Marriage, a Dying Institution in Kenya!!

Cake Stand at the Wedding Fair.

If you are in Kenya, you will agree with me that marriage has fast become a dying institution and its resurrection requires urgent measures. The recent turn of events, spouses killing each other, wives battering their husbands, increased divorce cases, suicidal claims among couples, is a clear indication something is amiss somewhere.

Along chat with some of my friends last night, sparked a number of reactions, with others clearly indicating that the marriage institution has lost its meaning. “Just find out from most of your married friends, many of them are so negative and actually regret the day they said “I do”. Remarked a friend, in his early 30s and who clearly says he is tired of relationships and he is definitely not getting married any time soon.

Wedding exhibition at Sarit Center

Listening to Kenyan airwaves, the stories that women and men have to say about their marriages sickens. An urgent remedy is required if we are save this dying yet so sacred and important institution. Infidelity, betrayal, mistrust, jealous, envy, finance, lack of support for each other are some of the reasons that’s seem to be cited as the root course for most marriage failures.

Is there anything like till death do us part? At what point do two people in love become enemies and slaughter each other mercilessly? Why do the women specifically from the Central part of Kenya, Nyeri County become so violent at their husbands? At what point does dialogue and communication stop making sense, instead pangas, machetes’, knives become such an easy tool to use against our lovers?

Irresponsible Kenyan Men

Kenyans sampling wedding rings

Listening to many women, it is evident that most Kenyan men have become very irresponsible, neglecting their marital responsibilities and roles. What do they do instead? These are the same men who seem to engage in infidelity at the expense of their marriage, meaning these still seek to yearn for affection from other women, famously known as “Mpango wa Kando” in Kenya. My question is, why will a man opt to invest in an outside relationship instead of trying to amend his marriage?  Of course many men seem to blame their wives for not willing to restore this dying union. So the wife gets a side partner and the man does the same and life goes on. “Patience, trying to amend an already broken relationship is a waste of time, invest your energies in more productive things, I have tried, I have failed”, said a man who clearly has given up in his marriage.

Kenyans tour various stands at the fair

Too much negativity and negative energies surrounds this institution. Lack of preparedness is one reason for such a failure. “You’ve got to have the same purpose, socialize before you specialize; this is a key foundation for a lasting relationship. Intimacy should never be the main goal” Advises Pastor Mureithi of Mavuno Church in Nairobi.

Samantha Bridal Fair

Together with my girlfriends, we made a decision to attend this year’s Samatha Bridal Wedding Fair last Sunday. The main reason I actually managed to convince my friends to join, was as a result of the print advert on the Daily Nation with the tagline, “Before you say I do, you should listen to this”. At the heart of Westlands- 2nd floor at the Sarit Center, this is where the glamorous event took place.

Congregation at Mavuno Church

Wedding planners, photographers, decoration designers, outdoor planners all took stands, with one agenda, to help you plan your big day.  With 2 hours before we could finally get a chance to listen to this great talk, we moved from one stand to another. Oh, how I love Kenya and Kenyans. It is clearly that weddings are a big investment and wedding planners are making good money in this industry. “When is your wedding, how many guests? We can do everything for you!” These seemed to be the main questions and the assurance in all the stands.

Wedding Quotation

I finally figured out my guest number as 500 pax, and at one stand, I was actually given a breakdown quotation for this number. With 3 different quotations, of course depending on what I wanted on my wedding day, I could choose from a budget of Ksh, 466,050, at Ksh 523,550 or at Kshs 670,400. Mmmm, this is only catering expenses! This is Kenya. I can tell you for sure, with a lot of planning, the cost of all this can be cut by half. Let’s get strategic, it’s also important to read this specific blog post.

Kenyans sample various items

When we finally managed to get to my long-awaited moment, the marriage talk by Kenyan marriage counselor and motivational speaker, John Nganga, he had 10 minutes only. Incredible! This is where I thought it all went wrong and this is where Kenyans get it wrong. We over emphasize the importance of that one big day and take for granted the marriage itself. Many of those attending this event, actually did agree with me, as much as we the exhibition was key, the fashion show was great, (I didn’t see the handsome men, all I saw were the beautiful shoes), the great part which was actually the selling point of the whole fair, the talk, was hugely neglected.

Ng’ang’a as always, he had great advice, which would have been great at such a forum because most of those attending were people planning to get married soon, this should have been given a little more time. He kept apologizing all the time, “I am sorry, I only have a few minutes left, my time is running out, if only we had more time.” I felt quite cheated; all that took me to Sarit Center was the 10 minutes talk!

John Ng’ang’a gives a Talk

I managed to gather some points and I am sure, some of these can actually be helpful if we are to save marriage as an institution in Kenya. 1. Joy in marriage is not based on money and therefore, the desire to seek more money does not necessarily make a marriage better. 2. Discuss money issues and how to resolve money problems before you say I do. “Most marriage problems, even money problems in marriages will be expressed as sex problems, so be sure to understand what is the route course of your marital problems,” retorted Ng’ang’a. 3. Always plan with a budget and give a chance for growth in marriage, give your spouse a chance to get creative.

Fashion Show at the Wedding Fair

Ok,  the talk was great, so marriage bliss is very possible even in this modern Kenya where marriage is fast becoming mission impossible, very encouraging,” remarked a man at the event.


7 thoughts on “Marriage, a Dying Institution in Kenya!!

  1. Wow, always out to share intelligent pieces of advice! Thanks Patience for writing up this article; that has had a remarkable impact not only to my upcoming plans but to the whole society (call them readers)-who may have a glimpse of this magnificent story.
    Cheers and keep it up!!

  2. however much i try to imagine otherwise, i always end up with deep suspicion of people like marriage counselors, sex aunties, agony aunties,relationship experts etc etc etc etc!!! quite often than not, they give the substandard – and publicly available advice, and so, patience, with such advice, you’ll always feel disappointed. having said that, i find it strange that you could say this!(I didn’t see the handsome men, all I saw were the beautiful shoes), i think its thumbs up to the men(ugly and handsome, whatever). unlike men, ladies put too much expectations on somebody else’s shoulders. so, its within my expectations that you feel cheated. there are millions of marriages all over which means there are millions of secrets to a happy marriage, since every marriage is distinct, with different personalities. the one-size fits all mentality is a source of personality disorders in marriages!!!Do i make sense? think about that patience!

  3. People are not afraid of the existence of God and they do all sorts of stupids things these days and unfortunately marriage has just been commercialized with no love and affection attached to it, my heart cry’s out to those that have done this to the unification of man and woman by God.

    People, please take heed and follow the word of God or you shall be doomed. Africa and the whole world please change your ways !!!

  4. Marriage is facing a tough challenge world wide. I belief it is an outdated institution. The 21st century is not ready for ‘better or for worse’ kind of thing.

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