Kajiado: Section of Maasai women warn beautiful 'outsiders' against snatching their husbands
- The women to whom the blame falls are investors who are not originally from the area.
- One of the new residents said the claims of husband-snatching are being fuelled by the demand for land, which is transforming hitherto pauper herdsmen into overnight millionaires.
There was drama at Kimuka Trading Centre in Ngong, Kajiado County, recently, when a group of women from the indigenous Maasai community invaded several shops and warned beautiful women entrepreneurs against "snatching their husbands."
The town, which is along the Ngong-Suswa Road, has grown of late, thanks to the construction of the Nairobi-Suswa Standard Gauge Railway. Numerous shops selling assorted wares, restaurants and other businesses have mushroomed while prices of real estate have also skyrocketed.
While a 50ft*100ft plot was going for KSh200,000 before the SGR, prices are now ranging between KSh800,000 and KSh1.3million. There are new residential and commercial buildings coming up in the area.
Who are the investors?
"Wezi wa mabwana (husband snatchers)," one shuka-clad middle-aged woman tells TV47 Digital, matter-of-factly.
We had asked about the warning messages inscribed on the walls of a shop belonging to one of the so-called "wezi wa mabwana." The women to whom the blame falls are investors who are not originally from the area. The indigenous Maasai claim the women want more than money.
One of the entrepreneurs whose shops were targeted found this message outside her shop door: "Mama T*** hatukutaki hapa Kimuka. Tumekupea siku mbili. Unauza dawa ya kulevya kwa hivyo you must go."
[We have concealed her name]
We tracked down Mama T*** to inquire whether she was a peddler as alleged. "Si unaona duka nilifungua tena? Hiyo maneno ingine labda uulize the chief of this area. (As you can see, I am still open for business. Any other questions, kindly ask the chief)."
We tracked down the area chief.
"Hiyo maneno tulimaliza na ikaishia hapo," Amos Moniyo said, not willing to divulge further lest he opens old wounds.
One of the new residents said the claims of husband-snatching are being fuelled by the demand for land, which is transforming hitherto pauper herdsmen into overnight millionaires. With the instant millions comes an appetite for women. So when men dispose off their land, they 'migrate' to Kimuka to enjoy their wealth and 'abandon' their wives in the villages.
"Hao kina mama walikua wakienda kwa duka fulani fulani wanauliza maswali kama wewe ni mgeni hapa. Kwa wengine wanawapea onyo kuhusu tabia ya kuchukua mabwana zao. Ukijifanya kichwa ngumu wanakupiga," the local administrator added.
Prejudice against outsiders?
The dispute started as one over husbands but is worrying disintegrating into prejudice against 'outsiders'.
"Unajua sisi kabila tuko na uoga sana kwa sababu sisi tuko kwa wenyewe. Kama mimi ni Mkisii na nilinunua shamba hapa 2019. Lakini biashara nimefungua hii mwaka. Kina mama hawajafurahia vile kabila zingine wameleta biashara. Wanasema wizi imeongezeka, uchafu na pombe," added another entrepreneur.
To arrest the insecurity situation, the Kimuka Community has launched a funds drive for the construction of a police post at the town centre.
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