It is generally agreed among Kenyan men that if a visiting girlfriend washed your jeans and made you chapatis in the course of one weekend, it is over; you are married.
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More than half the marriages I know are accidental. And it is mostly the scheming on the woman’s part that consigns a man to marriage inadvertently. It is a careful trap a woman lays for the man, and the success rate is about 75 per cent in my estimations.
Given women are born actors, putting up a good show is never a problem. They will do the laundry, scrub the floor, change the curtains without breaking a sweat. And this, always, can melt the iciest of hearts among men. If a man can discern that she is doing it wholeheartedly, the mind gets corrupted easily.
Next thing women do, is to endear themselves to all the male friends of the man. Ever so cheerful to them, even tolerating their childish behavior and bland jokes, a woman will sit through the hard-wooden stools in your local, hurting her bum in the course, but she will not complain.
Men always appreciate such sacrifices. We always know that the Rhumba is tedious, and beer tastes awful, but when you stick around, without nagging, you win easy points.
It counts if my male friend said something like, “Hey Silas, Carol is a good lady for you, she is collected. She’s got it all together.”
And those women who know this will go a step ahead and unleash a good meal. And by good meal, rice with shredded carrots and ndengu does not count. I mean a meal with some thoughtfulness.
Not a terrible meal with too many spices to disguise the bad cooking. If male friends are grateful for the meal, it is as good as done.
Smart women know how to win over the relatives, especially the females. Only a woman determined to have a bad marriage never bothers to win the approval of the female relatives. It is never much, for a woman who desperately wants to get married.
Just plaiting their hair in one lazy afternoon, comparing fashion notes and yeah, helping washing those utensils in the sink, without being asked, has always won all the votes.
Initiative is appreciated everywhere. It works in every part of Kenya. Female relatives and male friends are the adjudicators for any man who wants to marry. Their word mostly counts.
The next logical thing that most women do is fall pregnant “accidentally”. And when it happens, it helps to be politely excited. Thing with pregnancies; they chase men as much as they invite them.
If a woman times it well, the man is often flattered, especially if it is his first child. All men smile internally at the idea that they don’t fire blanks. And what better than to hear the news from a woman who has proved her wifely mettle.
To me, this seems to be the most natural path to marriage in Kenya. Some women might bypass the stages, but without the approval of friends and relatives, such marriages can be rocky. For single women out there in need of a companion, and not misguided by the feminist creed, try this.
It is not as difficult, demeaning or as desperate as it sounds. It is only that when men don’t know directions to a place much less in life, they scarcely do bother asking. Hence, sometimes, you must guide them.