Bottomline: His ‘riff raff’ extended family that continuously micromanages your marriage from what is being cooked in the kitchen to what is being served in the bedroom.
Marriage if very complicated in the Traditional African set up when you apply modern day mannerisms. The more you try shifting to modernity the more things remain the same hence you end up being frustrated bitterly walking away with a train of kids on your back thanks to your community husband and his ‘riff raff’ extended family that continuously micromanages your marriage from what is being cooked in the kitchen to what is being served in the bedroom.
The last time this term made international headlines was when Citizen TV news anchor Lilian Muli went berserk throwing tantrums at Shabana FC boss Jared Nevaton Ombogi all over social media accusing him of being a community husband thanks to his ‘promiscuity’ or is it having many women in his life before announcing she is single and back in the dating market in a long Instagram post full of ‘Kizungu Mingi na catwalk’, cat-walking English in short.
This clearly shows she hasn’t met the real community husbands of our generation. The day she will encounter a real community husband she will stop her vagrancy running back to Nevaton on her knees begging to be taken back since dealing with her version of a community husband is better than handling the real community husband with the following baggage;
Brother who never leaves; There is this brother who moved in three or four years ago, immediately after college yet he has refused to move out even after your husband secured him a Ksh 30,000 job through a longtime friend two months after his college course.
Insisting that he is still saving as he looks for a three bedroom house whose rent ranges between Ksh 5,000- Ksh 8,000 in the city, in short he is not boarding anytime soon. He never contributes anything towards the household budget. He has never bought salt or refilled the gas.
His habit of putting his feet on the sitting room’s table or your favorite sofa set as he complains how the stew isn’t tasty enough, has a lot of salt, your chapatis aren’t round enough as her mother’s and the tea has more water than milk ; such ‘compliments’ coming from a person who doesn’t have a girlfriend.
Knocking on your door in the wee morning hours back from his Friday drinking spree shouting your name continuously blabbering “Anne,Anne open my brothers house.” She keeps on reminding you that everything in that house belongs to his brother forgetting that you hustled together with that brother of his from a single room in Kangemi to your current four bedroom house in Lavington.
Every-time you have a minor disagreement over nonsensical issues like why he left his socks on the dining table he reminds you of how many cows ‘they’ allegedly herded to your parents house to secure your housewife services in the name of bride price. Furthermore this mongrel expects you to do his laundry, ‘change’ his diapers, wash his hands before and after meals as if he married you, NKT.
Slay Sister; Her campus slay queen sister visits every weekend without fail as she comes to collect shopping and pocket money. She signs in your house every Wednesday evening as soon as her weekly lectures are over only to sign out on Monday morning as you both leave for work, she is dropped off at the college main entrance.
She can’t wash dishes, clear the table after every meal, clean the house, assist you in preparing meals or even do her brother’s laundry yet there is a washing machine. Every time you ask for her help in performing general household duties she will give you that gazing top down look asking you “Were we married together” clearly communicating to you she was no part of your wedding give away.
Lying on the sofa-set all day as you are placed under Telenovela arrest walking around with the TV remote even visiting the washroom with it. She hides the remote whenever she goes to sleep ensuring you only watch what she wants.The only time you are friends is when your husband, her brother gives you money to visit the salon for hairstyle change,manicure and pedicure services.
The only way to get rid of her is asking Satan ‘Saitan’ to send a guy driving a Subaru living somewhere in Lang’ata to confuse her before placing her in the family way (make her pregnant) after which you will put her in your daily prayers so that the guy marries her thus leaving your house for good never to return again.
Battalion of Uncles; who regularly make him the chief guest in all funeral committees,dowry payment mobilization and clan fundraisers. His salary is committed to many clan undertakings putting a lot of strain to your family finances. All their expenditure revolves around his salary turning him to a zombie as they remotely control him thus prioritizing their needs whereas his family welfare comes last.
Your children school fees will always be paid in the last minute after you have made a lot of noise prompting him to pay up so that you shut up. Buying only the ‘necessary’ household shopping in small quantities a situation that occasionally culminates to the running out of matchsticks, sugar, cooking oil and salt before month end. This sort of arrangement is responsible for stagnation of upward financial mobility which has entrenched poverty in the society.
Trooping Aunts; are busy looking for a second wife thanks to your refusal of adding more kids each to be named after them and their husbands, his uncles. Before you were married they used to be bought ‘Kitenges’ and other assorted goodies by your husband every time he visited the countryside. Your entry into his life has complicated matters as they no longer get the assorted city goodies yet you have refused to give life to more than three children due to the current changing economic dynamics which they won’t understand no matter how you try to explain using both diagrams and illustrations.
This is viewed as a strategy (if you are from a different community) to suffocate the community’s numbers ahead of the next general elections hampering their already pregnant chances of clinching the Presidency. They will often lament how your work is just to fatten up eating his resources.
Shameless Cousins; who call daily asking for everything that crosses their minds from salt,sugar flour, dowry payment boost, rent arrears, school fees, money to treat a sick dog or buy nappier grass to feed some cow back at their rural home. They always believe your husband MUST help them all the time failure to which all the blame will be heaped on you for allegedly inciting him against them yet you weren’t there when they were suffering with him.
They will oftenly accuse you of using a combination of witchcraft,black magic, African Chemistry and Voodoo to blindfold their cousin as you have sat on a ‘Chapati’ before feeding it to him (when he refuses to help) thus controlling him like a puppet every time they meet during the annual December family gatherings forgetting you are a very spiritual woman with a fortified Roman Catholic background.
Flotilla of nephews and nieces; who are sent a week to the opening day to blackmail him every now and then by his extended family so that he writes a school fee cheque, gives pocket money and do some serious shopping as they go back to resume their academic sessions.
Failure to financially commit will lead to undertones of how arrogant he is after they sacrificed their resources as a family, clan and community for him to reach where he is today. “If it wasn’t for us right now he wouldn’t have gone to the city where he found that lady he lives (YOU) with who diverts all of his resources to their homestead and her relatives,” they will lament.
Clinging choice; Every man has this woman he was supposed to marry until another woman came in the line of fire ‘spoiling’ the arithmetic forcing the man to abdicate the commitment,retract implicating statements before making a tan(theta) U-turn towards the other woman whom she marries, this woman is you.
She will take advantage of the cosy relationship she enjoys with his family as she was the wife apparent before you brought about confusion. She will be pushed by his aunts,uncles,cousins and mother in law to increase her efforts in taking back what was rightfully hers by snatching him away from you thus she calls daily pretending she is troubled and only he can sort her out if they meet urgently.
Possessive Mother in law; who hates you for stealing her favorite son whom she hasn’t let go and isn’t willing to let go anytime soon thus she will always pick fights for no good reason. Stating how his son has lost a lot of weight thanks to your poor kitchen skills which has lowered his productivity in the bedroom yet it is obvious from his #TBT photos you have over performed to the extent his close friends think you are a magician after cleaning him thoroughly.
Indecisive Father in law; who is never in control of anything thus fence sitting allowing nature to take its course. He never intervenes when you are under siege as long as his wife has said North its North even when in actual sense its South. He only calls his son when he needs money to quench his booze thirst.
Panel of Village elders; burdening him with community projects from drilling boreholes, tree planting, gabion building, title deed processing Et al. Failure to engineer these projects will be seen as disrespect to elders thus he will be cursed before being banished from the community leaving him with no option but toeing the line.
Swarming village-mates; who expect him to pay school fees for every child who joins a national school or proceeds to any institution of higher learning be it a college or university. They assume this is his responsibility as he owes the village after they fund-raised for him when he joined university. Were it not for the ‘Harambee’ fundraiser he would have seen everything university on ViuSasa.