Relationship counsellor Sheila Wachira and columnist with Eve Woman thinks that women have an inescapable desire to outdo each other. If, say, a friend married a doctor, another woman would want to marry an engineer in order to get even.
Thus why, by the time their fantasies collides with realities on the ground, they are too old, and bachelors rarely care less about them.
Beautiful women love gold. And the wealthy men have an appetite for beautiful women for validation and preservation of social status. Affluence, appetite for a higher life drives the beautiful women to settle for number 2. Therefore they can compromise on the jealousy from the first wife or the castigating society in exchange for a good life, medals and financial security.
Men are out there but cannot meet the threshold of the modern empowered woman. She has defined expectations of perks and the packs on his belly, his level of education, affluence and such. We also have men who will not propose or marry or get in a relationship. They just want ‘free pleasure’ all year round.
When it comes to marriage, virtually all men would prefer a woman who does not drink. “Women who drink make bad parents,” says Dixon Riungu, who runs a shop in Imara Daima.
2. Single motherhood
Despite its prevalence, single mothers rank fairly low in terms of eligibility. In Africa, children sired out of wedlock are still shunned. Few men are comfortable raising another man’s child. Single mothers are afraid that their future husbands can abuse their daughters. And men are constantly afraid that if it is a son, he can turn against them.
“It takes a man slightly desperate, or very understanding to take in such a woman,” offers Teddy Odawa, librarian at a public university.
3. Education and career
Ironically, while the girl child was freed to go to school, it is a quick way of killing marital dreams. The higher a woman climbs the education ladder the lower her chances of getting or remaining married.
“It takes up to 30 years for a woman to go through our education system up to doctorate level. Education thus consumes a huge chunk of ‘marriageable’ period. Older women most certainly can lose out younger women,” Paul Omondi, a Masters’ students of Anthropology at the University of Nairobi explains.
He adds that men marry ‘lower’ because educated women are considered ‘hard-headed’.