Wecome to the 1980’s and 1990’s. An era when everything was all about celebrating male camaraderie – at least amongst the black hip hop culture, this behaviour was stock-in-trade and to some of us who have come to learn of and embrace hip hop culture when we chanukad upon setting foot in Nairobi. Surprisingly, this mentality is not exclusive to the hip hop industry. It has been taken up by almost all age groups of men, from young boys to men well into their fifties standing up for their ‘boys’ to cover up for any of their iniquities from the fella’s girlfriend.
I am one person who for some time now has lived with this notion. Together with my clique, everything had to be done in-house before any girl got wind of it. In-house is a cleverly used term and it excludes your girlfriend even if she is more in-house than your clique. Isn’t she, considering the fact that she knows a lot about you than your boys can stomach bothering about?
As young men, we all think of how and what to do to make it in life. After all, the assumption is that women have ‘sponsors’ who carry them up the ladder be it in corporate, or entertainment, or sports unlike men who have to toil to make it unless they come from those privileged family backgrounds. We grow up watching ladies strut their oversized backpack junk in the trunk and from this we make assumptions that these oozing pumpkins are the ladder that women use to climb up. We assume that ladies don’t need to work as hard as men do provided the assessment will be done by a man.
This mannerism affects many people that only a handful of ‘bros’, for example, can pick a phone call from their girlfriend and discuss issues about their love in the same vicinity with their clique. Telling your girlfriend “I love you” can make one feel derided and methinks this is immaturity being dressed up in some supposedly stylish homonym. In light of this, we take it that women are only to enter the frame as ornaments not as intimate partners whose love is valued and needed.
Over time, after lots of mistakes and learning from them, I have come to find out that being open and unapologetic about romantic love not only builds your relationship but also earns you self respect for not sexualising women and belittling them. Being ‘soft’ because you are in love does not warrant snickers and condescension. This is antiquated. Rather it draws the demarcation between boys and men. Boys are after girls. A man is there for his woman.
Quoting my idol Alessandro del Piero, “Un vero cavaliere non abbandona il suo Madonna.” A true knight never abandons his lady.