By Winnie Kabintie
It’s about that time of the year when the town is painted red in celebration of Valentines Day. Men dread and hate this day in equal measure since the pressure is on them to be thoughtful and do romantic things to make the woman or women in their lives happy.
The Kenyan woman has on many occasions labelled the Kenyan man as a hopeless romantic but she has never stopped hoping that one day they will style up. She might tell you, but take it from me, the Kenyan woman is always very expectant and hopeful that the man in her life has got something romantic up his sleeves, after all she wants the bragging rights when she settles down with her girlfriends to compare notes.
Whether it’s a romantic dinner, sending her flowers and chocolates to her office or even that much envied weekend gateway, your woman will be over the moon just knowing that you could be so thoughtful.
Luckily or even quite regrettably for the Kenyan man, who in most occasions is either clueless on what to do or simply playing ignorant on Valentines Day, this year 14th February falls on a weekend. This means that the day can either ease the pressure to make an impression or on the other hand it amplifies the duration the festivities will last and going by the latter situation, nothing can be more agonizing considering that this comes after the much dreaded ‘Njaanuary’ SIC (dry spell that comes with the month of January).
Well, whichever side suites your interest, the fact remains that this day can build or ruin a relationship. I sought views of a number of Kenyan women on the worst things that a man can do on Valentines Day and the following five things prevailed;
1. NOT SAYING ANYTHING
The worst thing that you can do as a man is to assume this day to be just any other ordinary day of the week and not get out your comfort zone and do something special for your woman even as little as just saying something nice and romantic to affirm your woman that she is special.
Chances are high that, especially if she is just a girlfriend, there are dozens of team mafisi (Kenyan slang for men who lust/prey on women regardless of their marital status) waiting to strike and as one of the women I spoke to said; “if you do nothing about the day, you give others a chance to enjoy what they’ve been missing,”.
2. NOT CALLING/GOING MTEJA
Not calling automatically says “NOT INTERESTED” yes, in CAPS and in BOLD while going mteja(being out of reach) sends the message loud and clear; DON’T DISTURB. This is the most humiliating experience a man can take a woman through, so if you want to lose her then you now know exactly what to do.
There is just no way can you convince her that you weren’t investing your time and energy in another woman.
3. TAKING HER FOR NYAMA CHOMA
Kenyan men are well known for their love for roasted meat, commonly known as nyama choma. Even if your woman is a fan of this delicacy, 14th February is just not an ordinary day, so try and outdo yourself and take her for dinner in a quiet and serene setting in one of the many pleasant restaurants in Nairobi and make her proud of you.
4. MAKING EXCUSES
This is the most common escape route for most Kenyan men. They will start by criticizing the day, “Why do I need one day out of the year to show that I care about my girlfriend?” blah blah blah, some will claim that it’s just a craze created by white people in order to make sales and the list goes on.
Even worse, some will even go to the extreme of breaking up with their women over petty stuff close to valentines and creep back shortly after. As the famous Kenyan slogan goes; Mwanaume ni effort/ a man’s worth is equivalent to the effort he puts in.
5. HANGING OUT WITH THE BOYS
This is a special day that should just be spent with your loved one so tagging her along to a night out with your boys just because you have to catch that EPL match is selfish and insane.
Well, after all is said and done, always bear in mind that whatever you give a woman she multiplies, show her affection and you will get it in twofold, give her trouble and you are doomed.