(Last Updated On: July 8, 2014)


“ There is more to life than just living, than just watching the beautiful sunrise and the equally scintillating sunset every day,” says father as he pulls his seat closer and tries to blend with us with vainglory and thus be part of our late night meeting. We all lean forward to hear what the wise man has in store for us and he is not hesitant to clear his throat like an epic storyteller and begin pouring out his wit. “There is need in life to have people around you and to always have support when things are amiss and also celebrate together when things are fine. There is need for relationships and the need for that cannot be overestimated.” He pauses with a deliberate motive to study the enthusiasm of his audience and he can smile that the eyes are all set on him, and though I stare like all the rest, I sink into deep thinking, analyzing father’s words and I grin to myself and murmur: “Mzee is right.”

It is so true that the world is a large family in which the people tend to interact with one another every day for different reasons. The need for friendships, the need for aid, and the need for closeness that is so natural finally creates one thing: relationships. In this case, as father would come to put it later, the relationships existent between the masculine world and the feminine world were the most paramount in life and what he would be discussing the next three hours or so was all about us and how we interact with the feminine world. We the boys.

Nature demands that at one point of anyone’s life, they will need to satisfy emotional needs that come along with bodily hormonal changes. At this point, which almost always occurs in early teenage, the boys and girls will get closer to each other and will be inseparable for quite some time, being swallowed in a violent tide of extraordinary passion that sweeps harder that the Tsunami. That is like the clue to a puzzle given as the maps for the future are hence drawn, and life becomes a journey one cannot walk alone for the need of a close partner now so clear that even a bat, blind as they go, can see the imminent passion. I remember I was barely twelve when mother had to keep me locked indoors on several occasions because whenever I went out, I would sneak back in the wee hours of the night obviously after having had a good day out with a friend. Of course she would find out that I came back at night but would sometimes pretend she never knew it. I think she understood just how natural all this was. On such occasions I felt like a hero and wiser than my mother. Now I know otherwise.

Boy-girl relationships is a topic famous like the Mara-Serengeti wildebeest migration. Everybody speaks about girlfriends and boyfriends. It starts as friendship where the two involved parties are friends just because they are not enemies- that unexplainable friendship that two idle smokers cannot sit to discuss. After some time, the two might find out that they share interests and that they can sit alone together and speak or do something together, and enjoy it. It has now advanced that the most established rumour mongers can now have something to speak about in the shopping centres. Simple activities such as playing football together or swimming-or writing, for the literature lovers like I am- tend to bring them together. The relationship has started growing at this rate and sooner or later the two are sworn lovebirds who cannot even be separated by the historically lionized continental drift.

The climax of relationships is believed to be marriages. It so happens that relationships pass through the stages of friendship, to engagements and then to marriages. However, due to varied mishaps, many relationships crumble before they can even take shape. This unfortunate breakage occurs mainly due to the said partners discovering late on that they do not have common interests and that they may not make a good couple in the future. This is if they keep on disagreeing and arguing on the simple things they do every day and cannot agree on what to keep aside and what not to refrain from. They can also break down due to lack of trust. In this case, a partner (or both, for extreme cases) might think the other is unfaithful to him due to proof or as a misconception that sprouts in one bizarre dream. Broken relationships in current societies are more than stray dogs and souls baying for revenge against their allegedly responsible partners (for the break-ups) more agile than a bull- fighter.

When entering into a relationship, people tend to look for the physical appearances of their to-be partners, more often than not, which is naturally human but not wholesomely effective. Morality advises people to “look at the heart”, a feat not practically possible even using a telescope. However, translating it as a check of character and virtue, it makes as much sense as any of Einstein’s theories. What tends to make relationships of the 21st century appear like circuses is the apparent approach to them, by the partners. Through social sites, people marry and then divorce. Before then, they father children and dump them when things get tough. See, why not be in a circle of pandemonium when a Phil Mike, an alleged medical consultant at The Hopkins in the USA who is, in actual sense, a herdsman from Kenya, meets Marylyn Jacobs, claiming to be a German lawyer but who is a bus driver in Togo, through Facebook and they start dating. Then, on the eve of Christmas, they plan a meeting for a date in South Africa. Somehow, both agree to meet in Nairobi where the driver comes with a team of explorers to investigate the height of Times Tower. When the two meet and Njoro (aforementioned Mike) sets eyes on Sarah (Marylyn), they run away from each other faster than Bolt running for gold. And the braggart in Mike is now the laughingstock of the whole Central province.

Men and women are created to be part of and to sustain each other. However, other relationships from same sexes have been widely practiced with no major concern and for different reasons. The world has its fair share of those who like dating and living with members of their sex and feel comfortable with them, complementing them adequately. In some countries, such man-man relationships are acceptable and legal. In others, they are against both legal and social norms. It is a debate discussed with more vigour than climate change across the globe and which is highly criticized by religion. There are also those relationships at the level of marriages which get many partners, such as the polygamous marriages, accepted in many communities and a few religions.

We have evolved to the 21st century where, basing on what father told us about the relationships of their time (between girls and boys), people take relationships rather too lightly. They, rather we, are never serious about many things from religion, to life and death, to relationships. A reign of mediocre personalities who do not see the difference between right and wrong. The sacred entity of relationships as illustrated in the history books and as say our older men and women has been lost in the wind and does not seem redeemable. When a young couple “pushing together” passed a spree of old men downing their liquor and said their evening greeting, the men stopped sipping and replied with strange enthusiasm. And when the couple was gone, the old men were left discussing them and speaking of a possible successful future imminent. These days, the ill-mannered couples walking in compromising positions swagger past their elders who smirk in disgust and spell doom. Because most relationships are not anchored on love but on wealth and also on other factors that were formerly inexistent. And sure enough, when people date on account of wealth, then they are meant to finally fall apart when the wealth eventually goes, which is a common occurrence.

We need to salvage our relationships if this world is to get rid of daily break-ups, embarrassments and related issues. If we have to live like did our mothers and fathers then we have to be careful with the way we approach our relationship issues. I think we have to all come together and set a constitution that will bring back the sanity of relationships that is so lost from us. That way, my next article might be in congratulations of the world for making it clear that a relationship is not a game of poker or a venue for careless fun.


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