The internet has today been awash with a theory of how cheating wives can alter the looks of children born of wedlock to resemble the mother -and not the sperm donor- using matchsticks.
“You take the particles of the matchsticks, let’s say three of them. You place at the circumference of the Statehouse (vagina) three hours before Mombasa Raha (sex). Then go for the hunting business. How does it work? The Kiberiti (matchbox) particles have sulphur that will alternate with the Y-Chromosome.
It neutralizes the sperm’s identity weakening the foetal resemblance of the father, resulting to much activeness of the mother’s gene. It also tampers with the DNA of the dad.
“Impossible,” says Dr Njoki Fernandes, a Nairobi-based Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. “There is no scientific logic in it.”
Speaking to TV47Digital, Dr Fernandes cautions that such adventures can lead to serious infection or burns on a woman’s private parts. “The looks of a child are genetic. It is not something you can alter using matchsticks. Tampering with DNA is not a simple science that involves kiberiti.”
Dr Fernandes equates this matchsticks theory with the 1980s notion on abortion. Then, an urban legend went that very strong black tea can induce an abortion. “Did it ever work?…No! People should be very careful not to experiment with these internet myths.”
While a child’s looks is inherited from the parents, Dr Fernandes says it may also be influenced by nature somewhat, in as far as the weather goes. “Children born in warmer climates tend to be more darker-skinned than those in cold environments.”
Infidelity, which the matchbox myth seeks to conceal, has become a major threat to stability of the marriage institution in Kenya. According to Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014, about one in every five men in Nairobi aged between 15 and 49 years routinely cheats on his sex partner.
Infidelity is also a leading cause of divorce. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics says that the the number of divorce cases in courts has risen from a percentage of 10.5 (among couples) in 2015 to 17.7 in 2020.
A 2020 study by a local university established that most divorces occur within the first 10 years of marriage. The survey sampled 1,200 Kenyans in all counties with the exception of Garissa.