Treat Her Right- Opinion From an African Woman

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They talk about her often, describing her effortless elegance, the way she glides instead of walking and the way she manages to get what she desires without so much as breaking out in a sweat. They dream about her most nights, visualizing the warm smile which lights up her face as it becomingly gives out love and care to all those it around her. They pray for her sometimes, begging the heavens to submit to their requests and grant them the favor of letting one of their own grace their simple lives. Yes they do think about her, talk about her, dream about her, pray for her and yearn for her-she is the epitome of womanhood the perfect woman but in most cases it ends there… in their minds, dreams, prayers and yearnings…

Sindiso lets out a big sigh as he drops on to the large queen bed in his master bedroom and for once in years he  allows his pent up rage to ooze out of him. Taking comfort from his solitude he lets the tears come gushing out of his eyes as he allows his thoughts to wander back to the small rural home he grew up in situated just five hours away from his luxurious city house. Regret, remorse and all feelings negative feel his heart as he once again sees the small hungry and emaciated faces of his younger siblings. How could he live in such comfort whilst those of his flesh and blood starved each day deprived of even the smallest of their needs? But really, believe it or not…there was nothing he could do… he was just a man and contrary to popular belief this man had no control of his purse strings whatsoever.

“Sindiso- don’t tell me you are still feeling sorry for those ragamuffins you left back in the village, ” The cold high pitched voice full of contempt cut through his thoughts startling him out of his reverie. ” Honestly Sindie, this can’t go on. A man like you can’t afford to waste his time thinking about such petty issues when he could be using his time and effort to do something more worthwhile like making money,” she sniggers contempt lacing her voice and giving her words sharp edges which cuts through his heart.

” But Naomi… ” he says softly, pleadingly trying for the umpteenth time to find that soft spot in her heart which is said to exist in the  hearts of women, ” Please my love, cant we just take them in? Mother is no longer able to work like she used to and those boys are now suffering from neglect- they need fees, clothes and stationery but most importantly they need food regularly and love my dear… they need me to- ”

“Stop right there Ndebele!” she rudely interrupts him, ” Contrary to what you may think and what your conniving mother might have led you to believe, they don’t need you, they really don’t. I’m the one who needs you. I married you for a reason and if I remember correctly you knew the reason and you agreed to it… I needed you to take care of ME and I still do. My parents expect to live a decent life and by decent I don’t mean substandard my dear, my whole family wants to be uplifted and I totally can’t afford to factor in your siblings into that budget at all,”

‘But baby…”

“No- this conversation is over. We discussed this before and we are not about to discuss it  again.”  With that she turns away and walks out of the room leaving her crestfallen husband looking at her retreating back in despair, wondering what to do to save himself and his family from this dilemma of a wife who wants only the best for her own and for her own alone…

Like most men Sindiso did pray for the nightingale, the Diana, the Theresa who would enter his life and be the balm that healed all his family’s ills and problems. Little did he know that by putting the ring on her finger he was courting disaster, inviting into his family eternal problems.  Well all men want her, the perfect woman, but very few get her. Why? Who knows… I don’t know… all I have too a re questions.

If she was brought up in a loving homestead in which she was given all the love that she needed when she was growing up, how then can she go to her marital home and preach the gospel of hatred? If she was allowed to have her say, given an equal opportunity to be heard, then how can she beat down those she finds in the next chapter? If she grew up knowing that she deserved love, care and protection, why then does she grow up into a hard woman, defensive and aggressive, a fighter who has to go and fight fight fight the in laws for the lions share of whatever she finds there. The answer is she cannot- realistically speaking fruits of negativity cannot be borne of seeds of positiveness .

Like Sophia in the color purple most women are born and find themselves in a world which is both hostile and antagonistic to their survival. They are regarded as second rate citizens of inferior worth to their male counterparts and theirs is a life of perpetual struggle. In most cases their struggle started off in the womb when their mothers had to devise ways to save them from the abortionists abattoir. Their natural bodily functions are regarded as unclean and taboo and they are subjected to shame for something which they cannot control. In most societies women are regarded as assets, easily disposable, to be battered and traded whenever the need arises. They are on the battlefield,under attack by all and sundry- their fathers, their brothers their ‘protectors’ and as a means of self preservation they become fighters.

They become fighters who will regard marriage as their saving grace, the means for becoming somebody and not nobody. To dominate and have a say and not be dominated, hence you will find that she will enter the homestead and immediately demand 51%. She will lie, connive, even steal in order to grab as much as she can and build for herself a sense of security. And then  one day… her husband will wake up one morning, take a look at the woman sleeping next to him and wonder how he ended up sleeping next to a stranger…

 

But she is she a stranger of her own making? No!… but one shaped and molded by the society, by the media, by her father and brother… by you and I…

Make the choice today, be a better brother, be a better husband, be a better father…. And break the cycle. Make her a complete, well balanced woman and not just a survivor or fighter.

BY TANYARADZWA VANADIS17 MASAIRE

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