There is a Swahili saying that goes ‘bahati ya mwenzio usilalie mlango wazi’. But it seems this week we are all going to sleep with our doors ajar if only to attract the luck that crawled into Akothe’s house.
Akothee’s wedding seems to have vindicated single mothers, shamed the toxic males, and given hope to the contemporary girl child. You see, a few men have recently declared themselves the patrons of the boychild on social media.
But instead of teaching their fellow men to be good husbands and responsible fathers, they focus on how they can bring down the single woman and evade responsibility by subjecting our children to DNA tests. They endlessly preach why a man should never date a woman with a child and poison the minds of other men who foolishly seem to be taking their advice.
Akothe’s wedding has therefore taken them by surprise. She has proved to them that a woman can get married not once, not twice but even five times if she so wishes. She has shown us that it is ok to walk out of a marriage if it is not working. For aeons the African woman has been shackled by tradition, religion, and patriarchy- literally, everything works against us! But how did we expect the laws to favour us if they were written by the men for the men? Does a cockroach receive a fair ruling when the jury comprises the chicken that feeds on it?
We were meant to be docile and submissive even if the man married 10 wives after us. We were supposed to worship them and feign stupidity to massage their ego. While they were allowed to entertain a plethora of women, we were conditioned to stay in the marriage, chained to one man with only death as the possible exit.
But we are no longer those women, we moved from that spot decades ago. We know it’s ok to walk out and start all over again. The man feeling intimidated now threatens us with phrases like ‘no one will marry a single mother’. You see for some women that first marriage was motivated by convenience, they couldn’t afford the rent alone and so they opted to move in with their hustler boyfriend to share the expenses.
For others, the love simply dwindled out and instead of cheating and coming back to the same house, they opted out. While divorce and single parenting are normal things in the West, in Kenya and most African countries we still treat it as some sort of flaw or inadequacy on the part of the woman. Let Akothe then be our role model – you can always start all over again.
Of course, we do not blame the men for our troubles, we own our own inadequacies and learn from them. But patriarchy will not allow the man to admit that they may also be at fault when a marriage fails.
I am beginning to think that perhaps FGM was introduced by men to avoid being blamed for failing to find the ‘bean’ during coitus. Since they do not want to appear as failures, they decided to nip it out and focus on mere thumping.
However, before we get ahead of ourselves and leave our hustling husbands, it is important to analyse the process that got Akothee from point A to point B. She did not simply jump from man A to the next, she worked on herself, made a coin or two, and raised her children in the process. She is not looking for a man to help her pay school fees or to take her to the Maldives.
If your aim is to find you a man to pay fees for your Kababa, then you will probably kiss a thousand more frogs. Work hard and get a man you can send to the kitchen to fetch you a glass of cold water. We are fighting patriarchy one man at a time!