Drama galore in the villages
It’s Christmas eve, a time for culture shock, especially for those travelling upcountry where the guests and wenyejis may not quite gel. Here is a glimpse of what awaits them
City wives who loathe going to the village
The fact is, when you are married, villagers have different expectations of you. They still expect you to go to the river and fetch water, or even in some remote areas, fetch firewood.
They will criticise you in front of their son should they find out you can’t perform the so-called duties of a wife material.
Anne Odhiambo, a lawyer, has had this kind of experience and whenever her husband mentions that they are going home for Christmas, she gets upset.
“While he enjoys going home for Christmas, I don’t, because I don’t like the way they judge me,” she laments.
Villagers’ way of saying, karibu
While urbanites usually have scheduled meal times, for village folks any time is meal time.
When you knock at their door, you will be ushered in with a cocktail of foods and drinks— some strong tea, porridge and groundnuts or chapati— especially when it’s Christmas.
And if you can’t sort it all at once, you better not try saving it, for there will be a ready-and-willing mouth to deal with it.
Advice: tuck in as much as you can when in the village lest you find yourself going hungry as others feast.
The ‘why are you not yet married’ question
This is for the single women and men in their late 20s— or even early 30s. In the village, many of their peers already have five or more children, and this is why failing to show up with your Prince Charming might ruin your Christmas.
And woe unto you, if there is a hint of broken relationships in your life; you will be dismissed as an embarrassment. The villagers, who will sit in judgement, will not entertain any excuses.
Never mind that their lives in marriage could be a living hell. Of course, after their grilling, they will expect you to sponsor their Christmas as a good son and daughter of the village.
The ‘you so thin’ remark
While in the city people diet and work out to lose weight, for village folks, the bigger the better and the healthier. Being plump is a mark of wealth, health and good living.
Frida Makena, a city girl, confesses that one of the reasons she hates going to the village is because her petite figure casts her as sickly and suffering in the eyes of the villagers.
“They always tell me to go back to the village and eat because they think that life is hard in the city, “ she says
It is worse, if you are married and your husband is slim. You will be accused of staving their son to death.
Dealing with the ‘beggars’
Many villagers believe that people who stay in the city have money 24/7. This is not just by relatives, but also the random people you meet on the road.
They feel Father Christmas has come when they see you around and will ask for cash. And dare you try to turn them down; you’ll receive a curse from the ancestors.
Worse, they will gossip to the whole village of how stingy and proud you have become!
Choosy and showy relatives
This is especially from those who have rich backgrounds or have just flown to the village for Christmas.
To create an impression, they will show off in all manner of fancy clothing and display their wealth to the poor souls in the village.
The wives and children usually go a notch higher— and may not even want to interact with others or even take food local food. And because they are ‘special’, alternatives have to be sought, if they visit you.
To rise to their level, you are forced to talk in English or some semblace of urban sheng because to them mother tongue is alien.