Only recently Deputy President-elect one William Ruto was overcame with emotions at a thanks giving church service.He termed the favour of God in ensuring a Jubilee coalition win not withstanding the many odds against them, made him overwhelmed. In fact he insisted his mother could attest that the last time he cried, he was a little boy. So why did he have to explain? Well, generally society has no kind words for men who cry let alone publicly. Its a sign of resentment if not a weakness or worst flaw, its basically giving up.That underlines the reason why the public had mixed reactions, some were resonating with him while others showed contempt for the act. To show how ‘bad’ it is for a man to cry in public, a section of Kalenjin elders have decided to organise a cleansing ceremony for Honourable Ruto.
This reminded me of an incident that befell me sometimes in January 2011 when I was in college. I remember it was a Friday after an evening class, that my friends and I decided to imbibe two for the road. I recall a lady trying to get my attention by whispering to me some ‘sweet nothings’, that is the last bit my mind could trace back. How I walked to the stage to board a vehicle home is a million dollar question to me. I was awoken in a matatu by a conductor yelling at me “gari mwisho”. What hurt me most is the fact that , the driver and his conductor literally robbed me my phone that I had struggled financially to save for and my wallet which had my budget for the next three weeks. In it there was my identity card which I begged them to just leave it behind to know avail. I was overtaken by emotions when the matatu sped off. I knew it would not be a walk in the park for me to get another identity card in the near future. What followed were days of queuing in a D.O’s office somewhere in Kariokor for days which resulted to months, I waited for close to a year. For me that was very painful to bear.
One of my mentors in the writing field Oyuga Pala simply puts it, “its not that men do not want to cry, its just that they do not know how to”. A number of public figures have dared to cry in public, usual suspects range from Speaker of the House in the U.S John Boehner who surprisingly does it regularly, he pulls no apologies. For Tiger woods, it was not just a normal win in the British Open 2006, why it was an emotional moment for him is because his father did not live to see that event. Roger Federer dropped the Australian Open in 2009 to the young Rafael Nadal leaving him sobbing in the post match comments. Michael Jordan upon winning his first championship in 1991 cried uncontrollably. A former popular baseball player Cal Ripken shed tears after breaking Lou Gehrig’s record in September 1995.
In conclusion, men should cry privately if at all they have to and for them to cry it must be because of something dear to them. Otherwise crying occasionally is a huge turn off to women.Men are brought up to be resilient, tenacious and to always look at the silver lining. They are creatures born to be looked upon by the society, they are the last hope a community can have.