28 September 2017
. . . Marriage not respected anymore
A man approaches a woman asking her to get into a relationship with him. She tells him she is married. She is even surprised he is asking because as far as she is concerned it is obvious to everyone that is in her circles that she is taken. After all; they even see each other’s spouses from time to time. The man knows she carries her husband’s name. So she asks the man what drug he is high on that has affected how he thinks. Her question to him is; ‘but don’t you know that I am someone’s wife?” For emphasis, I will put it in the language she uses which is Shona; ‘ko hamuzive kuti ndiri mukadzi wemunhu here?”
She is shocked at the response she gets.
The man obstinately looks into her eyes and asks her “ko pane mukadzi we mombe here?”
Loosely translated; this means; “Is there a wife of a cow? What this spells is that the man is very well aware that the woman is married but does not care about that fact. The man is actually saying he is aware of the woman’s marital status but that should not stop the two of them from entering into a relationship.
Welcome to Zimbabwe today; a time when everything seems to be going crazy. Forget about the married men who have for years been known to string along two or three women at the same time. Forget the ‘small house’ syndrome where here in Zimbabwe and across southern Africa; it had and has become almost expected and obvious that a man will have a wife and a permanent or long term girlfriend or mistress. In some cases, children are born out of these unions while the man is viewed as the father in both these homes. He can even pay lobola for the second or third woman and sleeps with all these women without protection.
This practice gave rise to the spread of HIV over the years and all sorts of campaigns were launched in a bid to encourage faithfulness and stop the practice of men sleeping with two or more people at the same time as this gave rise to the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs.) It also caused lots of strife in many homes. But men continued. The disaster arose when the women started cheating also with other men. All these people would end up sleeping together.
Enter a new set up now. The men have turned their interest on married women. Yes; it is almost becoming a fad. If you doubt it just look at the stories that H Metro is covering on a daily basis. Every day, someone’s wife is being caught out in some messy spot. Men are even fighting each other now as one alleges that the other would have stolen their wife.
So the men are no longer afraid of approaching other men’s wives. In fact they actually say the woman’s marriage is not a problem as it simply means both parties have something to protect. Hence, married man and married woman make the best bedmates because in such instances, the woman does not become too demanding as she is also at her home. She is low maintenance as her husband looks after her. With the traditional ‘small house’ scenario rentals would have to be paid or a house bought. In this instance, the other man’s wife is under the care of her husband hence she will not demand expensive or splashy things which her husband might protest to. Any child born will be given to the husband. She also will not be in any competition with the wife of her married lover.
All this is what men are going around saying to the married women. And like their senses have gone; women are swallowing this. In the end we see reports in H Metro where they end up splashed all over or where they lose their homes while the men who lure them into this remain at their homes. Women bear the brunt when these affairs go bad. The men walk away and claim the next victim. It is few cases where these affairs blossom into strong relations or marriages with the two parties coming out over their lie.
Yes, things happen. Affairs happen. But what does this signal about where we are as a people? What does this signal regarding our understanding of the risks we face and live with as men and women? Are condoms used when married lovers meet? If not, what does this mean to HIV prevention efforts?
Lets us just look at the spate of paternity tests that men have been demanding lately? Can we blame them when it seems it is now perfectly fine for a man to just ask another man’s wife out and the wives are actually agreeing? I have heard women saying they have been subjected to pain by men too many times in the past and are simply paying them back for the ill treatment of all these years. People have their reasons but all I seek to do today is to point at the risks of it all.
Apart from HIV and STIs, what about the danger of losing one’s marriage and family; society is nasty to women who are caught cheating on their husbands. It is not fair but it is all a result of patriarchy which has seemed to suggest that it is well and fine for men to sow their wild oats but not fine for women to do the same. Now we have men sowing their wild oats in other men’s fields. We have women taking their pleasures wherever they can. What has the world come to? What is happening to the marriage unit? I heard a radio programme on Star FM the other day where someone said; ‘the devil was fighting marriage.’
Shall we blame the devil for this?
Are we thinking of the new HIV infections that we are nursing with this behavior? I can only hope condoms are correctly and consistently being used in these affairs. But I still would like to know; what possesses a man to go after another man’s wife?
Ko kusatya kuurayiwa zvako?
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