JAILIES

THE BROKEN MEN SYDROME

Photo: Courtesy Today as I rode the matatu, I met a former classmate who is male. He smiled at me but deep in his eyes, I could see he was not okay. Me being the inquisitive type, I said hello and asked if he was ok. He insisted," I am fine" which is the standard response to greetings of "how are you?" globally (at least from where I come from). Boldy, I suggested to him " You are not fine, lets alight and talk the rest of the way home." Tip: When a man is disturbed get him out of the crowd to avoid embarrassing him or having embarrassing moments like breakdowns. So we alighted began walking as I enquired how he was and how his family was doing. That is when all hell broke loose. He broke down right there stating how he feels he is a failure and he has not achieved anything. He felt as if his peers are way ahead of him in terms of development and the Covid-19 situation is not helping matters. His wife verbally abused him every day and made him look bad in the eyes of his own children and at home, his parents and siblings would not involve him in decision making as he is not as financially "stable" as they expected him to be. This hit me hard! The next time we all might hear about this young-man is either he is on drugs or he has taken his life. Besides saying that he is meant to be strong and not listen to his critics; he is human and I think societal expectations and measure of WHAT IS SUCCESS? is leading us to the loss of humanity.