Elders: Marrying a woman who is older than you goes against culture

A couple arguing. (Courtesy/iStock)

Pharis Oginga, a village elder in Nyalenda, Kisumu county, says women mature faster and tend to be more intelligent than men.

“If a man marries or dates an older woman, chances of the woman taking charge of the relationship or marriage are higher compared to a man marrying his peer or someone younger,” he says.

In Coast, several young men have been looking for rich but older tourists for a hand in marriage. 

Although the Kenyan society still accepts the concept with a pinch of salt, in the Western world, it is a common occurrence and people have embraced love and unions between older women and younger men.

At only 29 years, sitting French president Emmanuel Macron got into a love affair with his high school teacher, who was way older than him.

Years later, the two got married after Brigitte Macron divorced her husband. They have an age difference of 24 years.

But he is not alone. Other famous stars across the globe who have opted for older women include popular basketball star Dwayne Wade who married Gabriel Union, who was nine years older than him.

Retired football star Gerard Pique also made headlines when he married celebrated song writer and singer Shakira who was 10 years older than him. However, the couple split in 2022.

Luo Council of Elders chairman Odungi Randa says in Luo traditions, a man is not encouraged to marry a woman older than him.

He says it is advisable for a man to marry a woman who is at least five years or ten years younger than him.

“When the woman is younger, he will be able to bear more children compared to when she is older than the man. A woman who is 40 or 45 years will have difficulty getting children,” Randa says.

He does not advocate for the concept but says nowadays it is very common.

According to Randa, it is advisable for a man to marry a younger woman aged between 18 and 30.

John Ben Omollo, who is the Luo Council of Elders chairman in Migori county, says most African traditions prohibit a woman who is older than a man and had borne children from marrying a man younger than her.

The Luo customs state that a man may marry a woman who is younger than him. “When the wife dies, he is then given another woman who is younger than him,” Elder Omollo says.

He, however, notes that in the modern world, things have changed stressing that what is most important in marriage is love. 


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