At the age of 29, Hezekiah Ochuka, then Senior Private with the Kenya Air Force, ruled Kenya for six hours after his short-lived 1982 coup. Wow! Yet I can hardly face my furious girlfriend when I stumble home late after a night of bingeing.
At 29, Joseph Kabila took over the reins of power in the Democratic Republic of Congo, possibly the richest country (with regard to natural resources) in the world after his father was assassinated. But I know several 29-year-olds, whose only claim to fame is buying a bottle of Irish whiskey and regaling their colleagues with exaggerated tales of sexual escapades. At 25, Valentine Strasser seized power in Sierra Leone and went on to rule the country for almost four years.
However, today he lives in abject poverty with his mother and roams the outskirts of Freetown. Yet, some 25-year-olds I know cannot even seduce a woman. All they do is ask friends to ‘like’ the Facebook pages of their printing businesses.The trio above is constantly in my mind, in that at their young age, they became presidents, except for Ochuka of course whose attempted forceful ascent to power was thwarted by Mahamoud Mohamed.
In less than two decades, ambitions of men in that same age bracket have shifted radically. I know many men in their late 20s and early 30s whose sole drive in life is to own an iPhone. It saddens me.
Here are 5 classes of men who have really dampened my mood as a man lately:
1. Karaoke singers Various clubs in Nairobi hold Karaoke nights throughout the week. Women can sing in Karaokes. But a man doing so is a disgrace. You can tell me to keep my opinion to myself...as long as you confine your awful singing to the bathroom! For a man, a Karaoke performance is like masturbation, only you experience the pleasure, the only difference being that at a Karaoke, you also embarrass yourself - like masturbating in public! Ignore the lies from girlfriends and misguided male friends. Just stop it! Not all of us are meant to be singers.
2. Professional male dancers Tall, intelligent men are exempted from dancing. That is the unspoken clause in the constitution of men. The rest of the men can take up recreational dancing and make a fool of themselves, if they so wish!But what rankles me the most is this growing trend of professional male dancers. Gentlemen, even if we had kicked malaria, polio and HIV out of Africa, those are not good enough reasons to make you take up dancing. Hunger and famine are still ravaging northern Kenyan for heaven’s sake. Full-grown men even enter dancing competitions, what bull crap is this?!
And their dancing is not even artistic. It is mostly acrobatic leaps executed in almost epileptic fits (no disrespect to those who suffer from epilepsy). The government should ban professional male dancers, until we solve more pressing problems like taming MCAs’ unbridled greed and lack of decorum.
3. Male fashionistas
These ones need to be chased out of town pronto! Men, or at least African men, do not need any advice on how to dress. I know Kambas and my Abagusii clansmen have a penchant for yellow shirts and purple neckties, but it is fine. I strongly believe that men should live for higher ideals than being directed on when and how to dress in what. These young men with blogs claiming they own fashion houses, while all they do is sell clichéd Maasai shukas, nettle me to the limit. They need to have their bottoms whipped thoroughly.
4. Men who carry warm water bottles Men with warm water bottles or those who sport scarves during the cold season are a disgrace. Our ancestors braved the cold and lived on raw meat through the Congolese forests. But here you are, claiming to be a man, yet you are swathed in scarves and gloves, and are always the first to buy an umbrella whenever it rains. Be a man, drop this sissy behaviour!
5. Male models All models are genetically narcissistic. Extremely conceited. Maybe, they were not loved enough as kids. Women can be models. Men have no business on catwalks or posing for cameras. It is ludicrous for a man to consider a routine of pushups and primping as a career. Men should invest in brains. Not looks.
@nyanchwani [email protected]