A priest recently posted in a WhatsApp group what may define the typical Kenyan family today: “How possible is it that a person you love, share the closet intimacy of your bed, bore children [with] and made a home can be your murder target?”
In recent weeks, the question has been asked, albeit in different wordings, more so after the discovery of Dutch billionaire Tob Cohen’s body in circumstances suggesting homicide. But while his widow is being treated as the main suspect in the murder, she is innocent until proven guilty.
The incident has reignited the debate on the increased cases of spousal murders, which saw this paper dedicate a page spread (10-11) last Friday, under the chilling headline: “Till murder do us part: When marital bliss makes way for vengeful, homicidal hate”.
A quote by University of Nairobi lecturer James Kariuki caught my attention: “What people call love is a temporary state of mind. People don’t fall in love, they fall in love with what they can get from that person.... what you fell in love with was, for instance, the potential in that man.” However, the cynical statement falsely suggests that it is women killing men.
Still, the quote is deeply disturbing as it brings a whole new dimension to the revered institution of marriage. Do women now marry for money?
On Monday, September 16, columnist Philip Kitoto featured a 25-year-old man who confessed his preference of older women. Although Kitoto reserved his judgment, he raised the issue of a “value system” — but without defining it.
It can be assumed that a young man seeking solace in much older women is motivated less by their love and more by their carnal and material offerings. Older women are believed to be more sexually adept. They can secure young men’s sexual favours, especially as globetrotter husbands leave their wives starved for weeks, ironically making money for them to entertain their lovers.
This is a sure recipe for murder, when the man discovers his wife’s philandering ways!
This partly explains the crisis of our times. Underpinning the rampant spousal killings is a bone-idle generation that won’t lift a finger to engage in productive work. My mother, almost 90, has deep loathing for laziness. Her mantra is, “A boy who won’t soil his hands is training to be an armed robber” For girls, “If you can’t cultivate the shamba, your destiny is umalaya (prostitution)”.
It’s a sad commentary on this generation that they spend their time scheming how to make quick cash without breaking a sweat. Any wonder that graft is endemic in Kenya? Gambling, which is deeply entrenched, defines a generation that hangs around awaiting manna.
Verily, the spousal killings are spawned by a culture hooked to easy money. Instead of a woman engaging in honest business, she idles around with youths fit to be her grandsons, plotting to consign her husband to the grave and grab his wealth.
And instead of putting aside their degrees to engage in honest work, like the stoic boda-boda rider this paper featured on Monday, young men are shirking around with their grandmas. So lazy are they!
Domestic killings are spawned by lazy perverts who put material comfort above industriousness. Could spouses join hands to instil the work ethic in their children?
Ms Kweyu is a consultant revise editor with the ‘Daily Nation’. [email protected]