Last year closed on a huge fight back, at least on social media (isn’t that where all toxic sociological battles are fought, these days?), by the ‘boy child’ against the ‘slay queens.’
The hero of this blowback was one Cyprian Nyakundi, a very distant cousin. You see, there are those relatives one is slightly embarrassed by — and the chauvinism of Nyakundi is up there! On the other hand, I am very proud of my solid, right-minded, loyal, God-fearing and familial cousins like Cyprian Nyamwamu (may the Lord rest his father Aloyce’s soul in peace). Here are six things I think one might strive to do as a real man, instead of a ‘boy child.’
1. Pay the school fees
Many men may think it is a manageable matter, one’s toi being sent away from school for lack of fees. But apart from the obvious disruption to learning, it leaves a great psychological scar on our youngsters. You see, right from when we were growing up, schools had it build into their curriculum to ‘chase away’ children whose parents had defaulted on fees in the most humiliating manner possible. In our days, on the first school day, say, of January, names of ‘children who haven’t paid school fees’ would be called out from a list – and the young ‘defaulters’ taken out of class to sit outside (as if in a concentration camp) as their parents were called to come take them home.
These days they are called out of class after lessons have begun, herded into school buses, and driven home, even if it is 11am. If habitual, such humiliation hurts a child for life and makes them insecure. Pay fees up, even before the party begins in December.
‘Too late,’ I hear some man say? Okay. You’ll do better this year.
2. Sort the rent out
I recently saw a post on Facebook by a semi-popular radio presenter called Ciru Muriuki, confessing ‘if only you knew the number of you men who have lived off us women … it is just that we are too embarrassed to talk about it.’
Not here, on ‘Men Only,’ we ain’t!
One woman admitted how she had ‘hosted’ this guy for a year as he waited to ‘sort his situation out,’ complete with giving him a Sh30,000 monthly allowance, as he monopolised her motor vehicle on weekends to go out till late with his ‘boys’ and told her to just ‘chill’ in the apartment as ‘you’ve been working hard the whole week.’
3. Don’t sexually harass/assault women
There are men out there who use their positions of power or privilege to try and manipulate or harass women into sex. There are even powerless men out there, like those louts who whistle, make lewd comments, grope and have even stripped women.
Whether a boss at an office, or a matatu tout at a stage, both ought to know these are criminal acts, with dire consequences in our day and age. Slapping the barmaid’s bottom is very 1981 by the way – and today’s lounge waitress is likely to retaliate with a hot slap to your stupid sexually harassing face. I have seen it happen.
4. Remember at least six ‘events’ per year, and gift her
In this way, at least, the ladies are like kids with candy. Remember to gift her something nice (that you can afford) on these dates. Christmas/New Year in December, Valentine’s in a month’s time, the Easter weekend, her birthday in June, your anniversary in August (or ‘when we first met’ if not married/engaged) and that October of Mashujaa, just to keep the affection algorithm going. If you just thought, ‘but her birthday isn’t in June!’, then, kijana, you’re as bright as a doorknob!
5. Real men hold their drink
After a certain age, it isn’t acceptable to throw up, brawl, hurl insults, get loose or dance like a manic after X number of vinywajis. If you are a late bloomer, like me, change your brand from the cheap one you drank 15 years ago.
6. Real Men watch the EPL
I loathe men who tell me: ‘I don’t watch soccer.’ First of all, it’s football! Okay, so SportsPesa pulled a ‘coitus interruptus’ on the Kenya Premier League; and the whole scene (with its high-pitch voiced chairman) is depressing. But this year we have English Premier League every weekend, the Carabao Cup finals, the ongoing FA Cup, the Champions’ League, and best of all, the World Cup in Russia, June/July.