Written by Timothy Makokha
Read 1324 Times
A 33 year old father of three, a resident of Hututu village, Bungoma County undressed last week Monday and disappeared into sugar cane plantation after getting rumors that his wife was sleeping with another man.
Benson Simiyu did not take time to investigate the matter or even inquire from his wife about it. He was crazy and instead of quarrelling he only resorted to running away naked.
“When he got wind of the rumor that his wife had befriended another man, he was never the same son we knew”, said his father who had spent sleepless nights looking for his son.
After his father had searched for his son for three days without success, he visited a village medicine man who assured him that his son was safe and would return home soon.
Benson’s mother could not eat for fear that her son might have committed suicide in an unknown place. She could walk slowly with a ‘leso’ tightly tied round her waist as she was also making attempts to look for her son.
That night before he ran into the cane plantation, he shaved his wife with a razor blade claiming that it was the hair that attracts men to her. He ensured nothing hairy is spotted on her head leaving a shiny head that was once covered with beautiful long black hair that other women in the village were envying.
After shaving the wife, he assembled his tools including a machete, an axe and a panga and sharpened them thoroughly throughout the night as the wife and children were watching. At that time he was not talking to anybody, not even to his wife or child. He refused to eat which made the family members to worry more. No one knew why he sharpened the tools before leaving without using any of them.
Relatives and neighbors assisted the wife to ransack in all sugar cane farms in the village without finding him. Whenever they tried to contact him over phone, they only encountered the answering machine since his phone was off. The wife was not even sure whether he took off with the phone or not.
His wife, Mama Koko was shocked as she was not given time to explain or defend herself. She didn’t know exactly what to do but she remained hopeful that her husband would be normal again. Clan officials blamed her for causing her husband to escape from home.
It’s like this behavior of undressing was emulated from his father who in the year 2001 when the police had come to arrest him for brewing the illegal brew in his house, he undressed before the police officers. The police officers went back to their station with imaginations that the old man Mr. Simiyu was mad.
While Mr. Simiyu was undressing he didn’t put into consideration the idea of his daughters-in-law watching his nakedness, which is an abomination according to the Bukusu cultural beliefs. What was important for him was to evade arrest and his objective was achieved.
On a different occasion, about 3 years ago when police came to arrest him again for distilling the illegal brew, he took a liter of it and sprinkled on their faces causing them a visual impairment. This incident caused his arrest after arraign at the Bungoma law courts. Lucky enough he was released a few days later, after his relatives, friends and neighbors had contributed money to rescue him.
Benson returned home yesterday morning after spending one week in the cold. He behaved as if nothing strange had happened. He then promised an everlasting love for his wife. His father had suggested of taking him to a psychiatrist but he said there is nothing wrong with him.
No one new whether he was eating, bathing, sleeping or not. He didn’t even bother to tell anyone about where he was hiding. This made villagers to conclude that he was but only feigning madness as a warning to his wife to stop misbehaving. Being a casual laborer at Nzoia Sugar Company, he has already embarked on his usual duties at the sugar factory.
How far are we from madness? It has been argued for long that we are all potentially mad; the only difference is the degree of madness in individual.
What is the best way of dealing with an adulterous spouse? Maybe Benson Simiyu knows better, not forgetting the pain one suffers with an adulterous spouse.
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