Stories we Tell Ourselves

Yes, there are still ‘husband material’ bachelors in Kenya

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I am writing in response to Karimi Gatimi’s (Wife speak) friend’s quip that they are no longer any bachelors worth turning into husbands in Kenya. Girl child empowerment and boy child neglect aside, I’d like to register my disappointment at her stereotypical assertion which, unfortunately, is shared by a majority of the womenfolk in the cities and towns.

These ‘husband material’ bachelors are everywhere… the casual labourer at the construction site, the ‘mahindi  choma’  guy, the mandazi seller, the yuppie who has struggled to acquire a  blue Subaru only to be dissed by the likes of Njoki Chege… the list is endless.

These are guys whose parents struggled to give them their all; food, shelter, clothing, love and whatever level of education they could afford. Most importantly, they inculcated in them virtues  like honesty and hard work such that they choose to do these lowly, despised menial jobs instead of using shortcuts to riches and a flamboyant lifestyle. Me thinks this is how they would also like to raise their kids.

Perhaps, part of the reason as to why single women are finding it hard to find partners is because of their romanticised, through-Western-prisms, ideals of what a husband is and is supposed to do. In no particular order: chocolate, flowers, cooking for her… big car, big house, exotic travels… c’mon, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

As long as our society continues to define success by material wealth, then these single women will continue wailing at the lack of ‘husband material’ bachelors. Meanwhile, the casual labourer guy at the construction site will get a wife from ‘shags’ who will motivate him to  graduate to a ‘fundi’, then into a contractor and a real estate magnate.

Meanwhile, Miss Independent who snubbed the casual labourer ten years ago- she stared at his muddy shoes in disgust and shrivelled his ego- is desperate. Consequently, her aunties have set up a committee to find her a husband. Any husband. Or at the very least, she should get a child, they say.

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