Utaolewa lini? Annoying and intrusive questions Kenyans ask
We ask each other questions in our social interactions, sometimes in a bid to know each other better. Other times we do out if curiosity. Sometimes we do because we're looking for gossip material.
And other times, we ask because we’re concerned and genuinely do it from a good place. But most times we cross the line and ask a personal and intrusive question that is uncalled for.
“When are you having kids?” is one such question. You’d think the curious party wants to raise those children for you.
“I thought you’d never ask! Everyone shoots that question like a greeting these days, haha! Well, we’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and we’ve decided to start trying."
“Yes. With so many people asking it’s clear that we ought to have had them by now and I’m beginning to feel like we’re running out of time.”
“Mmhm, that’s your biological clock ticking.”
“Right, although it’s more of a craving than a tick...”
“Wow, you should definitely listen to it.”
“I’m glad you agree because we want to have our first child next week. I wonder where you buy yours because the butcheries here don’t sell children. In fact they wanted to call the police when we asked.”
“Of course we’ve always found your questions about having kids bizarre and cannibalistic, but we love trying out new odd dishes, so we thought ‘why not have a taste of your culinary culture?’”
The key is to shush the party by cleverly twisting your answers to counter their unwelcome questions.
“Still single at this age? When I was your age I was already married with two kids.”
“Oh, dear, that must have been traumatic. How are you doing now?”
“I mean, all your age mates are (getting) married!”
“Yes, but they seem to be managing just fine."
“No, I mean why aren’t you married yet? Haven’t you found someone to settle down with?”
“We don’t settle down with animals, do we?”
“Your spouse did.”
“With such an attitude I wonder who will marry you.”
“Certainly not you!”
And sometimes silence is the most effective response. It makes the other person awkwardly uncomfortable as they slowly realise they asked an ill-advised question.
People just don’t mind their business anymore.
“Mind your business,” I was once told. Your business is open for business but you unknowingly close it when you start minding someone else's business. Your business sits idly, unattended, and responsibilities pile up as you’re busy sniffing around someone else’s business.
Mind another person’s business too long and yours starts deteriorating. Your business is to keep your business afloat by minding your business.
Some businesses are private and other businesses are widely known. But knowing about a widely known business doesn’t make the business your business. What others do with their business is none of yours.
If they want to put it in public, it’s their business. You don’t have to make it your business. You can just walk, drive, or scroll past their business if you don’t like it. You can use a different route if you can’t stand seeing their business.
You can avoid going to certain places so you don’t see their business. But that would be too much inconvenience to yourself for something that is none of your business.
Mind your own business!