The Real Tragedy

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Following his article on good men enchanted under the spell of a modern day Nairobi lass, which loosely translates to a bad woman, Bantuh requested that I write about the pickle of a good woman falling for a bad man.

At the time, my friends and I were planning a graduation party for Carol. At the party, Carol and friend x were conversing about how friend x made a bold move by leaving her boyfriend of over 3 years. Let’s call him Brian. Because Brian is the SI unit of bad boyfriends. Brian(s) are the Luo men of all communities. They will ‘Agal toto bebina’ themselves into your heart. It will feel nice when they do that. It will come close to the soft life that has been on a manifesting spree on the internet. And then, just when you are beginning to get comfortable, when you have stretched your pedicured soft legs on the dashboard of his Subaru, headed out to join the rest of the cheers baba squad at Nanyuki where they are chinjaing a mburi, he will step on the emergency breaks and since he had a safety belt on, it is you that will be bolted out through the windshield.

In a weird turn of events, chances of surviving the impact are high; the cost of surviving is what should worry you. We are talking about endless therapy sessions and unsolicited character development classes. You get the gist, right? Stay away from Brian(s).

“You know, Brian was a good guy. His only problem was cheating,”

“Yeah that was his only problem,” replied Carol.

“His only problem? What do you guys mean, that is THE PROBLEM. How do you trivialize cheating like that?” I bursted out in half shock, half amusement.

The two said something that I missed since my mind had already drifted off. “Is cheating really that bad?” I thought

The thing is, men come in different forms. For this particular article, we will focus on bad men. A man can be bad because he cheats, perhaps he is emotionally or physically abusive, sometimes he can be an all-round jerk. All hail the king of assholery.

I have met women who have no problem with a promiscuous man “As long as he cheats respectfully,” they say. At the start, I wanted to fight these women, but with time and experience, you learn to respect people’s choices and to mind your business. Part of my business is that I cannot entertain a casanova. But here’s the thing, a cheat seems less of a burden than other characters of a bad partner.

For instance, in a discussion with a group of colleagues about why people stay in bad relationships, Wangari said, “Cheating for me is a deal-breaker; I would leave a man who cheats without second-guessing my decision. But I’d stick with an emotionally abusive man longer. Longer because I’d keep convincing myself that I need to give it my all before I pack my bags. That when I leave, I will have no regrets. It’s like a spell aki and it happens to a lot of girls.”

I argue that it is easier to leave a man that cheats, than a man who is a jerk in other ways.

So, what next? What happens when you find yourself attracted to a bad man? I want to tell you to make a run for it, but I’d be lying. Besides, where is the thrill in that? You will come across these types of men at least once in your life. Embrace them. If you live in Nairobi, it might be significantly more than once and if you are in Kenya, well, we have a predictable pattern of making very bad decisions then watering them down with jokes. If that is anything to go by I can’t really predict how many times you will settle for a bad man, but what I know for sure (foshoo) is, you will make it out alive and laugh about it, just like we are causally confessing about losing 2 billion shillings per day. You’ve got to love us.

If you follow my advice (do not) and get entangled with a seemingly bad man, this is what will ensue. You will soon realize that there is no beauty in trying to change a man. That romanticizing brokenness is only for the movies (read Bridgerton). That no, there is no amount of love, cradle, or nurture that can fix a man’s brokenness. And probably, he is not broken after all, he is just deliberate on being a jerk and that that is not your burden to carry. You will have to unlearn the socialization that women are healers and if the cards are served halfway as good as I predict, for the first time you will learn to put yourself first. A deep desire to learn the art of selfishness that men embody so easily will be sowed. Then it will be up to you to nurture it.

On the flip side, are people who unsuspectingly fall in love with bad men. Dear person, first, refer to the lessons above. Then slowly, accept that life is not fair, that it is okay to fail, and that that relationship is a write-off. I say, if he is not meeting you half-way, recognize there is no future in that relationship and cut your losses, leave. But even as you leave, and this applies to all of us, leave with your grace intact.

There is no point in being a trashcan because he is trash. There is no point in feeding the fire, because sometimes that same fire may end up consuming us. And if we walk this life allowing every situation to change us, somewhere along the way we will lose our identity. And that is the real tragedy.

So when love does not work out, as it may sometimes, in the words of Nikita Kering bow, say goodbye and let it go.

Hey gang! Man, I have missed ya’ll, a lot more than it shows, believe me. This is me signing in. Rumor has it that I died of an illness, procrastination. Ignore the rumors, I’m alive and blooming. To prove that, the next piece will be our regular creative fiction, stick around and share the news.

Photo Courtesy: Google


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