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The Demise Of The African Man - Poem by mukami mbaabu

THE DEMISE OF THE AFRICAN MAN by Mukami Mbaabu
Pray, Someone show me a truly African man,
Because they either galloped off the face of the earth…..or they are hard to come by..
Iam not talking about, those men…with male features, beards, muscles…well and the works…
Those are in plenty…but what am looking for…is a truly African man, who appreciates and understands what manhood is all about
The kinda man who is in touch with his spirit….and culture….and his pride
A man who emanates power….confidence and sheer maleness,
The man you just love to respect….
That man you feel safe with

Whatever happened to the African man…?
Is it that the society shifted all attention to the girl child……neglecting the equally important boy child?
Do we not see human rights groups demonstrating when a girl or woman is mistreated? Have you seen them wasting their precious time in the streets championing for the rights of the boy child?
Don’t get me wrong, iam a woman…..
But isn’t it always about….educating the girl child, empowering women….? Then I daresay, it’s a no wonder…that we have the society that we have now….
Or Is it that our fathers were so busy trying to make paper..and catching up with comrades at the bar after work…that the role of nurturing the boy child was left to the mothers…..who albeit with good intentions…….made women out of the boys?
Were our fathers ever at home? no they were busy trying to make ends meet…
They had to look for school fees, and money for food…and put up a decent roof over our heads…
And in most cases..the word family planning was foreign to our parents…
So with all the mouths to feed, a man had to do his best…and when it got out of hand…
The nagging wife….and yawning discontented children …..kept him at bay…
The local bar…with kamau, onyango and kilonzo….
They would drown their never ending miseries in alcohol..
And sometimes…Muthoni, the bar maid gave them more intrigue than the black bottle…
Bottom line is……some of us only saw our fathers in the mornings….just before he left for the bus stop
And that means our mothers…reared us, mentored us….and made us who we are…
Good luck for the girls, they grew up to be the women they ought to have been…
But what of the boys?
Did they have someone to instill values of manhood in them?
Were they not brought up with softness….and tamely like their sisters?
Were they taught how to fix things in the house? Were they taught how to protect their wives, children and homes? Were they taught about the responsibility of being head of a home?
If the example they were to learn through, was that of their fathers…then your guess is as good as mine……as to why they have turned out how they have…….
They adored their mothers…because, they were always there for them…to cook for them, to wash for them, to nurse their wounds, to reassure them….. to help them do their homework, to attend school meetings….to discipline them –a little of course
They admired their mothers so much…that they turned out to be like them when they grew up….
And voila…….as imitators of their mothers and sisters…they have not disappointed….in fact they learnt so much of that stuff…they beat their sisters to it

I mean….even when the boy child has all grown up,
Isnt he still trying so hard to be like his mother…or sister?
Look at their hair, look at their nails….look at their dressing…..multicolored shirts…that pass for blouses…
Tight pants…..lip accessories….
The powerful…sweet smelling colognes that have been designed to kill the powerful male scent…a thing they ought to be proud of…..
Listen to their very feminine talk…save for the deep voice….
But even if that were to pass…
It is their character…and personality…that just shows how grave the situation is…
Indecisive, cowardly, unsure…low self esteem….lack of seriousness, pettiness, fear of commitment…..
This is the current African man for you…..
And it spreads across the divide…
Just create time today, and watch news…
Or watch a session of live parliament proceedings
Isn’t it the men…in suits bickering, and mouth lashing at each other?
Calling each other names…….a role that was previously dimmed….a woman’s worst behavior…by men?
Wouldnt you have expected Martha Karua, and Beth Mugo, or Millie Odhiambo…or female politicians in whichever your country?
To be the ones..behaving in this irrate, and petty exchange of words amongst themselves? on national tv, especially?
Yet, have you ever heard them doing so?

Dear Men,
Manhood is greatly missed in this society of ours…
Something went wrong somewhere….
Lets correct it soon….
An African man….is special….because he takes manhood seriously…
Think of your grandfather…and his kins…
They are men…you adored, they are men who every woman loved to respect, to have for a husband, or brother…..or uncle
They taught you how to hunt, how to keep livestock, they taught you secrets pertaining to manhood,
They made warriors out of you, They mentored you…
And whether, they had a coin or none in their coats….
They walked with shoulders high, all self confident…..and everyone respected them…
It was just that natural…it wasn’t just about money…or wealth

Much as iam a free spirited woman, career oriented, very independent…and sure of myself
I know I need a stronger man……as a father, as a brother, as a husband…as a friend…
I need that man…..who’s truly all African…..and strong in=belief, in personality, physically…
I need a man who brings order to this otherwise cluttered world…
A man….who is not afraid to be himself, a man who does not have to lie, a man who is not chickened out by commitment, a man….who understands and appreciates his responsibilities….
A man …I can respect, get counsel from…and look up to.


You have surely noticed this…..that every woman has become so ambitious…and powerful lately…
Career oriented……professional…..yes, they are taking over….owning businesses, controlling economies…sitting in vital board rooms..
Believe you me, I have nothing against women rising up the ladders….besides iam one of those…
But ask yourself, dear man….why is this the trend?
Because a gap exists….and the women are filling it up….
Because the man…has neglected his duties……..he is no longer sure of his abilities…
And is totally lacking in ambition
And have you asked yourself why the modern woman, does not want to be tied down to a marriage?
You have heard the utter nonsense…..from them…
“Iam too busy, I don’t have time for a relationship, least of all…a marriage…”
And don’t they trap you man….just enough for you to get them pregnant…and then they disappear with your child….because maybe…that’s all they want?
How many single mothers are there nowadays……almost every woman I know is…
But its not because it was an accident…but rather…that’s what they wanted…
Truth be told, all those flimsy excuses …about not wanting a relationship, or a marriage….
Are a cover up for the underlying problem…
Men are no longer men….
And every woman wants a proper man….in the absence of which….they would rather stay without…than live with a man’s shadow!

Tale care men, lest the days of Mekatilili catch up with us again….
I implore with you, that you revisit your roots, and origin….
And take man hood….as seriously…as it so deserves…

And if you are that rare commodity…that has gone scarce…
If there are still those few truly African men..
I plead with you to save your breed, and your gender…from becoming extinct
Would you give this some thought?
Would you mentor the little boys…..and the young men….
Would you instill those much needed values of African manhood in them…
Before they start playing with dolls, instead of playing ball?

Hustling you must, providing for your family…..is something you garra do
But don’t let it get the better of you…
Money will not mould you kids personalities, nor will it give a boom to their self esteem…
Money will not make your wife love you…nor respect you…
But, your presence will; ………
Make time to play and bond with your children….and wife….
Go for those camps with your sons…..take them to a football match…
And let them get some scars out of boy fights with the neighbors sons…
Lets them learn…….what being a man is ……while they are young
And set the best example…….ever

I want to raise sons…..who are male in every respect of the word…
I want my daughters….to get married to men….who are men….in the actual sense of the word….
And that means….i must make a home with a husband….who takes his role, and responsibilities as the man of the house, the head and master…….to heart……..
That is if that man, is not extinct already……


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