Njoki chege at it again and this time for the ladies

Last week, we lost Senator Otieno
Kajwang’ and as expected with
any ‘great’ African man, such a
man’s wake is never complete
without a tinge of high drama.
It wasn’t any different for
the Mapambano crusader whose
second wife showed up to view
her husband’s body only to
pambana with the first one.
I am sure you know the story by
now, but for the sake of those
who have been living under a
rock, I will re-tell the story. Her
name is Faith. She is Kajwang’s
second wife and as any widow
would, she went to view her
husband’s body.
The first wife and her crew
would have none of it. Poor Faith
was barred from viewing her late
husband’s body and humiliated in
public, in the full glare of media
Watching Faith being treated like
a mongrel and an outcast
disgusted me for several reasons.
I mean, it was so wrong on so
many levels; I am confused on
where to begin.
Now, here’s the deal. Many times
in this column, I have pointed out
the painful, obvious truth. Men
are and will always be
Only two weeks ago, I pointed out
the fact that we live in a skewed,
lopsided world where a man is
celebrated for having many
women and women are
condemned for desiring another
man besides her husband. It is
painful, but it is true.
My good male friend (married)
told me a glaring truth the other
day: “It is difficult for any man to
survive his entire life with one
woman.” He said ‘difficult’, not
So imagine my shock when I saw
how Mrs Kajwang’ the Second,
was treated by Mrs Kajwang’ the
First, as if Mrs Kajwang’ the First
did not know about Mrs Kajwang’
the Second.
I will not dwell on the two
widows at this trying time in
their lives, but I think first wives
need to treat second wives with a
little more respect than the
scenario we saw play out the
other day.
I can only imagine the sting that
comes with realising that your
husband has a number two. But
acting like she doesn’t exist and
treating the other woman with
disrespect in public does not
justify your pain.
By the way, acting like she
doesn’t exist, ignoring her and
barring her from burying that
man she equally loved does not
make her go away. It only makes
you a coward who is not able to
face certain challenges in life.
Ignoring the second wife or ‘that
woman’ as you probably call her
is like having a boil on your
forehead and walking around
town, acting like it is not there. It
is foolish to treat her and her
children disrespectfully, especially
if she has been around for as
long as 19 years.
After all, if anyone is to blame
and answer the hard questions, it
is that man who choose to have a
second wife.
It is not like she dragged your
husband out of your marital
home, kicking and screaming,
forcing him to marry her.
He went out of his way to have a
second wife, for a reason you
probably know but won’t admit
just yet.
Let’s face it. Polygamy did not
come fifty years ago. Neither did
it come a hundred years ago.
Polygamy has been around for as
long as God has been God. (Can I
hear an Amen!).
And just because you do not want
to admit that your man is
polygamous does not mean that
polygamy will go away.
I can assure you that as sure as
the sun rises from the East, the
average married man will have a
second woman out there that
either you know of, don’t know of,
or know of but won’t admit.
Polygamy was there before you
were born, and will exist a
hundred years after you die.
Pastors and bishops are paying
for their girlfriend’s abortions to
cover-up scandals; married
churchmen are paying rent for
another woman elsewhere behind
their wives’ backs while married
legislators are being shamed on
national media for failing to pay
child support.
Polygamy, as painful, disgusting
and betraying as it may sound, is
a reality that we should accept,
because it will be there for as
long as the institution of marriage
Call me misogynistic,
disillusioned, naïve or a
greenhorn, but feminism has
nothing to do with covering the
truth under the veil of ignorance.
After all, feminism is about facing
such issues head on. Tell that to
those Kilimani activists.
I think people should leave
second wives alone. They know
what they got themselves into
and let’s face it, some second
wives are treated better than first
Painful, but true. Sure enough,
they had children with married
men. You wonder why they are
happy playing second fiddle
and think they are cheap women
who won’t look for their own
men. But these second wives have
been castigated for so long.
Somebody has to speak out for
You can hate, dislike, loathe and
abominate them all you want, but
it won’t mean that they won’t
continue to carry your husband’s
babies and comfort them when
you are away.
And yes, I am not married,
probably will someday, and I will
be an insecure first wife; or
second wife. God knows. But that
doesn’t stop me from saying
things as they are.
Polygamy is the ugly sister who
will always be part of our family.
My advice, kubali yaishe (accept
and move on)!