10 August 2017
I came across something that caught my eye recently on one of the social media platforms. Someone posted a question and the question attracted a heated discussion, which I have decided to bring onto the platform.
“People in Harare are all sleeping with each other!!” That was the statement and of course being a Harare citizen myself, I was drawn to it and so were many other residents and citizens of this our capital.
As I looked at the question; I could not help but quickly think of some of the headlines I have seen in the H Metro over the course of the year. I am sure I am not the only one who has seen some of the stories that have made big headlines in the H-Metro, mostly of illicit relations between men and women; who in most cases are actually tied to someone else. Married men and women are caught cheating left, right and centre and we have had our fair share of scandals where some of the parties get violent on each other and others actually divorce, leaving their children and homes broken. We have seen our fair share of leaked chats between men and women; some of which show that one man or woman would be having relations with as many as four or five partners at the same time. Even religious leaders have not been left out as they have had their fair share of the drama too.
Hence the lady who posed the question on social media certainly had a point did she not? She was just talking about how everyone seems to be sleeping with this person who also happens to be sleeping with the other. And after people began to comment on the question posed; even more issues began to come out.
Apparently there are circles where it is worse than others. In the circles where the rich and famous of Harare move around it emerged that many men will go after the same women while the beautiful and polished women of these networks also go after the very same men. In most cases condoms are not used as children are even born in some instances. What seems to be the driving factor is issues of wealth. In these so called ‘big circles,’ the moneyed men can sleep with women in the same circles who actually may know about it. So it is not big deal that this man is now to be with so and so as others will still vie for his affections. Thus; in that network a man could literally go through or go around a whole network of females and there would be no problem. Bag chete.
While the sexual networks also exist within those who are not moneyed or popular; I was fascinated by the discussions on social media about the moneyed in that they revealed a pattern of blessers in Harare who go around blessing with their money and other assets and they get any woman of their choice; even when it is known they are also with yet another woman.
Terms like; ‘vasikana vemuHarare,” and varume vemuHarare are also popular on social media while wars between wives and the women who may be in relationships with married men also erupt with one party calling the other names and vice versa. My point with this piece is not to label anyone but to highlight the obvious issues that these issues bring out. The women fight it out over the men while HIV awaits or watches.
It is a fact that sexual networks are back and they are back with a bang. It is a fact that the HIV response may soon face challenges due to the upsurge in the number of sexual networks. The economic situation we find ourselves in as a country does not help matters for it has put a lot of young women and some women in a situation where decisions are made on a hungry stomach. How many times has the H Metro covered stories where wives are caught cheating and will always say that it is because their husbands have failed to provide for their families.
While some things cannot justify the end; but it is a reality that a mother with starving children and children whose school fees are not paid; is always thinking of those children first; before even herself.
Young women who find themselves stuck at college without food or other basics may very well end up tolerating what they would never tolerate in an ideal world. The blessers who are suddenly becoming all powerful men who can literally sleep with everyone they pick on; would not get a second chance in a world where women do not have to sell themselves to get by. I am not talking today of those who do these things out of free choice. I am talking of the many; who are making choices to keep a job, to get a job, to get an internship position or something else. I am talking of those who; despite knowing the risks find that they have no option and just jump in anyhow.
Sexual networks fuel the spread of HIV. Sexual networks place those involved at risk for they end up sleeping with everyone within that network. While some of these people engaging in sexual networks know they are HIV positive already (why else would one be so careless) the victims are those who know nothing but just want to get some buck out of it. HIV is real. HIV is for life. Let us think about that Harare before we join in these networks. How do we get pleasure from sleeping with everyone else surely? Especially knowing the reality? Have we forgotten already? Share your thoughts.