Intermarriage between Kenyan communities were shaken after the 2007 post-elections violence when the country was divided along ethnic lines.
Many marriages crumbled. Engagements were recalled, weddings cancelled. Dowry payment plans were postponed indefinitely, relationships were ruined.
In retrospect, marriages don't purely fail because Omondi is from Nyanza and Gacheri is from Central Kenya. There is egoism, immaturity, communication breakdown, in-law interference, experiencing an out of money experience or one partner changing. But there are matches from 'certain communities' that spell disaster whichever way you look at an affair.
Here are the misfits, the matches, and the mismatches despite a Synovate polls revealing that three out of four Kenyans said they were willing to marry outside their tribe:
Communities that 'match', somehow
Kikuyu girl, Luo Man
Most lasses are dark skinned in Luo land. When Omondi from Pand Pieri meets Gacheri, a 'yellow yellow' from Muranga it's usually love at first sight.
Luo men know how to spoil their women and most women from Central Kenya make very nice, submissive and caring wives to their brothers from Nyanza, from all the 'spoiling.'
Gacheri also loves Omondi's free spending ways and romantic, free spirit.
Retrogressive practices like wife inheritance which scared many a Gacheri are now a thing of the halcyon past.
A Kikuyu girl, Luo man affair-that work despite myriad hiccups- is mostly sneered at by conservative 'tribal' mindset types and the not so exposed lower classes.
Famous relationships in this regards include memorable criminal lawyer SM Otieno and Virginia Wambui Otieno-who did not want dowry paid for her for the sole purpose that Otieno's clan would not 'own' and thus 'inherit' her.
Otieno's family never attended their wedding. Wambui's revered Waiyaki clan swallowed their pride and attended. After all, Otieno had 'prospects.'
When SM Otieno died in December 1986, the ensuing seven-month long burial dispute exhumed stack cultural differences between these two communities, and for a while, Kikuyu women gave Luo men a wide berth.
That has gradually changed, and other case studies include the late Fidel Odinga and Veronica Wanjiru (a marriage that went south) and celebrated rapper Juliani, who has on several occasions split from actress Brenda Wairimu but keeps going back to her.
Never mind a Luo man marrying a Kikuyu woman is still considered a 'misumba' (bachelor) by his folks since the matriarchy of the Kikuyus is such that the woman remains with the children leaving Omondi without 'legacy.'
'Matches' that might just work
Luo man, Luo woman
This is a relationship that can only work if Akende doesn't earn more than Owino. If it does, well, maybe Owino 'amekaliwa chapati' moto.
Indeed, a marriage between a Luo woman and a Luo man is one that's always in a 'state of emergency', especially if both partners are in high flying careers. Peace Time is mostly achieved when such couples are busy in bed after a session of drowning Sir Edward's, blended Scotch whisky.
Luo's have egos the size of a small Pacific Island.
Having such two people in the same house is a recipe for marital disaster.
Luo men also believe if a Luo woman makes kidogo money she has ways of making the man 'see dust' in that house. "
The opposite of the Luo woman is the Luhyia woman who make good matches.
A Kikuyu woman, Kikuyu man
This relationships works when one party, read Gacheri, is trying to gain something from Kamande, before the union eventually goes down Sagana River after the fifth born leaves the nest.
Few Kikuyu men can stand a woman who is more successful, unless he's leaching on one half his age.
Is this why a loaded Kikuyu woman makes for the best sugar mummy?
The major complain of Kikuyu women is that their men are tightwads, living on shoe string budgets, even for the relatively well to do.
Kikuyu men on the other hand find their women too uptight, ordering mukimo and Pilsner dressed in Savco jean skirts.
According to an impromptu survey, the best Kikuyu wives are women from Murang'a. They are said to be submissive homemakers who will start out with a man cooking nyoyo using a paraffin stove and stand by him as he gradually acquires enough mullah to treat her at Hemingways Karen.
A Kikuyu woman from Kiambu, on the other hand, is generally money minded, from a history of bringing wiry men home only to be asked "huyu kwanza ame kula?"
'Mang'aa' Nyeri women are brainy, not money minded but could do better fighting Al Shabaab with the Kenya Defense Forces, than making pulp of their men at home-which they take care of like colonialists!
A Kamba man, Taita woman
Both are diminutive by nature. Both are docile. Both love small time fun. Theirs is more of a brother/sister union where everybody seems to smile but someone's heart could be bleeding.