To say we are living in interesting times would be the understatement of the year and perhaps, the century. Not even those prophets who like to brag about their ability to see into the future could have predicted the world we are living in.
As our new reality evolves, there can be no denying that life has changed for the Kenyan family and more specifically for the Kenyan man. For the first time in a long time, the Kenyan man finds himself at home for long periods of time. You see, the Kenyan man has become an alien in his own home – he likes to be everywhere else but his home.
We know Kenyan men go to great lengths to build huge mansions for their families - some will even tell you that this desire could be part of the reason we have runaway corruption. Yet when the house is done and dusted, the Kenyan man does anything and everything to stay away from his family and abode. He finds things to do and boys to hang out with, all in the name of being away from home. Now the world has shifted and he finds himself at home constantly and neither him nor his family knows how to deal with this new life.
Kenyan men have developed their own narrative that their wives wish them no good and live to nag, pester and deny them any freedom or happiness. They have learnt the art of reading their women’s moods to determine if they are facing a minor mood ripple (that can be endured) or a major mood tsunami (that has to be escaped from). They now have no escape options and have to weather all the elements that come from their wives.
It does not help matters that Kenyan wives are taking different approaches to this issue - with the approach changing on an hourly basis depending on what they pick up on social media or on what Mutahi Kagwe announces.
Some wives are treating the current men-at-home situation as if it is a prayer answered while others see this as the Good Lord taking them down the path of temptation to test all their fuses.
The wives who see this as prayer answered are showing nothing but kindness to their hubbies. They are cooing babe and darling as they prepare favourite meals and give the men space. The vast majority though are treating their husbands as if they are the cause of the coronavirus, constantly nagging and badgering them to pay the bills, help the children with homework and to conduct long outstanding household repairs.
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Nag, pester and deny
Some wives are engaging in taunts where they bring up hurtful statements like “siuende kule unaendaga kama hutaki kukaa under lockdown.”
Kenyan men are now have the onerous task of dealing with their children on a 24/7 basis. During normal times, many Kenyan men flee their households in the wee hours of the morning and return late in the night and so have little face time with their children. Some men are now taking deeper looks at facial features, walks and gaits and perhaps having doubts about the paternity of their children. Others are looking at their children and wondering how and when they became so smart and talented, all without their participation or input.
Other men are in shock for they cannot believe they are breeding the next generation of rascals, thieves and women of loose morals in their households.
Kenyan men as we know are the kings of faking it to earn bonga points with their possé of boys and to impress the ladies out there. They will go to great lengths to achieve bragging status, including splashing money they really do not have, driving fuel guzzlers they can hardly insure comprehensively and bankrolling slay queens they can ill afford.
Choices have consequences and the consequences are visited upon families who have to live in abject squalor as the hubbies pursue lives of floss and glamour.
The lockdowns and curfews are giving Kenyan men a chance to determine if what they project outside matches what they have provided for at home. Those men who are forever throwing tantrums in sports bars about Supersport channels might now have to live with the reality that they have never taken time to get the right TV or DSTV package for their families.
Those men who fuss and scream about the bone to meat ratio that they are served with at their locals are perhaps dealing with the reality that their families consider mgongo wazi to be a delicacy. The men who are notorious for demanding single malts are appreciating that one needs more than a single room to live comfortably as family. We cannot wait to see if corona will make the Kenyan husband a better man or he will just resort to factory settings.