Marriage could be a beautiful thing, but in Kenya, there were clans men were warned against fetching a woman from and for various reasons.
Women from some clans among the Kikuyu, for instance, are renowned 'head aches' while other clans were famous for fast and furious separations even before the totos crawled.
To convince a love struck man of the dangers, an aunt in the know would draw his attention to the fact that even the girl's grandmother 'ran away' 500 times during her marriage in which the husband married from other clans from where girls are known to stick around for better or for worse.
But do such traditional beliefs about tribal clans with an 'evil eye' and others filled with 'umarriagable women' sill hold water in 21st Century? Does the 'mahewa generation' do a background surveillance on their potential spouses to check whether they have splashed from the right clans?
Something else: even with advancement in education and exposure, do the reasons why some clans were no-go zones, still hold water over 50 years after independence?
Well, you will be shocked to learn that nothing much has changed.
Nyakach women are generous but kichwa ngumu
Take the Luo community where bachelors and bachelorettes are hardly taken seriously and are actually considered “nga’ma oran,” (hopeless case) and those who pick their cherries from elsewhere are frowned upon.
But even if one chose to marry a fellow Luo, still, there are no-go clans as Ker Nyandiko Ongadi, an elder in the South Nyanza faction of Luo Council of elders told The Nairobian and listing the Kanyamkago, Kajulu and Kamenya clans as having been particularly fluent in matters witchcraft and sorcery.
“I cannot say the entire clans practiced that but they were known to associate with “bilo and juok” (witchcraft and traditional medicine) and thus sons and daughters from other areas were discouraged from marrying from them,” says the man from Kakwajuok in Rachuonyo North, Homa Bay County.
Ker Ongadi however admits that it has narrowed down over the years to a family rather than clan issue where one now has to scrutinise family as compared to clan or community.
According to Mzee John Lazare, the Secretary of Nyakach elders, the people of Nyakach migrated from other places and thus had to fight for the land they settled in. He says initially the original occupants of Nyakach were four clans and the rest got assimilated and that is why the clans intermarry.
“Nyakach people are originally warriors, brave and no-nonsense; a trait that still runs in their blood and it is a little wonder women from Nyakach are branded hard headed and hard to domesticate,” explains the former teacher, adding that these women were deemed 'unacceptable' to others because of their evident masculinity, but despite their toughness, Nyakach women are the most generous in Luo Nyanza.
Women from Central Nyanza, that is Siaya County, on the other hand, are seen as 'charming trouble makers' and those from Yimbo are known to use witchcraft to charm their husbands while those from Alego are hard working but love starting trouble and are “lelo” (loud) an ecological economist from Boro in Ugenya, Siaya County, told The Nairobian, while requesting anonymity.
Kaos good in bed, but women from Mutonguni my God!
While it is believed that most Kao girls are good in bed, but most 'Jezebels' are from Mutonguni, a settlement in Kitui Eastern Kenya. They don’t believe in dialogue and any small quarrel will see them take a trip to the local mganga to get a dose of Kamuti to deal with you, while women from Kitui are said to kalia their hubbies in marriage.
These Maasai women love mullah
Maasai Maasai from the Isiria section of Trans Mara District, Narok County, are not only flirty, but hardly return to the village where cows were sold to fund bankroll their education in the city, and are known to develop selective amnesia after bumping into anyone from their past, and hardly settle for men without mullah.
With reports from Scophine Aoko Otieno, Cate Mukei
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