Man about town

Polling station cause of strife in marriage


I must say that the last few days have been feeling a bit like holiday time. The office is feeling a bit slow since all our customers and partners keep saying, “let us talk after elections.” Suddenly, elections are holding up our plans for success and the way things are going, I do not think we will receive a bonus come next year.

I was speaking to Shiro the other day and she also indicated that things are no different in their organisation; it is about waiting till elections are over.

Talking of elections, I had a rather interesting conversation with Shiro regarding our voting stations. To be honest, I had not given any thought to the fact that polling stations can cause conflict in marriage. 

Last Saturday, we joined a group of our friends for a birthday party for a two-year-old girl. 

As expected, the event felt more of showbiz with the parents not sparing a coin to have clowns and games for the children and the finest of foods and drinks for the adults.

My children were loving this and so was I - especially the fine drinks and lots of meat on offer at the event.

As the day progressed, I found myself in the company of the adults who after a few drinks started doing almost what all Kenyans do - they started discussing politics.

One of them asked me, “Josphat, who are you voting in for the governor position?” I said, “well I am not voting in Nairobi, I am voting in the village.’’ This started a whole debate with many people accusing me of “betraying the cause.’’

The host even said, “why would you go vote in the village while you live in the city? Surely, you must vote for those people who will impact your life.”

Everyone, including Shiro had something to say about my “poor decision”.

I defended my decision by saying, “I am still deeply invested in the village and that will be my retirement home.”

Someone in the group asked Shiro, “where are you voting?” She responded, “in the city, of course. My polling station is next door, I plan to walk there and vote in my pyjamas.”

This once again opened another frontier for debate with some saying that “couples who vote together stay together.”

I think at some point, the hostess realised that this debate could lead to conflict and said, “we are here to celebrate toto’s birthday; enough of politics.” I breathed a sigh of relief glad that this touchy conversation was over.

The party went on way past the children’s bed time and we got home way past 1 am.

I was quite happy that Shiro was a bit tipsy meaning that she would not revisit the issue of my choice of polling station. 

I told her, “well, I did not think that this would be a big deal seeing that I have always voted in the village.”

What followed was a long lecture on how we need to “make decisions as a family and not as individuals”.

She then told me how she believes that we should vote in Nairobi “where we have interests and a future; or do you have other plans?”

I wanted to tell her that my plans are for us to retire in the village but I knew the timing would be wrong. So, I told her, “I will change next time around, since I registered last time.” This seemed to appease her and she said, “well you better”.

So today, I am working very hard in the office to clear my desk because I plan to spend a few days in the village.

In fact, I am looking forward to having drinks with my agemates, and especially the one who is running for parliament. I might even ask Karimi to join me for the elections in the village.