Why Many Kenyan Women Are Very Fat, Especially Those In Nairobi
By Cami Ezenwa
With its colourful beaches and wild life boasting of rolling mountains; white, sandy beaches, and incredible safaris, Kenya, an Eastern African country is tourist delight.
However, those are not the only things to strike an average visitor, investigations have shown.
Make a stopover in this country, especially in its capital of Nairobi, and you are likely to observe that women with bulky body women is a common sight here.
For some observers, these voluptuous weights should be a source of concern, not only because it flourishes out of a faulty philosophy but also because of associated health hazards.
Njoki Chege, Director, Innovation Centre at the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications is among the concerned that have been speaking up, who says without equivocation that Kenyan women should drop their perception of big as being beautiful.
“The last time I wrote about fat women..” she observed in her recent column in the Nation, “I got into national trouble. Forgive me but I have to write about these women again. It is time I tackled the elephant in the room once again.
-Why Kenyan women are very fat
“It is getting out of hand, dear readers. These misguided fat women think that big is beautiful and they are even calling themselves ‘authentic African women.
“…but big is not beautiful. If you are a woman weighing over 80 kilos, you qualify to be called fat and somebody has to break it down for you and tell you the truth.
“You are not sexy. You are just a deluded big mama that needs to lose weight”, she writes.
The question one would like to ask, is: What then are the possible reasons why Kenyan woman are fat?
Well, argues Tony Malesi, in his story: Big Deal: Agony of overweight women in dating and marriage, as posted on The Standard, the politics of body size in as far as relationships and marriage are concerned can be tricky.
And it is simply “because almost everyone has an opinion on who should date who”.
In other words, while Tony’s preference is slim, Ojudey’s may be plumpy, whatever that means to him..
And sadly though, Males continues, the major casualties of ‘mixed-weight’ relationship prejudices and discrimination are always against plus-sized women. Things continue to get thick for such women as they suffer in silence.
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This is unlike the case for fat men, who pass off as ‘attractive’ and ‘romantic’ if they happen to be rich, powerful or sole breadwinners to their families.
He then goes ahead to suggest reasons why the fat has become a fad for Kenyan women:
-Side effects of some of the birth-control contraceptives Kenyan women use.
Lending credence to the above, a 2021 research report by Statista, asserted that nearly 44 percent of women aged 15-49 years in Kenya used contraceptives – either traditional or modern methods.
It said among Kenyan women who were married or in a union, the contraceptive prevalence rate was higher, reaching roughly 60 percent, and in contrast, the rate stood at roughly 23 percent among unmarried women.
“Overall, the usage of contraceptives in the country has marginally improved, regardless of marital status.
In comparison, in 2010, approximately 35 percent of all fertile-age women in Kenya adopted any form of contraception. This rate was at 48 percent among married women.
-another reason suggested is the fact that some married ones are being well taken care of by their husbands.
The argument is that not only do their husbands take care of them, but also because “When most of us are out there sweating it out, quite literally, in search of daily bread, they are at home, bumming around, eating, watching soap operas on TV or gossiping on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp,”
What’s more, despite the fact that some men, too, are overweight, most men are more critical of their women’s weight, unlike vice versa.
A high proportion of women in Kenya are overweight or obese, asserts Rahma S Mkuu, Katrina Epnere and Muhammad Abdul Baker, in their study Prevalence and Predictors of Overweight and Obesity Among Kenyan Women.
“Our study indicates that women from urban areas and women with high socioeconomic status make up the largest proportion of women who are overweight or obese”, they conclude in the article published in the National Library of Medicine journal.
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Mercy Wangare another Kenyan lady seems to agree with the assertion, by citing her own experience in Dubia, whereby her colleagues were able to get jobs but could not last on it due to laziness. The June 30 report as published on Tuko by Amondi Aroko stated,
Referring to her compatriots, Wangere, a mother of one, said they were generally lazy such that though the opportunities abound for women, but that she could not see herself recommending any:
“You will bring someone here and you’ll find the employer has paid for everything including accommodation and flight, and then when they get here, they quit and immediately start looking for new employers, and they become your burden and that’s why most end up in the streets here,” she said.
“We have also heard of husbands who, despite having taken the famous ‘through thick and thin’ vows to stick by their spouses, start finding them less attractive and begin cheating on them the moment they gain weight”, according to Malesi, who then adds: “Others, strange as it may sound, have married second and even third wives after their first spouses fattened out of shape”.