He doesn’t want me to “over describe” his mother. So I will venture a more restrained version. Everybody has called her “Madhe” for so long her real name is of little consequence. If humans were elements of nature she would be a hurricane. No obstacle built by man has ever stood in her way. She has blown through bureaucracy, through stubborn bosses, through ill-mannered and entitled relatives, through teenage delinquency. If you are brave (or in this case, foolish) enough to stand before her and what she wants she will blast a hole through you. There is a word that was specifically invented to describe her personality; gargantuan. She’s of average height but built like a granary. Her arms are thick, like seven wooden pestles tied together -those traditional ones for crushing millet. Her thick neck has rings, and in a most agitated way (which is her most dangerous) she’s always wiping the back of her neck with a handkerchief. And breathing hard. And saying things like, “An ngato ok bi tugo koda!” She’s Luo. She’s a revered figure back in shags. Folk pussyfoot around her, like you would step around a lactating hippo. If you are her enemy she will crush you.

“When we were growing up she worked in the municipal council offices as a lowly clerk, one of the few women in that position,” he says. “Even though she was a mere clerk, you could tell that she wielded power in that office. People treated her delicately.”

His father, on the other hand- and as you would expect – was a mild man whose voice you never heard. He moved around the house like a shadow, silently blending into the furniture. He liked nothing better than to sit in the corner of the living room and read a newspaper as Madhe made a ruckus in the house: Why is this table dusty? Who wiped this table, and did they use their hands or their hair? And why are those dishes not dried? If you boys want me to dry those dishes I will. John! John! Bring me my black rubbers (ngomas) from my bedroom! And also, I won’t repeat that I want that bathroom clean! John, did I not say white rubbers? These are black rubbers! Don’t argue with me, I know what I said, white rubbers. Why am I paying your school fees if you can’t tell white from black?

He laughs when he recalls his childhood.

“There was one time when I was maybe 11-years old, one of my uncles had died and my dad’s family was trying to harass the widow during the funeral. During the eulogy Madhe – who was not in the list of people to speak – took to the podium and told them off. All of them. This was back in the early 80s when women were never allowed to speak that way, especially not where village elders were seated. Hell, even now it would take some guts to speak before ‘jodongo’ like that. It was a long, brave, famous speech that is referenced to date.”

“You could always count on her to be fair and fearless. She would not sit back if she disagreed with you, was never one to shy away from a confrontation, not even a physical one if it came to it. One day when my big brother was in high school he dared talk back at her. She rushed across the room like lightening and grabbed him by the neck, slamming him against the wall. “Oh, you think you are a man now that your voice is broken? Eh?” she seethed. “Are you a man?!” And that was that, any dissidence was quashed. Fear and order reigned.

Their house was testosterone-filled; they were four boys. But nothing was ever broken like in most houses with boys because if you broke something, Madhe would break you. Although they had a maid, over the holidays she would be sent away. It was up to them to clean the house, wash clothes, cook, iron and even go to the market. “I’m very good at picking tomatoes and kitungu and even fish. Do you know how you pick fresh fish from the market?” he asks me.

I’m honestly offended. I hate it when other Luos try to calibrate your Luoness to see if you are fit to be Luo. For what purpose, I know not; so that they can act more superior in the hierarchy of Luos? Is there a medal being awarded somewhere for the “most Luo” chaps in 2019?

“Of course I know how to gauge the freshness of fish; you look at the gills. If they are bright red it’s fresh fish, if they are pinkish they are not so fresh,” I tell him.

“Impressive!” he says, but doesn’t clap for me.

“Also,” I plough on, incessed that he would dare question my fish knowledge. “The smaller fish generally taste better than the bigger fish.”

“Is it?” he asks.

“It is,” I tell him proudly.

We are at Le Grenier à Pain, the French restaurant on Riverside Drive, his venue of choice. I’m having the deux oeufs au choix, which is something I would not dare pronounce even under extreme duress, intimidation or intoxication. He’s more cultured, digging into a saumon fumè. These things sound complicated when named in French, but in English they are pretty normal, so I won’t translate. After all, this is Madhe’s son I’m interviewing, he would be appalled if I translated it and made him look “ordinary.”

Because they were not treated in any special way as children, doing chores and all, he grew up knowing that there were no chores for women or chores for men because his mom, seated on the sofa knitting, would “lift her feet up for you to pass the duster under.” When you were done she would do an inspection, pointing out the spots you missed. And you’d repeat it, without grumbling. Madhe’s presence always loomed large over their heads and later penetrated all aspects of their lives; their choice of high schools, the choice of courses they took in the university, the jobs they picked, their habits. “Because she was always so confident and powerful, we automatically sought her approval on important matters.”

“And so it wasn’t altogether surprising when Madhe told me that it was a bad idea to marry my kuyo girlfriend,” he says. Let’s call her Njeri because Njeri is the most generic of Kikuyu names. He had first seen her in the university mess, queuing to pay for her food. Although he doesn’t want to me to overdescribe Madhe, he gives me the carte blanche (befitting phrase given our locale) to describe her as much as I want. She was very light-skinned (surprising), so light she seemed to darken every colour around her. So light that if you stood close to her (without passing out) you would see a little web of capillaries beneath her eyelids. She also had very wide hips. “Luhya hips,” he says.

“Problem was,” he says, “she had a boyfriend.”

“Problem for who?” I ask and we have a good laugh at that.

“As it quickly turned out, I became that guy’s problem,” he says. “He was doing architecture in uni but he was unable to build a good case to be retained.”

“I see what you did there,” I say.

So they started dating when he was in third year and right into his first job when he decided that he would ask her to marry him. She said yes. The whole time he was dating her, he never dared to take her to meet the folks because, one, back in the late 80s and early 90s you never took a girl home. Your parents assumed you were a virgin. And, two, she was Kikuyu. But then when he proposed he had to bite the bullet and introduce her to Madhe, who by this time was semi-retired and living in those old government houses with big compounds. “’I’m the last born, by the way,” he says. “That introduction didn’t go so well. I was a ball of nerves because I was afraid Madhe would say something blunt as she is wont to do. But she did something worse; she completely ignored her when she learnt her last name.”

He’s pushing aside the red onions on his plate. “My mom started working with the government as early as the mid-70s and for as long as I can remember, she would always be moaning about kuyos, you guy. Yawa Okuyu gi thago wa tich, yawa Okuyu gi timbe gi richo, yawa Okuyu ng’ama rach! You can imagine how we grew up; thinking that kuyos were only to be trusted as far as you could throw them. I remember not quite understanding what was with Madhe and kuyos. And all through my childhood, it was a rule that none of us would ever marry a Kikuyu. She would say ‘Bring me anything to this house, anything at all, even a Congolese, but don’t bring Okuyu. Shit was serious bwana. Then I show up with Njeri! Waah!” He laughs.

He tried to wait it out and see if she would come around. Tribe is a long shadow, as he discovered. “She simply said, no, you won’t marry her. She kept saying that she knew better, she knew what love was and marriage was not about love and there was a reason why she was against the marriage even when I told her that Njeri was different. She would shake her head and say, aah aah, nyathi okuyu en okuyu,” he says. “Remember that growing up we never really argued with Madhe, her word was always law. So I was in a catch-22 situation because here I was in love with Njeri and there was my mother, for whom I would do anything.”

“What about Njeri’s people?”

“Oh, it was better because she only had her mother who was a single parent of three children, with Njeri being the first born. Although her mother wasn’t excited about me, she wasn’t overt about it, she was at least cordial. Her siblings were easy because they were younger. But her relatives were terrible, kwanza her aunties, waah! One asked her why she would sleep with an uncircumcised man, kwani umekosa wanaume na hiyo urembo yako yote? A kahì? Ashaa!”

“Are you circumcised, by the way?” I ask.

“No,” he says. “But neither are 70 percent of all the men in the world above 15-years old.”

After four or so years of dating, Njeri got pregnant and conceived a baby boy. He was sure that a grandson from her last born would soften Madhe’s heart. His son was born at about 4.5kgs heavy, a chubby infant who came out with a toothpick in his mouth. When his mother came to see the baby in hospital, she was visibly elated. She cradled the baby in her arms, rocked him and spoke to him in Luo. “She was completely in love with my son but she couldn’t love Njeri,” he says. “And at some point it started frustrating Njeri because his mother would never reciprocate or even acknowledge her acts of kindness. Madhe simply ignored her most days.’”

“What was your dad’s opinion of this marriage?”

“Oh, I forgot to tell you that the fact that Njeri’s mom was single was a big deal for Madhe. She said that women eventually model their mothers and Njeri didn’t have the right example of what a wife should be, and precedence was a powerful thing.”

“And your dad?”

“Oh yeah, my dad….my dad is that guy who never has problems with people. I have never seen him get into a skirmish with anyone. So whenever my mom would give me grief about Njeri, he would say, ‘He’s a man now, let him make his own decisions.’”

Njeri wasn’t hot on this come-we-stay arrangement. She had always wanted to walk down the aisle in a white dress. But he just couldn’t do a wedding without his mother. That would not be a blessed wedding. He hoped Madhe would change her mind and fall in love with Njeri, but she remained distant as Njeri became more disgruntled and isolated. “Eventually it was too much for her and when my son was three we split up and she moved to the US with him on a Green Card.”

It wasn’t an acrimonious breakup but it was a difficult one. She simply wanted to belong and she wasn’t going to fight Madhe because, remember, Madhe was the hurricane. Years passed. He met someone, a Kalenjin girl who Madhe loved. “She’s a very tall, very beautiful lady. But what stood out about her is that she’s the kind you can give 10 bob and she will turn it into 100 bob by December. Very enterprising.”

They married in church. Two years later they had a baby girl, and another two years down the line, another baby girl. They bought an apartment at a fairly decent address. His career was flourishing. On the other end of the globe Njeri also met, dated and married a gentleman in a small church in misty Minnesota, a Mtu wa Nyumba. Life settled into what life settles into; marriage, children, work, traffic, birthday celebrations, a child’s tooth falls out, you lie to them about the Tooth Fairy, a bank loan, a project, the project stalls, fights at home, make-ups at home, a new car, wife gets a promotion at work, Easter in shags, Easter in coasto, family party in December, hangover on 1st January, etc etc.

“Were you talking to your son through this time?”

“At the beginning no, but Madhe kept telling me that my child is my child and I have to create a relationship with him regardless of where he is. So later, I tracked them down and we started having phone calls. All the while, I’d hardly talk to Njeri. I can count the number of times we spoke in all those years. It was always an odd email or sometimes she’d answer the house phone when I called my son.

One time Njeri emailed him; she was in Nairobi to visit her estranged father who was on his deathbed with kidney problems. “I remember going to meet her for coffee at Yaya center after her hospital visit. She was having a hot chocolate. She was still hot kabisa. When she stood up to hug me I noticed that she had a small bump, she was pregnant.”

She looked happy. She said she was excited to be expecting a baby and that her marriage was okay. He showed her the picture of his two daughters. “They are gorgeous,” she said. She showed him the picture of his son, who was now a teenager. They talked about his son, about life in Minnesota and about her father. “We spoke from midday to after 7pm. We sat for so long that she had to walk up and down the corridor to stretch her legs. We had lunch, 4pm tea and early dinner, then I dropped her off.” That night he felt strange things crawling up his body, like those crawling plants. These things grew towards his heart and settled there. He was confused about these feelings.

She was in Nairobi for two weeks and he met her every day of the last 10 days. On her last night they met for dinner at Fogo Gaucho. It was a warm night and she came wearing a bright yellow scarf around her neck. She had one of those pregnancies that make one glow. Her cheekbones looked as smooth as a pebble. They both had wedding bands and anyone would have thought they were a married couple sorting domes because at some point she started crying and she was saying, “No, please no.”

He had told her that he wanted her back. That he had never stopped loving her. That he had never stopped thinking about her. That he wanted her to leave her husband and come back home to him. That he would end his marriage at the drop of a hat. For her.

She said it was impossible. That the ship had sailed. That his mother still hated her. That she had a life in the US and it wasn’t a bad life. That she was content.

“But are you happy?” he kept asking her, and she kept saying, “Stop it, I don’t have to be happy, I just have to be content.”

“I don’t care what my mom wants anymore,” he told her. “I married the wife she wanted, now I want to marry the wife I love.”

“I’m pregnant!” she exclaimed. “I’m carrying another man’s child!”

“I don’t care,” he said. “I want you and that child.”

The evening didn’t go so well and not only because they hardly touched their food but also because nobody ordered dessert. Njeri was teary. She stood, picked up her purse and said, “I’m sorry, but I have to go.” He followed her outside where they waited for her Uber in silence.

“I don’t remember her saying bye,” he says. “She flew out the following day without a word. I emailed her, a long email and told her to think about it, and that I was serious.” She never responded to that email. Or to the next one he sent. He went back to his domesticity, to the mundane rigmarole of life, but she never left his mind. “I thought about her all the time. It was insane.” He kept sending her emails periodically, love emails, begging to have her back. They all went unresponded to. It was like sending God an email. Then one day, three years later, he got an email from her requesting his phone number. They started video-calling. He never took his foot off the pedal. His own marriage was neglected. “I wasn’t putting anything into my marriage and it was suffering. It’s like in the wild, when a lion tastes human meat, he will always want that meat so it has to be put down. I had to be put down, man. Or someone had to feed me what I wanted.”

One day she succumbed. She was willing to walk away from her life in the US, walk away from her husband, from her job, uproot her children from what they knew and bring them to Africa, to uncertainty, to the unfamiliar.

“Did you stop to think, whoaaa! Hang on, let me think this through?”

“I don’t know. What I knew was that I was not afraid.”

“And your wife, when were you planning to tell her?”

“That was the big question. I agonised over that for weeks. I wasn’t unhappy in my marriage. But I wasn’t happy either. I had settled. My wife wasn’t a bad woman because it would have been easy if she was a bad wife, but she wasn’t. But there was no love. We were raising children and I wanted to be more than just a father. I wanted to feel love again.”

“But love ends,” I say.

“True love doesn’t,” he says, “it just transforms.”

“Yes, but how do you know? It’s like someone handing you a parachute and saying, ‘Here, jump off the plane with it. We haven’t used the parachute in 10-years so we don’t know if it works, but hopefully it should launch’.”

“I think it’s belief. You have to believe in love for it to launch. How do you think Jesus walked on water? He believed.”

“I don’t know, man.”

Anyway, one day he told his wife about Njeri. She had heard about her, of course, and she just sat there and stared at him like she was hearing folklore. She asked, “You want to leave this and be with someone’s wife?” She asked what in the marriage wasn’t working for him. She asked him questions for days. And she cried every day. Then she told Madhe, who called him and asked, “You want to leave your wife and family to be with someone’s wife? Wiyi rach, nyathini? Yawa wuoda ng’ama ochieni?”

“I wasn’t scared of Madhe anymore,” he says. “I wasn’t willing to make her happy at the expense of my own happiness. If she was going to banish me from shags, so be it.”

He was summoned to the village where he went, hat in hand, and was asked why. Why?! Why?! His parents thought it was either mid-life crisis or modern day sorcery. Amazingly, nobody thought it was both. Why can’t it be both? Anyway, he refused to budge. He came to Nairobi and told his wife that he would leave everything to her; the house, the investments, everything except his clothes and his car. “She cried a lot,” he says somberly. “It felt horrible, but I had to do me, man.” They went through counselling. Pastors prayed for him.

Njeri landed in Kenya circa 2012, in cold July, six months before her father succumbed to kidney failure. She came with her daughter. Her son, who was around 18-years, remained with her ex-husband to go to college in the US.

“That year was extremely difficult for us,” he says. “I exhausted all my savings and my parents and siblings thought I had gone completely mad. I was an outcast and remained an outcast for two years.” They were tested as a couple.

“It has not been easy. Making a decision like that is the hardest thing I will ever have to do; you know, disrupting my daughters’ idyllic family life, breaking my wife’s heart to pursue my own happiness, leaving everything I owned, man, and starting afresh in my 40s. Basically it was learning how to drive before you learn how to walk. It was very difficult but even in the most difficult of periods, I never once thought I’d made a mistake.”

“This is the wildest story I have ever heard.”

He laughs. “I know you think I’m crazy.”

“I really do,” I say. “Are you happy? Was it worth it?”

“It is, even in our worst days, it’s still worth it. It’s going on seven years now. Even if one day all of this ends and she leaves me and everybody laughs at me, I will not have any regrets about the decision. And one other important thing this has taught me, Biko, is that we are so afraid to lose what we own. As in how many pieces of land do you have? How much do you have saved in stocks or treasury bills or in the money market? It doesn’t matter, imagine. We really cling onto these material things and we let status define us. I started over with nothing. I had only my car when I ended my marriage. Everybody thought I was mad. I even had to stop going to my wife’s church because I could see the judgment in their eyes. I moved into a one-bedroom flat in Langata, a neighbourhood I wouldn’t have imagined I would live in based on how far I had moved in life. The flats had only young people who blast music at night and come home drunk; it felt like a hostel. It was astonishing. But I knew what I wanted and what I didn’t want. You can never make a big move without a big sacrifice.”

“You should start a YouTube channel.” I say. “Name it, Big Move, Big Sacrifice.”

He laughs.

“How does this work?” I ask.

“Well, we are the full blended family. I have two girls with my ex- wife, they stay with her, but I sometimes have them over. My ex-wife and I are not really on talking terms, understandably, and I hope one day she will forgive me. I live with Njeri now and our daughter from her ex-husband. My son came to visit for the first time last year. He is now an adult, working and all.”

“And this guy, your wife’s ex, he just let go of her and the child without a tussle?”

“Oh, it was a big fight, she tells me, but you can’t stand in the way of true love, Biko. You can for a while, but eventually love breaks down all resistance. We have spoken over the phone twice. It was a very grown up conversation. He sounded like a really decent chap to be honest. He was very rational, and even though he was very angry, he never once insulted me. The second time we spoke was when he was trying to reach her when her phone was spoilt.”

“And Madhe?”

Two years after Njeri arrived, they tied the knot at the AG’s and later had a small intimate reception at a friend’s house. Madhe didn’t attend. She said she was ill. His father and his brothers were there. “I didn’t feel bad about it even though I wish she would have come.” Madhe was convinced that he would see the error of his ways and go back to his wife. It has been six years and he’s not going back. Last year Madhe came to visit them.

“She stayed in the SQ for a week,” he says. “It’s amazing how Njeri has always acted towards her. Even when my mom was at her nastiest in showing her that she wasn’t welcome, she never said an unkind word about her, not to me. She was always respectful, she kept trying and trying until she couldn’t and even when she gave up, she would always wish that she would like her. So when Madhe was here visiting, I’d sometimes come home to find them talking in the living room, or sometimes Njeri would go to her SQ to make sure that her beddings were okay and she would stay there for 30 minutes with Madhe, just talking. Madhe hasn’t completely come around, and she might not fully come around because she is also good friends with my ex-wife. I think she feels that she is betraying her. Also, she must just be very suspicious that this kuyo woman will one day ruin her son. But it’s baby steps, man, a day at a time.”

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    1. Proverbs 30:18There are four things that are too mysterious for me to understand:

      19 an eagle flying in the sky, a snake moving on a rock, a ship finding its way over the sea, and a man and a woman falling in love.

      This is love finding its way like water through rock’s cracks. BUT, did the chamgei girl and the okuyo in America have to go through this? Maybe they should be connected…who knows whatever surprises they may bring us?

        1. That guy has guts which I admire. Pursuing his happiness at all costs. Hope the Kale and Okuyo also found their happiness.

          Great piece Biko.

      1. Why does this sound so real only that the luyha in my story died. Madhe sounds like 100% my mother. I should have fought hard for my love but I didn’t

        1. As always I have picked up a lot.. from that read although all that Luo and French.. boy did I get lost at some point..
          Good read though. True love wins. More people should have such guts.. not to leave marriages though (at least not always) but to follow their hearts

      2. i knoooww..Right!!! damn..this gave me goose bump.This one is a one in a million kinda guy ,now this one gat real balls.

      3. i dont know why but i smell selfish somewhere.
        so the other two are also supposed to go out in search of their other true love?
        what if what they had was their version of true love?
        what of the children involved?wasnt there a bigger sacrifice at stake rather than two hearts?
        am still disturbed

        1. Well Derrick there is also another way to look at it. It was quite selfish of Him to hang on to a lacklustre marriage just to please everybody especially his mum. I think it was about time he did something selfish just for himself. Marriage is supposed to be for life man….you don’t want to be stuck with someone you just tolerate. He already did the wedding to please everyone. it’s his turn to be happy.

          1. I feel for the sweet kale chic. Why didn’t you just stand up to your mum early enough? Her approval still doesn’t count anyway. As long as you loved Njeri vith the same vitality you do now, you would have saved a lot of people. I feel sorry for your ex-wife. As for you and your Njeri, love wins. Love will always find a way.

        2. This just makes me not want to get married. What if they are in love with someone else and after having two kids , me and my kids become a sacrifice for “true” love? This is complete bullshit about two extremely selfish people. If you are in love with someone else don’t get married. I don’t know why some people are seeing him as some kind of a hero.

          1. Well spoken,I don’t understand the love that is built on the misery of others. In a way his mum was right,she did ruin him and he ruined her but all the same may it work out this time around so that they do not hurt any more people.

        3. true derrick, “only men do things to please their mums ” he should have fought harder for his love before marrying again, his mother wouldn’t kill him for that…..too much sacrifice for just two hearts.

          1. I think we should master self-love soon enough to avoid collateral damage of hurting others similar to this story

        4. I too found this story rather painful. So many innocent souls were hurt for the sake of 2 self-serving fellows. quite depressing.

          1. Very depressing indeed. Innocent people were hurt deeply in their pursuit of true love. This is bulshit

        5. Its a tricky situation this one. I am guessing the guy is a sanguine. we don’t do too well in unhappy situations leave alone unhappy or plateaued marriages .Maybe the Kale chic wasn’t happy either but she wasn’t going to leave and that was up to her. But for him Njeri was worth taking the risk for and not many actually I personally know no man who has taken such a risk so I commend him. It could be selfish and maybe things will end but maybe they also will not end and they will grow old with each other. Marriage is forever and hat is a long time to be discontent ad chasing young girls three decades your junior simply coz uv just discovered that YOLO

        6. I find it selfish too. If you’ve committed to someone then make it work. The two jilted spouses here were not doing anything to harm their marriages. Then these two do this! Families broken, people hurt, relationships shattered so that two people can pursue what? Someone is cheating someone here. I suspect these two are only together to save face right now!

        7. The best thing for this couple to do is to go to God and ask for His forgiveness like David did when he messed around with Bathsheba Psalm 51. God redeems. What they did was selfish and can’t be undone. However they can make amends by acknowledging that what they did was wrong and apologizing to the affected parties.

        8. I thought this was a very selfish move as well. So many people were involved and somehow only their hearts matter??? It Would hae saved everyone so much time and heartache if he stood up to his mother from the beginning.

        9. I am moved… I am encouraged to always following your hurt, but it all depends with the kind of ‘Madhe’ you are dealing with…

        10. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
          1 Corinthians 13:2‭-‬7 MSG

      4. I really felt this article.. It’s true that love surpuses all odds… This two made such a great sacrifice

        1. maybe he should have thought of that earlier enough before involving the kale woman in his life. And how about the kids?Well fighting for true love is okay and all,but the timing man. I don’t know whether parents ever get to understand what a child goes through when the house is breaking. These kids deal with serious psychological turmoil because of broken homes in the name of chasing your
          freaking happiness. I call it selfishness, not true love

      5. Wow…. You can never make a big move without a big sacrifice.”…..this is how brave we ought to be.

    2. Did he at any one time tell the kalee girl that he never loved her,that he was in love with his ex all this time? This is a bit selfish of him.

    3. Wow, now this is more than sacrifice. Clearly being contented doesn’t translate to being happy. He had guts to reclaim his happiness, but then again the Ex-wife still suffers from this so there is no winning all without losing some.

    4. I love this story. Normally you know when you are marrying someone who trully loves someone else. Deep down Nyar Kalenjin and the dude in America knew these two loved each other. They knew they were taking risks marrying them. I don’t think any of this surprised them.

    1. Whoooaaah!!. Now this sounds more like love or witchcraft or both, but very few get to experience such! I think they’ll be good if they’ve done seven years!!

  1. Well, damn! This is the wildest story I’ve read in a while. There are people with guts then there’s this.

    Plus, there are so many quotable phrases today!
    Here’s my favorite.

    “But love ends,” I say.

    “True love doesn’t,” he says, “it just transforms.”

    “Yes, but how do you know? It’s like someone handing you a parachute and saying, ‘Here, jump off the plane with it. We haven’t used the parachute in 10-years so we don’t know if it works, but hopefully it should launch’.”

  2. My Oh My!!! This world is truly not ours and some things only God can explain..

    Im just here wondering how Nyar – Kalenjin is doing and what is going on in her mind!!

    1. mixed emotions probably, anger.. awe, sorrow.. envy.. but mostly murderous thoughts ‍♂️

    1. Wow!!! Why am I teary? This guy had the gusto do what most married people can’t. They love unhappy lives, all under the pretext of ‘the kids’ and ‘invested time’. Life is too short to be with someone you don’t love
      Sadly, non of us want to get out of our comfort zone and be true to ourselves. I love this.

    1. As much as true love conquers and all that ….don’t let it get to a point of being selfish and hurting another person …..

  3. Courageous. Outstanding. Unconventional. True love triumphed. Kudos to Njeri and her love for such an inspiring story. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  4. When we let our own prejudices thrive instead of love we ruin so many people’s lives. Had the hurricane accepted Njeri the other kuyo guy na kale wouldn’t be hurting now. We need to end tribalism.

    1. Indeed, tribalism needs to die and be buried and concrete poured in the grave, on top of the casket.

      1. I even started feared the person in love with me will meet an ex and remember how he loved her, and after planning well, he decides he has to chase his happiness

    1. Biko….in my language the word ‘kino’ is very versatile just like the colloquial use of ‘kwani’. So when you draw it out like ‘kiiiiino’ it is actually an indication of extreme admiration/gratitude etc…..boss, this is a bloody gem, bank it. And to Madhe’s last born son i doff my godpapa and day ‘live long and drink deep’ of the chalice of life. Live long and drink deep damnit!

      1. And saying things like, “An ngato ok bi tugo koda!”
        And saying things like, “Me! No one’s gonna mess with me!”

        My mom started working with the government as early as the mid-70s and for as long as I can remember, she would always be moaning about kuyos, you guy. Yawa Okuyu gi thago wa tich, yawa Okuyu gi timbe gi richo, yawa Okuyu ng’ama rach!
        My mom started working with the government as early as the mid-70s and for as long as I can remember, she would always be moaning about kuyos, you guy. These Kyuks make work life difficult. These kyuks behave badly. Kyuks are not good people!’

        She would shake her head and say, aah aah, nyathi okuyu en okuyu,
        She would shake her head and say, aah aah, the child of a Kyuk is a Kyuk

  5. Lord, protect our decisions, because making a decision is a way of praying. Give us the courage after our doubts, to be able to choose between one road and another.

      1. What the actual fuck???!!!!!!! Although to be honest I can’t exactly bring home a luo boy……..I wonder what my parents would say…….I mean yes mum wants me to be happy buy she also wants her husband to not go to jail for killing a luo…….what the fuck did I just read biko?!!!!!

  6. Nothing stands in the way of true love….True love takes a natural course just like a river does…. whoever has experienced such love can attest to this.

    At the end of the day we should never marry to please others, when you stand your ground the people who fight you see what that really means to you and eventually they come around.

    I love this Biko . Am soo in love with this post…. True love never fails

    1. The bitter truth is that you don’t have to sacrifice your happiness for the sake of others. For the sake of Madhe’s happiness, marriages broke and hearts distorted.
      Indeed true love never ends.

    1. Simply the juice was not worth the squeeze… too much heart break, too much destabilization of normal families, all in the pursuit of an elusive ‘true love’ which never exists. Life is all about practicalities and what works for both parties. Selfish is the word.

    1. For a moment,i thought what if Njeri never had visited Kenya for the two weeks ,would this story be different .I bet the ex husband of Njeri back in states regrets ever letting her visit Kenya alone for the two weeks which led to tables and cards being turned.All said and done ,it is what it is and at the end love wins.

  7. Wooah! That was an interesting read. “You can never make a big move without a big sacrifice” How much are you willing to lose to be with the love of your life? This is inspiring, acha nitext crush wangu

  8. “Her words is always law”-my mother in law.
    “He’s a man now, let him make his own decisions”-my father in law.
    I’m still not sure whether i’ll be Njeri in 10 years.

  9. I love it. At the end love prevails just wishing them God’s blessing and more years together. Lakini we needed translation bana. Even those loose translations would do. But at least a men’s and marriage piece that wasn’t so bad. Lately imekuwa tu those horror sequels I had given up on marriage,still do,but at least its at 95%.

  10. What kind of love is that?

    I wish I could experience love like that. I’m yet to be convinced that there is love between a man and a woman. You can love a sibling, a relative or your child.

    For men and women I believe its just money and/or sex. Some are lucky to have both (money & sex) some have none but stick it out for the sake of the kids.

    1. Acha ikae! Am not staying in a marriage for kids. Money comes and goes and the sex better be good. Forever is a loooong time to endure bad sex

  11. We tell our kids about the Tooth Fairy? What in the losing our culture as Africans!? Can’t wait to see a parent who actually does this. Prolly those of the ‘Kababa temea mgeni mate’ calibre.

    1. Well, it’s better to talk about the tooth fairy than to stop a son marrying the one he loves based on tribe. Culture is a double-edged sword…

  12. Tribe is a long shadow, as he discovered. She simply said, no, you won’t marry her.

    Its 2019 and sadly this is still a conversation that some of us have to delicately hold with our parents and relaz….

  13. I don’t know what to say.I just feel bad for his ex wife.She is just a victim of circumstances.She didn’t deserve that

    1. True love.Happy ending. What about the ex-wife you guys? Has anyone stopped to think what she might be going through at the expense of this true love? Meanwhile..that day when my son thinks I’m ‘hurricane’ Katrina itself, oooh how I long for this day!!!

  14. a Mtu wa Nyumba.

    I see what you did there,

    Mundu wa Nyumba.

    So this is how we define true love, ama?

  15. That, right there, was true love!
    I love the bit about making the hardest decisions and not being afraid of what people think in persuit of your own happiness. As a man!

    1. “His father, on the other hand- and as you would expect – was a mild man whose voice you never heard. He moved around the house like a shadow, silently blending into the furniture”

      This man deserves a trophy. He has conquered even what his own dad could not. A river can meander, take a long coarse, cause destruction along the way but, it has to reach the ocean at last.

  16. This is actually a sad story with hints of happiness scattered here and there like Salt Bae’s salt.
    Wah! Tribalism is bad.

  17. Wueh!
    Broken hearts and blended families, things I only see in the movies.

    Biko, the fish experiment, Hahaha!

  18. Waaah! What did my sister do to deserve this? Falling in Love with a man who had already fallen in love with another girl? This Life !. I think if we invest and channel our emotions to the partners we are married to, we can still breed love, whether true Love or just Love, our hearts can still be contented. Njeri and this guy are happy but what about the other five people? His former wife, his two girls, the other man and the other man’s daughter? Ohhh Life

    1. I don’t think it is love between Njeri and the guy. That man is selfish and disillusioned. He has no idea what love is. I mean, if he really loved Njeri he would never have let her leave for the US in the first place. Then there’s the fact that he didn’t even consider to keep in touch with the kid until Madhe convinced him to. How can a man not love his own flesh and blood and claim to love a woman?
      Also, he only left the wife after njeri said she would come back to him. He is a user. He continued to use the first wife until he found another option and left.

      1. This is the most sane comment here. A user is the right word. A man after the thrill! It’s not even about the mum! His problem is inborn. Such a self centered human this is!

      2. I cant agree more. The guy is egocentric. And he has the guts to say how Njeri came back with her daughter and his own son was left with another man who he knew very well was not happy with the mother’s idea to go back to her ex-hubby who is his biological dad. He shows no concern for his children but himself.
        I am just left wondering whether true love is just about two grown adults.

  19. Wow this story is all kinds of sadness, for the guy and for Njeri, for the exes and the children all because he didn’t have the balls to stand up to his mum initially then developed the balls and caused an avalanche of pain and heartache to innocent bystanders.

    1. Bitter sweet. This is not a love story. Exes were not bad ,abusive it doesnt say. They were content who knows they could have worked on being happy. Sex even if that wasnt good.
      If exes were abusive, cheated or they parted for other valid reasons, then Njeri and this dude met organically and fell back in love, that would be a love story. A love that never died. This, this makes him the hurricane damaging innocent lives.

  20. “How does this work?” I ask.
    “Well, we are the full blended family. I have two girls with my ex- wife, they stay with her, but I sometimes have them over. My ex-wife and I are not really on talking terms, understandably, and I hope one day she will forgive me. I live with Njeri now and our daughter from her ex-husband. My son came to visit for the first time last year. He is now an adult, working and all.”

    The things that true love does!! priceless.

  21. Whoa! What a whirlwind. One of those stories that can make a great movie.

    I wish he’d just eloped with Njeri to begin with. His mum still didn’t attend his wedding, and how many peoples’ lives have been disrupted in the process of him getting back to his first love?
    I don’t blame him entirely, sometimes we have such a powerful shadow cast over us by our tough folks, and it impacts our decision-making processes.
    I hope everyone affected by this finds peace one way or the other..

  22. Well done and live your life hun, wish many people had such courage to leave loveless marriages or relationships that are not working. You only live once so enjoy!

  23. Reading through the story had me wishing there would be some trailer accompanying this drama, even if it had to be dramatized. Life really throws stuff at us. Most of which hit us by surprise. I really feel for this jamaa’s ex wife but I really like the continuation of their love with Njeri. There’s just something intangible about real love. When you experience its different and at times very strong like a hurricane. Hehe (just had to). Like in Madhe’s case, nothing stops it no matter what. We only have a single life, and am glad this guy found his home and went crawling back there. Real Gee for sure !!

  24. I think that lady is Njeri for real, Njeris are just such great personalities I’m glad I’m one. On a different note I really don’t understand what it is between Luos and Kikuyu’s, what’s so different about us (apart from our opinions about the foreskin)? It’s gotten to a point where parents now are pretending to compromise ati … ‘Kwani hujapata mtu bado, mlete tu hata kama ni ‘mjaruo’?’ Sad sad

  25. Love is not selfish. Why marry someone you do not love? Why didn’t they just remain single?!
    Now all these children suffering because of selfishness.

  26. I have never been so tense reading your posts. Heads up for this one. I mean, that guy, he is my fucking role model. I wish we could all be as wise and bold as him, unafraid of the expectations bestowed upon us by the society. I have only watched this in movies, glad it can happen in real life. In Kenya for that matter.

    1. Someone gets it. People in this comment section are talking about him being ‘selfish’ and I’m thinking, I wouldn’t want to stay with someone who loves someone else, kwanza that deeply. And his daughters will be fine – having a happy dad is good for them; and they’re being socialized to learn that life is messy but success & joy belong to the bold & audacious, like their dad.

  27. Recently, someone gave me their own definition of “Self-care”…’s when you do whatever it takes to makes yourself happy. Even if I means breaking hearts, cutting everyone out including family.

    1. Oh my! The anxiety as i was reading this was so real. Its a sad story honestly, the selfihsness, the bitterness , the tribalism! For us that are still waiting on that queue, mama give us a signal to know the true love before its late.

  28. This story is somewhat similar to Chimamanda’s book Americanah. I never thought that I would relate fiction to reality ever, I’m just shocked that this happens in real life. A man leaves his wife for his real love, wow.

  29. Quite an intriguing narrative…..
    I wonder when these Madhe’s will stop intruding in their sons lives/marriages….

  30. Its a bad intent on our Kikuyu girls from madhe, well it should be “mathî”.
    I keep saying that love is biology you can’t harm.
    Its a nice read. It ended so fast.

    1. I totally thought so too! When Obinze tells Ifemelu at the end that he ‘wants to act’ and he doesn’t want their love to be some poetic tale of sadness.., this guy is such an Obinze!

  31. Big Move. Big Sacrifice.
    This must be the true love we always hear about. I am still trying to understand how this happened.

  32. Biko: He doesn’t want me to “over describe” his
    mother. So I will venture a more restrained
    Also Biko: describes so detailed I can see madhe’s face.. Lmao

  33. This is such a wonderful read. His story is a mixed bag of everything I envision love to be and I enjoyed every second of it.

  34. Did love triumph..? Not sure.. too many causalities here. Innocent children , ex-wife, ex-husband who did nothing wrong by loving these two. I think sometimes an interest of an individual has to be set aside , well they say love makes us do crazy things. Biko, this marriage series has left a lot to be desired in the marriage institutions…!

  35. This is a very mixed and confusing story. At least to me. It could pass for a telenovela script with production in Mexico and airing at Inooro Tv with Kikuyu voice overs.

    How can this man have peace after all this? When some people are haunted for life with a small small breakup with a girlfriend?

    But I appreciate the greater lesson of finding happiness in the first place. The people we love may not be darlings to our parents, our friends or even our children, but if they make us happy it seems love will always lead us back to them.

  36. There is a very thin line between seeking happiness and selfishness but depends of which way you look at it. Anyway, who are we to judge? Making such a decision is indescribable.

    1. But love ends,” I say.

      “True love doesn’t,” he says, “it just transforms”
      New life lesson..

  37. Njeri*, Hats off!! Such a woman is rare to find, but once found seems like a Love eternity is posdsible. And, wait…making such a move?…Man, this man had Balls, with a capital B!

  38. At this rate am not sure on which ground am standing on could be the Kalenjin’s lady and then the carpet is swept of my feet and we are already on 4th floor, truly wonders never end i honestly feel for her and the diaspora ex

  39. They will bother and coax you into bringing someone home. They will claim you are getting older, lament they are getting older, they will complain how they want to see their grandchildren before they go back to the soil. You will summon courage from yourself and forces deep within.

    “I’ll be bringing someone,” you tell them over a phonecall.

    The day comes. You present the person you love and you know what they say? “Not this one. You have chosen from the wrong tribe. Try again.” They could say it without saying it.
    (I have a cousin who lost her mind because they denied her the chance to marry someone she loves, because of their tribe. How I pray this day never comes for me )

  40. This begs the question, how well do you know your spouse? Will you one day be told there is this person back in their life?

  41. The balls that this man developed, he should have developed them a long time ago before entangling everybody in the mess. Also, if all of us were to go for purely what we wanted without any reasonable concern for the people in our lives today, it would be chaotic. My take, make these decisions as soon as you are clear on what you want. Of course the world will not prevent you from pulling this kind of move, albeit when its a bit late, but you would have been so unfair to so many people.

  42. A day at a time indeed. Never Give up! If you live by that day-at-a-time philosophy you will surely make it no matter the obstacles.

    Love wins in the end,

  43. Fight to the last tooth for what/Who you love, it will always be worth it.
    Also Biko, I am pretending I understood all the Luo here lakini sawa tu!

  44. Actually back here in Uganda we don’t have scathing tribal shenanigans like that between kuyos and Luos, but why really. This “simple piece of meat aka foreskin that can’t satisfy a kitten”….really. Now see the sadness it’s leaving in its wake. We can do more.
    And I find that I wanted to do me stuff rather selfish.

    1. I am Luo. She is Kikuyu. We dated for a tumultuous while, but it was a memorable ride. We eventually broke up. Well, to be honest, I sabotaged things because I knew nothing would come of our union. The distant voice of my mother ringing in my mind led me towards sabotaging the relationship. “I don’t want to bury my son, you know how those girls from there are…”, my ‘hurricane’ would say.

      She just texted me a few minutes ago to check on me. She says she misses me. I replied that I miss her too. I particularly miss holding her with her head buried deep in my chest. Now all I hold onto is a palpable feeling of sadness and loneliness choking me.

      I told her that I find it so hard to get her out of my mind; but I find it even more impossible to get her out of my heart.

      Anyway…c’est la vie.

    2. I couldn’t agree more! These are deep wounds for the exes and the children especially. There is a sense of abandonment and deep brokenness. Our African mums are women of steel but if there’s any kryptonite… it’s this.

      You could be loved dearly as a wife, or you (and your children) could be abandoned – 50/50 – Only God knows!

  45. Of all the stories I have ever heard, in all of my life, this was like a punch in the gut. It’s hard to tell how to feel. Exhilaration? Sadness? What? But to be completely fair, this wholly unsatisfactory outcome was of the Hurricane’s own making. Trying to get between two people that loved each other on account of “kuyophobia”. And I think it’s amazing that they found their way back to one another. Waah!

  46. It’s much easier for men to leave everything and move on and even easier for a woman who has a choice presented before her,but how about the Kalenjin lady who has no choice but to accept what life has thrown to her,where does she begin?I think she is depressed and wondering why her….and need help.People should be sincere with their feelings from the start and follow through with their actions without hurting other people or letting them know before hand that their heart belong to someone else and if they can’t they should remain single untill they find the courage to follow through with their hearts desire.

  47. I need me a man who knows what he wants (me) and me only,and has the courage to risk it all and go after it.A man who believes in true love.Because I do too.

  48. This story is just sad. This shit can happen to any of us. He should have stayed single instead of wasting that kale lady’s happiness. Ata sisi we have given up on people we loved. Alar! Why am I so angry!?

    1. hahahahah! I feel you, am also more angry than impressed by this ‘love story’! Maybe we need a shrink, we could be having underlying anger on unrequited love hehe

  49. Quite an intriguing narrative…
    I dont know when madhe’s will stop intruding in their sons lives/marriages?..

  50. True love lives. You can never understand his decision to leave a stable situation to go for the unknown unless you experience true love. Sadly, 90% of human beings will never Experience true love. That said, thats a real courageous man. May God keep him and Njeri happy.

  51. Just because something isn’t familiar to us doesn’t mean it’s wrong. this dude followed his heart and did the unthinkable; he chose his own happiness over everyone’s. Kudos to you man.

  52. as sad as we might make it sound,wengi mnaongea ni kama huyo kale(again tribalism) hakukubali hizo mali aliachiwa

  53. Whoooaaah!!. Now this sounds more like love or witchcraft or both, but very few get to experience such! I think they’ll be good if they’ve done seven years!!

  54. You’re not reading Biko right if you don’t take breaks in between to look up the meaning of words. Those French cuisines.

    Anyway for a moment there I thought he was writing about my story only that the hurricane is my dad, she is Meru/Kamba from a single mum, I am Okuyu and we are only dating.
    The situation is pretty fkd up and I don’t think I want this kind of life.

  55. After reading this story. I doubt if I have ever been in love to the point that I could throw away so much.
    Secondly, I think that unless my wife has real issues like infidelity, disrespect, she’s lazy and dirty, unteachable, denial of conjugal rights etc then there is no valid reason to look at another woman, worse still, another man’s wife – even if I once had an interest. Moreover, aren’t the gates firmly shut when a woman gets married to another man – flip the coin and put yourself in her husbands shoes.
    I think this guy is a bit reckless – his immediate former family does not deserve this. And to cap it up, in the old testament days, this was an abomination to God – who changes not. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (You should not take back a wife you divorced, after she has been remarried, even if she is divorced again or her husband dies).
    There are people who find themselves in trouble and then there are those who seek trouble …. but then again he claims to have found true love and I am certain that I never have and probably never will …..

  56. You see the impact that parents, especially mothers, have on their sons and you want to do better as a mother. A mother should never have such an impact on her son that he has to choose between his wife and his mother. Mothers have to accept that they aren’t God and they make mistakes too. Pride and tribalism are terrible masters.

  57. I feel bad for the exes and the two girls from the Kale wife
    Casualties in pursuit of true love or whatever it is

  58. wow! Biko, now what i learn u should be truthful to yourself even if everyone or everything is against. but i wish he would have stand for his love in the first place to avoid the heart breaks for both ex’s.

    1. that’s why this story is unique and inspiring! its never too late to be happy, and honestly u re doing no one a favor if all u re doing is just surviving not living! I am sure his story will guide his children …I believe he is a wealthy man now, they say u re wealthy when u own something money can’t buy! I wish we could all realize what truly matters on time. regrets are bit*chz.

  59. I would love to see this as a movie but with ‘based on true story’ .i envy this kind of love my thinking is that it’s only found in fairly tale and day dreams but njeri changed my notion.
    How we were raised is that girls are looked for but not the other way round unlike this day society.we got married to whoever found us first not having the guts to go to the person your hearts is calling for.
    plus i hate how people conclude a person character based on his/her tribe just coz you crosses path with someone from that tribe doesn’t mean that you should generalize the whole tribe.and it a shame how this sickness has affected almost everyone.

  60. Such a Bittersweet story
    I’d hate someone leaving me to pursue their true love but I’d also hate someone staying with me because they don’t have a choice

  61. Am not sure what to say coz to be honest am speechless. I am afraid to love for this reason. Damn did all that have to happen? But all in all, when we find love i hope we cherish it and not suffocate it.

  62. As a luo woman married to a kikuyu man I get this a lot, love wins though it’s not out right but you can see it in glances, frowns and whispers.

    1. When I was much younger, I avoided deep and meaningful relationships with kiuk ladies.
      The reason was not about the individual kiuk ladies, or my madhe, who I know would have expressed deep concern. Some of them were really nice. It had to do with my potential in-laws. I did not want to associate with male in-laws who were constantly thinking/wondering about my dick status and not even ashamed to talk about something that should not be a concern of theirs.
      The other reason was that from observation, kiuks can cut you out of a conversation without caring. If you are lucky, you might get a doubtful explanation later. If your kiuk buddies can do such things, why wouldn’t your kiuk wife’s relatives ? To the rest of the world, this is rude behavior.
      Now imagine how left out I would have felt, if we were to attend family functions. The emotional cost would be too much to bear – no kiuk chick was that valuable to me. This is not to belittle kiuk ladies (some are exceptional kind and intelligent people who are nice to be around and have conversations with).
      However, having never found love, I doubt that such special human beings exist – the kind that one would jeopardize so much for. This story makes me want to “put Njeri in a box”, so as to observe and determine the dude’s “source of confusion” – for lack of a better expression.

      1. madhe got in the way of his clarity, am sure the story would be different if she njeri was acknowledge and ignored, am also sure age played a role ” maturing with age” . Kudos for him for living his true self and also for overcoming the power/influence of hurricane.

    2. I read this yesterday and today coz I see a part of me (kyuk) and hubby (luo) in it. The difference is that he refused to let his family dictate the kind of wife to get. We have been through it all. The pressure, tribalism, manipulations, setups… You name it. They will never accept me But We are happy with our children. We did us! Some of my relas also had their beef but I told them it’s me in the marriage not them.

      It’s time people embraced diversity. Love wins in the end. It’s sad there are casualties in the process. I wonder if madhe will accept that she is the catalyst in this whole drama. May she forgive herself and also ask the rest for forgiveness.

  63. I cant get over this:
    The evening didn’t go so well and not only because they hardly touched their food but also because nobody ordered dessert

  64. .” He sounded like a really decent chap to be honest. He was very rational, and even though he was very angry, he never once insulted me. ”for a man who could leave his wife at a drop of a hat i do not see what kind of conversation he expected!between man and beast.

  65. Damn….I thought this is a movie? Does such things happen in life? I am super proud of this gentleman, well and Okuyu too. but the one who could transform 10 bob to 100 bob by December, she didn’t deserve this…both her and Njeri’s ex..they are victims of circumstances.
    Please interview Njeri as well.

    1. Indeed an amazing piece right her. I feel for the guy. If a man loves a woman from another tribe or race I believe parents should respect that. I don’t judge they guy for what he did though. I wish him well.

  66. Woah! Dudes selfishness is being glorified as true love? Had it been reversed roles all and sundry would be consoling the dude telling him how he deserved better!

  67. And to think that I rejected a good Luo man who was a Doctor by the way because my dad said ‘ as you go to Nairobi, bring any other man but not a Luo. He was a very kind guy.. he got married and divorced..He is now a senior bachelor..
    I got another one who was a banker and doing well but still a Luo, I didnt want to hurt him because i knew my dad would have issues with him. But looking back I can tell I was not in love like this dude…This guy deserves a trophy.

    1. Ooh, I have been there. I should have married my luo man. He is unhappy, I am unhappy. Sigh. We should have stood our ground Beth.

  68. As a Kikuyu I understand his sentiments being a “Mundu wa Ruguru” much as I think some are good. Me mum too can’t agree to a lady from the lakeside region. It would be hard for me if a sister or daughter got married to “uncircumcised man”. Terrible even the mere thought. Some girls from single mum are great like one I had but with my family and conscience against the whole idea due to a “rotten precedent” parted ways. But she was very great as a person. When the dust settles we shall reunite and be together again against the distance, current partners or any obstacle. Story of my life from the other side of … .But I told her so and she would think am nuts. Great read as usual which is uniting in ways untold.

    1. I wish the guy ‘angecheza kama yeye early enough’
      Look at all the collateral damage he has created.

      Biko there is s’thng with your blog that moves me every Tuesday.. its how you narrate the stories or maybe the stories themselves. One day I will write like you or even better 🙂

  69. Biko!
    Can this be the last story of men and marriage.
    Let’s hoop over to women and marriage.
    This is the most shocking story of men and marriage.

  70. my heart goes out to the kale lady. it is sad when you give your all to someone then they one day show up and say their love came back. it’s like marrying someone then one day they leave in the name of they have found themselves.

  71. I so want to be happy for the guy but the truth is he is a selfish punk!!!! To see the pain he has caused all this innocent bystanders just cos he grew his balls in his 40’s….. The poor kids and spouses!!!!
    And for Njeri to come back to a man who never was man enough to fight for her that 1st time even after she birthed his son. I think they are both pretty selfish humans and I refuse to applaud this kind of “true love nonsense” here.

  72. Biko, good read as always.
    The only reason I don’t read these posts immediately I get the alerts is also to read comments. And I’m appalled by those praising wrong the decision made by madhe’s last born in the pretense of true love. Considering nothing was wrong with the kale wife, he’s has successfully broken 3 marriages (his & kuyo – the first time even if it had not been formalized, his & kale, kuyo & Minnesota guy) and the associated lives the marriages supported. He’d already ‘married’ the kuyo woman and subsequently disobeying madhe (even if it was come-we-stay). That he married a kale coz of madhe is a lie. So is remarrying the kuyo coz of “true love”. Absconded his duty as a father. Kale woman is still crying (and probably the daughters too), wondering her wrong doing. Karma is coming.

    Tribal segregation continue to exist now from historical ‘injustices’. Where I come from, if you meet a retired man with kids in primary school and ask why, you’ll be told he was once married to a kuyo who refused to come ‘home’ (I. E. ancestral ) anytime if their marriage and he’d to start over at some point. It’s the duty of contemporary generation to rewrite the story.

  73. Biko…gosh thank you for sharing this story. There is actually hope that this kind of man is not extinct. I did not think that this kind of men still exist in this day and age.A man who has the courage to literally drop everything, defy the world, loose everything, go up against his church and family, his hurricane madhe yawa! because he loves you. waaahhhhhhh now isn’t this just the holy grail. Deep down, Isn’t that the kind of love we are vainly searching for.

  74. Wow. An amazing read and educative.
    Although I’m left wondering how high is too high a price to pay for true love. The Kale woman, the kids, the Minnesota guy – victims of two hearts that felt entitled to true love.

  75. I felt the same.She gave her all and what did she get in return?May she learn t
    o trust again and find the purest love on earth for she deserves it

  76. ‘Madhe’ reminds me of the old fashion of my Mum …I’m glad she changed. But now this Guy…he makes me be patient for that true love. He’s one in a million. Gutsy

  77. This is a great story. It sounds too delirious to be real. I however wonder why so much time had to pass and affect other people’s lives so greatly. The guy waited years (after the lady left for the US.) What if the initial meeting at Java did not happen? Parents and especially African parents need to stop interfering with their children’s decisions. They have already lived their lives. Tribalism remains a full force to recon with and yet it is ultimately inconsequential. God created us all equal

  78. I wish he stood his ground the first time round and just married his true love….but somethings have to take a process, happy for him and may his ex wife forgive him i can only imagine her hurt..

  79. Hahah could it be?Maybe we sure need a shrink. The story has left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a heavy heart.What if i ended up with such a man only for him to be reunited with his “True love?”I would die.

  80. Totally rivetting – a book could be written with this storyline. Big Q – how realistic and sustainable is this type of relationship?

    1. Tribalism is one big hell that we need to agree to bury as a people so as to advance. Hurricanes be warned.. stop meddling in your kids affair, you had your life. Let them enjoy theirs….. The names French dishes though…’google sorts everything’

  81. true derrick, “only men do things to please their mums ” he should have fought harder for his love before marrying again, his mother wouldn’t kill him for that…..too much sacrifice for just two hearts.

  82. Soulmates exist for some people.And fighting societal pressure for one’s happiness is brave,and for Madhe-hail to mothers

  83. It would help if us a parents, we’d accept that our kids are separate persons from ourselves. They have minds of their own and they won’t always do stuff as we do.
    We can agree to disagree especially if they are full grown adults.

  84. Words that stay forever

    “But love ends,” I say.

    “True love doesn’t,” he says, “it just transforms.”

  85. I bet Luo Culture, accepts two wives, it would have been wiser for the Man to have the two ladies as Wife A and B…other than this mess.
    The Man in this story should have accepted their life as it were, and moved on. Always God’s Grace is sufficient.

  86. when reading this i actually thought it was my ex being interviewed. I have experienced such love that tears at your soul. We survived it all, poverty, sickness even life and death situations; we were always there for each other. then i got pregnant and family came in. Lemme tell you if ‘Madhe’ is real. I was so naive i always thought tribalism was only during elections. He listened to the whispers and i became a “kikuyu” in his eyes. I saw the contempt he received from his family because of marrying a kikuyu and i feel pity. Then came the abuse the violence and finally he had to get a fellow tribeswoman. I will never understand the contempt towards Kikuyu.

    1. Sorry for your experience.
      The feelings are mutual between the tribes but if they looked closely they would see that they have so many wonderful characteristics in common. Sad really.

  87. i have never read a story of more selfish and coward of a man this is…what happens to the husband?to the ex-wife….who did nothing wrong…he was the coward……couldn’t face his own mother……i do not know why he shared his story..whether he wanted sympathy for his selfish acts….or because he thinks he is such a hero for finally growing up….there are children’s live involved…..children who had to see their mother cry for such a long time because she was broken……

  88. Wow. Just wow, this is the second time i have no words. Love is truly very powerful, and we all should be allowed to choose our life partners. Congrats to the couple, and pole to all broken souls caught up in all this. Madhe..she got owned.

  89. “I think it’s belief. You have to believe in love for it to launch. Thank you for a good read Biko. True love does find its way and yes we all deserve a chance at true love in this life.

  90. For us Kenyans, tribalism is glorified and untamable. When shall we stop this? It is like sending God an email….

  91. I love your stories but this onee kept me glued to my phone.I am glad he and Njeri are happy the mum will come around some day.

  92. Oh my! These are balls i have not seen nor heard of . Reading through this brought alot of anxiety to me, the heartache, tribalism, selfishness.

    Mama give us a signal beforehand!

  93. Tribalism and individualism shall be the end of man and all that he dreams of achieving. In the word of Bobby K then should it be that ,”But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
    Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.”

    Beautiful piece as always Master Biko

  94. True luv does exist. Especially when a man is in Luv weeeee tht’s a different story.
    Compared to when a woman is in Luv.

  95. This is the craziest and most absurd story I have ever read. So are the two exes supposed to go figure out their “true loves”? Very selfish people indeed!

  96. i hate this story. this is so selfish. why did he have to marry the chamgei girl then? very selfish and karma is on the way.

  97. the other man in the other story who took in both wives is a very mature man. this one is just a no! marriage is not something to joke with and when kids are involved you put your immature mid life crisis need aside.

  98. Hahaha I am still stuck at the father “silently blending into the furniture” Now that’s what we call a savage metaphor hahaha

  99. OOH, this is the kind of bullcrap that we don’t need. It’s only weak, inadequate and silly men who spends a lot of ‘mental real estate’ obsessing about true love.

  100. What Biko hasnt told us,and am curious to know; Did they hit the sack in the 2 weeks Njeri came visiting? That may have been the trigger

  101. It’s 2019. I’ve got two brothers in Exactly this situation. The older one has been dating a wonderful Kyuk lady for the past 6 years. ‘Madhe’ is a force of nature and won’t relent. She tells my bro, the day you marry ‘Nyar Okuyu’ you stop being my son.
    The other bro brought his Kyuk girlfriend to his graduation and mom gave her such terrible side-eye she was relegated to ‘just-a-friend’.
    My brothers are the quietly stubborn type. It might all (probably will) spectacularly implode someday soon

    1. Tell you what.. We are three ladies (2 kyuk and 1 kamba who is also now called okuyu) married to brothers… We ALL got the ‘eyes’ and accusations… Gold diggers etc….on a light note..We are still searching for the gold they talk about …. Your bros should stand their ground. I have seen people marry for their parents and when the same parents die the divorces happen fast. Let them do them. The parents have lived their lives! All the best to your bros!!!

  102. Getting this feeling that this guy told you my story……deep and gripping! A daring man’s story told by a daring writer!

  103. “But love ends,” I say.

    “True love doesn’t,” he says, “it just transforms.”

    “Yes, but how do you know? It’s like someone handing you a parachute and saying, ‘Here, jump off the plane with it. We haven’t used the parachute in 10-years so we don’t know if it works, but hopefully it should launch’.”

    “I think it’s belief. You have to believe in love for it to launch. How do you think Jesus walked on water? He believed.”

    This is beautiful.

  104. It’s not only in love, where sacrifices are made. I believe in every other facet of life, if and when we have to go for what we really want, people will be hurt along the way, things will have to die! selfishness will show!

  105. At first, he was fearing to let it go. Although I dont understand why men find it difficult to let the unworking relationships. He was a strong guy whom a wife could achore on. It is apparent that the first wife was none but a sex maniac.

  106. “She was light skinned with Lughia hips, problem is she had a boyfriend”
    For a moment there I thought you were describing madhe.

    As a reader Im caught between a hard place and a rock. Should I be happy that he has found happiness or side with the good wife who did him no wrong. I understand madhe’s internal conflict.
    But I’ve got to say, this dude is truly courageous.

  107. I’m having an internal conflict here.I’m happy that he found love,the one he really wanted.Is this what we call fighting for someone you love? But then again the fact that left his Kale wife and the kuyo lady leaving her hubby is crazy.I feel like it’s selfish and a little reckless,what does life become of the people left behind!?

  108. People will only understand the full weight of this story when we get to hear the Kale ladies’ account. Selfish and self-defeatist from the man. A lot of innocent casualties (many with lifetime scars) in the pursuit of self gratification. Not good.

  109. Mhhhh,
    Butterflies in my stomach
    I am thinking of all my exes, not sure whether we really broke up or a reunion is in the wait. Wait, was there love?
    Madhe says marriage doesn’t need love
    … Hahahaha
    Am done.
    Missed choir practice to read this sweet Shit…

  110. what kind of nonsense is this! This man is a shame to manhood. coward! There is no courage here, but childishness and midlife crisis. There is no true love here.

    1. …and selfishness and not taking responsibility for his mistakes! Courage would have been him standing up to his larger-than-life Madhe and defending & protecting his true love the very first time, not messing up lives of countless people to make himself happy!! (This is where I want to throw in a Luhya expletive lakini wacha tu…)

  111. Life settled into what life settles into; marriage, children, work, traffic, birthday celebrations, a child’s tooth falls out, you lie to them about the Tooth Fairy, a bank loan, a project, the project stalls, fights at home, make-ups at home, a new car, wife gets a promotion at work, Easter in shags, Easter in coasto, family party in December, hangover on 1st January, etc etc. SO TRUE!

  112. This is a conflict between our modern life, traditions and culture: fueled by stereotype and baseless perceptions.

  113. Truth is you can never really say you love someone if you don’t love yourself and have the confidence to stand up for who you love. Love isn’t a feeling. Should have avoided all the shenanigans in the first place. I think once you tie the knot that’s it…you have made a covenant with your spouse and God. No looking back or sideways

  114. Woah! Drama. Intrigue. Suspense. Breathtaking. Thrilling. Heart thumping… One of your best pieces yet.

  115. This story is so aptly titled, it says it all. Hurricanes are generally destructive, they blow in without warning and leave a wake of destruction in their path, that sometimes takes ages to be restored. This is exactly what his mother did, she left distraction in her path that took long to be restored. It’s unfortunate that we don’t realize the repercussions of our biases be they conscious or unconscious biases, especially about ethnicity, we could get hurt ourselves or other innocent people in the process. We need to put these aside and let people be, we’ll be so much better for it.

    Love wins everytime, even after a hurricane.

  116. Absurd manze, this guy has no regard for other people’s feelings.. i believe relationships are about understanding and compromises not relentless chase after one’s own interests and wants. And i believe one’s happiness is not tied to a specific other but that one can find or create happiness wherever else. If all of us men were like this then the world would be full of broken marriages, fatherless children, and every man would be married to someone else’s wife. this guy is very selfish.

  117. Kudos to the man!
    Its unfortunate when parents manipulate their children into making decisions that are good for them. Marriage is not for parents but for the couple! Two wrongs do not make a right, glad that chap was able to figure his way back to what he believed in. Unfortunately some people got hurt in the process but they should also look for and find their happiness. We are only custodians of our own happiness not other people. I hope this marriage works out for him. Respect to Njeri for giving him a second chance! Amazing woman!

  118. Hhhhmm…pure fight for what you want and defy go against all odds to bring your love the brave at heart

  119. I am totally in awe of this couple. True love won… I wish many people would do this instead of spending their married lives having affair after affair… My deepest conviction, let true love be one of the reasons you marry your person.. Live your life and not your parent’s life!

    Wishing them lots of love and laughter!

  120. Im 19 and this made me think alot about my current relationships…i cringed reading the part about him telling his ex wife about his feelings…one can only imagine the process she has to go through to restoration…but honestly, thankyou for sharing that story…we should all just strive to making choices every day that we wont turn back from and regret, because making things right later on is never just about us.

  121. The hurricane in my house growing up was my father. Chineke! It was his way or the highway. He once told us that if we ever got married to a Kuyo even if he was dead, he’d come back and haunt us :-). He also warned us against Nigerian’s. He’s now 75 years old and does the same to his grandchildren although in a more subtle way. I chose otherwise, i married a Kao and I promised that my children will not be associated with no tribe. They will marry whoever their stars align with. I will let them choose happiness first because when they are happy, Mommy will be happy.

  122. These things sound complicated when named in French, but in English they are pretty normal, so I won’t translate. After all, this is Madhe’s son I’m interviewing, he would be appalled if I translated it and made him look “ordinary.”

  123. Mh, I think I should text my ex……wait a minute, I let bygones be bygones the future is always better. A least for me

  124. Such a good piece. But it’s disheartening how soo many luo guys are marrying kuyo chics, kao chics, merus and coasto women and they’re visibly neglecting their own leaving them to ridicule especially on social media… Luo guys feel like marrying kuyo chics is an achievement… Colourism is real you know, and I hope this is rectified before its too late. Anyhow I’m not against intermarriage, I’m against mass exodus of luo men to other communities while their women ain’t getting other men from the said communities to marry them. It’s soo imbalanced.

      1. Intermarriage has always been there in very many communities even before mzungu. Women and men getting a relatively balanced share of partners from different communities. What we are experiencing now is a mass movement of Luo men to most other communities and that is not the same with the luo women. So my question is, who gets to marry the luo woman? I’m pro intermarriage, but naturally there should be balance. What we have is not natural, and luo women are complaining that their men marry from outside to spite them.

        1. Maybe it’s time to interrogate why there is a mass exodus. What’s the cause of this shift there must be a reason nothing just happens out of the blue and when that cause is known what can be done to shift the thinking of the next generation for both the male an and females in the community. If you are from the community talk to your fellow men and find out whats the real reason behind all this, because I don’t think getting married to a certain community being an achievement is a cause, it runs deeper.

          1. I agree with Linda. However, marriage is between two people, so, its about someone’s relationship with the other person, and not tribe-to-tribe. So I actually don’t think it matters. It is for these reasons that one can hate tribalistic behaviors but not a specific tribe and go on to marry someone from a tribe they hate because he or she is not the tribe but an individual…

        2. I totally agree there is an imbalance. I guess this is so because of something that is deeply rooted in us not to marry from a certain tribe because of misconceptions. We are not to be blame because of our parents, friends and relatives telling us not to marry a certain tribe, because it’s something that is told from one generation to another. This debate will never end unless we are encouraged to marry from another tribe and later we will realize we are all Kenyans. You can’t choose who to love.

    1. Intermarriage is happening everywhere we live in a multicultural society embrace it. It’s okay for people to follow their hearts.

    2. Years back I had a conversation with my bro in law. He told me he wouldn’t marry a Luo lady coz they’re difficult. He told me that I wouldn’t understand coz I am Kuyo. He listed down very many things but since he was in campus I thought it would pass. Years later true to his word, he didn’t marry a Luo. I recently saw this conversation about Luo girls.. But I think also the fact that people are moving from their home areas and traveling and meeting people has led to increased intermarriages. The myths and fears are broken when they interact.

      1. I am a non Luo married to a Luo and he keeps telling me Luo gals are difficult to deal with. My Luo colleagues are also married to non Luos. They cite the same reason for not marrying Luo women.

  125. Great story, okoyu married to luo and also had to have a wedding and the drama of both families just getting to accept,this felt very familiar, glad mine happened and amazingly both families now are very happy with us.

  126. Don’t get me wrong i loved his story admired him even,but i have always found love to be selfish in a way and people do crappy things and justify that with ‘being in love’, anyway we cant judge on things we’ve not walked through. He was truly brave, he fought for meaning in his life and its amazing.
    My sister told me many men will claim to love you but choice, the one who wakes up and chooses you everyday is truly in love, and i have seen it here they chose each other i guess its worth fighting for.

  127. ”That night he felt strange things crawling up his body, like those crawling plants. These things grew towards his heart and settled there. He was confused about these feelings.” I have felt this about an ex. Does it mean that this is where my happiness is??

  128. I am reading this for the first time in 2024, that’s almost 5 years down the line since you posted this. I don’t know anything about marriage but this has taught me a lot. Thank you.