The talk of masculinity crisis has been making rounds for quite some time now. Dead Beat Kenya has only come to remind us how irresponsible man has become. In the Christian circles where men are not allowed to sleep around and sire “illegitimate babies”, we have another sort of deadbeat men, the kind who apparently refuse to commit, who refuse to grow up, and chose to remain faithful godly bachelors. They neglect their Christian sisters who end finding no Godly men to marry, and turn to unbelievers who apparently end up breaking their hearts (and in that sense, I have numerously been accused of being a deadbeat Christian man).
Women all over will tell you there are no men left in this world.
Last week we marked the International Youth Day, and the theme this year was mental health. Mental health also happens to be one of the issues I really care about (the other being children welfare). The day was marked in a week that, locally, we all (or at least those of us who read the story) had an opinion on Ms. Victoria Muchiri’s suicide, being one of the most commented articles on the Daily Nation. In case you did not read the story, Ms. Muchiri, a 22 year old student at Ohio State University got into the track of an approaching train and made no attempt to escape from being struck. She died on the spot in a grisly scene.
By Kariuki Dave
Now that Father’s Day is here, we are all obligated to honour that special old man in our lives whose efforts are least appreciated by the society we have today. Father’s Day is one of the little known international days. That is not my concern for now though. I am more concerned about those of us who were brought up by single mothers. Who do we salute on this day? You see, I belong to this group of people who, for one reason or another, didn’t get to grow up in a household with a father figure. Some of us had fathers who were just there to be seen, not to be heard nor felt, but we are here anyway like the rest and we do have a story to tell about those who took up the challenge and played the father’s role in our upbringing. My grandmother (God bless her soul) happens to be that person to me.
By Mwangi wa Njihia
In the beginning was man. Not the plurality of humankind but the biological man. And the man was an undisputed social head. And the society became patriarchal. And men have dominated the women ever since. That was until some few years ago when women subtly cracked male domination. The women then delivered a full punch through an effort called female emancipation. And with that, women demanded equal status to men. And the ‘masculine’ woman was given life. But the man started losing ‘form’. Things have never been the same since.
By Gertrude Nyenyeshi
From the plains of Timbuktu to the waters of Limpopo. From the city of Ougadougou to the King Mswati III celebrations down South. From the Juju man village in Nigeria to the boys chasing chicken in Kakamega, when an African dances, a true genuine African, everything else must come to a halt. Whether you were pounding fufu or slaughtering a goat or in the middle of a juju ceremony, an African dance will have you stop whatever…and join in.
Any African event will never miss a true African dancer. By African event, I do not mean a formal event where you have to be dressed to impress and behave as if you bought shares from a company named Stay Classy. I also do not mean an event influenced by the West where the music and the dance symbolize nothing of African origin. Neither do I mean an event where there is no music, definitely not that. So how do you recognize an African event? Allow me, friends, to take my sweet time and narrate that to you.
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By Alice Adalla
Valentine’s Day is here again. It’s ‘the season of love’, and for those of us who are single, it may just mean another Valentine’s alone. To some of us, the day is a cruel reminder of how lonely we are, and we wish that by some form of magic, we would be ferried to wonderland like the little Alice and come back when it is all over. But now, that won’t happen, right? We are just going to have to live through it. But how do we live, not only through this Valentine’s, but for the rest of our lives as singles and even beyond. This is my resolution this Valentine’s as a single lady.
By Okaka Felix
2009 was a year of firsts.
It was the first ever Valentine’s Day that caught me with a Tortoise si Toto. Let it be well noted that by then I was on girlfriend number 3. Maybe, just maybe, I was a serial dater. 2009 was also the year I broke my tradition of courting a desktop girlfriend. You see, research by Synovate, Infotrak et al has shown that I have always had an affinity for laptops. I swear it was true love.
By Ken Mwirigi
It was the first Valentine’s Day I was spending with a person. I was relatively new in this relationship business, so the fears and jitters I had were real. I could not think of ways of coming up with a perfect surprise, at least to impress the person. The furthest I had gone in the ‘treating’ business was occasionally throwing in ‘smokie chinjaz’ when we took a stroll to the Stage to procure ka-quarter ka supper. You see, we had a lot in common. We played the same game, which gives you an idea on how we met. Unlike Tedd Mosby, I did not have a story to tell. I just saw the fundamendoz while on the pitch and fisi mode kicked in. Two days and we were locked. Again, back then, I was not like the current me. Closed.
I have a confession. I am 24 years old, and I’ve never had a Valentine. Now, I could say it’s because I’ve turned down each of the hundreds of men fighting over me at my doorstep because of my stunning beauty and womanly wiles. But for the simple reason that I don’t believe in Valentine’s, but that would be a blatant lie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ugly, at least I hope not. I have had my fair share of catcalls from construction workers when I wear my figure hugging (read ‘uncomfortably tight’) dress, and I have had my fair share of love letters from preschoolers and high schoolers alike. You know, the ones written in red, with a touch of perfume and totally irrelevant song dedications under the title ‘Dedix’.
By Barasa Ongeti
The mascot associated with love and Valentine’s Day is Cupid. That short chubby fellow who flies around with a bow and an arrow. Have you ever posed and thought about that for a moment? A short chubby fellow holding a WEAPON. Not a rose flower, not a bottle of wine. A weapon. This tells you just how much pain is associated with the day.
By Wanjiru Kihusa
Valentine’s Day is around the corner. I can already hear the collective groan from the men. I know how hard it is on you. I do. It’s just after January, the never-ending 60 day month that constantly reminds you of the poor financial decisions you made in December. Finally it’s over. February is here, bringing so much relief from the stress of January. An oasis in the desert. And now your girl wants flowers, chocolate and a fancy dinner in a fancy restaurant! I know you mean well but sometimes you forget. I understand. The day gets so busy and you don’t realize how much you’ve messed up until you get home and get that sour look from your wife. So today I’m going to cut you some slack, give you a break. Today, let me speak to the ladies.
Writer chooses to remain anonymous.
Every year this week since I graduated from high school, I make a promise to myself to date or have a meaningful relationship with someone. And every year, I don’t. Somewhat.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t dated. I have had some “satisfying” relationships, but not many last till Valentine’s Day. It’s some coincidence I have never understood. In high school, it was an unwritten rule that you had to put some effort into Valentine’s Day by doing something for a girl in a school across the valley. I wrote x-rated letters because the school system allowed us to remain anonymous. It was fun.