10 Types of Relatives at Kenyan Family Gatherings

10 Types of Relatives at Kenyan Family Gatherings

As the Easter Holiday approaches, many families in Kenya are focused on finalising preparations for the feasting that is synonymous with family gatherings. 

These social events attract many people with many different characters but some are so common that everyone can relate. 

The mention of all of the following types of characters is likely to trigger your mind into immediately thinking of a cousin, uncle or auntie who behaves the same way.

Nyama Choma, a constant feature in Kenyan family gatherings

Flower Girls
These are the bubbly ladies who are always in a good mood with a constant smile painted across their faces. 

They mostly serve to welcome guests and keep everyone cheered up for the holiday and they often break into song and dance to accompany the merriments of the day. 

They are as generous with information as they are with food and good vibes. They handle children very well are very tolerant of the constant “Simu yako iko na game?” question. 

Mysterious cousin
This is the kind of relative that lives a very reserved life and often people forget they exist until they show up to the get-together. 

They disappear from the feast as mysterious as they came, usually without any escort or package or agricultural produce to carry back home. 

Sometimes they happen to be really wealthy and don’t like being pestered. 

Other family members barely know where they live let alone what they do. 

Family Cook
This type of character holds the position of the family chef by default, never mind there could be a professionally trained cook in the family. They are a constant at all gathering because of their skill and their absence at any event will invite wrath from other family members. 

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They organise the whole cookout and keep everyone eagerly waiting for the contents of the pot. 

The family cook will patrol on the people charged with chapati, Pilau before circling back to the crew in charge of the stew. These characters make sure all the food gets cooked at most the same time. 

They are usually assigned some helpers who do the actual mixing of ingredient after consultations. 

Different delicacies served at a feast

Hungry Tigers
If you are a guest at a gathering, it is easy to mistake these types of characters for the family chef. 

They patrol cooking post almost as much but their aim is to taste rather than to monitor progress. 

Their appetizer involves taking a bite out of everything on the menu. It is not a wonder that they like asking chapatis that are too burned to be served at the feast. 

When the feasting begins, it is no surprise that they decorate their plates with mountains of every dish available. 

Lunch timers 
This is the relative who instinctively knows when exactly to show up at the gathering. 

They usually arrive moments before praying for the food or minutes after. They come for the food, interaction with long lost family members is a bonus.

Whether their timing is a skill acquired over time or a talent is a debate for another day. 

They don’t stay long enough to clean up after the feasting because they had to attend to something urgent. 

 Discipline masters

This character is mostly observed on mothers who are raising school going children who many times that not need to be kept in check. 

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They are always on the lookout for children playing too close to the fire or engaging in other forms of mischief. 

Children fear this auntie more than they would their own mothers. Often they will fill the air with loud warnings and threats of caning. 

Sometimes they will shout a statement like “Nisiwaone kwa hiyo maji (I better not see you playing with water),” even if the tap is not in her line vision. 

A person preparing chapati

The know-it-all

These relatives know enough of everything to contribute to conversations but not enough to give a reliable professional opinion. 

They have never encountered a problem they couldn’t fix. They have a special liking for admiration applause and are always ready for an argument. 

The best way to deal with this kind of person is to remember that you do not have to see the other person as they want to be seen; and you do not have to cater to that need unless you want to.  

Married to the bottle
These are the relatives who always come to the gathering tipsy. 

They don’t believe in feasting on an empty stomach and often prefer cheap liquors. 

They often have very funny tales about their drunken escapades that are sometimes very exaggerated. 

While they provide entertainment, they also have the potential to cause disasters or embarrassment of the same value. 

Ticking time bomb

These relatives carry themselves with very high regard and appear very level headed. 

They have often take a back seat on the responsibilities of the day and like to keep to themselves. 

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Everything changes when the eating has ended and the holiday booze is served. 

As soon as the alcohol has settled on the stomach, their calm mask comes off.

Maternal Figure

She is considered the mother figure of the family. Sometimes due to her many children or she naturally possess the motherly touch.  

She is the maternal figure that the discipline master thinks she is. 

Often times she has to eat last after ensuring everyone has had their portions. 

She commands the same respect as the discipline master but not because they fear her. 


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