Avoiding poverty is paramount in this country. Being poor is not an option you can afford. Here, being mistaken for a beggar is how a poor man is greeted. This is why I can empathize with women who use their assets to fulfill their needs. You know what I mean.
During my younger days, I embraced what philosophers call moral absolutism, seeing everything in simple terms of right or wrong (mostly wrong). I viewed the world in black and white, but now I understand that it’s more complex, with countless shades of grey. Again, you know what I mean.
As I reminisce about my past and the cold, unforgiving weather of Nairobi, I find myself in Mombasa, reveling in the nightlife like a carefree individual. However, my attention is drawn to a particular archetype that seems to exist in the collective consciousness of our nation—the Kenyan man.
During a party, I notice that every man is wearing a wedding ring, and yet, the attractive young women around them don’t seem to mind. These ladies seem amused and entertained by the company of well-educated men with MBAs, who may be married but available (MBAs—Married But Available). It appears they’re not discussing taxes with these women; in fact, I doubt those women even file tax returns. So, why am I bothered by someone else’s predicament?
In such situations, I prefer to rely on my basic instincts, which tell me one thing: avoid dating gold-diggers. They are only after your money. Despite the societal progress made since the 1995 Beijing Conference, I must admit that I haven’t fully shed my old ways. I might consider myself progressive-ish, but not to the extent that it compromises my vulnerabilities.
Speaking of gold-digging, we often criticize women for leveraging their physical attributes, like their Nyash (rear end), to get ahead, but have we examined the behavior of men?
Men claim to have a clean slate, but in reality, they can be true scavengers and gold-diggers. I recently came across a book titled ‘I Love Dollars’ by Zhu Wen, a young electrical engineer documenting China’s consumerism and pursuit of a comfortable life. Interestingly, this resonates with the Kenyan men of the 21st century, often referred to as having the ‘baby-boy syndrome.’
We, men, love to complain about the lack of suitable wife materials in today’s society, but truthfully, men are even more materialistic than women. Men of all types—laggards and intellectuals alike—are easily swayed by material possessions, as Zhu captures in his book:
“…keep the dollars flying at me and inspiration will never dry up; poverty is far more corrupting than money. I respect my forebears, but those long-suffering earlier generations of writers who weren’t interested in money or sleeping with more than a dozen women doomed themselves to mediocrity…my generation is different: greedy for everything, everywhere, smashing, grabbing, swearing.”
There is a term often thrown around—’adding value.’ However, it seems to be a euphemism for elevating oneself above others. This power dynamic is also prevalent in male relationships, where the least financially secure friend is often left out or ignored.
Male relationships can sometimes resemble a gangster state, governed by gangster economics. It becomes difficult to maintain authentic friendships when money becomes the driving force behind them.
Furthermore, the behavior of men around rich individuals is almost comical, as they become sycophantic and eager to please. They would readily forsake their masculinity for the opportunity to associate with a wealthy man.
In Nairobi, the focus on money is pervasive and all-encompassing. It affects both those who have it and those who don’t. Men, in particular, seem to have sold their souls for money, only to find that they are the ones paying the price. Poverty, as Zhu said, is far more corrupting than money.
So, when men search for “wife material,” it often stems from their materialistic inclinations. It’s a reflection of our society’s obsession with money and the resulting consequences.