Sindo Town has become a town where women and men have adopted a peculiar marital lifestyle along the shore of Lake Victoria. Sindo is found in Suba Sub-county, Homa Bay. It’s on the banks of Lake Victoria, which has never been harmed by water hyacinth. This implies it is located beside pristine Lake Victoria waters, which help many fish species survive.
The abundance of fish in the region has resulted in the development of two beaches that distinguish Sindo. Sindo, in comparison to other communities in the county like as Homa Bay and Mbita, has two beaches: Sindo Main Beach and Wadiang’a Beach.
The presence of the two beaches has drawn a sizable number of residents in the town. The residents work as fishermen and fishmongers in the town. Other businesses in the area have sprouted from the fish industry. Sindo has almost all of the goods and services that a town centre may need.
This has resulted in an ever-increasing population in the little town. However, the presence of people from various counties along the lake region has resulted in a strange lifestyle. The tagline Chuori ni Kirindo was created by local women.
Chuori is the Luo term for “your husband.” In this context, Kirindo refers to the name of a popular mortuary in the neighbouring Mbita Sub-county.
The tagline literally implies that your husband is at Kirindo mortuary.
In Sindo, Chuori ni Kirindo means “no woman is permanently married to a husband.”
They mean a permanent husband is one whose corpse has been buried or is still being kept in a mortuary.
They say there are no long-term marriages in Sindo town.
We met Maren Awuor, a 34-year-old woman, on our tour of Sindo town. Awuor has been living with John, whom she says she “stole” from another woman three weeks ago. The woman confronted her and demanded to know why she stole her man.
They disagreed, forcing neighbours to convene an arbitration meeting. But the meeting resolution favoured Awuor by resolving that no woman in Sindo town has the authority to claim permanent ownership of a husband.
“When I got John, the woman who was with him previously accused me of stealing her husband. But the neighbours told her the only permanent husband is the one in the mortuary. Here no woman has a permanent husband,” Awuor said.
The meeting resolved that Awuor’s union with John was legitimate.
“My rival was told she also had an opportunity to look for another husband. Where she would get him from is nobody’s business,” Awuor said. Even though the neighbours supported their marriage, she says she is psychologically prepared to lose John (should someone else steal him).
She argues that the marriage can end at any time when she feels dissatisfied with John. “There is no specific lifespan of our marriage. If he fails to support me financially, I will call it quits and get another husband,” Awuor said.
A similar opinion is held by Jael Adhiambo, a 31-year-old woman who just dumped her husband. Adhiambo says she will not go more than four days without a husband. She says it is her duty to apply the necessary tricks to lure a man into a union.
“Men in Sindo are easy to convince regardless of whether he is married or not. I simply get some money, go out with him and buy him some goodies. When we return to my house, he will have changed his mind and will start living with me. Later I will be able to benefit from his support as a husband,” Adhiambo said.
When asked about the morality of her lifestyle, Adhiambo said she cannot be remorseful because that is the new trend.
“It is common knowledge in Sindo that Chuori ni Kirindo and no woman can claim that a given man is her permanent husband. Marital life here is based on survival of the fittest. There is no problem if I steal a man.”