How to love an African Man (Satire)
Forget this whole nonsense of red flowers, red clothes and underwear, a red hat and handbag, Valentine cards and walking hand in hand in the streetlights of Nairobi. Do you love an African man? Then stop gazing at him directly. Look away, when he talks to you, preferably at the floor. That is the first sign of African love. True love, the African way demands deep sacrifices that go beyond artificial show, like wearing red high heels or leggings.
Ladies, if you truly love your husband, then this is the time to get him a second wife. Allow him not just to marry but get out of your way and give him your sister or cousin or best girlfriend. Jealousy shows a selfishness and lack of true love for your partner. A generous woman holds the family together and shares her man’s love with other women.
Deeper African love involves allowing your husband to bring home a girlfriend. Show him total love by warming some bathing water for his “guest”, preparing for them a delicious meal and allowing them to use your bedroom for the night as you sleep in the kitchen.
A woman, who truly loves her man, must bear him as many children as possible. 11 to 13 children will do. A woman who has less than five children is uncaring and denies the man the ability to continue his lineage. She has no iota of love in her.
According to psychologists, red in Africa is generally associated with mourning and death. So for heaven’s sake, avoid wearing red clothes by all means. It portrays you as a witch thirsting for blood. It only shows how much you hate your man and how you wish him early death so you can inherit his property. Red is the bearer of bad news and may cause death in the family, a road accident or block your man’s promotion.
If you have never been beaten by your husband, all we can say is; be warned as this is a clear sign that he does not love you at all. You should indeed do the rightful thing expected from a loving wife; scream, beg him to stop, and of course thank him for beating you by warming his bath water and making him a nice hot ugali or sour porridge.
In the old traditional days women who had been beaten and their arms broken were forced to return to their husbands on the same day with gifts for their husbands. That was true love anchored on forgiveness. There were no grudges, hardly any divorce. Wife beating in certain communities in Kenya remains a cultural love practice that is still highly valued and revered for its romantic nature.
Several women favour beating by their husbands as an act of love.
Mary Agatha 55, a Primary School teacher is a married mother with four children. Agatha’s sentiments are rather strong on the fact that a woman must be beaten up as a proof of love. She concurs with the local culture that encourages wife beating. “How can my husband prove that he loves me if he does not beat me? A woman who has never been beaten by her husband is wasting her time. She will never really know what true love means. It is also really nice to be beaten because my husband always buys me gifts after beating me. I sometimes provoke him to beat me up so that I can have my gifts! Some women are so stupid that they do not even allow their husbands to slap them,” says Agatha. “When will they ever get loved?” She pauses.
Dowry, the true sign of love
When a man loves a woman, he pays her parents dowry. The more he loves her, the more cows he takes to her parents’ home. The fewer and thinner the cows, the less dosage of love the man has for his wife. But at times a woman may love a poor man. To demonstrate her love for him, love may force her to elope with her darling in the heart of the night or on her way to the river. That is true love.
A young man may also kidnap the love of his life when he has no dowry. This make’s the girl’s parents very happy since their daughter has found true love.
Make your husband a big ugali that he cannot finish. As everyone knows, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Avoid snacks like rice and green grams as such meals put an African man off. Even if you make him some rice, make an even bigger plate of ugali and serve him. Make sure you serve him a huge bowl of sweet potatoes and a full flask of tea after his main meal.
Ask no questions
Shouting at your husband in front of his friends is typical of a woman who is not in love. True African love means asking no questions and smiling even when things are wrong. Even where you are more intelligent than your lover, act like you do not know anything. Being a fool to give your husband greater glory is love beyond measure.
When you truly love your man, you cannot deny him his conjugal rights no matter how many times he asks. True love has no calendar or time.
Going out for a dance or an evening out is definitely out of the question. As a woman you are supposed to show your love by staying at home and cooking for the children. Never ask your man where he has come from, no matter how many days he has been away, or whatever time of the night he knocks on the door. What love is that to let other men hold you on the dance floor, tightly, tightly! Going out in a women’s group popularly known as girls’ night out or “ladies night” is total nonsense. It is only women who hate their men and want to take over households who meet in public pubs to gossip and finish their men.
African men do not appreciate miniskirts unless worn by Koinange Street Women. Wear a decent dress or a long skirt far below the elbow.
When you love a man, do not walk with him side by side. Show your love by walking behind him.
Love your husband’s mother with all your heart and your entire mind and all your soul. How can you love a man, without first loving his mother?
If you love your man at all, avoid high heels especially the red ones. No man wants his wife to look like a horse. It is not only embarrassing but disgraceful. Allow your man to go out for his beer or traditional Busaa or Chang’aa with his friends or to go watch football at the local shopping centre and wait for him at home with a jug of brown sour millet porridge.
When your husband is a night runner, learn the game very fast so that you show solidarity with him. Total commitment and loyalty means going out for those nightly rides on the back of hippopotamuses and leopards. True love means you do not talk about the nocturnal activities or else the love will grow cold.
Do not visit your partner at his place of work or call him during office hours. True love means if you did not ask in the morning, then wait until he comes home. Tell him how tired he is after working so hard, massage his feet, feed him and only when his tummy is extended from overeating can you make your demands.
So are you ready to love an African man? Get set. Replace candle lit dinners with warm firewood, don’t play new music from a cassette; instead sing or chant his praises. Sing to him about his sexual prowess and how great a hunter he once was. Sing praises for his wisdom and knowledge and for his seductive mastery in adding more wives to the home. Burn those red clothes and other red items that make you look like a desperate witch. The demands are high before you enjoy the true love of an African man.
Copyright Omwa Ombara 2012.
Margaret Jane was feeling very lonely. She wanted to die rather than live in this cruel, heartless, unlucky world. Both her female and male friends had rejected her. Every man she had dated had abandoned her. It was true she had gone overboard. Once she had dated a man for one week, she would ask them to marry her. Her married friends were cold to her since she had asked their husbands to marry her as a second or third wife . Men gossiped as much as women and word had gone round. She had become the laughing stock of Nairobi City, with men teasing each other with the words, “will you marry me?” and laughing loudly wherever she passed. They kept telling her they would get back to her after the proposal. But she never heard from them again. Most of their phones were either switched off or diverted to a woman, laughing cheekily at the other end. Friends and family no longer invited her for functions. Her visits to Pastor Ogjibani prayers at Nyayo Stadium had not yielded any fruits. She was frustrated to a point of no return. What did a man want?
What did they want her to do? She wished they could fit into her shoes to know how she felt. At 50, an MBA degree holder and a financial analyst with a leading bank in the country, she had reached the peak of her career. Yet her posh huge home in Gigiri, her Imprezza, her DSTv and every luxurious item in her home had not filled the yearning in her heart. To have a man to love and to hold. She had met Dan Mara, a young pilot with an international airline while attending a world conferences in the Netherlands. He had shown an interest in her, raising her hopes for a big wedding. The relationship had gone well that week and he had promised to buy her an aeroplane. Dan Mara had promised to come to Kenya in one month. They would take the new found relationship to the next level.
She looked at her four German Shepherd dogs and six Persian cats playing lovingly around her. She had bought them rather expensively and their meals cost her upto Kshs150,000 a month. But this was nothing compared to the Kshs 1.5 million she earned every month.
Initially she had loved her pets and talked to them daily, took them for a walk and ensured they visited the Veterinary Clinic next to the UN offices regularly. But none of her boyfriends had loved her pets and one had complained that she loved one of her cat Doughnut more than she loved him. Doughnut seemed jealous of her boyfriends and would sit on her laps, everytime she had a male guest. Margaret Jane walked around her huge quiet house, desolate. She went into her shoe room and stared at her 200 pairs of shoes. She often went to the shoe room and tried one pair of shoe after the other. It excited her. But today not even trying her new pair of high heels she had bought in the Netherlands brought her any joy. Netherlands had sad memories. She had lost her chance to get a husband at the Schippol Airport. Dan Mara had seen her off to the Departures Lounge and kissed her goodbye, promising to be with her in Kenya after a month. But after the kiss, she raised her voice at Dan Mara and asked him, “will you marry me?” “What?” Dan Mara had stopped dead in his track, surprised at this sudden proposal. “We have only known each other for a week. It would be inappropriate at this point.” Margaret Jane knew she was behaving badly, but something seemed to drive her on. She insisted, her voice getting louder. “Haven’t you heard of love at first sight?” She taunted him. “Why do you need time? Marry me now. Marry me!” Her desperate high pitched voice seemed to attract other passengers who milled around. He had suddenly turned and walked away, never turning back.
Two months had passed since her trip from the Netherlands and not a word from Dan Mara. It was as if he had changed his telephone lines. She had made several inquiries through various agents at the KLM and Kenya Airways offices but no one seemed to have even heard the name. Dan Mara, she had loved him very much, even if she had known him for only one week. Why had he refused to marry her? When Doughnut walked into the room and rubbed herself against her feet, Margaret Jane kicked her so hard that she mewed loudly in a terrified, surprised voice and ran out. After a few minutes, her cat donut was back in the room. She looked at Dan Mara sadly then rubbed her feet against her mistress. Feeling guilty and unfair to the cat, Margaret Jane picked the cat, stroked it lovingly and told Doughnut,” marry me, pussy cat. Humans don’t love me. Marry me!” “Meow.” Doughnut replied, snugging closer to her new ‘husband’ Margaret Jane.
Sarah had always had thin legs but she had never thought her man would dump her for her legs. She was aware that her legs were very thin but she loved them and had never equated them with a mosquito. So it came as a shock to her that Freddie, her love did not love her legs at all. They had dated for the last six months and he had never mentioned her beloved legs at all. How could a man claim to love you and hate some parts of your body? She was slim and tall and had a small frame when she met him, yet that had not stopped her from loving him. Now she was expecting his baby. What was she going to do? Deep down in her heart, she knew he still loved her. Where had this ill wind come from and carried Freddie’s love for her in a totally different direction? Whirlwinds came fast and furious and carried everything along its path, left a wave of destruction behind. How come no one had ever told her that love was a whirlwind?
Sarah could not remember exactly when Freddie started hating her legs. But she did recall it had all started with the visit home to his parents in Saola Village up the mountains. Sarah was already 33 and still in search of a husband when she met Freddie, 47, a Banker at her friend Jerusa’s Birthday Party in Eastleigh Section Three. Freddie looked into her eyes during dinner and shouted in front of everybody, “I don’t know you much Lady Sarah, but I am going to marry you!” Everyone at the party had been embarassed for a minute. Then everyone burst out laughing. Sarah, a Secretary with a Law Firm was amused too and took it as a joke, bust she soon realised he was serious. He wanted her to meet his mother.
“I know mum. She loves weddings. She has been nagging me to marry, so she will be quite excited to meet you,” Freddie had said, his dark eyes shining in joy. No one had proposed to Sarah all her life and she decided to grasp this opportunity for a husband with both arms. Men had come and gone in her past but none had even joked about wanting to marry her.
The visit home had been pathetic. Freddie’s mother and her four huge, tall, plump sisters had burst out laughing, the moment she arrived. It was not the usual laughter, it was evil and taunting…laughter that did not come from the heart. “Is this the woman you want to marry?” Freddie’s mother had asked him sadly, contemptuously. “Yes, this is Sarah, a beautiful lady with a wonderful heart,” Freddie said happily.
Then Freddie’s aunt Rita had summed it all up. “No, no, no. What joke is this, Fred? This girl cannot fit into this home. Look at her mosquito legs. Her legs do not deserve to walk in this important home. You cannot marry her. You will have sickly children with very thin legs and you do know that our family is endowed with nice, plump, healthy bodies.” Sarah looked between Freddie’s aunts and his mother and back to Freddie. Freddie looked down, never saying a word as the aunts taunted her.
They had left immediately without even taking lunch. The six-hour journey back to the city was quiet with no one saying anything or eating any food along the way. Usually, they would have gone to his place. He dropped her at her house in Buru Buru Phase Four as he headed to his house in Fedha Estate. “I will call you!” Was all he said.
Three months later and he had not called. He did not pick her calls either. His friends had gone out of circulation. But she still hoped. That one day he would show up at her door, with the beautiful flowers he used to bring her. She knew he would show up with her favourite red wine. Love did not just disappear into the blues, without a reason. Surely, her mosquito legs could not kill the love between her and Freddie. She still loved him. She knew he loved her too…despite her small legs.