Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A white husband and a black husband

My friend told me today that we have been invited for a wedding next month. I asked who's wedding it was. My friend explained who the lady is (she just lives down the street) and clarified that she was marrying her black boyfriend.

Huh? Her black boyfriend as opposed to her purple, green, blue, or white one? What?!

Turns out the lady is actually married to a white man as well!

And now she is set to marry her black boyfriend.

I am told her white husband has another wife in Europe plus her.

This is complicated. Just think about the dynamics of this relationship for a minute. I doubt it's legal. What happens when the white husband comes to Kenya? I am told the white husband knows that his black wife is about to marry her black boyfriend. I wonder if he will attend his wife's wedding. What are the kid's gonna say? "Oh this is my brother from my mom's other husband?" What makes it even more strange is that she is a Muslim and generally Muslim women don't have this much freedom. It's only the men who are allowed to have more than one spouse. This is not a situation I want to find myself in.

Unfortunately, this situation happens alot in Mombasa. White people (men especially) come to Kenya, find a sweet little kenyan girl to take as his wife in this country then he stays with her a while and sets her up with a nice house and fancy stuff then he heads back to Europe to his white wife. The Kenyan wife gets bored and gets herself a black boyfriend to play around with while she receives money and waits for the white husband. Typical. Actually my neighbour is one of those girls. She lives in this nice apartment and drinks beer starting at noon. She wears tiny clothes and sits outside as numerous black men come and chat with her. Meanwhile she has a white husband somewhere in Europe who is funding her lifestyle.

In the place I was working last year, there is a school where many of the kids have a white and black parent. Some of them, their white fathers have actually died of old age while their young black mothers take care of them. I was told of a child whose father has a mistress in Europe. Apparently the mistress comes to kenya for a few weeks a year. At this time, the father leaves his family (including his wife) to spend some time with this white lady at a cottage somewhere. At the end of her stay, the kid's school fees are paid for the whole year. An interesting business deal.

I was in the supermarket this afternoon and observed an old german man with a kenyan lady. I watched as they struggled to communicate and function together. He was so old that his mouth didn't even close. As I was leaving, I saw them standing outside. She was eating an expensive ice cream while he was hunched over his belly and let out a loud, obnoxious belch. Must be love....oy

It's hard not to be skeptical sometimes especially in the area I live where I see this all the time (all my neighbours are kenyan ladies with old white husbands) but I have definitely seen some great mixed relationships. There are those who genuinely love one another and have wonderful relationships. I even have a young kenyan girlfriend who fell in love with a german who is 20 years older. They are happy, in love and on their way to getting married soon. So it can work- I am definitely not against it. ;)

Pray that I would not be too judgemental towards these people. Pray that I can reach out to my neighbours, create friendships, and even encourage them in their marriages (even though I am not married) Pray for my friend who is marrying her black boyfriend (still not sure that I will attend or not since I don't agree with the situation at all). Pray that God would intervene.

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