This is what our neighbouring Kenyans think. I wonder if this apply to Tanzanians as well. Often, the assertion that good men are scarce comes from women. But on the other side of the divide are men who say that finding a suitable mate is tough luck. If a man were to go by media reports, the logical conclusion would be that a good Kenyan woman is hard to find. The reports paint a grim picture of Kenyan women and one would think that men have to look beyond the Kenyan borders to find good women. Kenyan women have been described variously as gold-digging, materialistic, ego-deflating, competitive and disrespectful beings. Add to that the label of constant nagging and bickering and the final verdict is that few Kenyan women know how to treat a man. Media reports aside, Kenyan men are as skeptical as they come. They liken the possibility of finding a good Kenyan woman to searching for a pin lost in a field of napier grass. They claim the good women are few and far between, and it would take real work to unearth them. Most men interviewed by Saturday Magazine claimed that they have difficulties finding a woman to meet their emotional needs, share their successes and frustrations, and settle down and have children with. Most men fault habits like nagging, not stroking his ego regularly or fulfilling his sexual needs, not cooking, ironing, and neglecting to take care of him. These they say, are the magical ingredients that are found only in few Kenyan women. The scepticism surrounding the character of Kenyan women is summed up in this quote from a man who shared his despair with the Saturday Magazine: "To find a good woman in Kenya, you will have to go to the remotest part of this country where values are still upheld. I think it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a man to catch a good woman in a place like Nairobi and other big towns," says Evans, a 28-year-old businessman. Such men claim that the only solution is to cross the border. Our East African sisters from Tanzania and Uganda have been floated as suitable alternatives for men who want a woman who they will proud to be with. However, only few men will ever get a woman from without, so are majority of Kenyan men resigned to their fate of life with Kenyan women? We spoke to a few men who told us their thoughts on this. John Chege is surprised by the suggestion that good women are in abundant supply. "Anyone with a good woman must be a lucky man,' he shares. He is quick to admit that he is not absolutely perfect himself, but says that Kenyan women need to slow down in their quest for rich men. As far as he is concerned, though, searching for an elusive good woman would be too much work. "Even if you go to the grassroots, you are not guaranteed of finding that good woman," he says. His solution is to pick any woman and make a good woman out of her. "All women are the same. When you decide to settle down take the one you find and mould her the way you want her to be. Maybe she will change," he explains. While John seemed resigned to his fate, Micheal, 26, looked to Europe for a good woman. He singles out feministic tendencies among Kenyan as the reason why he settled for a foreign woman. "As a woman there is a way you treat a man that makes him feel special. Unlike many Kenyan women I have met, my girlfriend knows how to make you feel like a man. She is not demeaning and is respectful," he says. "The problem with the typical Kenyan woman is that she is extremely feministic. A woman will tell you how her husband will know that she also works and that she is tired (when she gets home), yet all we want as men is for her to be in charge of the upkeep and running of the home. She does not have to do it herself, but she should make sure that the home runs well," he says. But beneath the scepticism, the men admit that there are good women out there; it's just that they are hard to find. William Bilimo, 25, is still sampling from a pool of women in the hope that a grain of good wheat will rise above the sea of chaff. "I have dated quite a number of women but I have not met good ones yet. Most of the women we have today are not faithful. They cannot stick to one partner anymore," he says. William says he would not want to be in a situation where he is at work worrying about the kind of mischief his partner has up her sleeve. He insists that for him, a good woman has to prove her trustworthiness. "I will know I have found a good woman when I find one who is faithful and trustworthy. I believe these women are out there but I do not know where to find them. Where can you find a good woman?" he poses. Evans is also one of the cynical Kenyan men. But he reckons that good women are probably found in larger proportions in remote areas. "The bigger the town, the smaller the population of good women. If you are looking for one, go to the grassroots," he says. Clement, a businessman says he is lucky to have nailed a good woman. "I could not have asked for a better woman. My girlfriend is caring and she is able to adapt to different situation as they arise," he says. Clement adds that a good woman minds her language and dressing. "A woman who dresses and speaks like a tramp is a no-no. Look at the women on the streets today; they are dressed as if they are advertising their body parts. The best woman is stylish but decent," he asserts. Clement believes that the few existing good women come from conservative families, and attended single-sex boarding schools. Any woman outside of these confines would not meet his definition of a good woman. He explains that such women would have been too exposed to a wild and unrestrained lifestyle. There were times when men who were searching for a good woman to settle down with would seek their match in church. However Danson, a 21-year-old university student says that you are not guaranteed to find one there. "Nowadays even the ‘bad' girls go to church to hunt for men, so the ones you find there may turn out to be worse than those you would find outside," he says. Danson, who is in a relationship with a college student, gave up on finding a good woman on campus. "A good woman on campus – that would be a rare find! You would have to work to your bone to get her." For Danson, apart from the usual loving, caring and faithful qualities, he can tell a good woman apart from her respect towards him – quality which he says is hard to come by. While most men are cynical about the availability of good women in Kenya, they concur that they still exist. Steve, a 30-year-old banker, believes that there are more good women than men care to notice. "If you want a good woman look around you – they are all over and you can meet them anywhere: in a pub or club, on the street and in church," he asserts. Steve says that meeting new people through networking can help one find a good woman. "You never know where you might meet a good woman. But you have to interact with people first and judge for yourself whether a certain woman is good for you," Steve says. So you be the judge: are there good women out there? Daily Nation:*- Saturday Magazine*|Where are all the good women?