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Who Speaks For The FORGOTTEN Men In This Country?

Who speaks for the men in this country?

The moribund Maendeleo ya wanaume? The once a year ‘Men’s Conference’ speakers ed by ‘Pastor’ Robert Burale? Who?

Who speaks for the men who are not elites? Who speaks for the young men who are engulfed in the cloaks of depression because they cannot afford to finance the lives of their girlfriends?

Who speaks for the struggling men who watch old men, politicians, drug peddlers, Nigerian gigolos and old, senile white tourists snatch their women? The same women who without these men cannot wear a decent pant turn to call them broke?

Who is the voice of men who were taught men don’t cry? And so they swallow their pain? And walk as if their heads are in the guillotine, waiting for the chop.

Who sees the men pushing carts to fend for their families. The mechanics under cars just to send something to mama? Who speaks for the men whose baby mamas have turned them into cash cows? Who said fending for a child was exclusively a man’s job?

The men under pressure to be a “man.’

How many times do they hear ,”your mates have cars, your mates are building houses. Your mates have masters. You mates have wives. Be a man, your mates are taking their women to Naivasha, your mates are doing this and that for their women?”

We speak so much about women empowerment, how to treat a woman,

what happens to the young man if you don’t teach him how to co-exist with an empowered woman?

In Kenya, we are experiencing surging numbers of boys dropping out of school. During a typical evening lecture session in campuses across Nairobi, most of the occupants taking these classes are women, which begs the question; where are their counterparts?

Crime rate is on the rise and the highest number of individuals behind bars mostly consists of young men. The perils of Drug and Substance abuse are pungent and we are on the brink of a crisis if stakeholders do not make an effort to mitigate this ticking time bomb. Stakeholders; in this context include the family unit, religious and learning institutions, policy makers, mentors and generally the society as a whole.

There has always been a misconstrued notion that the measure of a man depends on his financial capabilities. Due to this social construct, for years we have witnessed men perfect the art of making money while unconsciously disregarding the basic element of mentorship.

The younger men have picked up this trend and are participating in “Get-Rich-Quick-Schemes” to satisfy the skewed notion that their fiscal buoyancy finances define them. Young men are literally “on their own” in this world. They maneuver their way in life with little or no mentorship.

Fuck societal pressure. Fuck pressure from women. Stop entertaining their myopia and they’ll adjust. Steve Biko said South Africans will adjust to living without majority or minority but as human beings. For this, they killed him. These women will adjust. Be you. Society will adjust.

The system has failed you. It cannot build you because it wasn’t built for you. And be rest assured, I will be ‘the devil’s advocate.’ Before you buy her alcohol, send your mother money. Before you buy her a phone, save some money! If she cannot cook, stop buying take away, let her go back to her mother for basic life skills.

If she doesn’t want a date at Pronto, let her father take her Ole Sereni. Don’t borrow money just to entertain a woman. Build yourself. A worthy woman will come.

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Written by Aoko Otieno

For Aoko Otieno, writing is her raison d'être. Why so? It guarantees her freedom. Freedom to love, live and relieve through her very own and other people's lives.

"A person is a fool to become a writer. Her only compensation is absolute freedom. She has no master except her own soul, and that, I am sure, is why she does it.” Roald Dahl

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