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Shame of Aged Adults in Nairobi Who Are Still Dependent on Their Parents for Survival

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Man lazing around his parents couch

Man lazing around his parents couch

Tales of Men Aged 40 Years and above Still Living at their Parents Houses in Nairobi

At Buruburu and Umoja estates in Nairobi, it is no longer uncommon to find men, some as old as 40 years still staying at their parent’s houses and depending on them for basic provisions. Walking around the shopping center and other joints in the estate, you will not miss seeing aged men sitting around the shopping center while chewing miraa and hissing at ladies. Others also throng cyber cafes where they spend a better part of the day on betting sprees. Still, there are those who are lost to wines and spirits and other alcohol joints.

A visit to the estates by the Nairobian confirmed the situation as being perverse and requiring intervention from relevant parties.

One resident Maurice Kawiti blamed this situation on parenting styles. According to Kawiti, most of the culprits are those who used to get pampered by their parents to the point of not being able to fend for themselves when the time reaches.

“The problem with such people is that they are not oriented to doing any job that comes around. They just want to lazy around and find easy ways of living like looking for sugar mummies and betting” argued Mr. Awiti, a resident of Buruburu

Mrs. Patricia Sande, another resident also concurred with Owiti and confirmed the problem to be a serious one in these estates.

It is a serious problem in Buruburu estate. These are the people we used to fear so much in our school days, the "born tao." In fact, some even get to 40 while still living on their parents roof” claimed Sande.

On her part, Bett Wamuyu felt sad of the situation and lamented how guys, some of who are aged 40 still go to their mothers place to demand for food.

“Aki this is very sad aki, mtu jioni anaenda kwa mamake kuangalia nini imepikwa very sad na ako 40”

(This is very sad; somebody is going to his mother’s place in the evening to check what has been cooked yet he is 40?)

However, the culprits seem to have their own reasons why they don’t want to move out of their parent’s homes.

Mieso Mureithi 39 and IT professional for instance, claims that he doesn’t see anything wrong living under the same roof with his parents. According to him, everybody in Nairobi and other towns is looking for a way to avoid paying rent if there is such an opportunity. Besides, he argues that nobody should have a problem if the parents of the concerned person are okay with the arrangement.

“Yes I am living with my parent out of choice; why should I pay rent when there is space is my mother’s house? Asks Mureithi adding that “my mother whom I live with has no problem at all with the arrangement”

Mureithi also observes that “even local TV programs are justifying a situation where adult men live with their parents under the same roof and thus no big deal about it”

According to Mureithi, even Somalis and Indians accommodate their children, irrespective of age in their houses so there is nothing strange about it.

“Yeah even Somalis and Indians don't live in Buru or Umoja.. Parents live in the same house with their married sons and they don't have any problem with it! So just let people live lives their own way” he told this writer.

One, Isaac Njogu, a 34-year-old catering graduate claimed that life has been too expensive and if you still have a room at your parent’s home, then there is no problem living in it.

“Why do you want us to waste money and enrich landlords yet we have our own rooms in our family homes” asked Njogu adding that he is entitled to use his parent’s property as he wishes.

On the other hand, Moses Abayo, a 39 old man, a graduate of Mt Kenya University says that he still lives in his parents’ home out of choice. He told the Nairobian that although he found a casual job at one of the companies in industrial area, the job did not last long and so he has been remaining jobless ever since. He is also unable to start a business due to lack of capital.

“If you can connect me with a job or give me capital to start a business, then you can tell me to move out of our family home” claimed Abayo adding that once he gets a reliable job, he will move out and start a family.

Asked on how a lot of men are found at Muguka and alcohol joints yet they are jobless, Moses Abayo told the Nairobian that many are doing it as a way of relieving stress caused by joblessness.

“Lack of jobs is mostly affecting these young people psychologically and some maybe into drugs just to relieve stress” he argued.

On her part, Mercy Njogu another Buruburu resident observed that the problem with these grown up men staying with their parents is that they don’t want to explore opportunities and be self reliant. She argues

“You see, some of these big boys are only waiting for jobs related to the courses they learned in school.. If such a job is not forthcoming, they just stay idle since they are used to getting food and free housing from their parents” observes Ms Mercy.

Dr. Stephene Kamore, a Counseling Psychologist, Researcher, Author and motivational speaker based at the Counseling Research Institute of Kenya (CRIKE) termed this situation as failure to launch out syndrome. According to this researcher, this is the best term that is used to describe young adults who fail to venture out on their own upon reaching adulthood.

“People with this syndrome (failure to launch) finding it difficult leaving their parents home to live on their own. In other words, they are used to a life of dependency”

Dr. Kamore attributed this problem to a number of factors including poor parenting style, lack of mentorship and environmental conditions.

“Some parents or guardians do not prepare their children in a way that they can become self-dependent upon reaching adulthood and so such children find difficult to go out and start life on their own’ argued Dr. Kamore adding that “this, coupled with lack of mentorship especially towards the boy child constitute the key factors that makes the boy child less empowered”

Dr. Kamore furthure directed the blame on society which has placed more emphasis on the girl child in terms of mentorship and empowerment programs while neglecting the boy child.

“If you see today in Kenya, very few people or organizations are interested in mentoring and empowering the boy child, while prominence is given to the girl-child. The boy child has no knowledge, skill and motivation on self reliance” explained Dr. Kamore.

The motivational speaker further argued that the environment is also to blame to some extent.

“The lack of employment opportunities is also a big issue that should not be ignored. Many young men are frustrated when they complete their schooling but are unable to secure jobs in their line of studies” argues Dr. Kamore adding that this coupled with lack of mentorship leaves the young people vulnerable since they do not have innovative power on alternative ways of earning income without necessarily waiting for employment opportunities to come their way.


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