Our Chairman

On 8 January in an introductory piece for the Men and Marriage series I wrote about a little spat I had with my best mate in our investment Whatsapp Group. You can read it here. (http://bit.ly/2IproFg ). I was driving past Parklands Police Station at about 11am, headed for a meeting on 3rd Parklands avenue when he called me. He was bemused that I had written about him, that I had mentioned his marriage. “You had no right,” he said. He wasn’t particularly angry, just disappointed. I protested that I didn’t mention his name. “I called you X!” I said. “Do you know anyone called X in this town?” He said it was still shit. Over the next few days it became a storm in the teacup that is our Investment Whatsapp group until my bro Julius, who is the treasurer, and Paul, the secretary, eventually called for order. A kangaroo court was quickly convened on the following Saturday in a banda at Motor Sport Club in South C where we normally hold our meetings. I sat in the accused’s box while X sat scowling in the plaintiff’s box. He had a writhing case against me. His grouse; it was disloyal and disingenuous to write about his personal matter without his consent. It betrayed the friendship.

 

The other buggers nodded gravely.

 

After a terse and sober discussion it was agreed that I had crossed a line; you don’t bloody write about people here and their issues and if X feels that you crossed his line then you did. They had a point. I didn’t have legs to stand on. I had no right to mention him and his marriage even in anonymity. I apologised to him and extended an olive branch which he gracefully took because he always was the better man. He said, “It’s cool. We are cool.” We shook hands. Then we talked about him and his situation, and resolutions were made to keep the communication channels open. We cracked a bottle of whisky and touched glasses to brotherhood then drunk and joshed until late.  

 

Almost a month later, X drove his car into the back of a stationary trailer at 140km/hr. You can’t imagine what happens to a car when you ram into a stationary object at 140km/hr. The bonnet – even of the high-strength steel variety of his car – crumples like a deflated heart. It was a Mercedes E-250 and the launched dual two-stage airbags resembled deflated parachutes. The gear lever area showed a few cracks from the impact from pictures, but somehow the front seat area, apart from broken shards of glass, looked relatively undamaged. He survived, with a fractured spine, but lay in hospital paralysed neck down. We gathered around him in his hospital bed. He was coherent, still cheeky. I remember making a long joke about his stubble and him chuckling and saying he’s now ready to join a Congolese band with that beard. His left eye was bloodshot. There was dry blood on his teeth.

 

The next week I was driving a rickety ass hired car from Homabay for some personal assignment. The evening sun was behind me, creating that beautiful glow of the golden hour in the car. I had just got off the phone with Charles my car hire chap from Kisumu to bitch about the state of the car he had given me when another call came in. It was one of my uncles. The conversation went something like this.

 

“I’m so sorry. I heard about your friend.”

 

“Yeah, it was a bad one,” I said. “But he was in surgery today, he should be okay.”

 

There was a small pause on his end. My uncle is 75-years old, but a very “woke” one. He knew X.

 

“No, I heard he left us.”  

 

It was my turn to pause. I didn’t fully comprehend what he just said. The sound of the engine felt louder, like I was driving a ship on the road.

 

“He’s dead?” I mumbled, afraid to utter those words fully in case I gave them life.

 

“Yeah. Poleni sana.”

 

“How? What time did he die? Who told you?”

 

“Julius just called me.”  

 

I’m 41-years old and of course I’ve experienced the loss of many people; uncles, aunts, distant relatives, cousins, but with the exception of my mother, none drilled a crater in me like hearing the news of X’s death. I remember exactly that moment, the smell of the air, the music I was listening to in the car, the intensity of that evening light, the sparkling of the lake in that evening sun beyond the road, clusters of Homa hills looming green in the background like a heap of clothes, the broken yellow line on the road, rushing under my car, the little ache on my tailbone that time as a result of my stubborn, bitchy-ass muscle spasm, the feeling of not inhabiting my own body but also being aware of my shallow breaths and the lingering reverence of death’s chutzpah. I remember these feelings with a bright clarity.

 

It was surreal. Because there are people who you can’t imagine would die. Not at 39. Not with three children. Not with their sense of humour. Not with all their abundance of self. Not at the starting whistle. The car went on auto-drive because my mind immediately left my body, left the car and just floated around, searching for meaning. Later in shags I sat on the verandah at night and thought, no way is X dead. No way. My Dad was also in shock.

 

The following day, unable to sleep, I got off the bed and without taking a shower, drove to Kisumu – one and a half hours away – in pitch darkness, and hopped onto the first flight out. I stared out the window the whole time because it is above the clouds that we seem to be closest to God but also furthest from any truth. When I landed I Ubered straight to the morgue with my hand luggage. It was a Friday. They had laid him on a cold slab, covered his torso with a white sheet that had spurts of blood on some parts. He was shoeless because in death you also lose your shoes. A name tag hung from his toe. I held it to read it, as if to confirm that this person lying here was not my friend but someone else. I stared at his feet for a long time. He had stubble. It was him all right. X was indeed dead and if X could die, I thought, then indeed we are all dying.

 

The last time I cried was seven years ago when my mom died, but that day I cried. Everybody in that morgue cried. Eventually everybody left the morgue, leaving his only brother, an older relative of theirs who was holding the said brother and myself. The mortician leaned in a corner, nonchalantly going through his phone, waiting to bring in another body for viewing. Just another day in the office. X’s brother was crying. It was the kind of cry that words can’t paint. He was saying, “You have left me all alone my brother. All alone, my brother. What will I do now?” And we couldn’t stop crying. It was horrible. Just horrible. From the morgue I went to get my Friday haircut and the wash girl asked me, “Why are your eyes red, Biko?”I said, “I have been crying. My best friend died.” She said “Gosh! Aki I’m sorry.” We locked eyes in the mirror and I thought, if this woman doesn’t stop looking at me with that woiye-look I will cry again, so I looked away. Goodness, I was gutted by his death, cut open like a line fish.

 

We buried him in Ugenya, in Siaya, behind his mother’s house, under the long shadow of a stumpy hill called Got Rembo.

 

Because weddings and all those public functions exhaust my soul, I have attended only three weddings in my life; X’s wedding soon after Uni where we met, my brother’s wedding and lastly Bett’s – the writing masterclass admin’s – wedding. I was in X’s lineup one of the couple of times I’ve been forced into a bloody suit. I looked like a penguin in a tie. Years later, I made the mistake of introducing X to my brother and some of my friends. They made him their best friend, so much so that he was my brother’s best man at his wedding. They claimed him as theirs. My sisters loved him. My late mother adored him. He made my father chuckle. (That’s something.) My cousins became his friend. Everywhere he went he forged strong friendships. He built relationships. If you met him once you would not forget him because he had that spirit that enveloped yours.

 

A very spiritual guy, a gaggle of Catholic Men’s Association members rocked up from Nairobi for his funeral, some leaning on canes inscribed “Man Enough.” (Those chaps can sing!) He was that guy who could drink until late but still show up in church in the morning, taking care of the church’s business. He was a great believer. Hordes of his friends came, chaps who swore on their closeness. Chaps I never met before. I thought to myself, who the hell are all these chaps claiming this guy and why had I not met them before? It was like he was running numerous parallel close friendships. There were half a dozen Kikuyu chaps – his former classmates in university – who had travelled all the way from Central Kenya for two days. We were all in university together. I recognised some of them. It was their first time in that part of deep Nyanza and they were bludgeoned by the sheer distance to get there and somewhat bewildered by our burial rites. I mentioned to them that it must have been a long journey coming all the way and they said they would have ridden on bicycles to come bury X. We stood there, a few feet from his fresh grave, at the very fringe of life and death, against the wall of the echoing chorus of wails, the sound of spades still shovelling soil rising above this grim cacophony and we reminisced about our days with X in university.

 

I was amazed at how many of these chaps thought of him as their best friend. How they all carried small intimate tales about him. It’s because he gave everybody his best side. After the burial I came to the realisation that you couldn’t own X as your best friend, you could only share him.

 

On 16th March 2019, we left him to rest under that charismatic hill.

 

Grief only belongs to the robbed and death had robbed us violently. He was our brother and our chairman. We still talk about him in our Whatsapp group. We share pieces and moments of him that he left with us, His death has brought such immense vulnerability in us as men. We have started questioning ourselves, our lives, our choices and our feelings in an open and non-judgmental way. All of a sudden we are not just sharing intense political moments in that group, or memes, funny videos, cars, inspirational forwards or of the occasional pictures of tits and ass, we are talking to each other. The “to”, here, emphasized.  

 

We talk about him constantly because deep down we know we failed him. We failed our friendship. We failed to read his signs of pain. Failed to heed his moments of torment. Failed to gather around him in his months of darkness. We didn’t light a fire in his darkness. But our biggest and gravest mistake is that we expected him to reach out to us, to come to us during these moments of pain, when it was for us to go to him, to seek him constantly, even if he wasn’t willing to let us in because he didn’t have the language to express his feelings of hurt and turmoil. I’m personally riddled with guilt because he was my friend before all these chaps lay claim on him. It’s me who ate beans and chapos with him in university daily. Before these chaps knew his dreams, I knew how they were formed because we would do it together in the bleakly broke existence of campus life. I was the initial bridge between them and him but I wasn’t a strong bridge. I didn’t do enough by him. Muslims say “it was written” but still, this is a dreadful ending to this book because it’s left us all holding fistfuls of regrets in our fists. A tragic poetry.

 

If chaps in the other-world can read stuff, I hope he reads this and sees what ruins he left behind, how gutted and sorry we are and most importantly that I hope there are good barbers up there.

 

To think that that first story in January opening to Men and Marriage would end up here (a eulogy of sorts) is unfathomable. But over these series I’ve learnt many lessons. I have learnt that most, if not all, of our problems as men are deeply engraved in our need to provide, in how much we have. You take that away and we are left dangling like a useless catch of the day. I have learned that what people think a happy marriage should be  is completely removed from any reality. It’s almost silly. When I did a story about my dentist and his happy marriage I got a flurry of female friends saying, ‘What the f*ck? Is that the best happy marriage you could get?” Because we imagine that a happy marriage is a perfect marriage. It’s not. There is immense beauty in imperfection but only if we bother to look. Off the back of that I have interrogated what happiness is and what it means for different people. Happiness is a journey and it often comes at a price. Happiness is compromise. Happiness is sacrifice. Happiness is a chapo. You define yours, leave the rest to own theirs. That’s what I have learnt.

 

I have learnt that most men just want to be affirmed. They will sleep on an unmade bed and they will eat food that has more salt than necessary if they are affirmed. That if given a choice between being loved and being respected they will go for the respect. And to be told that they intelligent, or hardworking, or loved, or good in bed or so strong or so powerful or that [insert cooing voice] your beard is so sexy!

 

I also learnt that sometimes we bark up the wrong tree when it comes to women because we don’t know their language of love. We buy them gifts when all they want is to spend quality time. We jump through hoops to serve when all they really need to feel loved is to be touched. I have learnt that knowing your woman’s language of love saves you a lot of time and energy.

I have learnt that marriages are all very different. That there are chaps that go home at 5 am and don’t walk into a shit storm. Then there are those who don’t dare. There are men who iron their own clothes then there are those who step out of the bathroom to find their clothes ironed and placed on the bed. I met a guy who said he has never used the microwave since he got married, because his food gets heated on the stove, by his wife or domestic manager, not only because microwaves cause cancer but also because he says that’s just the kind of husband he is. There are men who change diapers. Then there are those who don’t. Men who have a joint bank account with their wives and those who don’t. My brother occasionally mops the house, cleans his daughters and goes to the market to buy meat for the week. When drinking we always tease him, we say, “Julius, we hope you don’t have meat in the car.” He doesn’t give a shit about what we say because he knows what we don’t. That’s the husband he chooses to be and that’s what works for him. And so I have learnt that your marriage is your marriage, you run it the way that works for you both – what one man does in his marriage is his business and will not necessarily work in yours.

 

I have also learnt that nobody should prescribe his secrets of marriage to anyone because wives don’t come from one assembly plant, Batch C3, line 4. Ironically, I have also learnt from talking to most of these men that most marriages are the same, we tend to split hairs over the same things. The other day a friend sent me a screenshot of his wife making noise that he couldn’t remember all his children’s birthdays. She was really going at him on Whatsapp. (He works out of the country.) He asked me exhaustingly, “How do I get out of this one?” I laughed and said, “First, perhaps you should stop digging when you are in a hole?” Because sometimes I often forget if my son was born in 2013 or 2012. The other day while filling a liability waiver form at the Trampoline Park at Village Market, I turned to ask Tamms, “were you born in 2008 or 2009?” I know, Father of the year! Does that make me a horrible father? Maybe not, a horrible father doesn’t know his 10-year old child is left-handed and is allergic to peanuts.  

 

My biggest lesson in this men and marriage series is that we should talk as men. We should be able to say, “Boss, I’m really struggling here with this thing” without feeling like the other man has an extra testicle over you. We should reach out to other men when we see them drowning. Because you are not going to go through something so unique in marriage that no other man has gone through. I have learnt that we should allow ourselves to be vulnerable, saying you have a problem is not a weakness. I have learnt that we should strive to do better by ourselves, by our women and by our children, even if we keep coming up short over and over again. Key is to recognise that we are not perfect, that we might commit grave sins and possess great flaws as men but that we are not defined by our shortcomings. We are enough if we choose to be enough. And even more pressing is that as men, sometimes we can solve a whole lot of problems if we listen to (not hear) our women even though sometimes it’s so hard to listen when they are banging on and on about something. Lastly, I have learnt from these men that nobody has figured this thing out, man. That you keep doing, trying, f*kng up, trying again, learning, and you keep going, because it’s a long ass journey. And also that if it ends, it ends. And it ending is no failure on your part or hers, it’s just an end.

 

Lastly, for the young chaps reading this, one piece of advice from me; don’t marry before 30.And marry your friend, not the one with the big hips. It would be nice, though, if your friend has big hips.

 

To all the men who took their time to meet me to contribute to this conversation, thank you for your time and for your story. To all the chaps who sent emails requesting for an interview and I didn’t get around to them, easy, and thanks for writing. To you, Gang, who came here to contribute to this series, asanteni sana. I’m very keen to know what lesson you picked from this series in the comment section. Don’t write a book, please. Just a few tight paragraphs.

***

 

And to my good friend X, may you rest in peace as we – your friends – find peace in your untimely departure.

 

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270 Comments
    1. Wow.I love that you have ended the series with this beautiful piece.It is raw,it is heavy it is educative and it is honest.RIP to your mate.One.

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      1. Disclaimer: This is not your favourite comment.
        In this series, I realised that most marriages were struggling. For happiness, and content. I have evaluated reasons as to why you need a partner to fulfill desires that come along with loads of perserverance, understanding, change, struggle, unhappiness, lots of drunk nights, cheating, driving fast so you could die, and I didn’t clear to sensibility.
        I think you don’t have to get married if you don’t want to.
        I have not seen single people who have had to go through the above highlighted rocky scenes.
        Rest in peace X.

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        1. True..and similar to Biko’s sentiments..find a friend and get married if you want to. If you don’t want to, do and be you, you don’t have to bow to the pressures of this world! at the end of the day, you are alone in the marriage!

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        2. Kitalo nnyo about X!!
          May we never tire reaching out to those we know are in pain!!

          Thank you for the Men & Marriage series. To love another and commit to it is quite the courageous choice!! There are no guarantees!!

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          1. Biko should compile the entire series into a book. Lots of lessons for young chaps. Rest in peace X.

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          2. Absolutely true. I was led to read this piece in our own men’s group by one of our own. He insisted all of us had to read this piece. It will go a long way to changing our mind set cuz Biko. R.I.P to X.

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      2. Sorry for the loss of your friend. I pray you find peace and comfort. Hmmm… This series was an eye opener. There is no perfect marriage but the people involved find perfection amidst the imperfections.

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        1. I thought I was the only one who felt the floating thingy when my baby died… It’s a gross bad feeling with no description, do zombies experience that? Only asking a question definitely without an answer! Duh!!
          Great read.. Thanks Biko

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          1. Coming from a point of thinking about committing suicide last year, it is important to know when and why you want to marry someone. I have never been one to ask for helo, I have been brought up knowing that is not what men do, but when you get a significant other who can text you after you send them a joke asking “what is wrong? ” despite you hiding behind humour? Then you know you’re on the right track. If it wasn’t for her poking my issues out into the open so that we could work on them, I don’t know if I would’ve made it past this year. The reason I am marrying her after so many years dating is, with all the selfish people who want everything to be easy and perfect, and aren’t willing to work on anything that requires time, patience and understanding, I found my bestfriend when I was at rock bottom and she helped me get back to God, made things even better. I accept I can’t handle being alone, I wouldn’t leave my parents home to live alone again, that life is not for me, but if you are not into marriage and the patience you need for it and dealing with a different personality in your space all the time, then don’t you dare get into it. It is not easy from all I’ve learnt, but nothing good is easy. RIP to your brother and friend.

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      1. Biko…i never missed a piece…the cheating wife who had another phone …its not worth it..though marriage has no script….both parties have to make commitment …above all take it easy and smell the Rose’s….
        Waiting for the next series

        Women and Marriage???

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      2. Thank you for this series. I have picked that there are indeed good men. That they are not a myth .
        Not all men cheat when faced with trouble in their marriages.
        Lastly, that women need to own up to the many toxic traits and baggage they bring with them. It is not always the man’s fault.

        May X rest with the angels and may you, his friends, find peace.

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      3. Very Late to the party I have practically done all nighters on here! I don’t know where the hell I’ve been this entire time but one thing for sure is I’m now a permanent resident!
        Thank you for this series!
        This one was raw! So sorry about X…lessons; so many, only issue is you refused more books

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    2. It has been a good read on men and marriage, and to see all the differences but happy people in their journeys of marriage. I particularly salute the guy who took his wife and son back after she had taken off to Italy, and to learn he could not choose one over the other but both….. he didn’t plan to marry 2 wives… it just happened

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    3. Its my birthday, am turning 30, wish me well people.

      I was analyzing my days yesterday and I felt like 30, no car, no man, no child, no buroti maguta, it made me feel something not sooo good. This story about X, exiting so abruptly, has taken me back to my default setting #grateful for all I don’t pray for anymore. Thank you Biko for this, and the entire series. May X rest eternally.

      Worst advice today….don’t marry before 30

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        1. My condolences Bikozulu. So sorry

          May Mr. X rest in peace. May the lesson learnt help someone.

          Thank you for this series. And for all the inspiring, deep writing

          1. I left a little baby overnight to escort him home. He was a gem. Many a time I asked myself many questions because for some reason, it was incredulous that he’d died. I’ve lost lots of people, but this one was hard. I visited him in hospital the Sunday before he died. We talked and he held high hopes that he would pull through.
            X was a rare guy. May he truly rest in peace.

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      1. This Marriage & Men series has been super helpful, especially to young turks like myself. I have learned that you do not need to rush into marriage. There is time for everthing.

        Rest in Peace X.

        My condolences to your friend Biko

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    4. 1.My peace of mind comes first.
      2.Societal expectations will f*k you up. Do you, be you.
      3.Happiness is relative, I will define my own.
      4.When and if I meet my human, I hope we both love, live and just take a day a time, and when we need to, just breathe.
      5.Nobody has it all figured out, and it’s ok, what matters is we are doing the best we can.
      5.In the midst of all these drudgery and misery that life sometimes offers, i always find inexpressible peace and calm in God. May I always remember that, i hope we all find our peace and happiness and just live.
      Thanks Biko.

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    5. Erokamano ahinya for this series Biko. God bless you.

      Can we all read “The Five Love Languages” for our own benefit and that of our partner’s whether now or later?
      Read it for self awareness.

      Marriage is not the ultimate happiness!

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    6. When you love another person,another story of your life begins.it could be one month or year or more but there’s never a final chapter, because the legacy continues. You lend your light to one person, and he or she shines it on another and another and another.And I know for sure that in the final analysis of our lives- when the whatsapp messages are empty, when the frenzy is finished, when our e-mail inboxes are empty- the only thing that will have any lasting value is whether we’ve loved others and whether they’ve loved us back

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    7. Men go through so much in marriages. It is also unfortunate that, they feel sharing the problems are signs of weakness. We need a club, to pour out and share experiences in marriages.
      May X rest in peace!

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    8. Honestly one paragraph is not enough to explain what I’ve learnt because these articles will forever be a refence point. I know I’ll reread them at some point in life. Thank you Biko.

      I have learnt the importance of living life fully in the now, speaking out your mind with the hope of helping it, ‘your mind’, find peace. My mantra is ‘Living life loving it’ because God is at the centre of it all. I pray to God that when it gets tough I’ll remember these words. May your dear friend’s soul rest in eternal peace.

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    9. i went through so many emotions reading this.thank you Felix,my ex,for introducing me to bikos world.

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      1. I have experienced this kind of grief after losing my best friend slightly more than a year ago.It is so heart wrenching,you have described it so perfectly.My heart goes out to you and hope that you find peace.A day at a time…A day at a time

    1. As we mark the close of this journey..I so wish there were a few more chapters up ahead. Thank you Biko, you might just have saved a generation.

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  1. Great…Marriage has no formula,To each their own..Most important thing is..understand your partner”s language of love…Michelle Obama said,if you have been married for 50 years,and only 40 of them were good..then you can count your marriage as a good one..Their is that person who will focus on the 10 bad years!Do your Maths

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    1. Baba Tamms, this was an amazing series. I have learnt that even the best of marriages are fighting demons and it is upto the two of you to put in the work. Also, hey, we are not perfect, sometimes if we fall, all we need is a huge warm embrace.

      P.S – I am deeply sorry for the loss of your Bestie, X. I am sure Heaven has great barbers and nice deep massages. X is happy! Peace to you all.

      Waiting for the next series.

      Your biggest fan in Zambia. We now have a Biko community! Live long Whiskey Man!

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      1. First of all, sorry for your loss, may x rest in eternal peace.
        This series has been an eye opener, especially on the struggles men go through. I hope I get to affirm and respect when my time in marriage comes.
        I will miss this series. Season 2 maybe?

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        1. So sorry for your loss Biko! May X rest in eternal peace.

          The series have been quite something, and reality checks that marriages work but are Work. It has to be teamwork nothing more or less!

    2. Men&Marriage was an eye opener… Thanks.. Waiting for the next series Women& Marriage and a hoping to be interviewed for this one

    1. Poleni sana on losing your friend.
      The series was extremely insightful, even the bizarre one of the guy who fed you a sad bullsh*t story. Let us just say the sorts make the world.

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  2. I have learnt that you just need to find your person and love them as they are… Not the person they can become, or the person you want them to be or the person they used to be… just love them as they are…

    This has been a beautiful series.. quite the eye opener on marriages..

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    1. There is immense beauty in imperfection ….so true. May X rest in peace and his memory live on forever.

      If there is one major take home from the men and marriage series, it’s that your marriage is what you make it and none is perfect.

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  3. I have learned that there are working marriages out there. Not perfect marriages, but marriages where the wife and the husband are willing to put in the work. Respect for each other and open communication were some common themes in all the stories. Personally, I have been reassured. Kwanza by your dentist. Its good to know that there are men out there working hard not to cheat.

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  4. Couldn’t have put it any better.

    Your marriage is your marriage, and there’s no real formula to one.

    Talk to fellow men about your shit, and is a man comes to talk to you, be man enough to be of assistance.

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    1. I have learnt so much from the entire men and marriage series eagerly waiting for the women and marriage…sorry for the loss of your friend Mr.X it shall be well

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  5. Men & marriage has been the best blog series I’ve ever read. Learning about the struggles that men go through in their marriages and drawing lessons from each story has been nothing short of enlightening.
    I’m looking forward to the next series.

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    1. Oh, Kimutai, good to see you here. It’s been long since I last read your comment on this platform. Must have been 2011 when Biko was still on wordpress.

      PS. Thanks for the series Biko and pole for the loss.

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  6. “Lastly, for the young chaps reading this, one piece of advice from me; don’t marry before 30.And marry your friend, not the one with the big hips. It would be nice, though, if your friend has big hips.”
    Best piece of advice south of sahara and north of Limpopo. It was a good series.

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    1. Haha what advised the geographical locations….I get conflicted when people say that you don’t marry before 30. I am 24 what will i be doing from now till 30? I feel i have done everything and am tired I just want to love one person who loves me.

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      1. Hey, if it’s time it’s time and if you know and feel it the you know it’s time, i married at 27 and still going strong.
        Pole Biko for X’s death…

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss Biko. It’s sooo big and the hole deep, but you will eventually fill it with something that holds you and X together again. Peace to you and all of your friends and to the family of X. The sting of death is unmistakable. Poleni tena.

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  8. Thanks for the series Biko. It has been quite engaging. A quick question though, you advice young chaps not to get married before 30 if you have time kindly expound on this point please.

    Otherwise keep up the good job

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  9. My condolence Biko. As the french man would say ‘c’est juste la vie’.
    otherwise the men and marriage was a great series and so were the episodes in them.
    God bless you. God bless Kenya.

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  10. “Lastly, I have learnt from these men that nobody has figured this thing out, man.
    That you keep doing, trying, f*kng up, trying again, learning, and you keep going, because it’s a long ass journey.
    And also that if it ends, it ends.
    And it ending is no failure on your part or hers, it’s just an end. ”

    – Bikozulu, (18/06/2019)-

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    1. Am nursing a heartbreak then boom..the story about X. Then I have to cry all over esp after going back to read his story. The world is unfair. Rest well X…..

  11. The series is over? This feels like that time GOT ended.
    I have learnt quite a few things but I’m one of those people who are prone to writing a book, so I’ll try to contain myself.
    The biggest lesson is to marry your friend. You’ll avoid many many problems if you do this one thing. (Even if you marry before 30. 30 is old, my gosh! Kwani mnangoja nini?)

    I’ve also learnt to be patient since Biko seems to keep us waiting longer and longer for his posts on Tuesday.

    Finally, Rest in Peace, X. You sound like THE man. If you’re reading this salimia Gabriel. Also, because Biko says you’re quite the humorous chap (and that you need a shave), ni vizuri umeenda nyumbani… kwa Barber.

    76
  12. This is not the ending I had envisioned, almost cried in the office. Marriages are different, they are defined by the participants there in. You can work at being compatible with each other while building each other. There is no manual around this thing. And of course as a 22 year old, from you to marry my friend and try as hard not before 30. Men should also talk.

    5
  13. “Lastly, for the young chaps reading this, one piece of advice from me; don’t marry before 30.And marry your friend” no hurry in doing these things.

    3
  14. Bikozulu, pole sana for your loss. It must be hard, grieving and getting ‘shouted’ at because of a broken website. Guilty. I am sorry.

    I agree with that last part. Marry your friend. And if you aren’t really friends when you get married, strive to be your spouse’s friend.

    At the time of marriage counselling, my pastor always said, ‘Study your mate!’ I will say this, listen and talk to your spouse. That is the only way to know what the other is thinking.

    6
    1. There is no straight answer to how each relationship works, there’s none. What works for you, maybe won’t work for everyone else. Also, if it ends, it ends. Don’t beat yourself up.
      That’s what I learnt from “men and marriages”

  15. Very many take aways: first, being a man in itself is a verb.its a continous journey,and secondly in marriage,its the journey that matters, not the destination.

    5
  16. Wow… My condolences to Mr. X. May he rest in peace. What an ending! The lesson that stood out for me is honesty. From the man who managed two wives who both knew and took turns with each of them. Being honest and just speaking your mind. Also, in today’s article, reaching out and actually talking “to” my fellow men. I loved the series

    3
  17. I want a friend a partner and my go to person for a life partner.simetimes in marriage you don’t need a husband or a wife you just need a friend.

    7
    1. Thank Biko for the Men and Marriage Series. Your summary is wow.
      I tend to think marriage is very personal and every marriage is unique. Never copy from some one’s else marriage because your marriage is unique. Communication is key in marriage, intimacy in marriage is very important the intimacy of feeling safe and true within the marriage. Fight for your marriage till you win or win for your sakes. In marriage being vulnerable is inevitable. The thing within the thing in our marriage is God, He solidifies everything and melts everything that needs solidifying or melting.
      Pole for your loss.

      1
    2. “if it ends it ends it is nobody’s fault…” Really? Isn’t this escapism? Isn’t life merely a sum of our decisions? What am I missing?

      This is a brilliant piece

  18. This series was quite the journey. Some hilarious and some sad. Thank you for sharing these stories. May X rest in perfect peace.

    2
  19. Israel and Palestine have been at war since I was born. But Israel is still in Israel and Palestine is still in Palestine. Hard stance and intolerance has infiltrated homes and thus we can no longer make meaningful conversations. We would rather believe what we hear on radio talk shows than ask ourselves “what do I stand for as an individual?”

    18
  20. Rest in power Mr. X. what a coincidence that you started the series and you had to end it in a tragic way. Anyway, life is a journey and Marriage is a journey as well. My greatest lesson, we expect too much from our partners whereas they are just as fallible as ourselves. Give grace as much as possible. If it doesn’t work, ship out, Nothing is worth your life.!

    2
  21. I have learnt that there is no blueprint to a perfect marriage or relationship. Some men hug their wives into feeling loved and if you go do that to yours then you could hug her into suffocation. She will be happy only if that is how she decides to be loved. I have also understood communication is everything. The stories show it is a hard thing for most of us but it is how we steer love. It is how we get better at each other. A last lesson for me is how important it is to genuinely understand the commitment of love and marriage. It seems almost certain that money will change, kids will change, family will change but the commitment shields against all that. Should that mean we should learn why we love someone?

    25
  22. My take away from this series is that, the institution of marriage is pretty much like our individual lives, to each their own and whatever works for you flaunt it. Bless you Biko

    1
  23. My lesson;
    Men are human after all.
    They rend and mend, they brag and then they get humble, they hurt then they Merry.

    Just like we do.

    After all, we are bone of their bones and flesh of their flesh.

    8
  24. Biko, whatever you are doing to our society or larger still, to our generation and that which will come out of these marriages, is greater than you would probably think or imagine. Its called purpose. God bless you.

    “nobody should prescribe his secrets of marriage to anyone because wives don’t come from one assembly plant, Batch C3, line 4” Funny but true…Deal with your marriage your own way. Rich stuff Biko. Asanti sana.

    9
  25. Greatest lesson…There is so much that people are going through and we (friends, acquaintances..) have no way of knowing. We can however be more accommodating, more inquiring…This article hit me that i’ve come here every Tuesday and expected a post. If there was none, i was more than a little disappointed. Yet, i never thought that you did not put up a post because you are in such a bad place and you required encouragement or a prayer.
    My great friend’s husband has been out of work for a while and he seems to have just accepted his fate. He has despaired. He does not look for work, doesn’t seem to care how the bills get paid, goes out drinking almost every day, is so negative about everything, acts superior to everyone around him..I can go on and on. I got tired of reaching out. And now with this post, i feel i need to reach out again. I think the negativity and the acting superior is from a place of insecurity.
    Pole for your loss.

    3
  26. I’ve learnt that forgiveness is key in marriage or any other relationship because even your best friend can hurt you. Also give your all so that even if things end,you’ll have truly loved. This series was quite enlightening,I’ll miss it! Thanks to those who shared their experiences! May X rest well and may you and his family be comforted!

    1. Firstly let me pass on my condolences for your loss, I feel like have known X in like forever even though have only read the last episode of this series.
      I don’t know what’s worse, we teens Drooling over the so ” happy” marriages that we see on some photoshoot or being utterly naive about what’s goes on behind the closed doors.
      It is sad though

  27. Quite a read. Consider me well instructed, by this [very sad] line especially:
    “But our biggest and gravest mistake is that we expected him to reach out to us, to come to us during these moments of pain, when it was for us to go to him, to seek him constantly…”

    To be a friend is to reach out first, even to such as have the highest walls around them, even to such as fight you off tooth and nail when you attempt to get in. To be a good friend is to keep trying to tear down those walls, to keep trying to help.

    You will forgive me, but I will play the role of being the exception to this rule:
    “Lastly, for the young chaps reading this, one piece of advice from me; don’t marry before 30.”

    Because I believe I found me a friend already, and I daren’t waste one more minute before making her mine through marriage, as God has prescribed, though I am not quite 30 yet.

    5
  28. And so I have learnt that your marriage is your marriage, you run it the way that works for you both – what one man does in his marriage is his business and will not necessarily work in yours.
    i completely enjoyed this series thank you Biko
    may X rest in heavenly peace

    1. Great series and Great insights on the topic of men and marriage… Marriages are not perfect, it is how we deal with the imperfections that come with them makes them good marriages.

  29. May his soul rest in peace.
    I was awed as much as i learnt that
    1. Indeed no marriage is perfect.
    2.Life isn’s a set of dos and donts with timelines.Fall,rise up and keep going!
    3.Define happiness for yourself!

    3
  30. Thank you for the shared lessons: great insights! So so sad about your loss of X. May God grant you comfort and peace.

  31. Very touching Biko! I loved the whole series, all of it. There are madmen even in storytelling (the guy who faked his wife’s death). You actually touched every scenario as captured from your inception story. I mourn with your loss!
    To more great series. In particular, looking forward to the next one. I want to hear relatable tales. We are all a mess. 🙂

    1
  32. My take home,Song of Solomon 2:15 it’s the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.Yes the small matters that we always ignore are the main ones.

    5
  33. Men would rather respect than love however some of them do not respect even themselves therefore making it hard for us to respect them. In my own personal experience I tried and trid and tried, he was happy and thought we were both happy but it’s only because I kept silence about my pain. One fine Sunday three weeks ago I woke up and left. It’s good to know when it ends it’s no ones fault

    3
  34. What a piece…. Didn’t know it would come so soon – the only line missing I recall you saying was… ” The day I buried my best friend, I was smelling of Lux…” It is well

    1
  35. Just like employment, marriage is not for everyone. Some people are just not wired to function in matrimony. Before you figure out who you can share your life with, figure out if you want to share your life with anyone first.

    5
  36. I have learnt that most men just want to be affirmed. They will sleep on an unmade bed and they will eat food that has more salt than necessary if they are affirmed. That if given a choice between being loved and being respected they will go for the respect. And to be told that they intelligent, or hardworking, or loved, or good in bed or so strong or so powerful or that [insert cooing voice] your beard is so sexy!

    This. This right here . Thanks Biko

    1
  37. My lesson, it helps to know the person you marry, it is however importanter to know the person you intend to marry, it ‘ll save you lots of hell later. Whereas emotions are involved, let your decisions come from the head/brains and not the heart, and then the heart will enjoy the fruits of the head. Most importantly, love yourself, and be firm and assertive with the love you have for yourself, and that your sanity and health comes first!
    Then you can pour from your cup for the rest to enjoy!

    6
    1. Thank you Niko I have been following keenly n what I have learnt is that is the importance of honestly in marriage and being happy is a choice treat each other with respect even when things are not working out ..

      1
  38. Rest in eternal peace Mr.X, God surely picks the best,I really admire how he touched peoples lives.

    I hope we can have season 2, just to give men a chance to talk it out some more..

  39. Marry at 30 i agree. I have also learnt along the way marry your friend after all is said and done you still have something to talk about. Communication is key.
    Compromise is a two way street, at least it shows respect to both parties involved.
    Marriage is not a requirement by law, not everyone is made for marriage.

    1
  40. That if given a choice between being loved and being respected they will go for the respect. How do you have respect without love unless it is in the office?

    1
  41. Sorry for your loss biko. May Mr. X rest in eternal peace
    and a Great read as usual…… True each to their own marriage. Make yours work in your own ways. People living for society and in boxes giving in to to much pressure. Marry your friend and communicate always.. Now my friend come here Imma marry you .. And the series was the best read ever.. How i have waited for tuesdays!!!!

  42. Pole sana Biko for the loss of X.
    The series was great. More of this please. I call it writing with a purpose.
    My take away is that marriage is what works for you; and men are so human.

    1. Mr.X was a very good friend of mine since Campus and he is the one who made me know you. We were in the same Access and then went to do the same course, when we were broke we used to changa some money then go to kabalagala market and buy Vegetables and meat as a group and then go to my house and cook as i always hade gas and unga ya Soko ya gunia.
      I was devastated by his death though am far away from home. Rest well Mr. X

      1
  43. I read the line “He has left us” and felt it go right in to the bones. Its sad, death is cruel. I can’t comprehend how it was like to write this article and re think about X.
    Like sand through the hour so are the days of our lives.

  44. This series was a great idea. As men we don’t talk about our personal stuff. This series has helped me to know what people go through. It has helped me appreciate what I have, even though it’s not perfect. Most importantly I have come to appreciate the power of resilience in human beings. I don’t think I will face anything bigger than what I have read in the series. So in case shit flies in the fan, I will overcome.

  45. My sincere condolences on your loss Biko!!I hope X is resting easy.

    Your series for men and marriages has been quite enlightening and somewhat entertaining,I could not believe some of the things that people go through in marriages.

    My biggest lesson was that you can find happiness even after a failed marriage,you don’t have to beat yourself up over stuff,
    And also,each marriage is indeed different.
    Love yourself first before you can attempt to love another individual.

    1
  46. This series was wonderful. I have learnt that the imperfections in marriage are what leads to perfection. Never try to compare with what the neighbor has.
    I hit 30 in May, guess i have the greenlight now?

  47. All marriages are different…The man is and will always be the head of the home. Shared in church last Sunday as we celebrated Fathers day, Psalm 128 is just but a map out of a man’s role in marriage. More so, marriage is all about communication from the onset…it is good to know who you are working with too.

    May X rest in peace

  48. This ‘marry your friend’ thing- have heard it quite a number of times, but then a question: Does marrying your friend mean first becoming ‘good’ friends with someone, then date them and eventually marry them or what does it exactly mean? my view is these scenarios are few and far apart. mostly people meet someone who they are attracted to and then pursue them, which eventually leads to marriage.
    Otherwise great great lessons from this series. my take home is that we men should open up and talk, be vulnerable. reach out. simple.

    *Sorry for your loss Biko

    1
  49. “We are enough if we choose to be enough….”
    this sums it all up for me.
    because it applies to all aspects of life.

    Rest in peace X
    Sorry for your loss Biko

    1
  50. What I have learnt
    1.Accept your spouse. Let them be.you cant change an adult.
    2.stop comparing your marriage with your parents.YOU ARE NOT YOUR PARENTS.
    3.love language is a thing.took me forever to figure that out.learn it.FAST.
    4.Men are bad with dates .all dates.its in their DNA.its never that serious.save them on his phone.move on* I email my hubby a list of possible presents before my birthday.it works.
    4.date night.also a thing.remember who you were before kids coz they change EVERYTHING. You have to pair up to beat those little rascals.

    6
    1. Mr. Biko!, Very eye opening series. Some shocks here and there. Women too can take a man to hell and back. Finally, every marriage has its beautiful grass and the only way to keep it green is to water it using a bucket, water pipe, bottle.. Whatever you use keep watering!!!

      Sorry about your friend Mr. X.. . May he rest in eternal peace. He lives in your hearts now coz his memories keep you connected. Be blessed!

    1. Thank you Biko I have been following keenly n what I have learnt is the importance of honestly in marriage and being happy is a choice treat each other with respect even when things are not working out ..

      1
  51. Like life, marriage has not been fully figured out. It’s a journey with an end
    (*whispering first time to comment) Onto the next series

  52. “…That you keep doing, trying, f*kng up, trying again, learning, and you keep going, because it’s a long ass journey. And also that if it ends, it ends. And it ending is no failure on your part or hers, it’s just an end…”

    No marriage works the same. One must be ready to create their own beautiful journey whichever way they know and can.

    Rest in Peace Mr. X.

    1. Very true, as one of Mr. X’s close family member, I agree with you on this. I wished he told some of us the pain he was going through

  53. what an exemplary way to end the series,

    Yaani you have just summarised the comment section of Men & Marriage,

    At some point i was cutting onions *sob*

    May X RIP.

    1
  54. ‘Lastly, for the young chaps reading this, one piece of advice from me; don’t marry before 30’ This is a very good advise…and i repeat the same to younger chaps out there. Take your time, define your self, your career and ambitions then everything else will flow

    1
  55. I was looking forward to this – hearing your thoughts on the series. Like you pointed out, it took a weird turn – became a moving eulogy.
    I learned that you get to set your own rules in your marriage. And that marriage, will inevitably disappoint you. Which was a good lesson for me because as nothing makes this transient 20-something more anxious than the idea of marriage or being someone’s parent.

  56. I loved the honesty. The rawness. I loved that men were finally talking.

    Does it end here? Are some of the men who were going through such difficulties okay? Do they have some one to talk to?

    I kept feeling like for some of the pieces, I need to hear what the wives have to say, – especially the one with the two guys who like each other and the wives know it and…. You get my point.

    To top it all off, this right here: “We talk about him constantly because deep down we know we failed him. We failed our friendship. We failed to read his signs of pain. Failed to heed his moments of torment. Failed to gather around him in his months of darkness. We didn’t light a fire in his darkness. But our biggest and gravest mistake is that we expected him to reach out to us, to come to us during these moments of pain, when it was for us to go to him, to seek him constantly, even if he wasn’t willing to let us in because he didn’t have the language to express his feelings of hurt and turmoil.”

    May we light fires in our friendships. It is important!

    1
  57. “Lastly, for the young chaps reading this, one piece of advice from me; don’t marry before 30.And marry your friend, not the one with the big hips. It would be nice, though, if your friend has big hips.”
    Ohh well Biko, wish you had written this 4 years back. But I guess some have to learn through the fire. Thank you for everything

    1
  58. Biko, you may not know it…but us young-ins have questions that over time through the series you have credibly answered. Thankyou. may X rest in peace.

    1
  59. Who else thinks marriage is a scam!! 😀 Kidding!!! Thank you for those truths you’ve highlighted in this article Biko. You’ve liberated so many souls who think marriage comes with a manual, it is true every marriage is unique, appreciate yours the way it is and always work to better it hoping for good results. We the singles have learnt a lot in this series, we’re so enlightened, Let that marriage come!!! Hatuogopi tena!!! LOL

  60. This was so therapeutic. I’m glad I came across this before getting married. I’m sure I’ll be an ideal partner to my Mr. Right wherever he is hiding. Thank you Bikozulu.
    RIP Mr. X

    1
  61. Lastly, for the young chaps reading this, one piece of advice from me; don’t marry before 30.And marry your friend, not the one with the big hips. It would be nice, though, if your friend has big hips…..hillarious. You can as well marry before 30 and have a happy marriage depending on your definition of happiness ..rest in peace X

  62. Woow…Your vivid description of how you felt makes me feel like I lost him too…like I knew him. Sorry for your loss.
    The engagement has really been insightful. I know now what not to press on my future man and to love him as he is.

  63. wow, that have been an awesome series. Lesson learnt do what makes you happy despite what others say.

    Thank Biko for the series.

    1
  64. quite unfortunate, R.I.P X

    I have learnt that most men just want to be affirmed. They will sleep on an unmade bed and they will eat food that has more salt than necessary if they are affirmed. That if given a choice between being loved and being respected they will go for the respect. And to be told that they intelligent, or hardworking, or loved, or good in bed or so strong or so powerful …..

    i have learnt this today too. i have to aplly this.

    1
  65. Lastly, for the young chaps reading this, one piece of advice from me; don’t marry before 30.And marry your friend, not the one with the big hips. It would be nice, though, if your friend has big hips.

    Rest In Peace X

  66. Woi, Biko. yaani i felt your loss and pain through your words. Looks like Mr. X was and still is a truly amazing guy, who touched many souls positively.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed the series of men and marriage, i have learnt loads, it has been a real pleasure and quite the eye-opening journey. Thank you.
    In summary my greatest lesson, is so many people get married because of love, but staying married is obviously a choice you make daily, by choosing to work on your marriage with your partner. Nobody has this marriage thing figured out, and all we can do is learn from each other and choose what best applies to your situation and marriage.
    Thank you Thank you Muncho gracias. And again pole sana for your loss.

    1
  67. Indeed a marriage is for two individuals who met and talked to each other (just the two of them) and decided to walk (just the two of them) into marriage. Since there is nothing like a perfect marriage, when you get to the hills and the valleys in your marriage, the best people you can talk to is, you guessed it (just the two of you). You may not agree at first. Take a pause, breath, reflect and get back and talk it out. I believe you can solve most problems when there is honesty and open communication between the two of you.

    Do all your shit in your 20s then settle and get married in your 30s. I totally agree with you Biko.

    My deepest condolences to you Biko and all of X’s friends. May he Rest In Peace.

    1
  68. during the last census my dad didn’t have a clue as to our birth days and years so we were left to tell on our own and i dont blame him.poleni for the loss

  69. This series has taught me that happiness is relative.
    We all have our perceptions of how it tastes like and how its supposed to taste. I hope to one day have my taste, preferably with someone.. scratch that…with my friend who understands my love language and thinks my hips are big.

    1
  70. In my head, I’m writing a novel on the lessons learnt but here, I will keep it short.

    Thank you Biko for this series. It was as insightful as it was emotional but all together, you brought it out well. Guess the point is home; to each their own. Looking forward to Women & Marriage.

    Pole for your loss. May Mr. X rest in peace.

  71. The stories you have shared teaches us that we need to be the authors of our life stories including Marriage,

  72. Condolences to you Biko for your loss. The clenched fists and regrets are relatable..but be kind to your soul or try.
    By far, this has been my favorite pre, marital,post and all forms of counselling read, received or heard. I shall be referring my person and my others to this blog. Hats off to you Bikozulu.

  73. Wait, something is not clear here. X drove in to the trailer knowingly?

    That is raw pain. What I have learnt is ‘It’s never that serious.’

    In the words of Nas the poet; life’s a bish and then you die that why we get high coz you never know when you gonna go.’

    Live, and let live. Don’t be a prick. In marriage or in life.

    2
  74. I Stayed glued to each line of text the symptoms of a first time reader of Biko’s cut throat words.
    Still wondering when is the right time to marry then because that is part of this series we are all crowded.
    For me listen to the love language of your partner it,s the bullet.

  75. One of my greatest lessons has been that you should marry your best friend and what works for your couple friend may not necessarily work for you. establish your own culture and live with it.
    Its been a great one Biko, can’t wait for Women and Marriage series.

    Mr. X rest easy, may your story teach us how to be reaching out to our friends, even those who are hard to get through.

    1
  76. Rest in eternal peace X.
    I have learnt that communication is key in a marriage. Time is not a determinant of how a relationship or marriage should be. What works for you may not necessarily work for me and above all, marriage is a journey and you make mistakes and learn along the way. Last but not least, no body is perfect.
    This way a very enlightening and entertaining series.
    Thank you Biko

  77. Wow what a series with very many lessons;your marriage is your marriage, you run it the way that works for you both – what one man does in his marriage is his business and will not necessarily work in yours……Minimize your expectations and sometimes just love not expecting to be loved back.Rest in peace Mr X

  78. Lovely series with numerous lessons. Please compile this into a book. Probably the best compilation on marriage for those preparing for it and for those in it and even for those getting out of it.

  79. It has been an informative series, key to note, no single formula to happy marriage, you work with your partner to define and make the marriage work. Looking forward to the next series

    1
  80. Death is indeed a curse for the good ones. It always lurks on the way of the good ones. May he rest in eternal peace.

    About the series Men and Marriage, I have learnt that joy is joy anywhere, that pain is pain anywhere, that no marriage is perfect and people make grievous mistakes, that forgiveness comes to those who believe, that marriage is not a door to walk in and out as we please (Warren Buffet), that marriage requires two people who are determined to make things work no matter how blurred and blunt things get, that marriage happens and that we can only hope for the best.

  81. Biko the day I came across your blog,my life changed for the better because it’s lessons after lessons..if in any case my week gets ruined I just feel redeemed on Tuesdays!! I literally wait for Tuesdays..
    Please don’t make us wait too long for the next series
    Also am sorry for your loss

    1
  82. The first (..or seventh) question my colleagues and I ask each other every Tuesday is whether Biko has posted yet. And we were coincidentally discussing what we’ve learnt from this series just this morning. I’ll summarize mine with this; ‘There is immense beauty in imperfection but only if we bother to look’ ( You made it easy for me)

    1
  83. That was so untimely, I am really sorry for your loss.

    Lessons learnt? Well,you don’t really have to marry if you don’t want to rather, not convinced about it.
    Unlike the Huduma Number thing marriage has no deadline and is not compulsory. Do you and trust the process.
    Allow our creator to work in you as well.

    Marry your best friend!!!!

    1
  84. Learnt;
    Marriage doesn’t come with manual nor SOP.
    Choose to be enough.

    For Mr. X, God allowed him to rest. He lives in many hearts.

  85. The truth is majority of us men are struggling with mental health issues especially those that are trying to keep up with the pressures of modern living. The story of Stephen Mumbo who threw himself down from nineth floor of Delta House last year served me as a wake up call. There is a cup of tea that we have been served since childhood “men don’t speak about their fears, that we should always be strong amidst all the storm.” That it is a sign of weakness when you show your weaker side, but come to think of it at the end of the day we are all human. I am beginning to realize that this cup of tea is hogwash. Let us cry when its time to cry and let us speak too about our fears when its appropriate. Otherwise the rate at which we shall die of depression is gonna be very high. I am here willing to help with material and literature on mental health anyone interested to just hit my inbox at ballocod@yahoo.com Biko you can start a group for men to share and rant and cry and allow themselves to be vulnerable with themselves. always believe in the philosophy of a problem shared is half solved.

    1
  86. Thank you chocolate man, there are days you had me crying,others smiling, this has been a great series, I have learnt to listen and I hope to Affirm more,may X rest in peace,you will be well

  87. This series was and has been the highlight of my Tuesday’s.
    I have come to appreciate marriage as an institution that combines two imperfect people who strive to make it work.
    That marriage is a journey that no one has a manual for.
    That men in their own ways have struggles and communication is key!

    1
  88. My take-away is that there will be days, or weeks, or maybe even longer, when you aren’t all mushy-gushy in-love. You’re even going to wake up some morning and think, “Ugh, you’re still here….” That’s normal! And more importantly, sticking it out is totally worth it, because that, too, will change. In a day, or a week, or maybe even longer, you’ll look at that person and a giant wave of love will inundate you, and you’ll love them so much you think your heart can’t possibly hold it all and is going to burst. Because a love that’s alive is also constantly evolving. It expands and contracts and mellows and deepens. It’s not going to be the way it used to be, or the way it will be, and it shouldn’t be. Rest easy Sir X.

    1
  89. 1.You cannot love with a lazy heart!
    2.Every day has enough troubles of its own, choose to learn, unlearn and relearn as the days go by.
    3.Be intentional to reach out to your friends, spit the pride if you must and be quick and keen to listen with grace.
    PS. Silence has a pitch too.

    Biko, your loss is unimaginable. I’m sorry doesn’t cut it but I pray you find peace through this storm.

    3
  90. This was the best series yet. I am really sorry for your loss Biko. X must have been a serious extrovert. It’s a loss that his bright light will no longer be seen. Men and marriage almost scared me out of the thought of getting married (am yet to fully recover) but the last piece gave me a glimmer of hope. I have learnt that despite peoples mistakes there is always room for forgiveness and reconciliation but I have also learnt there is no shame in ending a bad union. Thanks Biko for this looking forward to the women and marriage series.

  91. I pick the advice to the young people “don’t marry before 30.” people I’ve been troubling me. ” Unaleta mtu lini?” But now no rush got some years to go and to find a friend.

  92. We were friends with Bwana X during our teens. The things we did together…..whenever I want to smile I remember them….Such a good person unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend his funeral.

    May his soul rest in peace

  93. Hello Biko and the Gang,
    What a culmination! I would like to express my gratitude commend you for the Marriage Series. I have read about 90% of them since the series started.
    My greatest lesson would be not to marry before I have attained the age of 30 years.
    And I’m sorry about X. May he rest in eternal peace.

  94. I have Learnt that the Mind is a very powerful tool. The happiest people are able to control it while the rest are slaves to their emotions and passions.
    Biko, you’re a Good Man.

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  95. My first time commenting. I have enjoyed every story and learnt so much. When i found out you were doing a series on Men and Marriage i was elated. I couldn’t wait to hear from the Men. See, am married. This is my fifth year and quite frankly i have been very happy. We both are. Every once in a while though, i feel like things shouldn’t be this smooth and so am very cautious. I don’t want to take anything for granted. Not to say that there are no fights because there are but we figure it out. We always do. I want this happiness to last and so am always on the look out. Am always trying to learn and to be better. A better wife , A better mother. A better person. Because beyond loving me and believe me, my husband does love me, i want him to continue liking me as well. And i see him trying to be better. Not that we’re not good, its just that even a good thing can be “bettered”.
    So i have learnt from this series that respect to men is so important. don’t belittle your man. Address issues when they first show up. don’t let them simmer. Men are not as macho as they appear. They can be sensitive vulnerable beings. And finally, for some reason reading all these stories,( which by the way my husband has been reading as well, and we have been chambuaing them together) has given me confidence to be able to say that i have an amazing marriage and that i am happy in my marriage. Its hard to admit these things these days with all the drama in marriages. It almost feels like the society has decided that cheating and disrespect and pain must be present in all marriages. And sometimes when you say you’re happy in your marriage , people either think you’re naive (because it means you haven’t caught him cheating) or they say “give it time” Well, i am happy, happily married.

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  96. Tears because we have come to the end of this Men and Marriage series. Even the ending of Game of Thrones didn’t feel this bad (kiwaru). I have to admit I have learn’t a lot from this being that we come from a culture where men don’s necessarily speak about their feelings. This was real life, raw and from the horse’s mouth so Thanks Biko for that. Safe for the cheating doctor story (rolls eyes) the rest were solid in me eyes.

    Humored how the men everywhere got worked up on the story where he found out one of the kids is not his, and the one where the first wife came back and they are now sister wives- and these martials were calling it witchcraft!

    Here for the “Women in Marriage” series. I have bought my Kleenex tissue boxes as I am expecting tears from here to River Limpopo…..And finally do a singles one because it is an extreme sport out in these streets.

    Lastly, this is some solid advice! I concur ………don’t marry before 30.And marry your friend, not the one with the big hips. It would be nice, though, if your friend has big hips. 🙂

    3
  97. X was a gentleman per excellence we met at CMA though very brief. He had a profound impact on any person he meet. May X Rest in Eternal Peace

  98. “There is immense beauty in imperfections,only if we bother to look”….such a good piece Biko
    May X soul rest in eternal peace and may you guys find peace

  99. If I will have to register for the Writing Masterclass just so that you personally expound on this statement, “Lastly, for the young chaps reading this… don’t marry before 30”, trust me, I will. And soon.

    As always, many thanks for laying out your life for us Biko. I know it’s not always easy to be vulnerable as a man, but you’ve always tried your best, And I truly appreciate that.

    For me, I would summarize marriage into one word – HARDWORK. The harder you (both) work at it, the better it becomes. And lastly, never leave God out of it, for he’s the author and perfector of Marriage, as with all other things.

    1
  100. “The sound of the engine felt louder, like I was driving a ship on the road”.
    Poleni SANA family & friends of Sande!

  101. My lesson comes from the pastor guy who moved for lack of sex….its about communication and sometimes being a little bit selfish. To our partners, it’s about being understanding, reaching out, and sometimes giving in to things you may not necessarily agree to, but sacrifice for the happiness of your partner and the health of your marriage.

    Above all, that commitment and constant work is a basic ingredient.

    1
  102. Lessons Learnt
    1. Men suffer in marriages too especially Emotional Abuse but very few speak out but when encouraged to do so, they pour it all out.
    2. Forgiveness eases a strained relationship.
    3. Every Marriage is unique and also similar with its fair share of uphills and downhills.
    4. Women stomach alot!!
    5. There are INCREDIBLE men out here (Men who own their mistakes and ask for forgiveness and change to be better people… Men who go to whatever length just to ensure his wife and children are comfortable…Men who take charge of their families).

    Men and Marriage has been a wonderful series. Looking forward to Women and Marriage next. Thank you Biko.

  103. Lesson learnt is I should not get married before I am 30. Lesson not only from this article but many others you have written. Rest in Peace Mr. X

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  104. This was deep, raw. Left me sad for a couple of reasons , One,the end of men and marriage. Two, Your friend X, i felt every bit of emotion when he passed, reminded me so vividly of my bro’s passing 2yrs back, sudden, pain that hasnt left. May they Rest in peace eternally.
    Matters marriage n lessons, happiness is relative.You make your own happiness, ef what society thinks.

    1
  105. I got a totally new respect for men in relationships with this series. And I pray that they can take heed and talk more and have their stories told and burden lightened.
    I also wondered whether it’s completely necessary to get married but if we have to…to do it right with complete understanding.

    2
  106. Wonderful Read…..
    All the wisdom gathered from this men and marriage series, Biko I say thank you for changing and impacting on the future man I’ll grow up to be. May the Lord keep you.

    Lessons learned;
    – Marriage is no child’s play (relating to the story of the young banker who was an undercover Joint dealer).
    – Marriage requires commitment and a relentless will to always be the head and take up responsibility in steering your people in the right direction (Last weeks post on the guy who lost his possessions but regrouped.

    I sure will marry my bestfriend. All in all Biko thanks a bunch, so sorry for your loss, life is so ephemeral, man.

    Cheers Biko.

    1
  107. My deepest condolences for the loss of your bestie.
    The men marriage series has enabled me view my man in a different perspective. He’s trying and doing his best for me, our son and soon to be second baby.

  108. ” I have learnt from these men that nobody has figured this thing out, man. That you keep doing, trying, f*kng up, trying again, learning, and you keep going, because it’s a long ass journey. And also that if it ends, it ends. And it ending is no failure on your part or hers, it’s just an end.
    Lastly, for the young chaps reading this, one piece of advice from me; don’t marry before 30.And marry your friend, not the one with the big hips” .

    This (5) lines above from the series finale sums everything in men and marriage, ASANTE

  109. This has been such a ride.Lots of lessons thereof.
    this episode though took me to 2012 when I lost my best friend Valentine in a love triangle.I still feel I have failed her even now and I do not talk about it.
    .May your friend rest in peace.
    Am not ready for the break though,let’s move on.

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  110. Sorry for your loss Biko, this series has been great as expected.I like,if it ends it ends period.I think that people look around them and feel like they’ve let the society, family, friends down, no you went into this marriage not for anybody else but yourself and if it’s not working it’s not and you’re living for you, so do you. Great read Biko.

  111. Sorry for the loss of your Friend.
    I have learnt a lot from these series. Please compile a book
    From all this I have learnt that Men are not as Bad as majority of us believe save for that Chap who was lying about his wife cheating and sneaking Men in their House. I was specifically proud of the guy in the article ‘ Joshua’s Words’ So impressed to know that there are still Men out there who are ready to fight for their marriages despite all the shit going on in the marriage. I wish to meet him one day..
    I have also learnt that Men only need affirmation. May the Good Lord help us to affirm our Men.

  112. One thing that has been clear in this series is that there is no Master plan for Marriage, do you. Compromise is one thing we cant run away from if we want proper functionality in marriage. Love is Compromise.

    2
  113. My greatest lesson from all stories is that there is hope and we need to keep the conversation going.

    Thank you Biko.

    1
  114. Yes @ times true beauty lies behind the imperfection theater where artists keep polishing the script to bring the best of play ..

    I loved the M & M series …Thank God there are good men out there…otherwise I was about to send commissions of inquiry.

    So sorry for X may he rest with the angles..

  115. i think that in these six months i have learnt what most people havent in a lifetime .thanks Biko .and
    that circumstances are powerful bit still got me thinking..R.I.P X

  116. It’s unfortunate that this segment comes to an end! How I wish it kept going; like a column in the dailies. But that’s not mine to decide. I enjoyed most of this stuff, even as I related each circumstance with my own. I will miss it!

  117. We started talking, 3 of us in our men’s group precipitated unfortunately by one of us losing his marriage- a surprise to all of us. We decided to talk and share and we realized we all face same stuff but handle it differently and quite inefficiently. We share, we get stronger and wiser and grow a thick skin and grow confidence and become better men.

  118. The entire Men and Marriage series has been such an uplifting forum. For both men and women. It saddens me that ‘old-school’ manhood doctrines have confined us dudes to wallow in silence, leading to despair and even depression at an early age.
    I have learned that I am not alone, I have also picked up numerous lessons of advice from the brave men who’ve shared. I am looking to open up where I can and know it’s OK to share with fellow men and close circles what we’re all going through..
    For this post, the part beginning with
    “I also learnt that sometimes we bark up the wrong tree when it comes to women because we don’t know their language of love. … ” all the way to the end, should be in every man’s diary/phone notes.

    Finally, R.I.P. to X

    Thank you Jackson.

  119. I have read each and every bit of your writings. It’s true men die trying to provide. There is too much alcoholism in our men. Women get bored of good men and worked up by aggressive ones and vise versa. Biko you should write a book every year and consider motivation speaking, you make loads of sense in everything you say. From Man to Man thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Rest In Peace X. Mental illness is real.

  120. Thank you very much Jackson . I learnt a lot from X, very sad May his soul rest in eternal Peace, I really miss the joke we shared together, He was great.

    Matete

  121. First…I am so sorry for your loss. You and your entire family, friends..all that were touched by this man X…I read all your posts and I thank God for your gift. Keep at it. This is the most teary one and the heaviest for me. Every human being should read this. It’s love it’s loss it’s what life is meant to be. Leave a mark. Hugs n kisses. Poleni sana. RIP Chairman.

  122. Pole for your loss. And thank you for the Men and Marriage series.

    The lessons are refreshing, too refreshing. I personally studied – literally written notes about – my old man. Critiqued his style. I thought I can be a better man. From this piece of your story, I note it’s the journey, not destination. When you say, if I have this or that…then i will be this or that as a man, is a mere fallacy. The lessons continue to be earned. Thank you again.

  123. Truth is, every man (every Kenyan man haha) is a little of all characters described. Your happiness equilibrium will always change. One day he makes you go all “i need to pick this, my husband is calling” to “#*@*#=“. In the end, marriage is a beautiful thing ❤️

  124. “By all means marry, if you marry a good woman, you will be happy. If you marry a bad woman you will become a philosopher.” Aristotle

    “Marriage is a wonderful institution. But who wants to live in an institution?” Grouch Marx

    Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4

    Thank you Biko.

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  125. Biko, you have no idea this means to me. I have personal experiences that I may wish to share with you.
    Thanks for this!

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  126. “No one has figured this thing out” Amen to that… My greatest lesson is reaching out

    Thanks Biko. This new look makes me feel like a stranger though… But we only have one way to go…. UP