Why most Kenyan men are avoiding marriage like a plague

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I will marry when i want

Most Kenyan men are opting to stay single till their sunset years and avoiding getting married, a new research has shown.

According to the report launched by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), about half of Kenyan men are increasingly reaching old age without ever tying the knot in their lifetime.

The report which provided insight to the 2019 Census, shows the number of men who are aging without ever settling down is higher compared to spinsters in the country.

Waruhi, 31,who spoke to a local media house is one of the men who find marriage unattractive.

According to Waruhi, one of the reasons why young men refuse to marry is that they fear that losing the freedom to enjoy sex with women of their choice.

“When you marry you are forced to stick to one partner. I fear I may lose sexual freedom. For now, I would not try to [marry]”, Waruhi reveals.

Moreover, the age for settling down among Kenyan men has also increased gradually over the past decade. For instance, the average age of men at marriage in the 1980s was 25 years compared to the current age of 29 years which means that men are waiting longer before making the lifetime commitment.

On the other hand, the average age for marriage in the country for women has also increased to 25 years from 21 years in the 1980s.

Another reason why Kenyan men would rather stay single is that marriage curtails their space and liberty given most men are party animals.

They would rather spend long hours washing their throats with drinks and sharing nyama choma with their best friends than be domesticated at home.

These men therefore would not like anyone to mention the word marriage to them.

They fear marriage would make them lose their independence, and as a result, good things in life such as clubbing and bites of nyama choma over bottles of beer.

“I love drinking with my friends every day. If I marry now, I will lose all the good things in life. For now, marriage is not for me,” Thomas, a thirty-seven-year-old mechanic, shares.”

However, in the case of a separation, divorce or demise of a spouse Kenyan men don’t take their time but hasten to remarry in the event compared to their women counterparts, according to the  report.

This is evidenced by the 2019 Census report in which a large number of women disclosed that they were widowed at seven percent compared to one percent of men who said they are divorced.

The survey further shows that women are avoiding bearing many children as compared to the past years.

Over a period of ten years, the number of children born to every woman has significantly dropped to only three children from seven.

Women are also choosing to wait longer before giving birth to their firstborns and embarking on motherhood journey.

As opposed to a decade ago when most women would deliver their first bundle of joy at a tender age of 20 years, modern women are waiting until when they are about to approach 30 before giving birth.

Increase in the number of men and women in the country avoiding or delaying getting hitched as well as delaying child birth and reducing the number of children could be attributed to religious doctrines, harsh economic times, education pursuits and personal resolutions. 

Interestingly, more women from rural areas tend to choose to remain unmarried following separation, divorce or demise of their partners compared to their city counterparts.

The report indicates that few households in urban areas are headed by females as women opt to remarry compared to rural areas where a large number of family heads are women.   


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