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Thru depression into gratitude: my journey

(This entry was written a few days ago but due to certain challenges beyond my control, I could only post it late)

Fighting depression is difficult. Many a time you look to ppl who you love n who love you back to reach out to but they are not available. The devastation can be lethal n it often is. Depression isn’t really timed to come up when it is convenient. It just hits you and one minute you were this happy person looking forward to doing the next thing n the very next second you’re this weepy, teary person who can’t find anything worth holding on to. 

It is a mental battle, whose gravity I’m beginning to appreciate. Sometimes there are triggers so if you are aware of them, you steer clear but often times, it’s subconscious…. your mind is battling issues, blowing them out of proportion or telling you that you can’t resolve whatever issues, or convincing you that you are indeed alone, unwanted, unloved, worthless etc. You might have the most supportive of family/ friends/ partner/ colleagues but all those pale into the shadows of this strong mental battle that rages silently in your head. We live in this world where we got lots of struggles and are pressure to deliver, to keep time, to meet deadlines etc, and we often push these ahead of people. We often forget that we’re in this hustle for others (be it to provide certain things- a financially stable life for family; products and services for bosses; salaries for employees; clean and safe home for family; gifts for friends etc). In our bid to meet these targets n deadlines, we push away n ignore the very ppl we are doing this for.

I was moved to write this after reading Max Soutter ‘s Facebook post (When you’re late for a meeting and your son is finishing his “I love you, dad, drawing for you n it’s important to him that he gives it to you) Many a time, we’re caught in these scenarios- two equally important things need our attention. One of these things is important to you (the meeting, in this case) and the other is important to someone else (the drawing, in this case.) When was the last time you made someone who’s important to you KNOW and FEEL that they are important to you? When did you last pay attention to those who are important to you? Do you even know who is important to you? How do you show/ tell them?

It is often difficult for someone to reach out and tell you that they wd want your attention. Trust me, the feeling of guilt is huge. They already know that you have many demands on your time and attention as it is. Picture this- you have a deadline that’s already running late and you’re working from home. You’ve got kids and your spouse who also require your attention. You also have family n friends who know that you’ve clocked off n therefore assume that it is time to catch up etc. This deadline is a  make or break for the company/organisation and must be met. (I’m already feeling pressured by this scenario I’m creating as it is) Now, if your partner or relative wd want just a few minutes to offload/vent or to sound out something/seek your confirmation on something, they already know how under pressure they are (or they might not) 

How you handle their reaching out to you for your attention becomes critical. Most of us tend to speak from a position of pressure- irritated/angry. The tone and/ choice of words often speaks more to your spouse than what you’re actually saying. Of course, they shd know better than to try n reach out to you than when you’re under such pressure. BUT that doesn’t make snapping or ignoring them the right way of handling the situation. Maybe they have been struggling for weeks now to tell you that they are being retrenched and today was the day they finally gathered the courage to tell you because tomorrow you’d hv gone on to make that booking to some holiday that you’ll no longer be able to afford. Maybe today was the day they wanted to tell you that they have been struggling to tell you that they were diagnosed with some terminal illness three months back n time is running out on their life. Maybe today wd be the day they finally gathered the courage to tell you that your parent/sibling has been keeping away from you some devastating news. Maybe just maybe today wd be the day they WD open up about how they think that they are useless/worthless/problematic and it’s better off they die.

I don’t know what today cd mean for them or for you. But for me, as finally the words n encouragement I’ve been receiving from my dear friend n family behind to sink in, today means I take stock of what’s important in my life. I take stock of who’s important to me. I am important to me. I need me at my best before i can be of any hello to anyone else. Only when I’m in a better mental space can i make sure that I can love my family and friends and reach out to them, listen to them when they want my time and attention. After today, I can reaffirm them of my love for them. I am deliberately setting aside time to focus on PPL because I realise that it is ppl who have helped me stay sane,  who have held my hand when i had given up, who carried me when i didn’t see the need to walk on, who listened when I was overwhelmed by stress, grief and pain, it is ppl who validated me when I felt worthless, unloved and unwanted. It is ppl who have reminded me that being loved isn’t only about the feel good time but it is about the willingness to get into the mud of despair, hurt, pain, grief etc and do what it takes to bring me out. It is ppl who have prayed for me, shared scripture with me, encouraged me with songs, words and offered their ears n shoulders. 

It is a difficult getting out of bed on some days. It has been difficult to eat even. It had been much easier to sleep and cry and complain n feel rejected, unwanted and unloved. It has been much easier to listen to the voice in my head telling me that I’m worthless. It has been much easier to pretend to hear what my friends n family have been saying about loving me, appreciating me, than it has to silence n drown that voice that speaks of darkness n worthlessness. 

I am a fighter and have this sunny disposition but there are demons I battle every once in a while. They are dark and powerful and I don’t take them for granted cz they can easily overpower me. I’m learning to reach out to friends n family when they come but it’s not easy. (I don’t want to hear the  disappointmentt n shock at how someone like me can be so despairing of life. I don’t want to hear the  judgement in those holy ones who see me as being blasphemous when I question my faith or God. I don’t want to take precious time away from my family n friends cz they have more than enough on their plate already- I don’t wanna be selfish. I fear that what I’m falling to cope with is going to be trivialised and ridiculed….. the reasons are many) 

Today, I am grateful for my very life. It might not be where I want it to be but its definitely not that bad. I might not be the person I thought I’d be by now, but I’ve surely come from far from where I started. I might not have what I wanted to have had by now but I surely have learnt a lot of lessons, achieved more than I can count or be grateful for, I have a whole lot more storms I’ve survived, there are more scars that show me that I’ve overcome that I’m stronger today than I was yesterday. I can accept this self comfort knowing that the clouds are blowing away and tomorrow I look forward to smiling for a longer time and crying for a lesser time. I might even dance but above all, I’m actually looking forward to a tomorrow! 

(The album Open Heaven by Hillsong is on repeat and has helped me to smile. Kari Jobe’s Holy Spirit helped me to recenter myself when the tears would not stop. Somehow, my friends, family n prayer circle have kept watering my faith thru this difficult time. I’m grateful)

Of today’s “fast” young girls: #BIAAGZIM

I come from a society that believes in punishment rather than rehabilitation, a society that believes in reactionary methods of dealing with challenges rather than trying to prevent them, a society that is more in denial than accepts reality, and in so doing, would learn how to deal with them. And that is just the shame of it. Child marriage is sadly a scourge and the fight to end it has got to be very deep and, like a boil, it must be painfully ‘squeezed out from the root’. In a society where women are commodities to be owned, girls tend to be the ‘highest prized” of these commodities meant to help “turn around” the economic woes of families. Families sell their girl children, be it to be (cheap) labour or into marriage- to men who violate these young innocents’ childhood.  The Customary Marriages Act which looks at all customary marriages in the country does not even have an age limit as to what age people can get married, so a lot of young girls are married off under “customary marriages” and the law cannot do anything to punish those who abuse young girls in such scenarios.

It is fair and fine to look at marriage within the customary settings but I want to particularly look at child marriages in the modern set up where school going girls are impregnated by one person or the other and are forced out of school and sent packing into marriages they did not want or even think about. Child marriage, also known as early marriage, can be defined as “Any marriage carried out below the age of 18 years, before the girl is physically, physiologically, and psychologically ready to shoulder the responsibilities of marriage and childbearing.” I have followed a lot of debates on how “fast” or kuda zvinhu our young girls have become. I get it that we are a prude and uptight society that frowns upon sexual intercourse by women. I get it BUT…how then do we help these young in-school girls, at the peak of raging hormones and are that age where experimenting and exploration is rivalled by that of babies? Young people are having sex and my society had better accept this fact and deal with it. I am one of those who applauds the minister who wants condoms in schools as well as applaud those teens at the recent nude party who were  found in possession of condoms. That means that these kids are better prepared to engage in safer sex than be at the risk of such dangers as teenage pregnancy, which I view to be one of the number one reasons for child marriage.

I want to pose a series of questions:

If a baby loves the flickering of flames, do we leave that baby to play with it or we remove it from harm’s way? Do we punish a baby for their being attracted to flames? How come we child-proof homes why can we not ‘adult-proof’ our teens? Sex and pregnancy is meant for adults yet we do not talk to our teens about it but somehow expect them to just not indulge. We have a society that believes that whole grown men, heads of homes and even leaders in various circles, are incapable of controlling their sexual urges, how then do we expect these young people to be able to do what adults fail and are expected to fail to do? And when these kids fail and fall pregnant we punish them by sending them into an institution that accounts for more abuses of women than any. We send them to start a rite of passage that only a mature, informed and consenting adult should be willingly entering. I am particularly looking at those child marriages which take place because a school going girl has come home late or she has fallen pregnant and must “go kwaakapihwa nhumbu yake” (she must go to whoever made her pregnant)

People can get emotional all they want but a child who, despite acting all grown up and doing grown up business, has no business being thrust into a space that she is most likely to be abused repeatedly. This young girl-woman needs to be in school where an education can help her secure a better future for her. She needs the support of her family during this bewildering period in her life and not left in the hands of a man who most probably does not want anything to do with her or the baby she is now carrying. Sending her into marriage at such an early age and given the likely scenario she will face, IS punishing her, and punishing her terribly, if I may be so candid. Marriage should be a joy and not something that is founded on “mistakes”, fear and constant reminders that one is being punished and is unwanted.

Given that sex has taken place between a child-woman and (usually) an adult, why does my society see it fit that a few dollars, cows and some clothes and groceries are given in exchange for the entire future of this child? How much is a woman’s future worth anyway? Seems it carries a small price tag whichever way we look at it. Let us all remember that before we condemn this “wayward” child, for she still is a child, she is at the mercy of her hormones and we need to guide her through this difficult time of her life. I would dare challenge parents to take up the parenting mantle and equip their young girls with all the information they would need to get through this period in a manner that will allow them to avoid the pitfalls of teenage pregnancy and teenage sex. Marrying her off is not a solution and should not even be contemplated. Let us talk WITH our children about sexual intercourse so that they are better informed and ready to face or avoid it.

#BIAAGZIM

The ideal woman

So a joke was shared in one of these group in which I find myself and it went something like this:

“Your boyfriend shows up at your place and you are down to your last dollar which you were going to use to buy relish to cook sadza with. You then opt to buy him a soft drink and some biscuits and you then pour some water into a bottle of sprite and drink this. Halfway down his bottle, he asks that you swop because he loves Sprite. What do you do?” I will not share some of the answers that were shared in that group but it’s suffice to say that they resulted in me taking this issue to a broader audience: my blog.

This may be funny, or even the responses but I see a lot of sadness. I see a lot of pretense that a lot of women are engaging in and it just breaks my heart. I heard of how young women would be willing to deceive the guy just so he does not realise that she is facing hard times. Some of the responses were so violent that had it not been social media and had been a social event,  I am almost sure that a physical fight or at least a screaming match of some sort would have erupted. It is sad. I mean, why go to all the lengths to hide from  boyfriend that things are not well? What is the matter if he was to eat sadza with just vegetables on the day? Why not even ask him to help you sort out supper? I mean, I would ask that of my dude if he came and I was in that situation. I mean, we would (and do) have an honest relationship that has that kind of honesty, maybe that is why I make that declaration.

this t an ideal woman looks like...legs, boobs n ass. KKKK (smithfamilycolorado.com)

this t an ideal woman looks like…legs, boobs n ass. KKKK (smithfamilycolorado.com)

 

If a woman/ girl goes out her way to hide this and put up such a front, I wonder what else she is hiding. Anyway, the discussion soon turned to issues that touch my heart…women and their self-identity. It got me thinking just how women are under pressure to present this “ideal woman” whom none of us actually knows what she is like or how she even looks like. No wonder people be bleaching their skins rotten, because to them, the ideal woman is a “yellow bone”. No wonder some women are battling bulimia and anorexia because they want to look “sexy”…I am not yet convinced that “sexy” is a dress size. No wonder some are insecure and go snooping into phones trying to find out just who their man is chatting with. No wonder some women, scratch that, no wonder I, ME, used to ask my then boyfriend WHY he was with me! Sad. The truth is that I (and many other women) did not think that we were (are) good enough for this man who I was with (some still think that they are not good enough.) I know one too many women who are trying so hard to be superwoman…being super mom, super wife, super daughter in law, super employee…and I  wonder ho wit is all supposed to balance out…Seems every other woman I know is or has battled trying to aim to be this woman, this paragon of virtue, the virtuous woman aka the Proverbs 31 woman. Lord help us, she has to be the innocent, the virgin yet also be the sex goddess whose sexual prowess puts  a sex worker to shame…how she is supposed to be able to be this, I have no idea…but the pressure is still there.

 

she shall be called WOMAN and not anything else that is descriptive (gopixpic.com)

she shall be called WOMAN and not anything else that is descriptive (gopixpic.com)

 

I really think that my mind is insane to question the demons that hound my fellows but it does. I am not even apologetic because I finally discovered what and who this ideal woman is…move over Angelina and your full lips, move over all you Indian women with your long and silky hair, move over your Swedes with your unending limbs….models, move the bloody hell over with your size zero bodies..I have finally found her.

 

Yes! After many dismal failures, I have found her!  (sparkpeople.com)

Yes! After many dismal failures, I have found her!
(sparkpeople.com)

 

The ideal woman is the one staring back in the mirror when I look into it. She is that woman who stares back in the mirror when the next lady steps in front of the mirror, too. Yes, the ideal woman is YOU! Your personality is what is ideal. Your body, your race, your hair, your attitude to life is what raises this woman to shine gloriously when you do YOU!

yes, this very short me is the ideal woman that is me!

yes, this very short me is the ideal woman who is me!

I take my bra off (and it is not a big size, mind you. lol) to every ideal woman staring back in the mirror.

 

I seriously take off my bra to you  (buzzfeed)

I seriously take off my bra to you
(buzzfeed)

Of Advice: Is this REALLY what we tell each other?

In a society where we face problems and tricky situations, advice columns have become a popular way to seek help. The power of tetes (aunts) is dwindling and fast dying out. I recently came across a link to a story that disturbed me so much. I initially ignored it until I decided to read the story and to say that I was horrified, is an understatement. I was not horrified AT the advice given, no, somehow that is ”the normal” kind of advice you hear being shared among women…at least ‘publicly’   anyway. I was horrified by WHO gave the advice! I mean, we live in a society in which any wrong that could go wrong can pretty much be explained away to be the responsibility of the woman. Let me use the issue I address in the video…adultery, or should I say the more appropriate name? CHEATING/ INFIDELITY. A quick look at the comments posted by readers on this article prove my point:

(from zimdaily) Mai Chisamba who runs an Agony Aunt column in a national newspaper

(from zimdaily)
Mai Chisamba who runs an Agony Aunt column in a national newspaper

the husband probably saw Sisi doing a good job of looking after him…

Jacob in response to Mother Teresa …Make it a rule that the maid does not enter the main bedroom , the wife shud make sure it’s cleaned by her and not the maid . When u leave for work lock it . Make sure u prepare food for ur husband and u bring it to him . Underwear shud not be washed by the maid…

paonei….Please ladies serve your husbands whenever possible…

….Do not antagonize your husband but continue loving him you will see what happens

….. Am a man and out of the thousands of men that I know, 99% have at one point cheated but their marriges are still intact and happy although they have not been caught by their wives. Men cant just stop cheating but they dont have to be caught mai Chisamba probably knows this and in most cases there is no justifiable reason for the cheating

This is a sad and pathetic situation where we do not want to uphold men to the same standards to which women are held. How do we create really happy homes where both parties are responsible for the functioning of a union? A situation where both men and women are held accountable for their actions and are held liable for deviating from an agreed upon path.

someone listen to this man...this is the truth (image from quotessays.com)

someone listen to this man…this is the truth
(image from quotessays.com)

My bone of contention lies with advice dishers who turn a blind eye at the obvious wrong committed by a party. In this case, Mai Chisamba does not acknowledge that this husband CHOSE to have sex with the maid. I mean, it was not like he suddenly had a d&*ck stand and the maid was naked, legs wide open on the floor or bed or wherever it was, and the dude slipped and immediately ejaculated into this ‘adulterous’ woman. No!! The husband chose to deceive his wife, lie that he was “going to have drinks with friends” meanwhile he would drive a little distance and do a double back and sneak into the cottage of this woman and have “the drinks of lust” with her. I want to question the state of mind of this man just so we help each other see the levels of deception this man went to in order to have fun with another woman.

(from quotes-lover.com) and most men cheat because they know that they will not be held accountable

(from quotes-lover.com)
and most men cheat because they know that they will not be held accountable

1. It takes planning to think up an activity that the wife would accept…enter drinks with friends

2. It takes planning to drive out of the house, get into the car and drive off a little distance, park the car and walk back to his house BUT use a side entrance into the house help’s cottage

3. It takes numbing one’s mind to carry a raging (or even a weak) erection for another woman whilst in the yard of one’s house. (I do not know if he had raging ones or he had weak ones, but both are possibilities)

4. It takes numbing of one’s mind to have sex (I’m imagining this other woman faking the pleasure by making sexual moans and groans to massage the man’s ego…before you shoot me down, it has been proven that most women exaggerate the moans in order to massage the man’s ego. Thanks to porn movies for raising the “pleasure” bar for us. LOL)

(from facebook.com) she gonn abe screaming and moaning all this and he forgets that he has a wife just a few meters away? Oh pu-liz!

(from facebook.com)
she gonn abe screaming and moaning all this and he forgets that he has a wife just a few meters away? Oh pu-liz!

5. Before we even get t the moans and the calling out of this man’s totem in “pleasure” (imagine that she is panting ‘iii, Chirandu kani, maihwee Moyo…) someone tell me that at NO POINT did this guy even THINK of his wife as he entered the cottage, as he checked quickly to make sure that his wife had not somehow visited the maid as soon as he had driven off, as he saw his fellow partaker of the forbidden pleasures, as he undressed her, as she ‘screamed’ out his name in ‘pleasure’ and as he probably covered her mouth with his hand to cut off the sounds, they could even have played music or something to muffle the sounds…who knows..they could also have done it in total silence, maybe ZESA was not there on several occasions…who knows…in all this

(from .newgrounds.com) this man had to sneak back into the cottage, right?

(from .newgrounds.com)
this man had to sneak back into the cottage, right?

Someone tell me that his lust was so much that he could not think and became a zombie..but how did he walk out of the house (probably hiding his erection from the wife) and drive and then…end up home again claiming that the guys were well? (If at all the wife asked him?) Tell me that this man was just so blinded by this seductive siren, who happens to be a maid, that he could not even think of his wife? Ah no ways, this woman (the Mrs) ought to deal with the real issue here, her husband. If she takes this other woman to court, as advised, to sue for adultery..what if, upon getting to court, this Mrs discovers that her husband had actually married this other woman? Anything can happen with this kind of deceptive man. If this woman, is already suicidal because she discovered the pregnancy, what will she be IF it tuns out that the woman she thought was her maid in in fact, her co-wife? hmmm!

I do not think that this woman should have been advised to deal with the next woman. Evidently,her own husband (as personal as it can get there…) decided to ignore whatever vows he made to his wife, before God and men when he indulged in this affair. He is not a helpless child at all in this matter. This woman needs to address the issue, with her husband. The problem is with him. All along, she wrote, she “had been happily married” so she was living in some bliss that was probably cloaked in denial. The signs were there and she chose to ignore them. That is a sad reality. What does a marriage retreat help in this case? There is a baby on the way and its mother is a woman this wife does not consider worthy of opening her legs to her husband…a maid..she keeps calling her. I find that this is something that this Mrs will not get over easily, so, best thing, she should not be made to feel bad should she consider leaving. This could be an issue that she might keep bringing up in future arguments..damaging any ‘progress’ they might have made as a couple. Let us be real and admit that being cheated on is damaging to one’s ego and self esteem. It is even made worse when the woman/ person who was a part of it is someone we deem to be ‘beneath us’

The advise given rests on too many assumptions: that this Mrs will want to stay with this man. 2. that the husband wants to go to court and try and prove paternity to a child he probably knows is his. 3. it is assumed that this Mrs is in a rational state of mind to even contemplate that she is being selfish…maybe it is time that someone advised her to be selfish…she could have been so selfless all along and maybe , just maybe, she needs to think about herself. Oh well, if we are going to quote the Bible, can we at least use it to help someone get to a better space and not use it to confine them in an unfair situation and position? This is one of the reasons why people then say that religion is used to oppress women.

I’m just saying….

who knows gif

Of Bans after licensing and Carnival invites (Not for the prudes)

So it has seemed that Bev Sibanda’s semi-nude pictures have caused quite the sensation on the net. All sorts of moral judgement and “righteous anger” is being directed at this lovely woman who is being branded “Magaya’s problem child” and is purported to be possessed by ”seven-fold demon” and needs “to return to the PHD Ministries church.” ayaas! All good and dandy and I am sure someone is expecting God to pat them on their back and say, “Well done” Sadly, that is not gonna happen.

 

on our streets? and Bev is the eissue?

on our streets? and Bev is the eissue?

 

What is left to the imagination? and Bev who danced at a private party, indoors  for a No.U21 audience is an issue? Grow up, Zimbos

What is left to the imagination? and Bev who danced at a private party, indoors for a No.U21 audience is an issue? Grow up, Zimbos

First and foremost, Bev is a pole dancer…if we cannot call her a bottle dancer …and there is NOTHING “decent” about either of the two. That is also why she ‘dances’ in bars and nightclubs were children and unwilling partakers of this kind of entertainment are not found. herein is my first issue with the organisers of the carnival: How DARE they display for all and sundry to see, view and oogle at the “sacred nature” that men have been enjoying in the privacy of the bars? Bev was to remain a nightclub bottle dancer who was to never be found doing her thang out in public! Now I am even contemplating giving her some wide competition by aiming to sit upon a wider necked bottle than she currently does!! Dafuq! None of this was to have happened had they kept her routine and her wiggly behind out of public eye.

 

Now I wanna fly to Ivory Coast and other African and Afro-Carribean countries and learn me some bobarabakuitata (this gets a tad bit explicit, do not foolow this link if you are averse to some Bev display of the female lower bit of the anatomy) tchoumakaya and some Mapouka but then again there is the Rhumba which we all dance to seriously! And whilst we are on the subject of Rhumba, did you all know that this dance has roots in an Afro-Carribean dance whose name “secousse”  means “to shake”? There is also the gouye which is basically fast forward “sele”, the El Mapale from the Afro-Carribea (although these guys could be mistaken to be Zimbabwean, they shake a bit faster at some point, if you are Shona you will identify which dances are familiar here.) Now that we have seen just how PERVETED African dances really are, do we still want to call out the culture card? The Dinhe tutorial here is quite ‘perverted” if I may say so, myself.. what is all that boob and pelvic action?

 

As for the Jerusarema dance, there really was great reason for the prude missionaries to ban that scandalous dance. How DARE people mimic sexual intercourse and call it a dance? Dafuq! Anyone still scrambling to call for us to return to our culture? Of all our dances, maybe the Ngororombe would be the only safe and clean cultural one- no wiggling of bums and the females seem to be blushing virgins as they dance it. LMAO Back to this carnival and these semi-nude images of our bottle-shoving cum bottling f&*ing sensation. So, a whole minister of Tourism and the organising committee decided to include Bev to the line-up, marketing her as some of our cultural heritage. All great and yummy with some marshmallow. Did they honestly expect her to preach and prophesy at this cuntival…oops, I mean carnival? Yeah, we all know that she had been to the much hyped about church but we also know that Bev had returned to the bottle, so to speak. This was no secret so I am seriously wondering WHY and HOW people will only be raising a stink AFTER the cuntival. It was well advertised that Bev would be a part of the line up, so why did no one raise their voice and scream bloody murder as soon as the first advert ran on the national broadcaster? Interestingly, if Bev was said to be semi-nude then what would we say of the Brazilians? They were near nude! Take a look at these and then compare with our Bev,damn, she is made an angel. Image

 

She even rocked up fully dressed for the carnival daylight parade and she even stopped dancing when people would mob her! (and I just had to forget where I spotted pics of her in some metallic silver catsuit of some sorts. Damn! ) Now, from WHERE  is the hatred coming? I even hear that they want to revoke her licence? What kin of confusion is that? We just had her raking in cash for the nation (through shaking her Zimassets now they want to ban her? This is confusion in the highest order. Let her dance so long as she dances in designated and welcoming areas. Her popularity is beyond a shadow of doubt, thankfully no one is yet thinking of having her go to BBA. *yikes! Perish that thought.)

 

I will leave you with these words from the man himself, minister of Tourism:

 

“Carnivals have a poetic licence or special dispensation to do things in a way that may be ordinarily viewed as irregular….If we are going to succeed with future carnival editions in Zimbabwe, we have to develop a higher degree of tolerance for other people’s cultures, otherwise the international endorsement that we seek from other countries for our events and destination will elude us….Every year, we watch the Rio Carnival on our TVs and not on a single day have our critics come out. (Evidently, these have not been shown on national broadcaster, or have they?)…Does wearing a pair of trousers, mini skirt and other skimpy outfits by our beautiful women constitute Zimbabwean culture? Nhembe, migwada, mhapa and shashiko certainly do…Let us not arrogate to ourselves the higher moral ground, which we actually don’t occupy or pontificate on issues we actually don’t comprehend. (Ihemeni minister iroro…sorry, can’t translate)…(he went on to point out what counted, for him) – the pursuit of happiness and enhancing the well being of our people away from their recurrent challenges of unemployment, cash shortages and deprivation. (I just have no idea how happy e can be given all that we face, as he rightly puts it…but then again, tourism is about happiness, I guess he is following the mandate of his portfolio, so sue him! Ah!) The article is available here.

 

More pictures for your viewing (dis)pleasure:

 

 

 

 

Please note that this was at night!!

Please note that this was at night!!

Is this not what we see at shows? (I am yet to attend any where women dressed as above are seen)

Is this not what we see at shows? (I am yet to attend any where women dressed as above are seen)

 

 

need I say more, this is not for the prude

need I say more, this is not for the prude…if THIS pic made it to the net, what really transpired at that lounge, that night?

#VAW: the different faces and corners of violence around us

We do not want to admit that the issue of violence is more than just beating up women and children; it is more than raping and sexually abusing them. It goes deeper than psychologically damaging them. We need to begin to look at the real face of violence- society. You and I. It is high time we admit that our society has a skewed look towards violence itself. When a man beats up his spouse, we tend to endorse it as ‘discipline’ and immediately ask what had caused him to beat her up. In other words, we try to justify the beatings. When a woman beats up her spouse, we tend to see the man as emasculated. In other words, we take back the violent act and align it back into male territory.

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when men and women get physical in their misunderstandings, most people tend to look on and instead, encourage the ‘teaching of a lesson’ on the wrong party, especially of it is the woman.
Image courtesy of Zimbabwenewsonline

Society also helps in the breeding of conducive grounds for violence. We frown upon divorce and disintegrating marriages so much that we inadvertently force couples to stay within relationships that no longer work for them. We frown upon people who co-habit such that they do not feel they have any right to report any abuse being perpetrated upon their bodies. We are so quick to judge others harshly but expect everyone to understand us when we wrong others. We have a warped sense of moral fibre that condones the rape and abuse of ‘prostitutes’ and yet we forget that the moment there is a transaction around sex, it becomes a commercial activity warranting to be termed ‘prostitution’- the buying and selling of sexual intercourse using whatever currency. We also have this idea of what a rapist and sexual abuser looks like such that we deny it when our husbands, fathers, uncles, teachers, nephews, sons and brothers stand accused of such acts. Such is our sense of family that we strive to protect it at all costs, including denying our daughters and womenfolk the right to seek legal justice when they are violated. ‘Shhh,’ we tell them, ‘he did not mean it’.

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Is violence really a solution to domestic problems?
(image courtesy of BulawayoNews24)

‘’You are such a liar and a naughty one, you only want to cause trouble.”

“What were you doing in that kind of dressing/ at his house/ office/ at that time of the day/ night?”

 “If we report this, who will look after our family?”

“You are a young woman now, you are obviously having sex, you must have enjoyed it”

“He is your boyfriend/ husband/ husband to be he’ll pay damage when he comes to pay lobola, so don’t make a fuss about it”

“He is the pastor/ prophet/ reverend/priest/ elder/ deacon/ preacher, he is  a man of God and was helping you/ cleansing you, shh”

How can your own husband rape you when you are married to him and you even stay under the same roof and share the same bed? Shhh!!”

I could go on but I think that we have got the picture. There are all sorts of scenarios whereby rape and abuse of women is nullified and the woman is even attacked for daring to speak out. Many a woman will not even dare report that their husbands rape them (by the way, rape can be a once off event…when she agrees to have sex with him, it is for that occasion that she agrees to, any other time, he has to get her consent! That is the law, thankfully) Anyway, before I digress, we have such a warped sense of what marriages should be that we are willing to mourn at a funeral of a spouse who was murdered by their partner. (Please note that I said spouse because I am aware that men are not the only ones killing their wives but that there are some cases whereby wives have killed their husbands.) Our society would rather walk around and meet in churches and all the other social meeting places flaunting their marital status as if it were some high breed horse that has won all the major horse races and the Queen of England is now no longer speaking to Queen Margrethe because they both want that horse for the races.  Meanwhile, this so-called high breed racehorse on this winning streak is full of horse shit, literally, up its mouth because that is what it prefers to snack on to look so glossy and refined. Yes, that is what I will compare those men and women who opt to parade their fake (broken down) marriages in which they suffer untold of abuse simply because they do not want to be shunned by society should people know what is really going happening…they are great looking thorough-breds that are feasting on horse shit to look and maintain their winning streaks

It is not only in marriages and relationships that we see the abuse of women but within our very homes. How many Zimbabwean households have maids and gardeners who are under age and meant to be in school? That is abuse! Plain and simple. We want to cry out against China and the other eastern countries that use children in their manufacturing plants yet we are forgetting that we are equally guilty of doing the same in the very same households from which we chant and type away at online petitions against child labour. How many men have paid for sex with underage children off the streets? Ignorance is no bliss when it comes to law. That we have underage young girls on the streets soliciting for money through offering sexual favours is a huge problem as it is. They can look and sound ‘mature’ and ‘knowledgeable’ in the sexual intercourse department, hell, they can even say that they are old enough but the reality and the harsh truth is that; that is statutory rape! Can I ask again: who looks like a rapist? Ndiani akanyorwa pamhanza kuti ‘Ini ndinobata chibharo’? (Who has written across their forehead, ‘I am a rapist’?)

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This is a sad reality. we have it in such a manner that rapists do not even know that they are rapists!

It is even in those leafy suburbs where the ‘madam’ asks her relatives to get her ‘Musikana mudiki, asingazondinetse, wandinogona kuraira zvandinoda. Vakuru vanonetsa.’  (Get me a young girl whom I will be able to train how I want my household run. The older women are a problem.) Shame on us. It is from those ‘poorer’ households where amai nababa sit together and discuss sending their young girl to work so that she can supplement their income with her maid’s salary. From Chishawasha Hills to Domboramwari all the way across the country to corners such as Dete, koSkhobokhobo and in all levels of income and societal status, we have women abused in all manner of ways. People are outraged when ministers, members of Parliament and senior (read stupid) political and society figures are accused of sexual violence. Do we honestly think that when these people ascend societal and political ladders they leave their penises and sexual urges in our hands? Really? Let us be very real and begin to address abuse of women as it is, abuse. I am persuaded that had it been men who would be half as abused, we would not even be having campaigns, they would have nipped it in the bud. Look at what they do to women who are accused of crimes of sexual violence. They pull up the whole ‘you-are-supposed-to-be-a-mother-to-this-person-therefore-….’ Card. I would like to see society getting angry at men who let go of the paternal baton and bring in fear within society. I would like to see men and women holding the humane baton and beginning to treat each other with love and respect.

#VAW must end. Violence has no space in our society.

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Stop making excuse and play your part to end violence