Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Jean Gasho: Do you realize you are in an abusive marriage in Ghana? Come home!

13 Oct 2019 at 23:23hrs | Views
Late yesterday evening I got WhatsApp from a friend who lives in Belgium. She had an article to share with me. This time around it was article from Jean Gasho extracted from her blog? I got another one today from a friend in Zimbabwe sending an article again written by Jean Gasho. I am writing this just to comment on the two articles from Jean and never a reply directly to her as writer of the blog! I thought I needed to air my views regarding this issue of polygamy in our cultures. It is indeed compelling as a woman and a feminist to say I was really dismayed about this exaltation of polygamy by a woman supposedly well educated living in the second millennium; she cites the biblical stories to justify her polygamous life she is now subjected to in Ghana.

All along I was a passionate reader of Jean Gasho's most positive and interesting articles. She has this eloquent writing: only a gifted person can match her. I could relate to her abuse and what she had to cope with her first husband, a Zimbabwean man. Much to my disappointment today, I painfully realized (just by reading her two articles) that Jean is in an abusive relationship with Ghanaian man: again. Having survived an abusive relationship with a Zimbabwean man, she landed in yet another abusive hubby, worse than the previous one: if all that I read about her articles was correct, indeed Jean is an abused woman by all account: judgement as it may sound. To exalt what she is going through in a polygamous relationship is to cover up the horror she is going through: to be married to a man with three wives and to use the bible verses to justify it, smacks of deceit of the highest order in light of a world that is especially in an increasing level of modernization and globalization running at an exponential speed.

I am commenting on these two articles from Jean because I know that our growing-up girls will read Jean Gasho's bloc: who knows they will take what Jean wrote about polygamy cold turkey; my fear. Our family support structures have broken down because of many reasons, social, political economic; we name it. Girls and young growing-up women now inform themselves when they read newspapers, books, blogs, radio, television, articles on social medians. Today, our societies have no aunties: babakazi/tete, grandmothers and relatives who will inform them about the realities of life as wives-to-be anymore: the invention of the smart-phones has made everything easier for all to access knowledge out there: good and bad information.

Today, early in the morning I was busy on internet: I was trying to find just one piece of information that justifies and exalts polygamy in global societies. There are well researched journals and articles written by scholars, ethnologists, educationists, psychologist, politicians, sociologists and teachers who most of them lamented about the lives of women in polygamous relationships. About 850 societies practise polygamy world-wide. Most scholars concur that woman in polygamous relationships experience extreme psychological symptoms more than women in monogamous relationships. Polygamy causes untold psychological difficulties for both wives and children creating unnecessary competitive atmosphere in a family. There are constant stress levels, disappointments, sense of betrayal and despair, higher incidences marital conflicts, marital distress, and chronic unhappiness. Polygamy undermines the woman's dignity and always it has to do with the lower status of the woman in the marriage relationship. The lower self-image of themselves drives them to accept this arrangement as standard and tradition to adhere to.  

A scholarly research article from Al-Krenawi concluded in his article that women in polygamous marriages are less happy, have lower self-image of themselves, they feel greater loneliness and are subject to constant stress situations. Scholar Musawenkosi and his researchers characterise the practice of polygamy as a practice associated with patriarchal social systems well-known in most African countries including South Africa and Ghana. Their findings verifiably state that women in polygamous marriages generally experience varying degrees of emotional difficulties such as anger, emptiness and feeling of neglect and are at risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. Further he says, in such polygamous setups there is always gender-power differences and always women have lesser power, they suffer from sexual emotional and psychological abuse.

Most researchers' finding showed that women's lack of education and lack of economic empowerment play a predominant role in such marriages. Very few women accept such polygamous relationships if their educational status was higher and were economically independent.   

All evidence show that most polygamous relationships have overstretched economic base rendering the position of the woman socially, economically and psychologically vulnerable. It is always the same scenario everywhere: Men will think of getting yet another woman because they feel they need a younger woman to satisfy their ever demanding sexual needs. Men feel entitled or it is a social construction around the assumption that men's biological makeups determine greater sexual needs that requires them to have several female partners to satisfy those sexual satisfactions. In all the journals I managed to get, I did not get one article of scholarly nature that exalted polygamy except comments from twisted men who are themselves misogynists and hard core patriarchs who adore polygamy because it suits the men's nature to have several female relationships preferably younger women and girls.

Let me come back to our sister Jean Gasho whose hypothesis we have to contend with. She writes, she did not see any problem in her husband getting another wife who is supposed to yet fulfil chores relating to her “Man's empire.” To me this sounds like a woman without feelings, no genuine human feelings: at best a neutron. Jean's acceptance of a third wife in her relationship is more biblical than reality. It removes all that is female in her. Is it not in the bible where we are told Mary the mother of God got pregnant by the Holy Spirit? As people living in the second Millennium, is it possible biologically for Maria the mother of Jesus to conceive without a male sperm? But again in the same bible we told that God is a jealous God!! Jean does not show this simple natural phenomenon: Jealous in her article.

Notwithstanding the havoc that Christianity has done to our societies in Africa. In Africa, our understanding of the bible is so blissful to the point of madness. Even the Europeans, the people who brought the bible to Africa are questioning some unscientific bible verses and passages that do not make sense in the increasing level of modernization and of course scientific enlightenment and advancement of the second Millennium. Curiously the African population is consuming the bible without questioning the logical series and sequences pertaining to some nonsensical histories of 2 thousand years ago. Talk of fanatics when it comes to Christian religion in Africa! At every second street a black person is praying to Jesus Christ's God's son: not their own religion but foreign ones that came to Africa packaged with colonialism.

Does Jean Gasho have her own personal resources in Ghana or is the man the absolute provider in the home? The answer is YES. Does Jean Gasho have an independent mind in terms of personal resources and self empowerment? According to her articles, she still needs to find sweet answers to a failing marriage with a Ghanaian man having failed in the first marriage with a Zimbabwean one. It is inconceivable and incomprehensible to understand thought processes in those articles written by Jean Gasho. According to me, those women without education can accommodate a threesome marriage relationship: Jean is educated!!! It is an uneducated woman without resources who can cope with a polygamous setup. It is a woman with a low self-esteem who can allow herself to be treated in this manner by a man who calls the shots because he has the resources, the money: Apparently, Jean does not have resources, she will need to settle with downright liars and deceit: the man needs to expand his empire with three wives: Jean blissfully agrees to this downright deceit. She will be awarded with a golden crown. It is all written in the bible!!! My foot!!! I am sure Jean is not inviting us unmarried women to admire this threesome marriage relationship by choice.

I would advise Jean Gasho to come back home as soon as she can. Failing in marriage is not a big thing nowadays or even a disgrace. Even if you fail three times, your parents and relatives will accept you back home. Dear sister, the worst is to come before you realize it: with that polygamous man, you are alone there in West Africa, far away from home. Do not create a Coocoock land, a false marriage you imagine in your Walt Disney dreams of Alice in wonderland. Men are the same, be it in Zimbabwe, Berlin or Ghana. I have lived here in Germany for 42 years. I have never met one German angel of a man like your husband you try to portray to all of us including your former husband, the Zim man. Your Ghanaian husband is the best you say; only now, I personally do not buy it for once.
Source - Nomazulu Thata
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.