By Ogova Ondego and Steven Tendo
Published June 27, 2007
The ghosts of the 1970s and 1980s that saw Kenyan women lose their men to the seductive wiles of Ugandan women who had been spewed across the border into Kenya by political instability are threatening the nascent East African Community of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Kampala women let out the secret of how they tame their men to ArtMatters.Info.
As East Africa grapples with issues related to economic and political integration that would enable people, goods and services to flow freely across the borders of the 1.9-million-square-kilometre landmass, Kenyan women are apprehensive not over losing jobs and other opportunities in a more competitive region but losing their men to their Ugandan sisters. Consequently, they appear to be zoning off their territory and would like politicians–the architects of this federation–to consider this matter in their work.
It is said that Ugandan Bantu communities, particularly the Baganda, the Bagisu, the Batoro and the Banyankole, teach their women how to make themselves desirable sexually, embracing sex and investing time and work in pleasing men and demanding the same from their male counterparts.
Right from childhood, these Ugandan women are trained in the art of not only pleasing men in the bedroom but also enjoying sex. Ugandan women, it is claimed, are more aggressive in sexual matters than their counterparts in the East African Community.
Although it is almost three decades since Ugandan refugees were accused of snatching men from the grasp of their women, Kenyan women respect, nay fear, their Ugandan sisters as far as bedroom affairs are concerned and will not let their men out of sight if a Ugandan woman happens to be near.
But is this fear well founded?
The women who spoke to ArtMatters.Info appear to agree but also urge their Kenyan sisters to learn how to treat men. They are unanimous on several ways and things a woman should do in order to keep her man out of the clutches of a rival.
â€œA woman should be gentle, kind, and respectful to her man. Moreover, she should be hygiene-conscious, groom herself well, and stop nagging the man unnecessarily even if he annoys her,â€ says Linda Musubika, a university student.
Betty Onyango, a Kenyan living in Kampala, contends that â€œUgandan women are better educated in sexual matters from the training they get from their sengas or aunts; Kenyan women lack this opportunity. Moreover, a Ugandan woman is respectful and well mannered, factors that readily endear them to men. A Kenyan woman, on the other hand, is generally aggressive, violent and impolite.â€
Lilian Busingye, a civil servant, concurs.
â€œA woman must treat a man well in that when athe man comes back from work, she should welcome him warmly and serve him with some soft drink or tea. When it comes to bed-time she should show all the techniques that she was taught by her aunt â€˜sengaâ€™ to make the man feel she really is devoted to him.â€
She says the modernity that has turned Kenyan women into aggressive beings â€œhas not interfered with our Ankole ways. We are still using our traditional ways when it comes to bedroom issues; those who ape modernity are turning to prostitution instead of working as respectable house-wives.â€
Busingye says sex is the centre of any relationship without which the latter cannot stand.
Saying she underwent training in bedroom matters from the age of 13, Busingye opines that â€œIt is important for a woman to keep a man occupied because it is boredom that makes a man to stray. If a man gets what he wants in bed then he cannot go away .like mine has not gone away and yet we have been married for more than 10 years,we wedded in 1995 and he chose me over a young girl of fourteen as much as I am above thirty.â€
Senga Nakibule, a sex aunt with CBS/Simba FM of Kampala, says that to keep a man, a woman should keep him occupied and entertained at home as â€œall human problems are solved in the bedroom.â€
Nakibule says many Kenyan women are now traveling to Kampala to consult her on how to tame their men.
Sarah N, born of a Muganda father and Rwandese mother, says â€œAll Ugandan women, especially Baganda girls, are brought up to believe that all problems are sorted out in the bedroom.â€
Like Onyango, N contends that â€œUgandan Bantu communities are generally more polite and greatly respect men compared to many Kenyan women. Ugandan and Rwandese women, even when angry, usually mask their emotion through gentleness and politeness and will not show it openly to their men.â€
Another sex aunt, Senga Alinyikira, says sex is extremely important in a relationship.
â€œSex is an important force that keeps relationships going. Even the so-called rich, mighty and powerful will look for sex from humble beings like domestic servants (house boys, shamba-men and house maids) without minding their status. Even when hungry and angry one can still enjoy sex without which homes break up.â€
Unlike their Ugandan counterparts, argues Kenyan Onyango, Kenyan women are timid and diffident as far as bedroom matters are concerned largely because they want to look good and well mannered.
â€œA Ugandan woman does not have to wait for the man to initiate sex. Kenyan women are impolite, not loving enough, aggressive, and donâ€™t consult over matters they are unsure about. The difference between Kenyan and Ugandan women is discernible even in public. Ugandan women kneel before their men, something that Kenyan women lack and ought to learn instead of trying to protect their men from sexually experienced Ugandan vixens.â€
Joyce Namukose believes that Kenyan women ought to learn from the gentle and respectful Ugandan women: â€œSex is very important. It is a uniting factor and a form of conflict resolution.â€
Musubika feels that â€œUgandan women openly talk about sexual matters and it seems most of them are not afraid of being exposed in the media while at it. It goes without saying that Ugandan women are aggressive and less inhibitive in sexual matters.â€
â€œWhether in their offices, at home or in hang out joints, Ugandan women put on clothes(extremely short skirts, see-through clothes, and tight pants)that appeal to the opposite sex. Ugandan women will go an extra mile to get what they want even if it makes them sexually aggressive and less inhibitive.â€
Hey, are Kenyan women–and the drivers of EAC–reading this?
EAC, that is said to have spent some US$250,000 on publicising itself in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, accuses the media of having failed to popularise the 120-million-people, US$41 billion GDP-strong EAC as it seeks to transform the region into what President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya refers to as â€œa formidable regional economic and political power.â€
However, the EAC dream is largely led by politicians without grassroots support. Should this continue, EAC, revived in 1999 after its 1977 collapse under the baggage of ideological differences among presidents Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), Julius Nyerere (Tanzania) and Idi Amin (Uganda), could go the same way. The organisation had been mooted in 1967.
EAC, as the case of Kenyan women shows, would do itself well if it consulted people at the grassrootsâ€“including but not limited to women, children, youth, labourers and not just politicians, lawyers, engineers, or corporations. After all, the bedroom also matters. Just ask Kenyan women if you donâ€™t believe this.