In this life, it is a common phenomenon to have friends around us who don't share our values, qualities, hobbies just to mention but a few.
But despite all these disparities, we still rhyme and share life together because it is the nature of every human being to find compatibility wherever they find themselves.
However, among Kikuyus, people who do not take alcohol and those who do, seem to have a kind of unexplained enmity among them that keeps them a distant apart.
In fact, if you invite a teetotaler man in any pub and your clubbing colleagues find you with him perhaps taking soda, the likelihood of them greeting you and blatantly ignoring him for no apparent reason are quite high.
But why? Here are some observations.
1. They are considered womanish
Unlike today, in the Kikuyu traditional culture alcohol was considered strictly for men. It is over a 'horn' of the traditional 'muratina' that men would for instsnce, discuss serious issues, reconcile where disputes existed.
Under the 'muratina' influence two quarrelling men would for example easily brush off a mountainous problem that would otherwise take years to come in terms with.
Flashforward, it is a common phenomenon today for many Kikuyu men who drink to invite you to sort your quarrels with them over a bottle of beer.
Consequently, non-drinkers will, therefore, be seen as people who want to escalate such quarrels to another level and thus womanish. Nothing could be further from the truth!
1.Can't keep secrets
An old Gikuyu adage says, 'Muici na mundu-muka akenaga akua' (He who steals with a woman can only be at ease when that woman dies). This is because in the Kikuyu culture women were perceived as people who could barely keep secrets.
In this context, once a man is branded womanish by his colleagues, he can never be trusted with any secret. This is, however, wrong because there are no people as non-secretive as those who drink and talk carelessly!
3. Dominated by women in their respective lives
It is almost a universal agreement among alcoholics that if you do not drink, the female partner in your life be it a girlfriend or wife controls you. This is however not true, as drinking is a personal choice.
4. They like women
There is a fallacy that is unfortunately even shared among women that if your man is a teetotaler, then his energy is busy being spent on other women.
From this unfounded fear, some Central Kenya women would rather have a man who drinks for a husband than a teetotaler.
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-Ndung'u Wa Gathua.