THIS world is full of strange happenings and it never ceases to amaze me. The media are awash with bizarre stories from different parts of the world. Though some of them are natural events, the bulk of people venture into these bizarre acts in order for them to beat the world record and have their names entered into The Guinness Book of Records.
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records (and in previous U.S editions as The Guinness Book of World Records), is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.
On 4 May 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Breweries, went on a shooting party in the North Slob, by the River Slaney in County Wexford, Ireland. He became involved in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, the koshin golden plover or the grouse. That evening at Castlebridge House he realised that it was impossible to confirm in reference books whether or not the golden plover was Europe's fastest game bird.
Beaver knew that there must be numerous other questions debated nightly in pubs in Britain and Ireland, but there was no book with which to settle arguments about records. He realised then that a book supplying the answers to this sort of question might prove popular.
Beaver’s idea became reality when Guinness employee Christopher Chataway recommended student twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, who had been running a fact-finding agency in London. The brothers were commissioned to compile what became The Guinness Book of Records in August 1954. One thousand copies were printed and given away.
After founding the Guinness Book of Records at 107 Fleet Street, the first 197-page edition was bound on 27 August 1955 and went to the top of the British bestseller lists by Christmas. "It was a marketing give away - it wasn't supposed to be a money maker," said Beaver. The following year it was launched in the US, and it sold 70,000 copies. This led to the present day Guinness Book of Records that has seen many people going out of their way to have their names and achievements included in the publication.
Many people have embarked in many strange adventures and one of them is a Chinese man, Gao Yang, 37, who claims he can sleep on a rope tied between two trees. He is hoping to get into the Guinness Books of Records.
Gao, of Anshan, northeastern China's Liaoning Province, says it took him nearly a quarter of a century to master the skill but he can now sleep on the rope for seven hours and he practices on a 10ft high rope in his local park every morning.
He said " I met a master when I was 12, and he taught me some tips. It took me nearly 24 years to acquire the skill. It's nearly impossible for ordinary people to do this. It needs the perfect coordination of body muscles and balancing skills. I am finally ready to contact Guinness in the coming days and am confident of being able to set a world record."
Such is life for some people but for a Kenyan man, he might have his name written in the Guinness Book of Records after doing what many people find extraordinary. What is interesting, however, is the fact that, he didn't do it with the aim of setting a world record, no, his aim was to save his marriage.
It is a norm throughout the world that different societies have different ways, norms and values when it comes to families. There are certain things a married man or woman is supposed to do or observe once they enter into a marriage.
Marriages and families have had unwritten rules or constitutions they follow, from time immemorial. Once a woman is married, she knows (through the help of aunties and other family members) the dos and don'ts of a marriage. How to treat her husband, what kind of food to prepare how to take care of children and the list is endless. And, this also applies to men.
There has never been a time in life when families are bound by a document none other than a marriage certificate. So this Kenyan man scored a first (by borrowing a leaf from his country where the president recently signed a new constitution) by writing a ten-paged family constitution.
According to him, he did it to save his marriage and family from collapsing as they always fought with his wife over certain issues. The first problem to rock their marriage was religion. The wife attended church on Saturday while the husband on Sunday and when the husband tried to convert his wife into a Sunday worshiper, all hell broke loose. The woman stated categorically that it was a non starter. This ruined their marriage and led to many other conflicts until the wife abandoned the family home and went back to her family.
It is during this period that the man sat down and started drafting a constitution, outlining everything, everyone within the family is supposed to do, conduct themselves and so on. He spent two months drafting the document and after he finished it, he went after his wife, who agreed to come back home.
He then introduced the document to the wife, who read it, put her inputs and views. On controversial statements, they discussed and reached a compromise. One of the amendments to the constitution was that the wife stated categorically that the man was not supposed to have any extramarital affair and worse still marry a second wife. The unmoved wife, upon being interviewed by journalists, said that she was trying to protect her interests by making sure that she doesn't share her husband with other women.
After ironing out their differences, they both signed the document and the man promised to take it to his lawyers for authentication. The couple claimed that after the signing of the document, they have been living happily and peacefully because each and everyone within the family knows his or her expectations.
Though this sounds strange, it has helped to save the couple's marriage. Can this be a solution to the institution of marriage that is under threat from extinction as divorces are unbelievably high. This cancer (divorce) has been ravaging many families in this country and children are always the ones to suffer the consequences. Can this, be a solution or it will exacerbate the problem? This, dear reader, I leave it to you to decide, but what is of concern is that, there is need for reduction when it comes to high number divorces to save marriages and save children from suffering due to a failed marriages. God bless you.