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One in four Kenyans cheat on their partners, survey reveals

One in four Kenyans adults are engaged in relationships with more than one partner.

In a survey released Wednesday by research firm Consumer Insight, at least 24 percent of those in relationships admitted to dating multiple lovers.

Although the report did not specify the gender most likely to engage in multiple dating arrangements, relationships, at least 1.2 million adult individuals out of the 24 percent engaged in relationships have been projected as dating several partners.

With 10.8 million Kenyans representing 24 percent of the population estimated as adults in a country with a population of about 45 million, the latest findings represent an increase ffrom previous results, said Associate Research Director at Consumer Insights Ms Ruth Ruigu.


The shocking findings in what is deemed a conservative nation whose values are mostly pegged on religious principles seem to vindicate Kiambu Women’s Representative Gathoni wa Muchomba’s proposal for Kenyans to adopt polygamy in order to eliminate problems of Kenyans raised without fathers in the family.

In a weekend interview that has elicited sharp reactions in subsequent online debates, radio and TV talk shows, the legislator touted polygamy as a solution to reduce the number of children growing without fathers.

“Some of us were raised by fathers in polygamous families who did a good job and we grew up into responsible adults. What could be the crime in allowing polygamy as a solution to the problem of the many abandoned street children and even troubled individuals in families growing up without fathers?” she posed.

Ms Wamuchomba suggested that polygamy could cure infidelity, saying it would eliminate the need for a married man with several partners to engage in a game of hide and seek in an effort to hide his extramarital affairs.


In the survey, twenty-four per cent of respondents interviewed admitted having more than one sexual partner, a marked increase from previous trends, while 55 per cent had their sexual debut before the age of 20.

“Twenty-four per cent admit to having more than one sexual partner, a patent increase from previous trends, while 55 per cent had their sexual debut before the age of 20,” Ms Ruigu said at a press briefing in Nairobi.

“A whopping 77 per cent are sexually active, and it is worth noting that the youth and the upper classes are the most sexually adventurous category of Kenyans, meaning these are strange bedfellows indeed,” she added.

In another reminder of just how widespread the digital culture has become in Kenya, the report found that more Kenyans are now actively searching for love online.

The digital lovers’ search for partners ranges from conventional dating sites to web applications that provide for casual relationships, also known as “speed dating” sites


Online courting has expanded in reach and popularity among tech savvy Kenyans, as the nine per cent who met their partners in cyber space can now confirm.

Of the digitally connected Kenyans, 81 per cent became friends with the person they met online while an incredible 57 per cent ended up in a romantic relationship.

Traditional values still hold sway among respondents surveyed, as 87 per cent indicated their confidence in marriage as still relevant in today’s society.

On the flip side, Kenyans are not in a rush to do formalize their marriages as they are unable to afford their dream weddings.

A mere 21 per cent of married individuals took the view that the ideal age to get married is 21 years.

Seventy five per cent saw a religious wedding as the ideal ceremony to formalize marriage, with 49 per cent opting for customary marriage ideal.


Twenty four per cent were comfortable with civil weddings, while the cohabitation or come-we-stay arrangement got the least nods at 15 per cent.

Research results are however not reflected in the reality in most homes as the majority or 39 per cent of Kenyans got married in a customary ceremony. Only 30 per cent of Kenyans wedded in a religious ceremony, while 27 per cent opted for cohabitation. A paltry 5 per cent formalised their unions in a civil wedding.

The survey revealed that the family remains the prime source of advice for Kenyans seeking counselling or direction on matters relationships, followed by friends, media and the internet.