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A gossip a day keeps true friendship away

By NJOKI CHEGE January 22nd, 2014 2 min read

Last weekend I attended a graduation party, the kind of parties where you meet people you haven’t seen in years.

Obviously, besides eating pilau, njahi, mukimo and chunks of meat, we played catch up.

I found myself in a group of young ladies, all in their early 30s, and as you already know, where two or three women are gathered, gossip shall be there.

True to this, one of the ladies – whom we shall call Gladys, started a conversation that got our attention.

Gladys talked about her friend- Mama Sue, whose husband had a habit of sleeping around with every househelp they employed.

Twisted mind

She said the man was so randy that he even made one of the girls pregnant.  The girl happened to be Mama Sue’s neighbour upcountry.

According to her, Mama Sue is a twisted woman with a twisted mind, who thinks that it is the househelps who throw themselves at her “handsome” man, and it is up to her to fend them off.

It is for this reason that she always threatens househelps that she would fire them should she see them even glancing at her hunk of a “hazbad”.

The women were excited to hear the news  even as  I pretended to be busy with my phone – but I couldn’t help eavesdropping. “Now I have a problem here,” said Gladys in a hushed tone.

“Yesterday, I passed by Mama Sue’s house  and found the housegirl crying.  I pretended that I cared, so I asked her what the issue was,” Gladys continued.

According to her, the househelp, who was barely 19, told her that Sue’s husband  was making advances at her. He had asked her to sleep with him, but when she refused, he threatened to tell his wife that she was throwing herself at him.

The ladies thought for a while and one came up with a brilliant idea. “Just tell her close friend to tell her,” she suggested.

All the ladies nodded in agreement; with one adding that she would not want to be in Gladys’ position because Mama Sue was ‘bad news’. The ladies finally resolved to tell Mama Sue’s closest friend, who would in turn break the news to her.

I sat there wondering, when we (women) will  ever heal from this deadly disease that is gossip?

Women love to talk. We talk as we eat, drive, do our hair, work, and sometimes, we even talk in our sleep. We like to talk about ourselves, our spouses, children, neighbours, jobs, but mostly, we love to talk about others, especially other people’s problems.

Somehow, we find solace in talking about other people’s misfortunes.  We do this in a bid to compare our lives with others and console ourselves with other people’s problems.

We magnify our friends’ problems so that ours look smaller, and somehow, we derive energy to move on with our troubled lives.

Naturally, we may feel the need to ‘share’ other people’s problems  but the truth is, we are only making things worse for ourselves.

Gossiping about another person only makes you look cheap.  Talking about your friends’ problems doesn’t make you a better human being, but a bitter person, who is unable to sort out their own problems.

Oh, and be careful of those friends who tell you about others. You do remember the saying that goes ‘those who tell you about others also tell others about you,’ don’t you?