My article from last week appears to have hit too close to home for many men with many women applauding me for calling out their men. However, the very same men wrote to me and called me asking me to be their messenger to Kenyan women during these trying times. So here we go - please note I am but a messenger.
Dear Kenyan Women,
We would like to lay some simple and easy to follow rules of engagement during this Quarantine and Curfew period - especially bearing in mind we have no clue when all this will end.
Your behaviour in the last two weeks has led us to believe you have an inbuilt mechanism that somehow inhibits you from embodying the values of kindness, civility and humanity that this period demands. Let us start off by the fact that you keep throwing God and punishment into this equation as you throw all manner of verbal jabs at us.
Some of you have been claiming that God is punishing us men specifically for all the sins you think we have committed. Some of you have been singing those gospel songs about “kila mtu atauchukua mzigo wake mwenyewe” in your bid to tell us that we are currently suffering for all the times we forgot your birthdays, stayed up too late with the boys and of course for the side chicks.
Do not also imagine that this is the time for you to tell us that we are in the last days and so we need to get saved - stop converting us.
Do not force us to read all those Biblical forwards full of gory predictions and contain threats of plagues, fire and brimstone. Let us just agree to keep God out of this situation.
Let us talk household chores and the children. We have noticed that some of you have adopted some colonial master attitudes as you conscript us into chores such as cleaning dishes, developing family menus for what you call “clean eating meals.”
Let us be clear, for most of us nothing not even the coronavirus can turn us into cleaning or cooking gods. While we are it, let us discuss the children.
Yes they are our children, but let us remember the well-established fact that women are the primary caregivers. Yes, we do welcome the opportunity to indulge you and occasionally play with the kids. We have even been gracious enough to take walks with them and even let them tinker with our overgrown and untended beards.
However, we refuse to be forced into duties of diaper changing, bathing children or reading bedtime stories. When it comes to taking care of the children please consider us to be volunteers not employees - our participation in children-related chores will depend on our moods and not your demands.
While we are on this topic, we urge you to quash your tendencies to treat us like children. Stop with telling us to pick up after ourselves, to eat with our mouths closed and most of all stop telling us to take a shower. We also need to bring your attention to your general appearance in this corona season. We recognise that you are not going anywhere but please put some effort in your appearance.
For example, find a way of having your hair in some decent status; those tired matutas will not do, also being in those Kibaki tosha t-shirts 24-7 is simply not kosher but whatever you do, please wear a bra.
This period has also taught us that many of you can live without those expensive visits to the salon and nail bars. We now know you can live without those acrylic nails and those Brazilian extensions. So we are hereby giving you a heads up that post-corona funding for beauty treatments will be terminated as a cost saving measure. But all is not lost - if you acquaint yourselves with all those online tutorials on makeup and hair you should be fine.
We also request that you let us watch re-runs of various sporting events in peace. Please stop dropping snide comments about what can be gained from watching Football Derby repeats, or watching Mayweather do his thing all over again.
You need to understand that this is our way of coping for we are dealing with so many things that you cannot even begin to fathom.
You assume that we are just missing the trips to the barbers or to the pubs, but we are also dealing with the fact that ‘deals’ have dried up and we might be dirt broke when all this ends. You assume that we are only missing the slayqueens or the ‘boys club’, but we are more concerned that at the end of this we might attract no one because of the state of our bodies and our wallets. So cut us some slack when we grab the remote from the kids to watch sports re-runs.
Finally, we need to let you know that the corona situation has not impaired our appetites in matters food and sex.
So we ask you to make some effort to indulge us in the above. Once again we ask you to use your data bundles on research to improve your game in the kitchen and in the bedroom.
Use the free time you have now to go online and build upon your repertoire in the kitchen and in the bedroom.
We are living in extraordinary times, so we ask for your patience even when you come perilously close to murder.