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The women who love cooking for hubby


The women who love cooking for hubby [Courtesy, Files, Standard]

Times are changing fast, and now, what used to be common in African society - wives tending to their husbands is becoming a rarity. So when content creator Sueh Owino began to showcase her mornings prepping hearty breakfasts and evenings getting together dinners for her husband, people's antennas went up.

Sueh has continued to grow on TikTok, showing off her ever-evolving recipes - from Swahili dishes to baked goods. She admittedly spoils her husband with delicacies every day of the week. Her videos are often chopped down to 30-second and one minute clips, where the dotting wife shows the cooking process, the plating up and serving the goodies for her beau. She has gathered an impressive two million likes on the app, and 95,000 followers and growing.

"I started content creation in 2021, but I became more consistent towards the end of last year," Sueh says on a phone interview.

"I have a passion for documenting my day," she notes on her exploration of social media, and how she started showcasing the meals she would prepare her man.

She adds: "My husband loves lots of different meals, but we especially love sharing something tasty in a sinia (platter)."

The statement takes us back to some of her most intriguing videos that are well liked on TikTok - like when she prepares a roasted goat leg served over pilau and kachumbari. In one particular clip, she serves the meal on a big platter, which she and her husband share. And they dig in Swahili-style, using their hands to scoop up the titbits. She repeats the similar sinia style serving in another instance when the couple have their friends over for pilau.

Cooking is not all that Sueh does; she irons his clothes and polishes his shoes while he gets ready to leave for work in the morning. Often, the videos of her helping him are captioned with lovey-dovey words to encourage him as he heads out for the day.

Sueh's videos have been met with lots of internet fan-love, but there have also been naysayers. As her TikTok uploads gained more attention, some critics posted comments ridiculing the idea of service to one's significant other.

"I handled the haters without handling them. I had to continue with my vision and passion," Sueh says, adding that cooking for and helping her husband with everything he needs is one of the ways she shows her love and appreciation for him.

She adds: "Everyone has their own different dynamics in their relationship. What works for me is doing those things for my husband. I love it and it makes me so happy."

Another popular couple that embraces traditional gender roles is that of the musician Guardian Angel and his wife Esther Musila.

Esther says that she loves to get her beau everything he needs from the start of his day.

"I make breakfast, which would normally consist of tea and bread, ngwacii or nduma. My husband does not fancy things like sausages, so it is a simple breakfast," Esther says, noting that she and Guardian spend a lot of time together as she works from home.

"If we are not leaving the house I will make lunch. He likes to eat rice and chicken, or beef, spaghetti and minced meat. For dinner he loves his ugali and kienyeji mboga. Ugali has to be there almost every day."

Esther says that once in a while, he will cook for her too.

"It is different than it was with any ex partners because I have worked from home ever since I met my husband. With my previous relationships, I worked a nine to five and had a house manager who made the meals.

She credits their close friendship and intensely loved up relationship for all the extra things she does.

"We are the best of friends and we enjoy each other's company. Every day is special for us so we make the most out of it. I think by me being respectful, supportive and submissive makes our relationship flourish."

Just like Sueh, Esther relates with the statement 'to each his own.'

"I cannot speak for other women, but I guess everyone has their way of handling their relationships. I have seen the way my husband appreciates my efforts to make sure our lives are organised," she says.

She adds: "Like they say, a man can build a house, but a woman makes it a home. When a woman fills their home with love and prayer, it becomes a place you always want to be in."

Esther too loves doing those things for her husband, noting she also does the laundry and cleans wholeheartedly.

She also helps him pick outfits for special occasions.

There has been a major shift and more women are prioritising their careers - but one thing is certain, many African countries still frown upon the ladies having someone else cook for their husband.

It is not just in Kenya where an older woman will scold you for letting the househelp make the meals.

While many stay-at-home wives and even working wives do not mind cooking for their husbands, the debate still rages on as to whether it is "just a thing of the past" or a great way to show your partner that you care.

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