Kenyan man says church, friends abused him after divorce, launches men’s grooming program: ‘Never judge’
- Anthony Hutia divorced years ago and received no support from the church or his friends
- The backlash made him feel isolated and like he had leprosy and he decided to start an organization that will care for divorced men after divorce.
- So far, he has helped 100 men and a similar number of men navigate troubled waters and rebuild their lives.
Like anyone else getting married, Anthony Mungai aka Hutia never thought his first marriage would end in divorce.
Eventually he was divorced and the ensuing backlash from his church and friends led him to start the organization Divorce Care.
He spoke to TUKO.co.ke on his experience:
TUKO.co.ke: Please tell us about yourself.
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I was born on October 19, 1974 at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi. I am currently crossing the crisis between Nairobi and Kajiado County.
Anthony: Tell us about your family life
I am the first of 4 siblings; I have two sisters and a brother. My father, 74 years old, is still alive and my mother also at 70 years old.
We lived in Eastleigh until we were nine, then moved to Jericho when I was ten. So I lived in the Ghetto all my life.
Tell us about your job
I grew up loving theater, so I started doing plays at the national theater (one of the best plays I did was, Pambazuka Africa in the 90s.)
My next step was to go to Gikomba where I was sold, among other ladies’ homewear (small coats, etc.)
After that, I went into publishing, where I made some sales, before joining the world of technology and computing.
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I have worked for companies like Kencell, Celtel, Zain, Popote Wireless, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, and my last stint was at Microsoft – Africa providing educational solutions and devices.
Currently, I run an ICT consultancy firm in the areas of education and business, a mentoring program for men and boys, a hotel complex in Kajiadoand actively parent.
Tell us about your nuclear life (married or single)
I am divorced and remarried. I am the father of 4 children, a 17 year old daughter, a 14 year old son, a 12 year old daughter and an eight year old son.
Why did you decide to create the Divorce Care Team?
I started dealing with divorce after going through a divorce and getting remarried. The bad treatment I received from church and so-called friends made me want to help anyone else going through a divorce going through the same thing.
The experience was so bad that I vowed to help others have an easier time than me.
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I came to understand that God gave me the experience not for myself but for the benefit of others; so that he can use me as an instrument, a conduit for his purpose.
Divorce has been seen as a disease, leprosy in fact, that you always have to stay outside the “temple” doors and people don’t want to be associated with you or interact with you. They think divorce is contagious. My goal became to give hope to the hopeless and the helpless.
When did you start the initiative?
I’ve been doing it since 2019.
How many members do you have?
We have different people joining at different times. I also work with other animators.
What have been some of his milestones so far
Over the past three years, we have supported almost 100 men and 100 women. I have met many people and helped them in their lives, seeing them evolve and come out of the murky mud. People have rebuilt their lives.
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We have an average of 3 courses (14 weeks each) per year.
I learned throughout the process to never judge, however, to love everyone with the love of Christ.
Over the years I have also learned to look at people through the eyes of Christ and not be a Pharisee, judging others from my point of strength (purity).
What are some of the challenges encountered?
Some churches do not accept divorce as a part of life and therefore do not really support its adherence.
Pastors are expelled from churches because they are getting divorced, while members are excommunicated because they are going through the season.
Most people also don’t know how to handle the monster called divorce.
What happens when members come together for a session?
We have part of the session where we watch a video on the topic of the day. We also have connections created by Divorcecare.org.
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There are also physical meetings and the team also participates in “meats” where they have wrap-up sessions.
How can we join?
They can contact me through my email [email protected] and we also send different posters and advertisements over time.
How often do you meet?
We meet three times a year, weekly, on weekends, and also on weekdays depending on the team members
Where do you meet?
We have online and physical meetings.
Do you have anything to pay?
We have an administration fee of around Ksh 14,000.
Is age a factor?
It is not so much that the person is going through a separation or a divorce.
What are your personal opinions on
It is not compulsory to be married and it is not a rite of passage. Marriage is a choice that we make and whose consequences we assume.
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It’s a good thing when someone is trained and prepared for it. The roles of men and women in the 21st century must be understood.
It’s not a curse or a disease and it’s totally forgivable. We just need people to demystify divorce and also to know that it’s possible, so we need training on how to mitigate that. There is hope and life after divorce.
Do you have any closing remarks?
People going through divorce and separation should reach out and get help. There is help now.
Men, in particular, don’t go out for help and research has shown that in three women seek help. only one will reach out.
Everyone needs help and especially the men, they are the ones who go out to remarry when they have not received any help so they spoil the new relationships and the cycle continues.
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In other news, a heartbroken married man identified as Miles Montego has announced via Twitter that he will be divorcing his wife after their marriage failed.
Miles’ post drew mixed reactions online and, shockingly, a number of men revealed they had recently divorced their wives and others were planning to do so as soon as possible.
Reacting to Miles’ message, a lady said: ‘Me too, I’m still scared of the wedding to this day…mine was August 12, 2015’
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