Month: June 2013

When a woman would rather be a widow than a divorcee

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If I try really hard to make sense of why a Kenyan woman would hire men to kill her husband, the father of her children, I think I might just come up with a blog post. Yes I might, so here goes…

When I first read the story in the dailies about one Faith Wairimu Maina, who confessed to attempting to kill her husband by hiring hit men through an acquaintance known as Mama Kevo, I took the chance to steal a few light moments. Come on, what is a story if you cannot borrow a few light moments from it? I thought to myself, Mama Kevo huh? Seriously, does it get any sobering than this? Every neighborhood in Nairobi has one mama Kevo,  mama Bryo, mama Junior, mama Boi, mama Precious…I could go on. Before this story, had it ever crossed your mind that a woman with such a harmless, trustworthy name could be approached to hire hit men? Me neither. Mama Kevo is Kevo’s mother and mothers don’t conspire to commit murder. Or do they?

Again I thought, now this Faith woman takes her wedding vows seriously. Instead of divorcing his marauding husband who beats her,  does not pay any bills, nor buy food for his children, instead of leaving him and getting on with her life since she has been doing everything single-handedly any way, she opts to kill him instead. Could this be because she promised to stay married to him till death do them part?

Light moments aside, I can easily see why she foolishly thought that killing him was the best way to deal with him.

I know that it takes a very strong woman to watch her husband leave their matrimonial home, a home they have built for 16 years, children and all, to be with another woman. Worse still, to watch her ex-husband live it up, move on so quickly as if you never existed in his life. It takes formidable strength, divine strength even, to watch this happen before your eyes and be able to keep it together. Could be that Faith Wairimu did not have it in her to endure that. She knew almost with certainty that her husband was going to leave her for the other woman. Maybe she was not strong enough to handle it. She could have preferred him dead instead.

Then again, financial security could have been the motivator. Being the irresponsible man that her husband was, maybe Faith thought that this was the only chance she had of getting her hands on his finances. She of course had children to feed and since he never bothered to take care of them before, chances are he would never have given them a thought once he was out of the door.

Maybe Faith acted out of ignorance; she might not have known that a man has a responsibility, by law, to take care of his children and that she could have used the courts to make sure he provided for his children. Maybe she knew he could get the courts to fight for her but was still not comfortable with having her husband parading another woman in front of her. Maybe she panicked. Maybe she preferred being labeled a widow than a divorcee. The tag ‘widow’ would elicit more sympathy than a ‘divorcee’ tag? Maybe?

Suffice to say, she made the wrong judgment and lucky for her husband, the ‘hired hit men’ put the kibosh on her poorly conceived plans.

To be a married woman, you have to lose some of your independence, even if it’s a teeny weeny bit. That is an inevitability. When a man and woman learn to depend on each other, the thin line between healthy dependency and losing yourself completely becomes blurry. What ailed Faith could be that, she lost herself completely to her marriage. She lost all sense of who she was and saw herself not as Faith, but entirely as John Muthee Guama’s wife. If John was to leave her to be with another woman, where does that leave Faith?

I suspect she had many sleepless nights where she tossed and turned and asked herself where she had gone wrong? How she would make him pay? How she was to provide for their children when their father could be less concerned?

She thought alright. She plotted and when dawn came, she gave mama Kevo a call (this mama Kevo woman though…!)  Faith could have reasoned that killing her husband would kill three birds with one stone; she would get rid of a man she had grown to despise and in a way, get her revenge; She would get financial security by way of inheritance; lastly, she would never have to suffer the humiliation of another affair, or have to see him remarry and create a new life, a new family, with another woman. I can’t have you, so no one else will, sorta thing. Life is interesting in a twisted way really.

I never underestimate the strength of a woman who says enough is enough and opts to walk away from a bad marriage. It cannot be an easy thing to walk away and let the man you wish could pay for so many sins get away ‘scot-free’. Some women would like to make him pay. You see him start his life all over again and you think of the wasted years, the children you have had with him, the life you have built together. He throws it all in your face and walks away without a glance back. It must sting.

Still, a woman should find it in her to let go and let him be.

Though relationships are not easy, women should always give love a chance. They should  get married with the mind to commit to the marriage till death do them part.

HOWEVER, what a woman should never EVER do is to forget who she is. When she does, and things go wrong, any woman could easily turn into Faith Wairimu Maina.

When I grow up, I want to be a ‘Mpango Wa Kando’

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A heated discussion about mistresses was underway on social media; about their idiocy, their lack of respect towards the sacred union of marriage, their inability to find themselves a man who would commit to them, their folly for thinking that a man could ever leave their wives for them, their desperation for love…The insults went on and on and on.

Then one lady chipped in with that one sentence: When I grow up, I want to be a MWK (Mpango wa Kando)!

First we need to get something out of the way: I am the douse-your-cheating-husband-in-kerosene-and-set-him-ablaze kind of woman. I don’t believe that infidelity is a mistake. It is a choice. You type ‘arguement’ instead of ‘argument’, now that is a mistake. A typo.  A man who has relations with one woman while married to another, makes that decision with a sound mind. He chooses to do that, marriage vows be damned. It’s truly that simple and the sooner women will take this to heart and stop making excuses for their cheating men, the better for all relationships. If you are committed to your marriage, you should demand for the same from your partner.

The reaction on social media was nothing new because we always react like that towards mistresses. We look at mistresses and sneer derogatorily, consoling ourselves that even though they sneak around with our men, he would never leave us for them, as if that should make us feel better?!  Like having an unfaithful husband is better than having no husband at all?!

Then again, does she really want your man to leave you for her? You think so? Really? Does she want to be married to him knowing that he is a two-timing son of a (insert the ‘b’ word)? Does she want your life; your hectic nine to five tending to the children, fighting baby weight and arguing over bills and investments and in-laws? THAT life?

Granted, some of them do. But some of them don’t really want your life. They are happy with what they are getting from him. They could even be feeling sorry for you and what you put yourself through.  For, though he is the one who cheats, you are the one who puts up with it. So yeah, you put yourself through all that.

Before initiating an affair, men know exactly what is at stake. They know exactly what they are doing. They know that their marriage could end if found out.  Make that a big IF, since they stupidly believe that there is no way, in heaven or hell that their affair will come to light. No way! Then it does. It always does. When that happens, they are almost always certain that you will forgive his ‘mistakes’ because ‘marriage is not a bed of roses’, and ’maisha ni kuvumiliana’. Soon, all will be forgotten, and he will go back to his wayward ways. After all, he is human and human is to error. Woman, try using the same lines when you are the one on the wrong and you will know why they say it’s a man’s world.

Being a MWK today is like a full time job, and a very lustrous one at that. Most of the men who keep a mistress go all out to sustain their flashy lifestyles because if he doesn’t, some other man will – he knows that. He also knows that while the mistress will find a replacement for him in a heartbeat, his wife is going nowhere – at least this is the message that repeat offenders get – that, since you vowed to stick it out for better or worse, you have no choice but to endure his ‘worst’ side.

As you dutifully put up with his antics in the name of ‘kuvumiliana’ the MWK gets her own car while you get to borrow his once in a while. She gets shopping sprees and trips abroad while you get curfews on when to be home and rationed finances to cater for household items with nothing or very little to spend on yourself. You also get the rappings on how the kids should be brought up, what to invest in, how you are a nag, a good for nothing etc, etc…

The more I thought about that statement, the more it appeared to me that this woman, this mpango wa kando, could be on to something. Truth is, marriage is not attractive anymore. Initially, it was what every woman wanted. But now, now I can understand a woman making such a statement. If being a MWK is promising women the happily ever after, then why should they get married?

As our young girls are growing up, they are observing these two women. One is a miserable wife, the other is a MWK who has it all figured out. If their married mothers are miserable they might not want to go through the same things she is going through.  Will you blame them when they choose to be someone’s side dish instead of getting married? They will surely get confused.

It’s up to us to make marriage the attractive respectable union it once was. We can do that or we will have to contend with our children opting to form facebook pages such as “Campus Divas looking for married rich men, with no strings attached.”

I strongly believe that since our society feeds so much from this one union between a man and his wife, working on it could be the one thing, the only thing even, that will turn everything around. A happy man and wife breed happy grounded children who grow up to emulate them and pass on the same values to their own spouses, children, colleagues and society at large.

Make marriage beautiful and see how our society will blossom. I believe it is that simple. What do you think?

In other news, baridi nayo!