Besides an Indian Buddha cam stuntman putting up a show for a penny or two, have you ever seen someone who willingly walks barefooted on burning charcoal? Most probably not. Allow me to introduce you to a young man. Vin, a not so tall and not so short chap with a body like a baby rhino. A typical young man who is still trying to find his footing in the social path of his life. Let’s also call him a boy turning into a man. He knows the right path to walk on but still dares to walk on hot charcoal. No amount of words can advise him otherwise. Only experience can reprimand him to sensibility and sanity. But again, he is also on a quest to prove that he can rise up to any challenge. That fear does not define him. That he will have something to add onto his profile on LinkedIn and all the other boys viewing will bow, articulating an ‘Igwee’. However, after the masculine worship is the reality that he might have paralysed his ability to walk again.
He falls under the breed of men that have mastered the wits to tackle a walking skirt to the ground. Not literally of course. It’s just because he is a rugby player and so using tackle in a sentence while referring to him couldn’t be further from the truth. He has the balls to corner a lady and make her lose her mind. Unlike other boys called men who have balls but no balls in the balls. Not to also say that you have to make a lady want to pee her pants in order for you to be called a man with balls. Sometimes balls are just balls. Nothing more.
I have known him for over three years. A modest and sensible man but not without his own peculiar ways – everyone dines with the devil sometime.That is part of what makes us human, right mjango?
So, a few weeks ago, he WhatsApped me his Story, from the blues. It seems to have occured to him there and then to speak up, like an itch on your back that wont go away unless you scratch it? Better example, the burning urge to pee. That is how bad the story had tortured his conscience. Vin wanted to act as a living example to the fellow young men out there that
“Makaa moto ni ya kupika pekeake! Sio ya kutembelea!”
I enjoyed reading through his experience in literary prowess because he is also a good story teller. He has a girlfriend that he loves with the balls of his heart, but there were things in play that put a nail between him and that love. Distance was the first obvious one. You know how it goes with the long distance thing? This was a problem leading to an even bigger one – for five good months, he and his girlfriend hadn’t met. I’m not sure for how long they had not virtually met on Skype or Whatsapp video call because he did not have a smartphone at the time, but stuck with the famously dubbed ‘kaduda‘ or ‘katururu‘ which is the last thin line between one and the world out there.
If you’re a man, probably right now, you’re thinking, “And how did he survive?” If youre a lady, you’re probably thinking about his girlfriend with one hand on your chest but you’re not so worried because you’re well aware that when a woman loves, distance is not an issue. But only until it is mjango.
That kaduda helped him stay in touch with his close family and girlfriend who texted every night.
He however didn’t need a smartphone to hang out with his boys. One time they were just chilling and what I am made to think is that the devil tipped him to embrace a thought. More like a trap, and he took the bait- ask his boys for a through pass. Again, I suspect that was not thrilling enough. And so the unseen man in an old hat and a trench coat tipped again. Double this time. Vin added, “Through pass of the most idolized chic on your contact lists.”
I can imagine how the boys turned to look at him in amusement. The looks on their faces saying he didn’t know what he was asking for. They didn’t know he had been tipped massively and that was his motivation aside from the masculine ego now splattered all over his chest. Boys being boys, they convened a short conference to discuss who they will kick in Vin’s direction. Now this was not just Vin to them anymore. This was the Vin who thinks he can sweep any lady, even the lady they have tried to sweep but instead they swept futility.
They granted him his wish but added stones to it. She is a ravishing yet buxom girl in fourth year. Probably two of the qualities that you can find in a woman but scarcely in one woman. The fourth year part is important to note since Vin was not in fourth year yet! They said, “Huyu ukiweza, wewe ndio ule msee.” He must have turned to see whether the tip master was present only to realise that he was no where to be found. Fear must have slapped him on his cheek while unleashing an intimadating boisterous laughter. His motivator was gone and the ego in his chest was punctured suddenly. Like it was an illusion and he had been tricked by a ghost. He was left alone to handle his temptation which also came along with the desperation to protect his reputation among the boys!
He took up the challenge like the man he believed he was. Walking into battle grounds to face a highly decorated darling, properly armed to the teeth with what is called pier maduong in Luo and is feared by an entire army of men for her implacable attitude and merciless snobs. Yet he was going to face her with nothing in his bag of weapons but a kaduda and a few pebbles of courage.
And so he shot his shot.
“I started with a cheeky SMS. I mean I didn’t have anything to lose. She couldn’t possibly know who I was thanks to the kind of phone I was using.”
They have said so many things a mwanume is. Mwanaume ni effort. Mwanaume ni wallet. Mwanaume ni socks imeraruka and so forth. But in this case, indeed mwanaume ni lugha! He melted her with his words and to top it up, he offered her his Facebook username when she asked. He was confident of his photos over there. I mean, surely, there are pictures you wouldn’t want to use during your first impression. Moving on swiftly, he invited her over the following week with no hesitation, and she showed up! The celebrated voluptuous lass was finally stepping foot into his house. I can imagine whenever she’d turn around in his crib, the furniture would bow down. However, the furniture must have been disappointed when he shot his shot a notch higher but she did not give in. Like when a football star shoots in a sleek manner and what would have turned into the most classic goal in the season’s history is blocked by the goalkeeper. Instead, she said that she was in a failing relationship. He held his horses, but that wasn’t going to stop him.
There is no shame in retreating only to come back stronger.
His burning desire to prove his masculine skills to himself and the boys spiked instead. The boys had vowed not to dismiss the men’s conference until he gave them a report, one they had placed their bets that it would be of nothing more than surrender and defeat.
“I invited her over again and this time, she did all the talking and the actions.”
The tip master must have shown up late like a guest of honour but yet early enough not to miss the show that he had tipped. He looked like a Hollywood movie star walking into a club that is frequented by criminals. One arm is locked into the arm of a dashing and slightly tall petite girl in a long glittering dark green dress with a slit running from her right hip, while the other is locked with the arm of another slightly more curvaceous lady properly pronounced by a tight leather mini skirt with a zip running through the prime meridian of her bum. Wrapped around his left hand is a leash that locks the collar belt of a tailless enormous black bulldog walking before him as if to clear the way. Heads off the VIP area where he sits with legs spread like a boss and sandwiched between his two chics. The dog seats at his feet.
The VIP area that day was Vin’s house. One chic refilled Scotch into the tip master’s glass and the other lit his cigarette as he watched Vin tear his new fling apart. He slowly devoured her like a deer in the paws of a lion. Her moans were the sound effects and interludes of the underground music now playing to confuse the neighbors. When night turned into day and she left, you can guess where the road led to for Vin. The men’s conference that had now grown nervous was in for a heartbreak and a flying kick in the face of their egos. You bet it was disbanded in disbelief and disappointment to a lost bet. But not before they made a toast to the men of the squad who they now knew better than to bring him close to any of their girlfriends.
“Soon afterwards, she kept coming and coming frequently but now I was tired. Men get bored quickly and that’s a painful fact.”
He had won the battle but now he had a task to clear the battlefield. He began to device ways to get away from that affair since she was getting emotionally attached with frequent expressions of her feelings towards him.
“I didn’t want to be the bad guy, so I decided that I would keep away and let her get tired until she called it quits. Besides, she was a fourth year, I only had to keep this up for a few months. Two months crawled by and now I was really tired, I wanted to end this as soon as possible since my girlfriend had started being suspicious thinking I was having an affair.”
He had planned to end it permanently the following day, but who said you can just shove away a signed deal with fate? A text came through that night that usually makes a man almost pee in his pants. We all know the “We need to talk” most dreadful text.
“I forgot I was supposed to end this relationship. “
The next day she came early. What a way to start your day.
“I haven’t had my period for a week now. I think I’m pregnant.”
His heart was racing like a chicken running away from a human predator. Or should I say like a man running away from pregnancy or that will be too much?
“I didn’t have anything to say.”
Of course, no man would have anything to say in that situation. The milk was already spilt. There was no bargaining with the fate he had orchestrated with his own hands and manhood. Oh, and his kaduda too.
“I didn’t go to class that whole week!
What am I going to do? Am I ready to be dad? What about my girlfriend? Am I going to move in with her or am I going to be a baby daddy? Terminating it was out of the topic. How would I even know if she wanted this to happen, I mean she was finishing school. Every time on the streets, I would see children and my mind went back to thinking. I don’t know why but everything during that time revolves around children. It’s during that time that even my mama mboga is always talking about her kid.”
These are the words of a man struggling to come to terms with reality. His infalted masculinity stemming from bagging a chic, highly respected among his boys, was now deflated to nothing. For believers, their hearts would recall that there is a God in Heaven who gives second chances. So all their prayers would be channeled in that direction. In the middle of the night, sleep would desert him, thoughts would overtake him and the only person he would talk to is his Maker. He who also makes babies through us to have mercy and withhold the making of that particular baby in the womb of a fling!
“So one evening she called, and I have never been happier.
“My periods have come!”
I jumped and did a victory dance around my small cubicle.
That’s what we call a close shave.” Vin said.
And that’s what I call dodging a bullet.
My lady friends have stormed in my inbox several times with this question, “Just why do men cheat?”
I will not try to answer that today (because there are no right answers to questions like that), but to at least take you through the typical mind of a man. Maybe then, you will get some closure.
So I engaged Vin in a man to man conversation and asked a couple of questions. Again, his responses are of a typical man. So don’t use this as a handbook for all men.
“Does your girlfriend love you so much, like undoubtedly?”
“Yes she does
But also a thing that fuels that is that It’s a long distance relationship so we have to rely entirely on trust.”
“And do you love her?”
“Yes I love her
One key fact I left out is that I told the chic I have a girlfriend so that if it comes to a decision she already knows which side I would be in.”
“And just as I thought your answer would be. So why would you cheat?”
“I was lonely sexually. You know what I mean. It was like 5 months since I last saw my girlfriend. There was no possible way my girlfriend was going to find me since I had moved to a new place she didnt know. So if she came she would have to tell me in advance.”
“Assuming you really wanted to make someone understand how and why one step led to another, what would you say was running in your conscience when pursuing another chic?”
“I told the other chic in advance that I was in a relationship and I was only looking for a sex escape and nothing more. In my mind, that was supposed to be an occasional booty call. But later she started catching feelings.”
“So generally, drawing from your experience, why do you think men cheat? Assuming his woman is very loyal, just why?
Is it a question about whether he loves her back in the same measure? Is it a question about whether or not he has purposed to settle and forgo the pleasures of exploration of other women? ”
“In my opinion men are always looking for new experiences. And in our minds we like to think that our girlfriends don’t cheat as long as you haven’t caught her or you have no evidence. Ebu jaribu uulize boys kama dem wake anacheat ata deny instantly. Hatutaki tu kukubali until afanye kitu that provokes you.”
“And do you think it takes a wild scare such as the one you had for a man to wake up and just be loyal one woman?”
“I think as men we need experiences like this kutukumbusha
Its like the same way ukiona ex wako na msee mwingine ndio una value your girlfriend.”
Some days later, again I asked, “Do you believe that a man should finish his tangatanga before he finally decides to settle with and for one woman?”
“Yes! This is the right time for a man to do all the mistakes. This way you are able to learn the different types of ladies around, so that when you settle, you know what you are looking for. These divorce issues are very draining financially and also for your image.”
“Aha. But on the other side, the women’s side, tangatanga looks like playing. Today you’re here, tomorrow you’re not. In that sequence until one day you fully disappear or fully stay because you’ve found a home there.”
There is no need of staying in a relationship you don’t like and drain both of your energies just because you want to make the other believe you are happy in this when you are not. Leave!”
The baseline for all this when you have figured out yourself as a man, when you have defined the kind of woman that suits you as a result, then you stand a better chance with contentment. I believe it’s all about contentment. What men are constantly on the move for is the search for contentment. That one woman who will be the definition of what satisfies that man in him he hasn’t even discovered yet.
Men are sometimes just boys in trousers. They or we, like to play. Not play ladies. Not necessarily. But just get ourselves through situations that thrill us. We have an underlying desire to test the extent of our masculinity. Yes. We end up hurting ladies in the process at times. So on behalf of myself, for that I’d say, my bad! But only until a man has had his fill of his youthful escapedes, Only until he has had his fill testing his masculinity, only then shall he just settle and get serious.
This, I must emphasise, depends on the personality and maturity levels of the man. Some kids grown faster than others, si you know that? Sometimes he also just has to force himself into maturity by quiting the maze chase. He makes a personal decision to get serious and hunt one woman who deep within him, he knows he will be proud to have. Take note, if you as a man, does settle for less, you will find yourself looking for the kind of woman who fills you with contentment in other women in the presence of your own woman. Dare not to settle for a lady you know deep within you, you are not proud of, don’t feel like you made effort for, do not approve of her personality and don’t approve of her personality in terms of how the both of you relate. Men like to feel like they worked for something. So if as a lady you present yourself cheaply to him, just because you badly want him too, you stand to be the biggest loser in the end.
I read somewhere someone had said in advice to men,
“Imagine you’re Jacob. Look for your Rachel. Rachel is all he wanted. Rachel was all he knew would fill him with pride and contentment. If you settle with Leah, it won’t be long until you realise she doesn’t fill your cup. Best believe the following morning you will be on the road again looking out for your Rachel yet you already laid with Leah in the tent.”
Ladies, we are sorry sometimes we don’t seem to know what we want and you end up being the victims. But for some of us, only until hot charcoal burns our feet, we may never seriously wake up and be the loyal men even we expect ourselves to be.