A Question to the Kenyan Ladies: Why, please, why the leggings?

Dr. Teddy Kamau

A Question to the Kenyan Ladies: Why, please, why the leggings? There is one thing that Kenyan women are known for: They are very consistent in their commitment to guaranteeing that those who come to their home parties are treated to the traditional food. I am yet to visit a Kenyan home anywhere and complain that the lady laid out for me and the ‘boys’ food that is meant for a tease. Americans are notorious for this cultural nonsense: I mean you go to their home for diner and they lay out plates of appetizers (hors d’oeuvres) They serve raw carrots and cucumber, onions, crackers, and small pieces of cheese, all just withdrawn from the fridge. Then if you are lucky they serve you mashed potato with gravy and baked chicken or something. Anybody can throw some raw vegies together, but real cooking involves what Kenyan women do!

When Kenyan women set to prepare for lunch, especially when guests are coming, they go all out. I am a total defender of the Kenyan woman when it comes to entertainment. Chapattis take forever and I always find them in a Kenyan home. Ugali takes time and use of hand muscles. The time they take to prepare rice per au, mandazi, and real carrots and peas cooked with onions and Roiko? My goodness the Kenyan women not only do this for the guests in their homes, but also do it in churches. Take for example the congregation at the Swahili Chapel in Lombard, a Chicago suburb where Dr. Joseph Onesmus is the senior pastor. If you are a Kenyan and does not attend church, this is a good reason to go! Pretend you are going to worship. Eating though is also worship: The providence of God is amazing!

I visited the church recently and after the service, within a few minutes, the women had set up a table and laid out all kinds of Kenyan food. I do not know when Kenyan women cook, but goodness me, do they cook? And you can tell that the food is blessed because it is arranged with such care and served to you with so much love that you are left with nothing but majivuno ya Kuwa Mkenya! Of course we Kenyan men just arrange the stuff on our plates and move to a corner and begin to spout out politics, even in the Church? Men, we need to find some other topics to discuss, especially when in the church. I always stand around and listen. Even if I introduce some motion on some moral dilemma that needs our attention, my brothers always make it into a corruption case against some Kenyan politician. Wazee please!

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It is this heart of servant hood among the Kenyan woman that was in the heart of a lady by the name Tabitha. She was a member of a group of women who were widowers. The Bible narrates how this woman had been serving the group by making great dresses and helping others. When she died, the women group gathered together and narrated to Peter what she had done.

“Peter made them all leave the room. Then he got down on his knees and prayed. He turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes and looked at Peter and sat up. He took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then he called in the faithful followers and the women whose husbands had died. He gave her to them, a living person.” Acts 9:36-42. The ministry of Kenyan women in the Church and home deserves mention and pastors need to constantly extend their hand of blessing upon these women who serve. Imagine Tabitha was resurrected because of her service!

However, something that seems out of the Kenyan cultural or Christian norm is creeping into these Kenyan gatherings and is beginning to bother men. Seating with my buddies at a Kenyan gathering, we noticed a tread. There is this new fashion they call leggings. These are modern stockings, for those who are too young to remember. They are incredibly tight to the body but also give women great mobility. However, although these leggings should not be restricted within the home where the man and his wife are alone, these things should be covered up when in a group.

Ladies please! Why do we need to see the whole contour of your behind, and other secret things that should be hidden from us and spared only for your husbands? Women are wearing tight cloths that show things, which honestly we do not need to see! Which man would wear leggings but those crazy men in a Gay Parade!

I am not arguing against leggings, they are beautiful and make a woman move more freely, but when in a Kenyan gathering, especially with men and children around, cover it up just for a while and then when you get home, please feel free to let it all hung out! The sad thing is even Kenyan young girls are copying their mothers! Please.

Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)

HTBluff Associates


Diaspora messenger Senior Columnist


A Question to the Kenyan Ladies: Why, please, why the leggings?

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