other men observe that teachers and nurses make good wives because they are mostly settled in one locality, where everyone knows them, hence cannot cheat.
The comparatively low income makes them dependent on a man, hence more manageable, the two men suggest.
“But nurses and doctors are trained to take care of others. They are mostly selfless when it comes to taking care of others,” offers Leto adding that “...any job that requires personal intervention for job security, promotion or transfer is not good for marriageable women. Think of politicians.”
4. Economists are easy to control
Philip Amutabi, a police officer and graduate student of political science prefers an economist for a wife. “I have experience with them. Rarely do they cheat, besides they have very little sense of the party life.”
He observed while in university, that women studying economics were shy, at times naïve compared to women in other fields. This makes them easy to control, according to Amutabi.
5. Nutritionists know the way to a man’s heart
“Besides being women, they are trained chefs and you will never sleep hungry,” says Bernard Omar, a development consultant, on why he would go for a food nutritionist. “They will kill you with their creativity in the kitchen and will serve diverse meals when you have visitors,” adds the 29-year old bachelor.
6. Mathematicians sire clever kids
“You know the genes for intelligence come from mothers,” starts Duke Agura, a public relations officer with a Government agency on why he would pick a mathematician or a woman in the science field. “You will get kids who are exceptionally clever.”
7. Public relations/customer relations
Alex Kirui, an animator says he finds that women in public or customer relations make the best wives.
“Their work essentially is to communicate and lack of communication or a communication breakdown is what leads to problems in most marriages, so a PR lady can bring her communication skills into the marriage and help work issues out.”