Kienyeji or woke city girl; the everyday internal struggle for single Kenyan men

Scrolling through social media posts, you may have come across the mention of kienyeji somewhere. Although generally accepted as a time dedicated street word the word is weightier than we first thought. The depth of this word attracts attraction from single Kenyan men They really want it demistifyed trying to choose a perfect lady for a serious relationship. 

The hillarious dipplay of dem kienyeji in Kenya

Men who’ve dated can attest that loosely thinking that a simple lady is a kienyeji may be deceptive. But whatever the case may be, Kenyans have used the term to imply a down to earth, traditionally minded lady. At the very least, she’s a submissive and passive lady.

In short, a kienyeji girl is one who embodies the traditional woman. She wholly submits to the man and not taken away by the sweeping forces of modernity. Her fashion doesn’t tend to pique luxury and not ecited much about push for gender equality, high end possessions, flashy lifestyle and such. 

Time to marry, bring home to us our in-law

One dreaded question that every Kenyan man has to contend with at every family gathering or event is being asked about family. You know the typical linear thinking we always have of going to school, getting a job, starting a  family, and living a happy life thereafter is one that has refused to get away. 

At a time when the economy has pushed men to the tight corner and many shun marrying too soon, families and parents will keep asking what plans they have. Such questions, although some may interpret it to mean unnecessarily putting pressure, they may be legitimate. They may stir up a sense of guilt that sends most young men into deeply weighing what kind of lady would really accommodate their current situations and grow together in the struggle. 

Even for well off single men, the internal turmoil on the social class of their would be perfect match rages. So many breakups, divorces, domestic violence, quarrels and worse spousal murders send chills down every spine. So,a s much as starting a family could be the dream of most people, the choice of who to commit your life to really defines the important foundation. 

Kenyan men Getting to make the critical choice of a woman to marry

Ordinarily, a good number of educated and respectable men would love to be particular in who becomes a wife. If it’s exclusively on what everywoe gnerally likes, they would marry a woman in a similar social class. Like there’s the pride that one gets being a husband to an accomplished lady. Such ladies worth their salt can sit on the other side of the table and face family issues boldly. But then there’s also a sense of intimidation that such women may impose. 

Kienyeji or woke? You be the judge

The kienyeji lady only appears meek in her own way but also largely lets the man be the boss. She may be educated but lets you be her comfortable king who makes the decisions and changes them at will. She’s generally a yes yes yes type who doesn’t feel any urge to be confrontational or be imposing. Some may refer to them as naive or backward. 

Wondering who the Kienyeji girl really is? Lets try to unpack her

Maybe you’ve not grown up in the remotest of villages in Kenya or elsewhere. But for the sake of getting to understand the imperative for a Kienyeji girl, lets be a little imaginative. For a moment, picture a village setting where people typically live the agrarian lifestyle-fetching water from the river, gathering wild fruits from the forests and picking firewood downstream. Like its a highly traditional village setting.

Ladies forms much traditional set up often exemplify non entitlement to anything. To them, the good things in life may not be a must have. So, whatever they manage to get or be given counts in a big way as a privilege. 

The general image that talk of kienyeji lady conjures in the minds of many

In Kenya, the kienyeji girl resembles such a lady who doesn’t come with so much demands. She’s contented with her lifestyle, mean upkeep, gives not a damn to modernity and such. The kienyeji type come across as the mirror opposite of woke city girls who largely flow with trends. They may be aware of the latest Iphone model, exotic tourist destination or upstreet restaurants but no demands. 

Kenyan men going for the kienyeji but won’t let go of the woke city girls too

Split desires come up so often in Kenyan men when it comes to choosing a serious partner. The men would hang out with the high flying city girls but retrest to the kienyeji ones as wives. The tiktok and instagram girls may confer trendy status but may not achieve the wife material status.

Many times you come across memes depicting how making certain decisions that binds one’s life can be troublesome. Settling on a lifetime partner really competes with the urge to portray a particular social class. They may be two worlds apart which then causes a crisis as men try to merge the two extremes-kienyeji on one side and woke, the other

For the sake of making stale families, most Kenyan men will fall back on the kienyeji. However, a good number of the men find themselves becoming polygamous for not being able to firmly decide which of the two options mean more than the other. We may not be accurate in concluding that the case of Samidoh, Eddie Nderity and Karen Nyamu represents one celebrity conflict but its a classical example. 

What Kenyan men expect of Kienyeji girlfriends, wives

All factors constant, what matters in who one chooses to be a wife remains a matter of personal considerations. Like they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and Kenyan men know it better. Nonetheless, a couple of things pull a good number of Kenyan men to settle with kienyeji type of women as the woke ones have to keep looking for as long as god knows how long. 


You all agree that there is a lot of training imparting different skills that goes on back in the village. As one would conclude, there is never time to lazy around. Apparently because of such exposure to a lot of work, a village girl doesn’t really fear working. 

She gets busy around the farm,a small hassle, business, chams, domestic chores and even the farm. So is the great contrast between the village and city damsels; while one gets so busy to the extent of fending for herself, the other cannot go as far as doing menial jobs at home. Considering all these things, you can already predict and conclude who takes the trophy back home.

Low budget lifestyle 

While money has been the object of attraction for most ladies in relationships, men have largely criticized the city girls for  being too materialistic and lovers of soft life. In fact, their level of exposure could be their greatest breaking point as they end up needing more than they can themselves afford. 

Any man works super hard to earn their penny and would only love that the income be spent reasonably. Indeed, they hope that the spouse also contributes a share to the family kitty to build the family. The city girl may often appear decided on pursuing grandiose lifestyle needs and highly self focused which hurts the shared family interests.

The klienyeji damsel beats the work city girl hands down when it comes to saving on expenditure at family level. With them, the husbands get a small breathing space and possibly some savings to spend out with the boys club or purchase a dream car. 

While it isn’t a big deal for a city girl to expect their men to spoil them and take care of them, the irony in it all is that they end up becoming a whole lot more expensive. Even when having her own income and career, she won’t mind asking money for salon, manicure and pedicure, fingernails, makeup or other accessories like wigs or earrings. All these while it’s still the man taking care of every mill at home, Who takes such?

Natural beauty in the kienyeji girl

Beauty lies in the hands of the beholder, so they say but these days it’s the makeup that makes most ladies. Without the makeup then you end up with a completely different person and this will have to be the case for the rest of your life if you take her in for a wife. This really hurts the interests of most men although they may not explicitly say it. 

The Kienyeji lady will never use excessive additions to accentuate their beauty because already they feel comfortably gorgeous. They don’t easily fall into the trap of fake fingernails, fake hair and unoriginal face appearance, piercing very sensitive parts of the body and tattooing the body. 

Respectful and submissive to a fault

With an exceptional traditional African perspective about life, marriage and family, the kienyeji type respects her space. While she may occasionally express her opinions, she doesn’t stubbornly stick her neck out to try to outdo the hubby as the head of the family. 

The work ladies around may consider it as giving too much ground to be dictated upon by their men but the kienyeji type knows that societies can’t remain in harmony without someone being the head.No rudeness and arrogance in the everyday life of a kienyeji damsel which really makes them stand out. 

Fredrick Awino

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