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IKO NINI BWANA SEED

KTDA pays farmers Sh734m dividends from subsidiaries.

A woman plucks tea leaves at a farm.

Farmers attached to Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) will receive Sh734 million this week as dividends from the seven subsidiaries of the firm. The dividend payout relating to the financial year ended June 30, 2020, is an increase of 7.4 per cent compared with the previous period when farmers earned Sh683 million. The cash is part of alternative income that KTDA makes from other entities that the agency runs and is usually paid to farmers through their factories.

“The tea factories through resolutions of their directors assigned the dividend income directly to the farmers who are the shareholders of the tea factories that own KTDA (H) Ltd,” said the agency in a statement. This is the second year that dividends are being made as a standalone payment directly to farmers.

The payment comes at a time when the agency is under pressure from the government over its management of farmers’ affairs, with the Ministry of Agriculture holding the view that growers are not earning enough from what these subsidiaries make.

“Contrary to the misconception that dividends have never been paid in the past, KTDA Holdings and its subsidiaries declare their dividends at the end of the respective financial years. KTDA’s annual audited accounts indicate that dividends have consistently been paid to its shareholders who are the factory companies,” KTDA said.

Some of the subsidiaries include KTDA Power, which is involved in power generation aimed at reducing the cost of energy for factories; Greenland Fedha, which facilitates credit for farmers, and Ketepa, which is KTDA’s value addition arm that blends and packages tea for local consumption and export.

Others are Chai Trading Company Limited whose mandate is warehousing, blending, clearing and forwarding, value addition, export, and general tea trading; Majani Insurance Brokers, which provides insurance brokerage services for tea factories and KTDA Group companies; Tea Machinery and Engineering Company Ltd and KTDA Foundation, which focuses on corporate social investments. – businessdailyafrica.com

How I Started My Land Ownership Journey with Ksh 10,000

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William and Harry will not walk side by side at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex will not walk side by side when they join other senior royals in the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral procession. Their cousin Peter Phillips will be between Prince William and Prince Harry, whose troubled relationship has been well publicised, when they walk behind their grandfather’s coffin on Saturday.

William will move ahead of Harry as the Royal Family arrives in pairs after the coffin is taken into St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Buckingham Palace has also revealed the Queen will sit alone during the ceremony, due to coronavirus precautions. Details of Philip’s funeral have been released ahead of the service on Saturday. The scaled-down ceremony will have just 30 guests due to coronavirus restrictions.

 

More from Duke Of Edinburgh

Prince Philip: The 30 guests attending the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral have been announced

Prince Philip: Bespoke Land Rover hearse designed by Duke of Edinburgh revealed ahead of funeral

Prince Philip: Royals expected to wear suits at Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral after U-turn on military uniform

Prince Philip: Full military rehearsals under way ahead of Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral

Prince Philip: Royal Family releases Kate’s photo of Queen and duke with seven great-grandchildren

Prince Philip: ‘We all miss you’, Eugenie says in touching Instagram tribute to Duke of Edinburgh

It has been confirmed the Queen – like everyone invited to the service – will wear a facemask.

What we know about Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral arrangements – codenamed Operation Forth Bridge

What we know about Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral arrangements – codenamed Operation Forth Bridge

She will sit alone in the quire of St George’s Chapel, with all mourners following COVID-19 guidelines and remaining socially distanced.

 

Peter Phillips on The Mall in London where the Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips announced the ticket price and further details about the Patron’s Lunch event he is helping to organise to help celebrate the monarch’s 90th birthday.

A military green, custom Land Rover hearse, designed by the duke, will take his coffin in a slow procession from the state entrance of Windsor Castle through the grounds to the west steps of St George’s Chapel.

Meanwhile, a selection of military medals, picked by the duke himself, will appear on the altar inside the chapel. Reflecting his life-long association with the Royal Navy, buglers of the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations during the service.

It is played on a warship to signal all hands should go to battle stations and is sometimes featured at funerals of naval men. A reduced choir of four singers will feature during the service and the guests will follow coronavirus rules and not sing.

 

The Duchess of Cornwall visits the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to open the new kennels and thank the centre’s staff and supporters. Among the guests are the Duchess of Cornwall, all of the duke’s grandchildren and their spouses, the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, and three of Philip’s German relatives – Bernhard, the Hereditary Prince of Baden; Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Also invited is a close friend of the duke, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, previously known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne, who was Philip’s carriage driving partner and one of his closest friends.

Buckingham Palace confirmed that royal men will wear morning coats with their medals, in a break with tradition, and the women will wear day dresses. Today, full military rehearsals got under way in Surrey, ahead of the service in two days time.

About 730 men and women, from all branches of the armed forces, will be at the centre of events inside Windsor Castle. The rehearsals took place at Pirbright Barracks in Surrey, where a parade ground was marked out to represent the Quadrangle in Windsor Castle.

Units involved in Saturday’s funeral include the Grenadier Guards, Royal Gurkha Rifles, the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Band of the Royal Marines.

The Band of the Grenadier Guards will lead the procession, chosen because the duke was Colonel of the Regiment for 42 years.

COVID-19 having ‘catastrophic’ impact on NHS as 4.7 million wait to start hospital treatment

LONDON – SEPTEMBER 26: An elderly gentleman walks past a hospital sign on September 26, 2007 in London, England. In a report to be released September 27, 2007 the Healthcare Commission outlines care by the NHS Trust should provide further dignity in care to the elderly.

Charities and health organisations have warned the COVID-19 pandemic is having a “catastrophic” impact on NHS services – as the number of people in England waiting to start hospital treatment hits a new record high. A total of 4.7 million were waiting to begin treatment at the end of February 2021 – the largest figure since records began in August 2007, according to NHS England data. The number of people waiting more than 52 weeks to start treatment was at 387,885 in February, a figure not reached since December 2007.

The number of people admitted for routine hospital treatment was down by 47% in February compared with a year earlier – with 152,642 admitted in February 2021 and 285,918 in February 2020, which had an extra day as it was a leap year. In January, the year-on-year decrease was 54% while in December 2020 it dropped by 25%. Sara Bainbridge, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said the data “further illustrates the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnosis and treatment”.

She added: “Tens of thousands of people are still missing a diagnosis due to disruption caused by the pandemic, which could affect their prognosis.” Boris Johnson has said he has “no doubt” a backlog of 4.7 million people waiting to start NHS treatment in England can be tackled. The prime minister said the issue is “a real priority” now and the government will ensure the NHS has the funds it needs to tackle the build-up in waiting lists. “We do need people to take up their appointments and to get the treatment that they need,” he said.

 

“We’re going to make sure that we give the NHS all the funding that it needs, as we have done throughout the pandemic, to beat the backlog. “We’re going to do whatever it takes. The NHS has done an incredible job so far, I have no doubt they’ll be able to tackle this as well. He added that the government has pumped an extra £92bn into the NHS this year.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the government’s lack of NHS funding over the past 10 years has meant the service is “weakened when a pandemic hits”. He told Sky News: “It means you have to make a choice between COVID care or cancer care but it shouldn’t be like that.

“The result is patients waiting longer than they should, which will impact their health, risks permanent disability, risks loss of livelihood – it’s simply disgraceful, we need the funding in the NHS.”

NHS England said staff had delivered nearly two million operations and other elective care this January and February, which was one of the peak hospital periods of the pandemic.

 

It said about two in five patients who have received hospital treatment for COVID-19 were admitted in those months. NHS England national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said treating 400,000 COVID-19 patients over the past year has “inevitably had an impact on the NHS”.

“But it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of staff that they managed to deliver almost two million ops and procedures in the face of the winter wave and improve waiting times for them, along with A&E and ambulance services,” he said.

The NHS England data also showed:

 

• 1.9m elective procedures or support for patients took place during the winter COVID-19 surge, when 2.6m A&E visits were recorded

• 174,624 urgent cancer referrals were made by GPs in February, compared with 190,369 a year before – an 8% drop

• January had an 11% year-on-year fall, December 2020 had a 7% increase

• Urgent referrals for breast cancer symptoms (but not initially suspected as breast cancer symptoms) fell by 10% in February 2021 compared with February 2020

• 327,663 patients had been waiting more than six weeks for one of 15 key diagnostic tests, including MRI scans and non-obstetric ultrasounds, in February

• That number last February was 29,832 – the total peaked at 571,459 last May

• A&E attendance was at 1.7m in March 2021, up from 1.5m in March 2020 – March 2019 (non-pandemic year) was 2.2m

• 22,000 started cancer treatment in February, in line with February 2020

• 174,000 people were referred for cancer checks in February – twice as many during the first COVID peak in April 2020.

Coinbase Direct Listing Gets $100B+ Valuation as Share Price Jumps in Nasdaq Debut

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong speaks Wednesday on CNBC.(CNBC, modified by CoinDesk)

Coinbase, the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, went live with its direct listing on Nasdaq, on a day when bitcoin rallied to a fresh all-time high. The share fluctuated in the first hours or trading, starting at $381 and initially jumping above $400 but dropping as of press time to about $378.

“The price of COIN will be very volatile,” said James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University who specializes in financial-market structure. “We can expect it to fluctuate along with the prices of cryptocurrencies. Investors should buckle up their seatbelts and expect a wild ride.”

Analysts, traders and economists characterized the share sale as a milestone for cryptocurrencies, with the biggest U.S. exchange now getting exposure to mainstream stock-market investors. The event has also been tabbed as a catalyst that might drive adoption of digital assets.

“This is a watershed moment for the digital asset industry, as it signifies a larger moment of credibility for a market that is maturing rapidly,” said Hunter Merghart, head of U.S. for rival cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp.

 

Based on the latest trading price, Coinbase would have a market capitalization of $76 billion, based on an outstanding share count of 199.2 million. The figure would be $99 billion using the fully diluted share count of 261.3 million.

The initial trading price was 52% above the reference price of $250 a share published late Tuesday by the Nasdaq. But it was well below some of the price targets issued recently by stock analysts, with some estimates ranging as high as $600 a share.

A home on the Nasdaq

Coinbase, which has no official headquarters, opted to avoid an initial public offering and instead directly list its shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange, without relying on Wall Street investment banks serving as underwriters to set the pricing.

“The reason we’re doing a direct listing is that it’s going to get all market participants,” Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas told CoinDesk in an interview. “We’re not allocating shares to just 10 institutions. This is going to be a robust, deep price discovery. And we’re excited to see where that market ends up.”

Prices for bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market value, soared Wednesday to a new all-time high above $64,000, settling back to about $63,500 as of press time. Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain and the second-biggest overall, also rose to a record price of around $2,400.

“COIN listing is the validation of an investment thesis that crypto is not a niche market anymore,” said Campbell Harvey, a professor of international business at Duke University. “It is a new mainstream market.”

 

Even Coinbase’s competitors are getting in on the action: Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced Wednesday it will list a digital token backed by Coinbase shares.

“Coinbase has enormous scarcity value, as a one-of-a-kind, pure expression of the secular cryptocurrency trend,” Lisa Ellis, an analyst for the brokerage firm MoffettNathanson, wrote Tuesday in a report recommending a “buy” on COIN shares, with a one-year price target of $600 a share. “We are bullish on cryptocurrency technology. While still nascent, we believe it is one of the most disruptive technology innovations in decades.”

Coinbase has consistently created new venture capital funding records in crypto, so it was befitting that the exchange would move forward with the first direct listing in the space.

The company’s growth prospects have become the subject of a great deal of analyst speculation after a blowout first-quarter earnings presentation last week that showed off the profitability of the company but also the volatility of its business model.

The exchange reported $1.8 billion in revenue for the quarter (versus $1.27 billion for the full year 2020). Coinbase gave no revenue guidance (as a publicly traded company normally would), but instead gave scenarios for user growth depending on different outcomes in the crypto market. It reported 6.1 million active users in the first quarter, more than double the number during the final quarter of 2020.

‘Difficult to justify’

Some industry analysts were skeptical of Coinbase’s sky-high valuation.

“It does seem difficult to justify these numbers,” Mati Greenspan, founder of the foreign-exchange and cryptocurrency analysis firm Quantum Economics. “There is the old saying that in a gold rush, the ones who make the most money are the guys selling picks and shovels. This certainly applies to Coinbase.”

Coinbase requires investors to not only have a view on the future of bitcoin but also on other crypto exchanges and decentralized exchanges that will be competing with it for market share, Duke’s Harvey said. (The Duke University endowment was an early investor in Coinbase).

“To simply extrapolate from past results ignores the competition,” Harvey said. “Most people are operating in the world of centralized finance and DeFi is not just a novel cryptocurrency. It’s reinventing financial infrastructure.”

 

While many equity analysts are looking at how Coinbase is turning its large pool of users into active users that trade on the app every month, some have said that COIN could end up trading like a proxy bitcoin ETF, as some investors are now possibly using MicroStrategy (MSTR) shares.

It also means that pension funds and endowments will be looking at other early-stage private companies in the crypto space who have the potential to follow Coinbase’s growth history, Harvey added.

“Developments like this help bring confidence to this still nascent, but as the last year has demonstrated, resilient, asset class,” David Mercer, CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange, said in an emailed comment. – coinbase.com

CRYPTO MARKET OVERTAKES WORLD’S MOST VALUABLE COMPANY

Bitcoin alone is now valued at more than $1.2 trillion – more than Mastercard, PayPal and Visa combined

The cryptocurrency market is now worth more than the world’s most valuable company. The combined value of all cryptocurrencies overtook the market cap of Apple on Wednesday morning, amid record-breaking price rallies for bitcoin, ethereum (ether) and dogecoin. All three cryptocurrencies experienced new all-time highs over the last 24 hours, with one bitcoin now worth more than $64,000, one ethereum worth $2,350, and one dogecoin worth $0.13 at the time of writing. The combined gains pushed the cryptocurrency market above $2.2 trillion – $10 billion above Apple’s market cap. Bitcoin alone is now valued at more than $1.2 trillion, ranking it above Facebook and Tesla, having risen in price by more than 1,000 per cent since April last year.

 

Bitcoin’s recent gains mean the world’s first cryptocurrency is also now worth more than the combined market caps of payments giants Mastercard, PayPal and Visa. It still remains a long way off the overall value of gold, though it is catching up quickly on silver. The cryptocurrency market milestone comes on the day that Coinbase goes public on the Nasdaq stock market, making it the first ever company specialising in cryptocurrencies to launch an initial public offering (IPO). The stock market debut for one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges has been dubbed a coming-of-age moment for the crypto industry, with some estimating valuations in the region of $100 billion.

 

“The Coinbase IPO could well serve as a gateway drug to crypto,” Asen Kostadinov, a strategy manager at London cryptocurrency custody provider Copper, told The Independent. “Coinbase is a credible, regulated, profitable blue-chip tech stock. The IPO will result in new types of investors entering the crypto space… Institutional adoption of crypto has clearly gone through a major inflection point since the last quarter of 2020, which speaks to the maturity and credibility of the space.” – The Independent

Europeans raise privacy concerns over digital currency

Future European digital currencies need to be unable to track user payments, according to respondents to a survey by the European Central Bank that emphasized the importance of privacy in future financial innovation.

Over 40% of over 8,200 respondents Consultation For the digital euro, he said it was their priority that payments remained a “private issue”, reflecting the deep attachment of many Europeans to cash anonymity.

This answer called for the ECB to give the digital euro, which the ECB defines as central bank money digitally available to all parties, a cash-like feature that can be used offline without internet access. It was.

Consultations with the ECB’s citizens and expert groups are part of the effort to build support for efforts to keep up with the rapidly changing world of digital currencies and payments. By the middle of this year, it will announce whether it will prepare to launch its own digital currency. ECB Board Member Fabio Panetta, Told to MEP On Wednesday, the currency may be ready to launch in about five years.
“As electronic payments become more and more popular, the digital euro ensures that sovereign money, a public good that central banks have provided to citizens for centuries, is still available in the digital age. “He said. “The digital euro does not mean the end of cash. It will complement cash, not replace it.”

In much of Europe, cash is still used for the majority of payments in stores and cafes, and ECB talks have shown that the digital euro will allow businesses to benefit from people’s payment data and governments to spy on finance. Suspicion has emerged that it may open the door to the euro. activity.

The central bank said that “most citizens” in consultation prefer digital currencies restricted to offline transactions, even if the amount of innovative services they can offer is limited.

“Privacy-focused offline digital euros, online euros with innovative features and additional services, and the specific choice of a combination of the two, citizen respondents generally focused on privacy. We choose an offline solution, but professional respondents find the hybrid approach more attractive. “

Most respondents prioritized privacy, but Panetta said, “I understand the trade-offs that the introduction of the digital euro will inevitably impose.” In particular, we need to respect laws that prevent illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

He needs to impose limits on the amount each person can hold “to protect financial stability and banking intermediaries by preventing excessive capital flows and excessive use of the digital euro as a form of investment.” Therefore, he said that the digital euro cannot be made completely anonymous. ..

ECB has been test A “bareline sturment” for storing small amounts of digital euros on hardware devices for use in offline transactions without the need for an internet connection or third party involvement.

In another experiment, central banks used digital euros via a “distributed ledger,” a blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, to test a tool that separates an individual’s identity from payments. did.

Panetta said: “Preliminary experiments on the digital euro show promising results on how to use technology to protect user privacy without relaxing standards for illegal activity.” Europeans raise privacy concerns over digital currency Source link Europeans raise privacy concerns over digital currency. – californianewstimes.com

Mortgage, car loan defaults cross KSh100 billion

A construction site in Nairobi

Default on mortgages and loans advanced to the transport sector has crossed the Sh100 billion mark in the wake of layoffs, business closures and travel restrictions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The transport and real estate sectors topped loan defaults over the nine months to December last year as the country reeled from an economic crisis due to the pandemic, fresh Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data shows.

Loans secured through title deeds and motor vehicle logbooks posted the fastest default growth rates over the period, coinciding with crippling travel restrictions and scaled down business operations to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The CBK data shows that the cumulative value of loans defaulted by the transport and real estate sectors jumped 45.25 percent between March and December to Sh99.5 billion.

 

The two sectors also accounted for 46.27 percent of Sh67 billion in new bad loans between March and December last year—underlying the huge knocks they suffered due to the pandemic.

Defaults in construction jumped 4.6 percent to Sh28.6 billion, pushing defaults in the transport and property market to Sh128.1 billion in December from Sh92.5 billion.

Loan defaults in the transport and communication sector rose by 81.43 per cent over the nine-month period to Sh38.1 billion, mainly fuelled by the closure of learning institutions and matatu investors who had acquired vehicles under asset finance arrangements.

 

Real estate recorded a 29.2 percent jump in bad loans between March and December to Sh61.4 billion, largely due to job losses. A majority of Kenya’s mortgage loans — which stood at 27,993 accounts valued at Sh237.7 billion in December 2019 — were secured on strength of salaries.

“It (the jump in bad loans among borrowers in transportation) is purely the result of a macroeconomic shock arising out of that reduced economic activity like reduced movement of persons which impaired their ability to service loans,” NCBA Group’s chief economist, Raphael Agung’, said on Tuesday.

“For the mortgage book, servicing ability was largely impaired by job losses. For those who had taken mortgages on account of their salaries and the pay was no longer forthcoming, the loan got impaired.”

 

The mounting defaults in the property market are a reflection of the struggles that mortgage holders are undergoing in an economy that has witnessed a string of job losses in recent months across nearly all sectors as corporates intensify austerity measures to protect profits.

This has seen workers who took mortgages on the strength of their pay slips default. The slowdown in real estate is hurting property developers who are finding it difficult to sell units that were built on loans. Banks have stepped up debt recovery efforts to clean up their loan books, leading to a spike in property and car seizures.

Pandemic restrictions

Overall, the gross non-performing loans (NPLs) rose from Sh357 billion at the onset of the pandemic restrictions in March to Sh424.1 billion in December 2020 — an equivalent of 14.46 percent of the industry’s Sh2.93 trillion loan book.

This grew to Sh432.45 billion by end of February 2021, according to an updated CBK credit report that does not give sectoral distribution. Kenya’s top nine listed banks raised their provision for non-performing loans by a record Sh77.3 billion in the year ended December, cutting their combined net earnings by 25.5 percent to Sh81.2 billion.

KCB, Equity, Co-op Bank, I&M , Absa Bank Kenya , NCBA, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, DTB and Stanbic Holdings made provisions of Sh109.7 billion in the review period, up from Sh32.3 billion the year before.

 

CBK governor Patrick Njoroge has flagged loan defaults as the biggest risk to the country’s banking industry. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) — the top decision making organ of the CBK— on March 29 projected that NPLs were likely to peak at 16 percent in June, slightly lower than 17 percent forecast during the previous meeting two months earlier.

Runaway problem

“It (NPL ratio) is still in the same mode of magnitude, but at least we are comforted that this is not sort of a runway problem and it’s well-contained,” Dr Njoroge said on March 30.

The rise in problem credit usually triggers a jump in property auction as banks move to seize assets from defaulters in a bid to soften bad loans-induced impact on profitability. – businessdailyafrica.com

I attract married men. Will I ever get the right man?

In December 2019, about 1,108 people had been to court to file petitions with the hope of dissolving their marriages.

What you need to know:

Dos and Don’ts of getting into marriage as advised by Prof Bigambo.

Ask questions before getting into a relationship
Have achievable expectations
Have mentors
Ensure your relationship is founded on values
Leadership in a relationship should be embraced
Expose yourself to different sides of life
Have integrity
Have an open mind
Do not get married because someone else in marriage

Worrying cracks are creeping into the hitherto strong belief in marriage.

Arguably, priorities have morphed. Culture is fading. Intolerance is on a new high.

 

Mentorship from parents or guardians is on its deathbed. The fast paced world is moving and the trends on marriage are on course, albeit, with nothing good to bring to the table.

So bad is the situation that the idea of the proverbial wedding bells in this age is only pleasing to the ear but the happily ever after promised on the D-day is still a fool’s paradise. The surge in the divorce rates is alarming. And so is the disinterest in getting into marriage.

In December 2019, about 1,108 people had been to court to file petitions with the hope of dissolving their marriages. The number had risen by 99 compared to 2017. In 2020 before court sessions went virtual due to Covid-19 about 149 cases had been filed by February.

When you compare the trends in January alone, 54 people filed a case in 2018, and the number rose to 72 in 2019 and last year in January 95 people sought divorce in court.

But, what is going on?

Patricia* who just turned 27 says she is yet to bow to the pressure of getting married. It is the least of her concerns. “Marriage is not on my wish list until I am 28,” she says.

That means she has this year alone to reconsider her stand. At the time of the interview, a promising suitor was still elusive.

In a girls only WhatsApp group she is part of, she posts her worry about the lack of a suitor sparking a debate on marriage. “I think I have a problem. I always attract married men. I cannot remember the last time I met a single man,” reads Patricia’s post on the group.

First love

Only three of the ladies out of the 22 members in that group are married. The rest are still “sampling” the market.

Her friends’ responses to that post start trickling in.

“You ooze the vibe married men like, find out which one,” the first person responds.

“I think you need some form of soul searching. Personal journey things…” she adds.

Others laugh. Another tells her that they are in the same boat. She, too, will be turning 27 this year.

Patricia started dating when she was 18. Her first boyfriend was between the age of below 23. She cannot quite remember exactly how old. She still believes that her first love was the best relationship she ever had. Since then, she has been in six unrewarding relationships.

“I have not had a serious proposal to be someone’s wife yet,” she says. “On the contrary, most of the time the guys would expect commitment and fidelity.”

 

That is not to say that her rubric square in relationships has never had all the colours match. No. She once had a promising relationship which was unfortunately killed by distance.

One of her six other relationships ended because she believes it should not have existed in the first place. She had been intimate with a married man. “I have been hit on by almost 10 married men in my adult life. I did not know that they were married until later,” she tells HealthyNation.

“For some I found out by checking their social media, while for others, I received messages from their wives,” she adds.

Some married men she has come across were blunt with her and told her they only were interested in a sexual relationship. No strings attached.

 

“Most married men rarely talk about their wives and sometimes they only do when you find out about them,” she says.

Most of the men she has encountered had been married for less than three years. She has since noticed the consistency of words spoken by the married men when she tries to ask why they cheat.

“It was always almost the same excuse; that their sex life has changed to lazy and boring or their wives interest in sex reduced after child birth,” she narrates.

Patricia says she will consider getting married someday. She is, however, put off by the marriage scene of today. “It is filled with silent people suffering in violent marriages,” she says.

 

Kevin* who graduated last year from a university in Eldoret says relationships have robbed him of his peace of mind. He first fell in love six years ago as a freshman.

“The lady had a crush on me and I fell in love,” he says. In as much as he felt like the approach was not the traditional way of doing things, he went with the tide anyway.

That relationship did not last. He quickly jumped into another one and his heart crushed when he realised that the girl she was eyeing was intimate with his close friend. He was a male version of a ‘side dish’.

 

When he found out what was going on, his then girlfriend opted to stick by the other guy. He gave up the fight and was not ready to be a Romeo for someone else’s Juliet. “I lost a friendship and a relationship at the same time,” says Kevin.

“This heartbreak left me thinking that girls are after money and not a future. They are not ready to date men without money. They need men who are already at grace,” he laments.

 

Swipe right

Technology is now playing a part in the revolution of the dating scene. A simple – swipe right – on Tinder could get one a life partner.

The hassle of talking stages that the older generation sweat to yield a possible marriage is being replaced. Some cases of online dating have been fruitful but others ended in what netizens call “premium tears”.

For instance, Facebook users in Kenya in 2019 were shocked when they learnt of an assertion that a man was running a pseudo account with a female name. The account churned out witty articles daily and any man would have wished to have a ‘woman’ like that as the mother of his children.

The same social media outlet called out the owner of the account when users learnt of the shadowy narrative. It was alleged that she had extorted money from a man who had fallen in love with ‘her’ online. The account was deactivated after the incident and to date, the users’ identity has never been revealed.

 

A research conducted by Prof Lawrence Ikamari in 2005 on the effects of education on the timing of marriage in Kenya sought to establish when the cracks started emerging.

“By exposing girls to non- traditional roles and providing them with the means to establish viable alternatives to early marriage, education expands the women’s life opportunities and choices,” says the study.

It adds: “It may relate to the development of value orientation and aspirations that give priority or preference to personal fulfilment and career development over traditional roles or early marriage and childbearing.”

 

Another Facebook trend early this year dubbed the #Metoo series sort of lived up to this assertion. Smart and successful women poured their heart out on how they had been swindled by men they had hoped to be in a serious relationship with.

This only happens when the traditions shift and women are economically empowered. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the shift is irreversible.

“Educated women no longer see marriage and childbearing as viable avenues to social status and economic independence,” says the study.

 

First marriage

The 2005 study also found out the difference in marriage age for educated and non-educated women. At the age 18, 71 per cent of women with no education were already married compared to only 27 per cent among those with at least secondary education.

A total of 84 per cent of those aged 20 and uneducated had their first marriage compared to 53 per cent among those with at least a secondary education.

Prof Okumu Bigambo, a Communication and Psychology expert who teaches at Moi University, says changing times influence change in the behaviour. As a family man who has been married for close to 40 years, he says he does not wish to waste any chance and strives to pass down knowledge on marriage to his children in an open way.

“We notice that globally people seem to compete more for business than the human aspect of life. This means that they are not valuing marriage,” says Prof Bigambo.

He says traditionally most families had a way of preparing their children for marriage. That, today, is the least of priorities for parents. The gaps in the family therefore become so glaring to the point of affecting the children.

“A parent is very busy looking for money and they at times they do not have a very good relationship with each other. They have lost the magic,” he says.

“Children end up learning behaviour from social media which is awash with issues of broken families and broken relationships,” he adds.

He explains that in the past young people getting into marriage would be proud of the community they were in. Today the community they are proud to be part of is social media.

“The social media community is regrettably vague and fake with massive influence,” Prof Bigambo says.

Before two people get into a relationship, Prof Bigambo advises that they should probe each with questions like: what is the purpose of the relationship and how far do they intend to go with the relationship.

“The biggest problem is that relationships are not founded on values. And when the times change, they change individuals’ perspectives,” he says.

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Economic empowerment is also an important factor when getting into marriage. “Without a good economic base, you may not manage the demands of one another,” he says.

“Our life on this earth is goal based, and unless you approach any undertaking with a goal in mind, then your relationship will be abstract and in darkness,” he adds.

Faith Odhiambo, a counselling psychologist at the All Saints Cathedral, says marriage is work and needs commitment. “People want to be like celebrities on social media not knowing what they have done to get there,” she says.

“When they get into relationships with the social media aspect in mind, it will have flaws because their priorities are not right,” she adds.

Nelson Aseri, a psychologist who deals with couples intending to get married, says undealt with childhood traumas could contribute to intolerance in relationships and the fear of getting into one.

“If someone grew up seeing their parents being abusive and they do not deal with that before getting into marriage, they are likely to be affected by it,” he says.

Learning the culture of your partner’s side is equally important. It will save you from getting shocked about how people operate. “Young people should learn that it takes two people for marriage to be successful and the responsibility should be shared equally,” he concludes. – nation.co.ke