What men want: Stunning infidelities put to question the value of marital vows

Nick Kwach and Wanjiru Kamau co-star in Crony Players' comedy, What Men Want, at Alliance Francaise in Nairobi on February 11, 2024. PHOTO | POOL

Crony Players gave us high-pitched hilarity last weekend at Alliance Francaise in Nairobi when they produced What Men Want for more-than-full-house audiences.

That high-wired energy ran throughout the play, accelerated by an infectious humour shared by everyone in the cast, but amplified by Victor Nyaata. He’s the one who initially plays Manifoto, the fool, conning no one other than his two bosses, Chris (Nick Kwach) and his wife Ivy (Makena Kahuha) who don’t seem to fathom how far removed from his Houseboy role he can leap once given the chance.

He’s a daredevil when it comes to changing from his baby-like houseboy suit into his boss’s jacket, hat, and pants. He also has to try his boss’s bottle of whiskey to taste and feel the high-priced heat of Chris’s ‘hot stuff’. But it’s the really hot stuff, the sexual one that he’s after, and he isn’t going to differentiate between this woman or that one.

First, he calls his girlfriend (Gathoni Nyuguha) but she’s not available. So he decides to reach out to former girlfriends. When they are all occupied, he then goes with names he finds in Ivy’s sister Naomi's phone which was left there by accident.

All the while, he’s agitated and eager to get 'what men want', which Crony means satisfying men's basic animal instincts. When he finally 'hits pay dirt' and one woman agrees to come meet him, he's elated. Fortunately, he doesn't have to wait long. A beautiful brown-skinned blond arrives and he nearly jumps out of his pants. Giving her Sh1,000 notes, she implicitly understands his meaning and disappears to change into appropriate attire.


Nick Kwach costars in Crony Players' comedy, What Men Want, at Alliance Francaise in Nairobi on February 11, 2024. PHOTO | POOL

Unfortunately, another woman sails into the house, having reconsidered Manifoto’s call for her to come straight. This is his girlfriend, Gathoni. Short and stumpy, she's not nearly as glamorous as the blond who he wants right now since the 'love spell' that they’d felt would be shattered if she met this other woman.

So, he insists that Gathoni get out right away. But she’s tenacious and refuses. She has brought him all the goodies she knows he loves, like the super-powered porridge that's renowned for being a kind of ‘love juice’ that can heat the body and trigger erotic feelings fast. But at least he gets her to go to the kitchen.

But then, the biggest shocker yet is the arrival of Ivy who's returned home, looking for Manifoto. Her coming on to him is a super shock, but it's just the first in a series of stunning infidelities that might lead you to question the value of marital vows. Or maybe it simply leads you to two hours of laughs at the folly and primitivity of men, and women too.

Just after Ivy goes to her bedroom to change into something more erotic, Chris comes home. Both he and Ivy make excuses about their planes having problems. But we don't know if their so-called travel plans to fly are genuine or just means to con their partners. Chris doesn't come home alone. He's with Naomi (Muthoni Kamau), the one who's studying to be a nun.

This too is a shocker. It is for Manifoto. But now, who of the two spouses can call out the other for his/her sins? Then, when Ivy reappears, blindfolded and prepared to seduce Manifoto, the scene explodes to the point where Ivy blames Chris, claiming that if he'd put a fraction of his energies into his marriage, he wouldn't have needed to go roving outside to look for other women.


Nick Kwach costars in Crony Players' comedy, What Men Want, at Alliance Francaise in Nairobi on February 11, 2024. PHOTO | POOL

But Ivy's other shock comes after she had been shamed by Chris for her unbelievable affair with Manifoto. It's his illicit affair with her sister. But before she can extrapolate on her feelings of betrayal, two 'thugs' burst into the house wielding rungus and grabbing all the valuables they can find. These are the friends Manifoto had called after his girlfriend arrived. He wanted them to come quickly and get her out of the house before Savannah saw her. But while this is happening, one thug recognises his girlfriend, the blond Savanah among the people they’re robbing. He rips off his mask and confronts her.

But before she can speak, the final 'guest' whom Manifoto had called in his distress arrives. It’s Wairimu (Louis Wairimu). And that is how this hilarious tale about a house full of unfaithful con men and women ends, with nothing resolved. But at least we now know 'what men want'. And some women too.

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