Alarming divorce rate among diasporans
Posted by Administrator on March 19, 2012
There is no doubt in the mind of Kenyan Bishop Manasseh Man-kuleyo that the scattering of the sons of Africa into all corners of the wind, and especially in Europe and the United States has created a severe strain on their marriages.
While the divorce rate among the natives hovers around 60 percent, the bishop thinks that the rate is nearer 80 percent among diasporans. The bishop is so certain of his figures and calculations that he can tell, on the day a lovely family arrives from Africa, and their obedient children, how long they will last as a family.
The bishop has a first hand experience. One day, after a prolonged evangelical journey in which the harvest was great, he arrived home, back in California to find the devil, his wife, supported by white feminists, ready to serve him “papers” and wipe his bank account clean.
It was a battle which drove him from the pulpit for years as he wondered in the wilderness until he was rescued by the prayers of the faithful. The cause is not money, though the bishop says that the devil dangles these pies in the sky before the African woman. She will automatically have the matrimonial house, she will have half their savings and other bank deposits, and mother of all sins, she will have alimony and child support for the foreseeable future.
The devil adds a juicy bit; the possibility of throwing the husband in jail if he fails to come up with the money. “No, no, Ken, it is not about money,” the bishop told me. “It is about power.” Take the case of another Kenyan, Reverend Jonah Kusolo (name slightly changed). Going to seminary, working for a plumbing company in the evening, and working at Wal-Mart during week-ends, the black pastors in my district sought help on his behalf, so he could bring his wife and five children from Kenya.
It was a lovely family until the feminists got to his wife. “He makes me make tea for him,” the woman told me bitterly. I was asked by my church to investigate his material needs, with an offer of US$10 000 as first installment.
The bitter accusation was that the Holy Bishop had raised his voice (legally considered an assault here), was forcing his wife to cook ugali (sadza) against her will (considered slave labour, punishable with imprisonment) and committing infidelities by talking to the chairlady of the Women’s Miss-ionary Society in Kenya through the phone. “You see Ken,” the bishop told me, “Mrs Bukolo, by imitating white women, she has reversed the role of the husband.
Bishoop Bukolo must now cook ugali when the wife is resting, and he must ask for permission to communicate with men and women in his church. It is about power.”
The African woman sees the free wheeling American women; they can “throw” their husbands out of the house, force him to sleep on a couch, and if she tells the neighbours: “He is going to kill me!” the law comes heavily on the husband. The racist equation considers a black man a danger to himself and to his family. He is locked up without trial for assault. Remember assault means raising one’s voice and causing fear. It is illegal for the husband to withhold money or food. Brother Choga, listen to this one.
Any unwanted sex can be reported to the police six months after the event. God forbid that the wife remembers when last she was an unwilling partner. But the bishop says there are other weapons within the devil’s reach. Children cannot be rebuked.
A Zimbabwean extremist who punished his son had a telephone call from the Secretary of State. The kids are armed with the telephone number 911 and schooled in how to contact the police. “If your daddy touches you,” the teacher tells them, “you must report it.” My daughter stopped her car to spank Master Miles who had refused to use his seat belts. A passer by reported the vehicle number. The Sheriff came to visit. Thus, the African husband is faced by a liberated wife, non compliant children, and every attempt to instill discipline can lead one to a jailhouse.
Differential incomes favouring the wife have brought untold humiliation on African men. A registered nurse can command in excess of US$80 000 per year, day one after graduation. A Nigerian brother with two doctoral degrees found himself a figure of ridicule. The wife, whom he had put through school, snatched a job as a professor soon after graduating with an MBA. She left their matrimonial house. The man was devastated.
African women are more likely to secure jobs than their African husbands. The differential inc-omes which favour the woman play havoc with the man’s ego. Add to this is the fact that he is no longer master of his own house.
To be blunt, a wise man must play second fiddle to his wife. Add the fact that his children are no longer respectful of his status as father (baba) of the house. The bishop says a wise man must replace his own headship of the family with a God-centred one. All members of the household take their respective positions in God’s house. The Nigerian solution is to send children to Africa for primary schooling.
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