- I evaluated all the sins done to men to isolate tangible issues that can form the theme of the upcoming conference.
- To get a background of male problems, I did a little research.
Last week I got philosophical about men’s perceived suppression. This came in the run-up to the 2023 men’s conference scheduled for February 14.
I evaluated all the sins done to men to isolate tangible issues that can form the theme of the upcoming conference.
To get a background of male problems, I did a little research.
I interviewed people and learnt that many guys are silently having it rough with the women in their lives.
The most common off-the-cuff remark I got everywhere was: “Hujui jamaa wanaundwa siku hizi (You don’t know men are nowadays beaten by women)!”
In addition to the occasional bashing by their memsahibs, guys are likely to live shorter lives than women.
This is because men take bigger risks, work more dangerous jobs and drink and smoke more.
I discovered that men only go to hospitals as a last resort after playing it tough with medical conditions.
At some point in my fact-finding assignment, I made a mental note to see a doctor about my two underlying conditions tonsillitis and laryngitis.
For five years, I have been suppressing these conditions with spirits, wines and beers mixed in dangerous portions that are unknown to the art of mixology.
As a legend, I know that life has been difficult for men since the era of our hominid precursors.
It was not any better for males of our earlier cousins Homo erectus, Homo habilis and the entire chain of ancestors.
The males of these forefathers led risky lives. They fought rival bands of their kind, hunted dangerous animals and killed each other over women with sticks and stones.
Early death is a family thing that runs in the blood of all males to the present day.
So, at my earliest appearance at the Gachuiri beer Garden in Uthiru, I put my findings to public participation.
In addition to the Big Four of Gachoroge, Cobra, Rasta and Mandevu, nearly all men in the establishment followed my argument keenly.
As usual, I introduced myself as the Kenyan Legend who only fears God, hot porridge and the DNA home testing kits that have landed in Kenya.
The knowledge of who has fathered whom will profoundly shake Kenyan relations.
I reminded everybody that I am one of the most learned men in Kenya.
“This is because I have read P.M Kareithi’s Kaburi Bila Msalaba, Rebecca Nadwa’s Ngamia Mpole and the entire Juha Kalulu comic strip. Currently, I am reading Ben Mtobwa’s Dar es Salaam Usiku.”
As I put the male fantasist streak in perspective, eager buyers ensured that my tonsillitis and laryngitis were thoroughly suppressed.
For a moment I nearly forgot that we were in January due to their enthusiasm for taking care of me.
“So, gentlemen, as we look for the theme for this year’s men’s conference let us bear in mind that our fate to lead difficult lives is inscribed in our DNA; it is part of being male,” I concluded.
A young man who looked like an argument wondered why I had doomed all men.
“Are you suggesting that we simply resign our fate to hormones and let everything kill us without a fight?” he asked.
“It is impossible to pass a law on the hormone testosterone, and what it drives men to do, but at least we can understand ourselves,” I told him.
Gachoroge agreed with me that the world was changing too rapidly to the comfort of many men.
“Guys, we are slow in character development. We must accept global transformations that have redefined gender roles with women taking centre stage and eroding a man’s position in family and community affairs,” he said.
Rasta chipped in that indeed this is what is killing men. “Hapo umeweza (you have nailed it),” he told Gachoroge. “We have boxed ourselves in a corner of denial gentlemen.”
After Rasta’s diagnosis, the young man, made a keen observation.
“Anecdotes in public domain put Kenyan men at extreme risk of taking their own lives or dying from a host of stress-related medical conditions,” he said.
The young man called for mending fences between men and women.
“By some national conspiracy of silence, we don’t talk about the death of men from attacks by women when they fail to live to expectations,” he said.
I asked if anyone in the pub was regularly beaten by his wife or girlfriend but nobody came forward. “Hata kuchapwa kofi mbili ama tatu please (None of you has ever been even slapped)?”
Seeing that nobody was likely to confess to being beaten by his woman, Cobra suggested that I float my social media accounts so that the revellers can DM me.
All the same, Cobra thought male bravado was the biggest danger to fellow men than the reported attacks by women.
“When women meet, they share everything including their heartaches and offer each other a shoulder to cry on. But when men meet, they boast about their real and imagined conquests,” he said.
“These exaggerations deepen the hopelessness of less aggressive men amongst them.”
As the chairman of the 2022 men’s conference, I had the resolutions of that meeting at my fingertips.
Two resolutions came to my mind as relevant to the discussion at hand.
“Resolution number four of last year’s conference requires men to respect and honour one another at all times no matter their position in life,” I told my listeners.
Additionally, if we observed resolution number 14 to the letter, we would avoid many troubles.
“Resolution 14 requires men to lay down their standards and look for a woman who can fit or meet those standards.”
“Don’t waste time on dates, but be frank and state your case. If she can’t meet those standards find the person that will.”
I challenged the revellers to show by their hands if they were observing resolution number 4: “Ni kama hamna network, mnatoa heshima kweli jameni? (It looks like you people are not getting it, do you respect and honour each other)?”
To prompt my listeners out of their daftness, I stood up, yawned, looked at my half-empty drink and glanced at my watch.
One guy got the cue and ordered a fresh round of drinks for me.
I saw Argument consulting another chap and both of them headed towards the butchery corner of the establishment.
It did not bother me that they did not consult me; I could eat all the various types of meat on offer at Gachuiri Beer Garden.
Since it was hard to establish the revellers’ compliance with resolution number 14 of the 2022 men’s conference, I tactfully avoided going in that direction.
I knew many of them had set low, flexible or no personal standards and therefore I did not wish to open a pandora's box.
Gachoroge saved the situation by floating the 2023 men’s conference theme.
“I suggest we call the theme: Understanding the man and what he stands for.”
With a theme in place, I formally launched the registration process for the 2023 edition of the men’s conference.
To deepen gender understanding, I promised to invite some selected women who will give keynote addresses.