All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.â€
The above opening to Leo Tolstoyâ€™s tome, Anna Karenina, is unarguably the best first-line in any work of literature. Itâ€™s like Tolstoy was talking about Kenyan marriages and relationships in the United States in the 21st century.
Happy marriages in the Diaspora are unions made in heaven. And unhappy marriages and relationships are hatched in hell. They are nightmares. And more men are always on the wrong end of the stick than women. Kenyan men are perhaps the most depressed immigrants in America.
Kenyan men in the Diaspora pretty much differ on everything, from politics to sports. But on the tragedy of what a Kenyan woman has become, Kenyan men, whether in Alaska or Nebraska, are in agreement; we have a huge problem. Kenyan women have come out as dangerous, malicious and vengeful and our men are giving up on them.
As things stand, more and more Kenyan women are ending up single in their 30s, or marrying West African men. But even other African men do found Kenyan women to be too aggressive in a bad way. Some white men who have picked on the wrong Kenyan woman have rued the day their lust got the better of their judgement. Kenyan women are gradually gaining an unspoken pariah status.
For starters, their ambition is seen as destructive and their love for money is repulsive and biblically disapproved. Many are taking forever to settle down. Those who are brought in by their husbands after they (their husbands) get citizenship, arrive here as innocent, obedient wives. A nursing diploma down the line, a job and a car later and they grow horns.
Itâ€™s worse if the husband happens to be doing a lowly job. The contempt of their previously provincial wives multiply tenfold, and soon, a family is rocked with infidelity, a separation, or divorce. In the American set-up, a divorce or a separation is bound to hurt the man more than the woman. Most men usually see all their savings go up in smoke due to their wivesâ€™ indiscretions. There have been suicides related to marital stress and depression. And it seems to be getting worse.
What is unsettling is the cold, uncaring fashion and usually unforgiving nature with which the women treat their husbands once things turn sour. Heartless does not even begin to explain their actions. The laws in America empower and protect women. And trust a Kenyan to take advantage. Most men have learnt rather bitterly that their wives are cheating on them and there is nothing they can do. Once they break up, the women seem to move on as if they have done nothing.
Whether it is our capitalistic set-up as a country or the fact that we sold our values to the devil in 1963, it is a sorry state of affairs. Indeed, most Kenyan women say that it is upon the Kenyan men to style up and upgrade their game. But traditionally, women scarcely ever appreciate the sacrifices men make in order to put food on the table. When a man brings his wife to America, his noble hope is that once she is able to get a job, they will invest together, with the man as the head of the family.
But once the woman touches her money, it becomes hers. And the man now has to feed and provide for the family. Kenyan women want equality the American way, but when it comes to bills, they fish out their worst Kenyan habits. Good Lord! What is it with a Kenyan woman and her money
Like seriously, can the First Lady address this issue If you want to see the face of the devil, ask a Kenyan woman about her finances. So, Kenyan men over here have become philosophers. If you ask them, they will tell you not to bother bringing your wife from Kenya if you are married, and if you are not, theyâ€™ll advise you not to marry a Kenyan woman who has lived in America for more than three years.
But seriously, something has to give. Let us all say a prayer for our women abroad. Pray that their hearts change to be able to forgive and love. Pray that they remain humble, in wealth and poverty. Pray that they love, obey and submit to their husbands. Is this really too much to ask
By Silas Nyanchwani | @nyanchwani | firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published on SDE.co.ke