Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Posing....

Over the last few months I have heard the following statements from 3 different women;
" Aco, why aren't you married??" "Aco, you know what? You should woo me for a few months and then marry me" "Aco, now all that you need is a wife, tihihihihihihihihi"

First things first, my life isn't in such a mess that the only person who can straighten me out is a wife, so I dont think that is where they were coming from. I think the statement esp the first one is similar to how a dude meets a hot chic who is single and wonders how that can be, although I dont know how my eligibility was being gauged by the woman in question.

The second statement was by an ex, who seems to have not moved on. Needless to say the fact that I feel jack for her and she lives almost 200 miles away made turning her down very very easy. Note to self, never ever go to visit; may be held captive.

The last statement was from this chic I met recently as I was searching for an apartment. She has some potential but this mambo of being herded down the aisle isn't happening, anyway since she is in her mid 20s I guess time is ticking away. What happened to the good old days of 2 years of dating and 1 year plus engagements? Do you remember those couples in Kenya who would live together for years and even have kids but were still engaged? On the other hand I do advocate for marriage in such a situation because I shudder to think what goes through the women's mind when after that long "engagement" the dude decides to pick up and move on to the next pretty young thing. I'm putting that chic on my "keep an eye on" list, why oh why can't I meet a woman who tells me; " Aco you look like you haven't had some hot sex in a while, let me give you some hot loving on a periodic basis without any commitment?" A man can dream can't he?

Anyway seems I got sidetracked, I was listening to this clip that I got on an African magazine. I do think that the chat was too short for them to get deep into the issues that lead many African men to decide to go back home and get married as opposed to marrying African women here. I do think that the blame for this state of affairs goes both ways;
1. Many African men here want African women who will treat them like the women back home - That would be possible only if all the social factors that you had back home were reproduced but that isn't the case. Gender roles are different here in the West and in many cases even swapped. You can't bring someone to a totally new environment and expect them to remain the same, mores and norms change with location. So if some African men aren't willing to change, no wonder they shall always butt heads with many African women out here.

2. African Women Change Too Fast For Their Good - This isn't a blanket statement as many African women still keep loyal to their respective cultures. But much like many men, the lure and glitz of Americanization is too hard to resist and in the quest to fit in many African women throw the baby out with the bath water. Women out here on the surface appear very proud and fulfilled by their independence, and since many African countries are patriarchal; it is only natural that that independence would appeal to African women. So what they do is do away with their traditions and social roles and adopt all that they see as American, be it accents, gestures, thought patterns, norms without giving them any further thought or the consequences. If "independence" is such a wonderful thing, why is it that America has the highest divorce rate in the world and an equally high rate of depression to go with it? It could be argued that African men just want women that they can "step on" hence the rush for women from back home, but some research has shown me that even American men who like foreign women are advised to marry and settle with them in their native countries and not America because as soon as they bring the women to the states; their character changes and the relationship develops difficulties and goes down the drain.

So I guess the simple solution would be for both parties to find a middle ground. African men should accept the fact that their women shall change and take on new and challenging gender roles which may appear to disempower the men. On the other hand African women need to know that there are some facets of their traditions and culture still worth holding onto, and that all that is Western is good and adjust accordingly. But till that happens I guess the impasse will remain.

That reminds me. I only thought it was people in third World countries who jumped on anything Western without thinking. The picture below is some young men from a concert in the UK, Mocha went to recently.

You see the dude in the NY cap? The idiot is wearing receiver gloves, these are worn in American Football usually by running backs and quarterbacks, they are shaped in such a way that makes catching passes easier yada yada yada. Unless he is going to be playing touch football during the concert they are totally unnecessary. I guess the next time a British musician comes here I should go wearing a pair of cricket batting gloves. And yes I know he most probably wore them because they had the Nike logo on them.

Anyway I did get a digital camera a month or so back and I do have some wonderful pics lined up for ya'll since it's been quite sometime since I've done a picture post. I do love looking at pictures of places I've never been too and even moreso pictures of home. It's always good in that it helps me keep the connection alive. I'm very visual by nature, so even when I look at pictures of Nairobi more often than not I can identify the place. Sadly that doesn't help me too much over here because thanks to franchises there is a Burger King and Quiktrip on every corner so you have to memorise highway exits and street names. Let me try to find my way home, nice weekend all!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Missing and other things

I know some of you have been wondering where The Acolyte disappeared to for the last 2 weeks. Well I was playing a major part in organizing a conference and of course I had to attend it, so that led to some pretty intense days I tell you. Anyway the conference is a post in itself for later, but I want to touch on a thing or two in the meanwhile.

China owns the world, real talk. For me one of my rituals when I travel as is the case with many of you, is to buy a souvenir. For example in Kenya, you can get Kisii soapstone carvings and Maasai jewellery; original and handcrafted. Well what I have noticed is that when you get to the Western world is that few if any souvenirs that are sold to tourists are hand crafted, most of it is mass produced and when you turn it over; it has made in China stamped on the bottom. So when you travel from one country to another and one of the things you do to commemorate that is to buy something that represents that country but was made in another country, call me petty but that doesn't do much for me. But besides trinkets, other than food stuffs and specialty items have you ever noticed how 90% plus of what is on the shelf (at least in supermarkets here) is made in China? I'm not hating on the industrial nature of the Chinese but it makes me wonder in many cases what happened to any local industries that have been impacted by the tidal wave of Chinese goods. Like in the earlier example of my search for a souvenir, what happened to the dude who used to make individual hand crafted t-shirts when an influx of t-shirts that looked just as good and were cheaper than his came into the picture? Anyway I'm no economist but I guess that's what we get when we welcome globalization into our house, it turns into the elephant that asked to put just its' trunk in the house for shelter from the rain and ended up pushing out the owner of the house. Anyway I've ranted enough about that.

I'm experiencing my first cold in 3 years and it isn't amusing. The stuffy head, running nose and cough aren't doing me any favors at all. If I was dieting I would be thankful for the loss of appetite that comes with the loss of smell but since I'm not, that isn't a silver lining.

Now onto other affairs, residents of Eastlands; poleni sana. From what I read in the press ya'll are being forced to walk from the outskirts of the cbd. The mission the local gvt Minister has has a great aim but how he is going about it I disagree with big time, the problem is private cars and not public service vehicles (not that matatus are blame free of course). Even when I was leaving Kenya, the country was becoming alot like the States; there were alot of single passenger cars on the road causing alot of traffic, here we have a lane for cars with more than one passenger and emergency vehicles and let me tell you that that lane is empty for the most part. Anyway at least they are making an effort to address the issue. I'll sit back and watch and hear from you out there.

Anyway let me lay my head down and recover from this cold and I'll be back.

ps: I have a confession to make...I was made in China! Nah just kidding I'm 100% Kenyan Jua Cali made!