The Rise and Rise of Cohabitation in Campus


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Do you know that people are married in campus hostels? Yes, you may have known it back in the days but these days, it is very unique. Cohabitation as Wikipedia defines it is an arrangement where two people who are not married live together in a sexually intimate relationship on a long-term or permanent basis. At campus, these arrangements have become increasingly common and are majorly practiced by male students. This habit manifests itself as wife importation. Comrades compete on the same.

We have different categories of cohabitation within the higher learning institutions but the most common one at The University of Nairobi is the importation of ladies from upcountry and staying with them in campus hostels as wives. A smaller percentage cohabits with fellow students from the University while minority group import ladies from other higher learning institutions. At the end of the semester or academic year, one move back to their family waiting to remarry when the academic calendars or studies resumes.

These ladies are majorly underage and most of them stopped schooling in class seven or eight or form one… These damsels, in most cases, have no relatives in Nairobi and become enslaved in the hostels making them extremely desperate and prone to abuse, assault and torture.

One such instance involved a female Moi University Student who visited her “husband” in University of Nairobi. She had a bewitching yellow colour associated with Kamba ladies, of course, she was one… had unexceptional good features as eye witnesses could recall vividly. Her fiancée, ‘husband’, was a renowned politician from the land of milk, maize and marathon living in hall 11 Main Campus. The marriage begun well on a Friday afternoon, she prepared the meals, washed dishes and cleaned the cloths as the norm in those hostels dictates. They spent the night together, Saturday they were locked in the house, Sunday she was locked in the house. She never saw the sun; just washroom and back to the house. Sunday midnight the lady could not withstand the pain she was going through… She screamed for help with a shrieking voice. “It begun with a low cry and the volume of the music was quickly increased though some unfamiliar voices could still be heard from a far distance, hall 10 and lower statehouse road. The lady could not withstand the constant pace, the movement and the marathon the fiancée adopted while at the apex of love. She screamed, called names, asked for water, begged the ‘husband’… but these pleas landed on the deaf ears.” Recalled Jemo his roommate. When she got a little chanse, she ran naked – the way she was born, what a shame!? She could not run that fast as her thighs and the whole legs were shaky and feeble. And when the neighbours caught up with her and asked her where she was going, she said in a gasping and low tone, “I am going to my mum or the nearest police station”. She didn’t even care whether she had cloths or not, the shame and everything else but safety.

According to neighbours, she went through anguish pain! Her mouth was dry and had cracks. She had no energy. She was later rescued and taken back to their campus the following day.

It is indeed regrettable and traumatizing that such scenarios is witnessed in The University of Nairobi. This is just but a tip of iceberg in the ocean, isn’t it?

According to the research conducted by 254News, The University of Nairobi Main campus leads the pack with over 23% of male students living with imported wives, majority being in Hall 10 where half of students living on the second floor are married.

Just like any other married couples, these ladies are charged with the responsibilities of cooking, massaging their men after class, conjugal services even at day time, washing of dishes, clothes and shaving of their husband’s pubic hair among other tasks. It is not uncommon to meet young pregnant ladies in hostels bathing and singing in male washrooms. These ladies are locked in the rooms. They only leave the rooms majorly at night or while going to the washroom, bathroom or hanging up cloths.

Some of the hosts, ‘husbands’ especially those who treat their wives with a lot of care, have experienced tremendous changes in their lives; some have improved hygienically, some health-wise while some have changed in terms of their dress codes and general behaviours.

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