Why do men cheat?

“THE-SAME-REASON-WOMEN-CHEAT,” Wahu quipped, gliding her head right to left with each word, in the characteristic wobble unique to girls –and Indians. Wahu is one of two women in our close-knit clan of six buddies. She is a sales executive at a car firm and an unapologetic feminist.

The terse retort was prompted by Sylvia, the other female member of the squad after she wondered aloud a mystery that has tormented the female mind since she made an apple edible. Sylvia is director of communications at a high-flying NGO and doesn’t give a hoot about feminism, manism or anything else for that matter –unless it spills her beloved Pilsner.

We were at a joint in Ruaka and the queen bees were seething with unexpended anger. I was still panting from the exertion of stopping them from starting a massacre.

It all began when Wairimu’s husband walked into the bar with a very thin girl –who was not Wairimu –hanging onto his shoulder. Wairimu is Sylvia’s friend.

At first, Sylvia didn’t care. Neither did I. But then Wahu started throwing around phrases such as “women power” and “sisters look out for each other”.

I told the activist to give her starving sister a break, let her at least nibble at something.

“How much can spaghetti-girl eat anyway? Even looks like the guy snacks on a plateful of her kind, going by the size of his tummy.”

I don’t know what annoyed Wahu more; me referencing the girl with food, the sexual connotation, me appearing to trivialise an issue of cheating proportions –or all three. Her disapproving glare was an instant cure for my clever jokes.

Presently, the two sisters came up with a plan. It involved walking across the bar to the dimly lit corner, splashing whatever the cheating bloke was drinking on his face, tearing the weave off the “bimbo he was with before strangling her with the push-up bra”.

The plan sounded superb. But there were two major flaws with it; history and alcohol.

The flaws…

First off, many are the times I have witnessed women declare wars then stand back, expecting the men they are with to fight like Tyson. Catastrophe, is what it usually turns into.

Happened to me once during my young and foolish campus days. It took two weeks for the swellings to disappear, four for the black eye to clear, but the pain and embarrassment stayed with me the entire semester. That beating remained a painful lesson in history.

The other flaw with Wahu and Sylvia’s war plan was a deadly oversight –that it requires personnel that can fight to win battles. Given, we are not short of muscle in the group. In fact, it is probable that our table packed the biggest of them biceps in the entire club. The dudes in the squad are actually nothing but huge muscles, all of them, apart from me. Unfortunately, I was the only one sober.

There is Marube. We also refer to him as Matiang’i on account that he is Kisii and is always seemingly angry. He played for a local rugby club until two years ago and it shows. But right then, there was nothing Matiang’i about him. He could barely shut spittle inside his mouth.

The duel with bottle was on the seventh or probably eighth, or ninth round. No one was counting anymore. But the Guinness had turned round the tables and was destined for a comprehensive win, probably a knockout.

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Then there is Gerald. He answers to Wekesa as a second name and comes from a region in Western Kenya where kids are weaned on DAP, CAN or some other form of fertiliser. There is no other way of explaining their huge frames –and expansive noses.

But we had just fished Wekesa from under the plastic seats where he crashed after tripping on a toothpick. He also emptied the cow he had eaten a few hours earlier on the floor. He could be spotted crushing toes with his giant feet as he staggered to the music on the dance floor. The second bottle of Jack Daniels lay on its back on the table, half gone, patiently waiting for the giant, sure to finish the job.

The final squad-mate is really an anomaly. His name is Ngunjiri, but his body is not. We don’t make them his size in Mt Kenya. Since he has never met his father, we unanimously decided a long time ago that he was outsourced from the lakeside or from among Wekesa’s kin. He is the biggest.

But Ngunjiri had not been seen for twenty or so minutes since he staggered out the door to retrieve some cigarettes from his car. This was after the waiter insisted club policy only sells in packs. He wanted a single stick.

He was probably passed out in the parking lot. Couldn’t have driven off either on account that his car keys were part of the uncomfortable weight in my pocket. I always confiscate the rides once my buddies take their alcohol beyond certain levels.

As for me, well… my size has never been much use in direct physical confrontations. Organising others’ muscles into a portent weapon able to win battles has been more my forte. I have always been an indispensable tactical planner.

Even colleagues at the crazy high school I attended acknowledged this ability as early as beginning of Form Two and the tiny boy they referred to as ‘atom’ became the go-to fellow when a need for physical engagements emerged. In fact, I can confidently claim the dubious title of being the brains behind the most successful strikes or inter-school clashes during our time.

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As you can see, my stopping the charged warriors from reaching the battleground was not for the love of the suspect couple. I had never seen them before. I simply didn’t have the munitions to neutralize Wairimu’s hubby, his bimbo and the two men in his company. All three combined could barely get to Wekesa’s size, but they were many, many bottles behind schedule and that made all the difference.

Wahu and Sylvia were still throwing drunken glares towards the offending corner as I ordered another Red Bull. It was the third that night, one beyond my set limit. My heart would be pounding like a frenzied Akorino drummer by the time it’s half gone. But that was not my preoccupation at the moment.

Sylvia’s question was. I knew it would gnaw at the back of my mind until I found an explanation –or the convincing conclusion that none could be found. Indeed, why do men cheat?




Part II


The question took me back to an old buddy and former campus-mate. Waweru was those nondescript male species with nothing exceptional about them. He was neither handsome, nor ugly, neither tall nor short –he was just an ordinary bloke with an ordinary job and a very ordinary life.

Then fellow shocked all of us by marrying the most extraordinary piece of female gene to probably walk out of God’s creative factory. Naomi was a cocktail of three countries; Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda. The end result was a work of art so finely made it seemed unreal.

She is the sort of exquisiteness that leaves men shaking their heads in silent wonder that there actually is some bloke who gets to unravel all that awesomeness. Hers is the kind of attractiveness that makes sensible men jump to conclusions so nonsensical their biology teacher would resign in shame –unless, of course, he is a man and he sees Naomi as well.

Then he, too, would inwardly hold intense debates, working to crush everything he has believed and taught for years on gastrointestinal system anatomy. And since he is a man, in the end he would say “screw biology”, and walk away convinced that such perfection cannot possibly be impurified by filthy needs such as the call of nature. “Doesn’t shit, doesn’t fart, doesn’t pee…” is the conviction that degree of prettiness leaves on the male mind.

Yes, Naomi was that rare kind. Yet, ordinary Waweru cheated on her.

And he did it with girls as ordinary as his, and the neighbour’s house girl. But above all, he had the audacity to get caught.

“There is nothing wrong with Naomi men, yaani sijui ni nini. Sijui ni kurogwa ama ni nini men. Na venye napenda Naomi…haki you need to talk to her men…”

That was Waweru after we questioned his sanity three or four years ago. And, bugger’s confusion was genuine. And so was his love for Naomi. The last thing he wanted was to hurt her.

Same old fellow…

Yet he did exactly that, not once not twice…he is still doing it with Rwandese damsels. They relocated two years ago when he was promoted to head the Kigali branch of a Kenyan bank.

“Imagine men, Naomi amebeba mtoi na aka-move out… Haki sasa natafuta shrink men, I need medical help men…”

That was him when we spoke about two weeks ago. Everything has remained a constant; the cheating, the getting caught, even the irritating ‘men’ after every coma. The only change is that he has since become a father.

And it is across the border in Moshi where he had taken his young family for a weekend break that the latest fiasco happened. Romp was with one of the waiting staff at the hotel they were booked in, a young woman whose name he couldn’t even recall.

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Unfortunately, the bloke who found them grunting in the pleasures of infidelity near the swimming pool happened to have a huge crush on the girl. He was so heartbroken –and of course Tanzanian –not even the offer of a generous Kenyan handshake could keep his trap shut. He squealed.

But that’s Waweru for you. I decided long ago to keep off his debacles. Not that I tried to stop him from cheating on his stunning wife. Nope! I don’t invest energies on hopeless missions. I gave up on Waweru because he refused to learn how not to get caught.

But, why do men cheat?

Truth is, I have no friggin idea. But following the incident at the bar in Ruaka, I have made finding the answer “Mission Priority.”

In case you, my friend, started your research earlier and feel sufficiently enlightened on the matter, share the wisdom with us below.

As for me, I am going digging. I will be back with whatever bounty I unearth…

Why do men cheat?

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