My attention has been brought to a piece in the media about a Kenyan mans plans of getting married to a man .I have no problem with that- let him do whatever floats his boat.Or boxers.
But it would be a huge scandal if I took home a skinny
hairy bloke with guttural voice and told my kinsmen that he is going to
be my wife.
Lets call the guy Maina.
First, my uncle, the one who is forever sharpening a machete, would do an ancient war cry then hack my neck off for bringing shame to my family. In short there would be no wedding but a funeral. A family that’s known for generations, to produce village criers and dextrous tillers of the land cannot produce a man who marries a fellow man.Maina would run for 6 kilometres nonstop until he catches a matatu to the city at Gakira market.
My uncles wife,Aunt Jerusha, the staunch Mothers Union member, would go into a hour long prayer chant that would end in the song ” Bwana tumekufanyia nini?“.Then she would ask our Parish vicar to give our family a prayer session coming Sunday to cast out the devil( thats me) that has entered our home.My spouse, the skinny bloke, would be called so many ” pepo nyeusi” by her that he would actually turn black and finally faint.
Kamaa my cousin would be more dramatic and take the opportunity to save his cousin from madness.He is the one who always has a Rooster cigarette dangling between his brown teeth and a whiff of cheap spirit in his breath.He would get a nyahunyo, whip ” my wifes” scrawny bottom mercilessly and banish him from the village forever.” Chindwe yeye!”
The local chapter of Gikuyu Council of Elders would promptly prepare a cursing ceremony for me.My ” mburi ya kiama’ (registration fee for the Council of Elders) which I gave to wazees some years ago, would be returned.
At the local pub, I would be a pariah since no self respecting drunk wants to be seen hobnobbing with a man who “opens boots”( sorry I had to be so graphic).It would be hard to even buy a man a ” kanuthu”, since this would be intepreted as a gesture of asking for goodies( you know which).
In short, my life would be Hobbesian; nasty, brutish and short.By the time I leave the village, everyone, from Wamatangari the madman to the village donkeys would know me as the man who tried to marry another man.And successfully failed.
a Much as we embrace Western liberal viewpoints, our societies remain steadfastly non sympathetic to concepts like homosexuality.Just like the whites frown upon our polygamy.Or eating with bare hands.
Many apostles of Western liberalism will scream from the ivory towers that sexuality is a private affair.But not in Africa.Here, a man cannot just decide to marry a fellow man without raising social eyebrows.
Societies chose what is private, and what is not.In the West, a woman’s breasts are a very private thing, since they are a major fetish.A woman cannot breastfeed in an open place without raising a scandal.Here in Africa, breasts ni ‘chakula ya watoto’. Food for children.Our women breastfeed in marketplaces, in church- even in our national assembly without raising eyebrows.
The Western world have chosen to treat woman’s breasts as a very private affair.We respect that.We Africans have chosen that if a man chooses to marry a fellow man,its a public affair.That too should be respected.
The Western world which preaches inclusivity, diversity, social inclusion and such fancy buzzwords,should allow our societies- which are still socially fickle- to chose what is private and what should be discussed in the village lanes.Nobody should chose for us what is private or public.
That is what liberalism- which is their swansong- is all about.