JACKSON BIKO: A fatal woman - Daily Nation

Black magic woman

Friday May 15 2015

There are women who hold men’s attention so

There are women who hold men’s attention so tightly yet so easily – and they don’t even have to lift a finger to do it. PHOTO| FILE 

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There are these women who men will commit suicide for. Women who men fall crazily in love with and go completely nuts over. I have a friend like that.

You know those women who, when you walk into a party, or a cocktail or a crowded room, stick out like a sore thumb? Those that your testosterone radar picks up approximately 14 seconds after she walks into that space? Those women who every man seems to drift towards, like she is gravity or something? Well, my friend isn’t that woman.

My friend is what you could call a Plain Jane. She hardly wears make-up; if she does, it’s eye-pencil. OK, technically you can’t wear eye pencil, but you know what I’m talking about.

She isn’t the prettiest woman you have ever seen, which means, she isn’t drop-dead gorgeous. She has an angular face, but with big, gorgeous eyes and full lips. She isn’t light-skinned, because apparently light-skinned women are all the rage. (This is a different article in itself.)

She’s chocolate, wears braids mostly. She used to sport these dreadlocks back then. She doesn’t always paint her nails.

She isn’t even a snazzy dresser; she will be in khakis or jeans or a simple dress because her job allows her to dress down. It’s easier to see a goat sip water with a straw than see her in a short skirt. The phrase, “Throw clothes on” comes to mind.

She doesn’t seem like the kind of woman who spends hours thinking of what she will wear. Her choice of wardrobe isn’t trendy, but she always looks decent. Not exactly flash, but you wouldn’t be embarrassed being seen with her.

So she is the kind of woman who wouldn’t stand out in a bar or a crowded room. But when you hear her laugh, you will stop whatever you are doing and look in her direction.

By God, you will. Her laughter is like a sound that a female wild animal would make to draw the males. Yes, that’s the word; it’s animalistic. It’s a drawn, scratchy, infectious and throaty, rich with life.

And it lingers in the air, like that smell emitted by burning wood from a three-stone fire place.


When she laughs you don’t want her to stop. If you are the one making her laugh, you will feel like your work on earth is done. You feel privileged. But that’s not what makes her stand out. It is that she is funny, and her wit cuts so deep it doesn’t heal. She is the queen of repartee.

As long as I have known her – close to a decade now – she’s always managed to attract men who will move mountains for her. Men who are about ready to leave their families for her.

Men who will drop everything to be by her side when she calls. One came to Nairobi after harvesting his wheat with money in two bags and said, “This is all yours if you marry me.”

Now, I don’t know if you have seen money off a 100-hectare wheat farm to understand what this means. She said no.

There are men who have threatened to kill themselves over her. Or kill her because she was out the door. A friend of mine, an otherwise well-adjusted guy, tried to force himself on her in a car during a party. The string of men who lose themselves in her presence is long and windy, and they all stalk her passively on social media – and some even in person.

It’s mostly funny, but sometimes it’s scary for her when she has to call the police because a scorned ex parks his car outside her house and just stares at her house the whole night.

She is what I used to read about only in books, women who are called femme fatales, a fatal woman. While most are known to use lies, charm, coercion and sometimes manipulation, I suspect my friend’s strength is her complete and utter aloofness to men of all cadres.

The modern femme fatale has a string of men who are dying to own her, men who want to possess her, men who want to buy her out, or get her pregnant and tether her down to motherhood (my friend is a mother of one and that hasn’t tied her down) or men who just want to feel that she needs them. Legend is teaming with these enchantresses, like Helen of Troy. Or Delilah or Cleopatra.

The question is, how do they manage to twist men in this fashion? How do they make a grown man get to the edge of the cliff – and then jump off? I asked my friend the other day if she thinks men behave around her in a psychotic way because she is inherently a psycho. She laughed aloud – that scratchy, sexy laughter – and she said, “Men are babies. You just need to know which milk bottle to give which man.” I still don’t know what she meant.