Is it Wrong for a Woman to Say She Needs a Husband?

James Ouma
Posted August 23, 2017 from Kenya
Is this a sign that we should go back to basics when the whole village used to raise a child?

There is nothing wrong for a woman to announce her desire to find a husband. Millions of women are doing the same thing. The only difference is to what extend each one of them is willing to go to get what they are after.

That is why I wasn't surprised to see Nyambura, 28-year-old announce her intention of finding a husband on the streets of Nairobi on August 22nd 2017.But I didn’t like the fact that she included her poor 7-year-old daughter in her desperation to find the perfect catch. Seeing she had gone the extra mile of having a signpost made, I believe this has nothing to do withIsaiah 4:1. I am not disputing the fact that we could be in that dispensation where women have comfortably accepted the position of being co-wives. However, there is much more to this than the fulfillment of Isaiah 4:1.

What is happening could be about our role as Kenyan men in the society. I believe we (Kenyan men) owe our women an apology and a nation-wide repentance for failing to take care of our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. Even the church is not spared. We have become men who quote the Bible and are found wanting where practicing Biblical principles is concerned.

Every woman – it doesn’t matter whether it is Governor Kaluki Ngilu or the girl who is constantly fiddling with her smartphone and has earphones 24-7 inside the Jamhuri Estate bound Citti Hoppa – wants to have a man who will preside, protect and provide for the family in an environment where she loved, appreciated and honored. Unfortunately, this is where we have failed terribly. While many of us promise all these things and they sound like music to our women’s ears. But the moment the fruits of our labour are evident and women fall pregnant, we flee!

Let’s consider what Nyambura had to do to get our attention:-

  • She made a signpost announcing her intentions
  • She was wearing a ‘gown’
  • She had her daughter (perhaps a flower girl)
  • They had a radio (probably to play her bridal song via USB)
  • She included her phone number

The question is:-

  • What is the motivation behind her search for a husband? Is there something more to it? Or is it because Kenyans have been a source of ‘blessing’ to others before such as the Githeri Man,Sevelyn Gat, the 100 bob wedding couple, the guy who landed a job after walking with a signpost along Thika Road, e.t.c?
  • How did the signpost designer respond when Nyambura made her request and the wording for the signpost? Did he give her better options of finding a husband and ask her not to include her daughter into the picture? Or did he just see it as an opportunity to make money (and perhaps laugh about it later with his pals at his local pub?)
  • How did her relatives and friends (who know the guy who made her pregnant 7 years ago) respond when they saw or heard the news about her decision to look for a husband on the streets? Can her relatives get hold of her ex-lover and make him bear the responsibility of taking care of her and their daughter?
  • What if the person who made the signpost is actually her husband and the two of them are colluding to benefit from ‘blessings’ and the generosity of Kenyans? Or is it that Isaiah 4:1 has finally become a reality we have to contend with?

The state of single motherhood in Kenya

According to aresearchconducted by two Canadian sociologists, Kenya has the highest number of children born out of wedlock. 3 in 10 girls become pregnant before they celebrate their 18thbirthday. 6 in 10 married women are likely to become single mothers before they turn 45, which is also the highest rate of single-parent families in Africa.

While researching for this article, I had to go through Facebook profiles. Most women in their 20s, including my Facebook friends, have profiles that indicate they are mothers and not wives. Many of them post photos of their children, places they have been without mentioning the child’s father or his whereabouts.

Our churches are not spared either. Most of the population of the church is made up of single mothers as a result of personal choice, having given birth out of wedlock or widowhood. Since our churches have adopted church services that separate parents from their children, I foresee an increase of teenage pregnancies and single motherhood ahead of us.

Final thoughts

I’ve been thinking about the woman who is looking for a husband. She is not just a woman intending to remain a statistic of single women who aren’t able to find a husband. She is Nyambura, 28 year-old mother, sister and daughter to all Kenyan men and she deserves the best. I called her several times but couldn’t get through to her. Her phone was constantly busy and after trying the whole hour. I gave up an hour later when the phone was switched off.

Here are my final thoughts concerning this issue.

Instead of sharing Nyambura’s photo, quoting Isaiah 4:1 and condemning her we should clean up our act as men and women. We should treat other men, women and their children with the respect our own right. We should protect, provide and preside over the affairs of our families, community, nation and the world without running from our God assigned role as parents and guardians.

We can start by protecting women in our neighbourhood, in the matatu and elsewhere from discrimination of all kinds. We should not keep quiet when we see a neighbour’s daughter hang out with boys who have questionable character traits. We should choose tostand with boysand empower them into becoming men of character, courage and conscience.

Much as women fall prey to irresponsible men who make them pregnant and flee without taking responsibility, it takes two to tangle. It should therefore, be our role to leave no woman and child behind by going back to basics. I don’t think there is any better place to start from than this…

“It takes a whole village to raise (up) a child,”

– African proverb

Comments 2

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Sally maforchi Mboumien
Aug 23, 2017
Aug 23, 2017

James my brother thank you for being frank in your thoughts. I am still to comprehend why most of our communities find pleasure in blaming rather than assuming responsibilities for a wrong committed. I just hope your stance on the August 22nd event be given a second thought by others especially the legislative. Let laws be passed to uphold women/girls' Sexual and Reproductive Rights. I hope Nyambura' wish is granted or circumstances make her understand marriage is definitely not all that defines a woman since it is a rite of passage in many communities.

Awah Francisca Mbuli
Aug 24, 2017
Aug 24, 2017

Hello James,

I will say is not wrong for a woman to say she needs a husband and Nyambura is not an exception.

But she went way to far to carry it on a post, accompanied by her young child.

Francisca Awah

Founder Survivors' Network, Cameroon.