Recently, one church in Blantyre thwarted a wedding at a very advanced stage. Two days to their dream day, the couple received the sad news that their union was not to be. At a meeting with the clergy and church elders, Mr. and Mrs. in waiting were slapped with the gloomy news on the basis of an objection from the groom’s wife and family. Yes, you heard me correctly, a wife, who had heard about the news in the nick of time. I will not dwell on details about who tipped off who because, ultimately, the wife learnt about hubby’s big day. The other woman, who has been ‘living’ with the man and sired two children, claimed she had no idea about his double life. Although they lived miles apart, she cried before the church elders, saying the man owed it to her to come out with the truth. Her intentions were to join the women’s guild, hence, the push for an officiation to accord her proper identity and freedom of association.
Well, there it was. The truth that saw ‘proper’ wife travelling all the way from her city of residence. She brought along three products of her bigamous union to the protest meeting, probably as proof of authenticity. She claimed that the man left their house three days earlier on a purported journey to attend a workshop. But, alas, that workshop was just enroute to another woman’s bedroom to satisfy his menacing ego and untamed appetites, with little regard to who he hurts along the way.
I have seen many men like the dreamer above. They take life as an experiment; whose reality catches up with them one way or the other. They are many living double bigamous lives on perpetual lies and unnecessary expenditures running from one escapade to the other in an attempt to fill voids. I can liken them to a bullet aiming to shoot in different directions without hitting the target. They will sleep at a house one evening, early morning they are up and about to another house to take his children to school and spend time in the offices scheduling who to visit first after work. Sometimes, they are not sure where to retire to and the unpredictability of some unnumbered MGs exacerbates their situations with impromptu requests to stay the night. For me, they are slaves, put on different leashes and pulled from every direction. And they don’t even realise their captivity. I often wonder whether the availability of resources is the defining factor in this self-incarceration. Doesn’t it wear these men down to be all over town, attempting to marry and please everybody? Do they really have to, to the extent of bearing innocent children whose plight is at the mercy of how long the relationship lasts? Don’t they have relatives who could have benefitted from the resources being splashed about in the name of getting a piece of the feminine ‘underground’?
Evidently, the task of moving houses and fending for its occupants seems more daunting and emotionally draining than imprisonment with hard labour. Incarceration comes on the basis of stolen freedom to be at one place, relax and interact with their families. The many responsibilities they have tapped along the way demand extra time and extra burdens that rob their peace and emotional stability. Well, we all make choices and our beds. It is not the purpose of my entry to alter minds. If the fairytale lives make these men tick or boost their self-esteem, knock yourselves out. Only time tells. n