Gathoni’s strange prescription on fixing alcoholism

Friday April 06 2018

Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni wa Muchomba. She is pragmatic. She shoots from the hip. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What a week. We thought with the exit of Dr Miguna Miguna we would be staring at drab days ahead.

Shock on us. It was not long before a dashing post-teen chap is nabbed on the run amidst a swirl of spicy talks of “special relationships”, with honourable members of Parliament.

And the notorious social media burst in flames. No dull moments in Kenya.

But it is the erstwhile radio girl, Gathoni wa Muchomba, who caught every feminist off guard.

You see, the Kiambu woman representative seems to be having a way of grabbing headlines.



You remember soon after landing her first job in Parliament she insisted on a salary hike because, as an honourable member, her purse has to be well-lined, so she reasoned.

Kenyans went volcanic in their furry. She was forced to beat a hasty retreat.

She is back again hogging headlines and ruling airwaves. See, Gathoni is compassionate.

The sheer number and miserable images of lads who are perpetually doped to stupor disturb her.


Liquor has robbed them of their dignity and masculinity. They are zombies.

And this worries the good politician, and rightly so. Luckily, she has a solution (so she proclaimed) to the embarrassing mess — polygyny.

Yeah, Gathoni must be bamboozled by lack of insight and altruism of the wealthy in the country.

Kenya is a land of many rich folks whose property could run from Tanga to Timbuktu.

And she has a simple humble request: For the wealthy to marry as many wives as they can in a bid to end the spectre of women-run households.

This, to the queen of airwaves, is a masterstroke, which with one swipe will dissolve the dope.

I like Gathoni’s guts. She is pragmatic. She shoots from the hip.

I also love her audacity informed largely by naivety and befogged perspective.

But first things first. To paraphrase Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a man in possession of a vast fortune must marry many wives.

To matter in a society, the sages reasoned a man will be measured by the women revolving around him for it’s evidence he’s endowed appropriately to take care of them.

This could be Gathoni’s philosophical underpinning.

Or, she could just be a seer fulfilling the Christendom postulation of a time when many women will scramble for one man.

Doubtlessly, Gathoni sees solutions to social problems from the prism of money.

Well, material is fantastic — sweet even. However, I’m not sure if it can solve the pathological parenting paralysis so common in the country.

This is why: The todays wealthy folks, unless one was born in money, sweat through life to make it.

This means that at their prime for marriage they were too broke to afford a wife, a kid.

Technically, then it would have been a Herculean task to indulge in the excesses of polygyny.

This is how English thinker Sir Francis Bacon would have observed as captured in Essay 8 Of Marriage and Single Life: “He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.”

Indeed, there are many things a true capitalist would excite in indulging; the last of it is to host a baby factory.

I see in Gathoni’s thesis a serious commodification of women.

That they should avail themselves to the highest bidder beats all the logic that comes with compatibility, love and romance.

The trouble with such commodification, in the name of altruism, is that as a property of the wealthy folk, the woman would end up miserable like a quasi-widow.

Will the rich marry the poor? This is a world that is caught in a vicious cycle of chronic hopelessness, and probably bitterness that reverberates from generation to another.

Opportunities to unshackle are limited. Bootleg liquor so gladly brewed by the very elite helps to keep the poor lad off their sorrows.

Politicians cherish this scenario.

Yet, we have seen families of super wealthy folks whose kids are in rehab and six feet under.

And we have also seen families of single mothers whose kids are in the C-suites of the blue chips locally and globally.

Gathoni no doubt loves money. Believes in patriarchy and quick fix solutions. But on this one, polygamy will not sate crave for a tot.

Mr Wamanji is communication and public relations adviser. [email protected] Twitter: @manjis