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Dr. Masimba Mavaza, please do not excite!

09 Oct 2020 at 20:57hrs | Views
Nomazulu Thata
I have hardly recovered from the last article you wrote on Bulawayo24: an article that sees female gender as unreasonable and out of sic with African traditions and culture. Here we go again today: "Men in Diaspora scared of dating women at home." You excite me once more, it may be inadvertent, to ignite gender issues with disparaging interpretations.  Again I take it that you were not intentionally provoking the topic to get response from us. How many times have we written about men in Zimbabwe who are desperate to get a woman in the Diaspora because those are perceived to be resourceful than our women counterparts at home?

How many men in Zimbabwe are desperate for a Diaspora woman to fleece them of their hard-won resources? I nearly became a victim of such dear Mavaza. I knew a man who was supposed to be a Christian, supposed to be some professor at one of the best universities in Zimbabwe, was begging for money the week I was introduced to him by a friend. I did not even know the man personally: according to him it did not matter really because what he wanted was money, in retrospect. Carefully, he asked how much do teachers in Germany get? I told him; the next question was "send me 200 to 300 Euros every month;" because he gets peanuts to what a secondary school teacher gets here in the Diaspora. He never asked for it, but he demanded it from me to send him money to top up his merger salary from Nust university.

I thought he was making a practical joke: the second shock came straight on without a warning: He wanted to come to Germany for Christmas. I sat down and calculated the amount of money I needed to cough out to a man I did not know. It was his ticket that would have costed 2000 Euros: the insurance costs so that he can get a visa to enter Germany; 5000 Euros. His daily upkeep direct from my pocket and the touristic were some of my expenses. In Germany, to use the toilet for a pee, if you are not at home, costs one Euro, exactly 100 cents: no free toilet. How many times is he going to seek a toilet on touristic journeys in German towns and cities. I calculated a sum of about 11 thousand Euros to spend on a man I did not know but was introduced to me by a friend. He was hell bent to come. Talk about Alice in wonderland! Anywhere, I did not even have money to spend let alone on strangers and cold callers.

A man who begs money from a woman he does not know and never seen but was match made should never be taken as a serious contender because he is a gold digger. I ruled him off the first week we started communicating, but he kept on insisting, he could not let go, he had found a German gold mine and was keen to make it work. Then suddenly, he demanded that I come home to Bulawayo and visit him. I do not understand the thought processes, the mentality of a Ndebele man. Ngixolelani ngemibuzo sengingoba bengingekho. It could be that I never grew up in this region to know them better. Is it even possible to leave home, my comfortable home here in Germany and start life with a stranger: a man I have never seen: Zimbabwe is a country I left in 1974 for Zambia, I barely know it, if at all, very academic.

His desperation was felt in his communication vividly. He would ask to be phoned because he did not have money to do so. I would have interpreted this statement as if he meant that it is my duty to chase after him: he is a catch to jealously go for it: a university Professor: an Adventist as such. After six months of communication, I decided to phone him at his home one day and to my surprised, he had a woman staying with him. He was not single; but I was told he had divorced by the matchmaker. He was at pains to explain to me that he was indeed staying with his sister-in-law: some arrangement! But he will tell her to leave him, he does not love her. I was supposed and was expected to understand this without scrutiny; take this, he is the man, so his explanations are to be taken as so.

This man was privy of my single motherhood status, we are called Mvhana, the desperados in our societies. A woman who gets a child out of wedlock is a sinner and we are labelled Mvhana, body shaming name. However, I was given a tacit assurance by this man that just by marrying him, I will be cleansed of this "dirty etiquette" Mvhana, be counted among the married women of high integrity in Bulawayo, the City of Queens and Kings. Here a married woman carries with her a marriage status symbol to the envy of those who are unmarried: Hence they wear their engagement and wedding rings mostly as a show.

However, I did not take this deceit kindly. I tried to tell him to apologize to his sister-in-law for me phoning their home, disturbing their peace and togetherness, whatever they may have been doing that moment, I really disturbed. It was not necessary to apologise because she was leaving home the day I shall arrive in Bulawayo, he said: He had arranged it as such. It was obvious that this professor has no idea about the woman she was dealing with from the word go. I, an activist, a feminist, an author, wool-gathering! I rest my case.

Coming back to Dr. Mavaza's today article, wholly intended to excite me, I really got excited. I want to let you know that it is not the women who are gold diggers, this applies to men too and we have evidence of this in numbers. Remember too that this is not the only man who tried to come and see me here in Germany, several of them, some of them married people who always think its fun to go for a weekend to Germany and get free boarding, free food, and "entertainments." Whatever that means; sure you know. They forget one thing though; we were left to fend for ourselves when the fathers of our children absconded. We are careful never to be cheated twice in our lives. Mvhana like us can smell a deceitful man thousands of miles across oceans.

"If you get a girlfriend in Zimbabwe, you automatically owe her. Her first request is money for business, money for rent, money for a hairdo. Love is defined by how much you can pay. You date a Zimbabwean girl, all her problems automatically become yours." You wrote. I can say the same for a man in Zimbabwe who, calculative, will chase those who are Mvhana to support them, must compliment their merger salaries. Your article is wholly biased to the women in Zimbabwe. Please let us say both: men and women in Zimbabwe realize that it is better to have a sidekick in the Diaspora to finance one or two things he can never manage with his slender salary.  
Dear Mavaza, please allow me to finish up my story. I quarrelled with the professor bitterly and I was insulted with unprintable words when he realized that I was not forthcoming with his demands. "After two weeks of knowing each other, the girl rolled out a list of demands, starting from hairdos to monies for a 'start', meaning capital for a business. She went further to ask for rent, a new laptop, new phone, and a holiday. The list was frightening. My nephew faded away in the hustle of Leicester and promised never to date a woman from home," said Nyashanu. Close your quote; dear Mavaza.

This man or professor I am talking about asked me how much money I made in Tanzania during my business transactions in Dar-es-Salam. But he knew, I told him that in Tanzania is where the father of my son lives. He decided to overlook those facts, it is more the money he wanted, not that I was going to meet my ex- and have a good time rekindling reproduction days of my previous relationship with him.  

"There is now a group of men who say in no uncertain terms, that they're never getting married to Zimbabwean women. They scare you away. They are after money or see you as a ticket to fly abroad. "Men are tired," Peter Mate said. Close your quote dear Mavaza. We Mvhana dzeku Diaspora will never settle for less. We are very alert, we are suspicious of any man especially from home who wants a relationship with us Mvhana, why me if there are millions of them young women in Zimbabwe who are marriageable?  

An Adventist man who wants a relationship with a Catholic woman is not serious but a gold digger. A man who is not capable of looking after himself, sinks low to beg for money openly are a waste of time to pour in our hard-won resources. Miriam Makeba's lyrics illuminate of "boys without those cows" you will get hungry; these is not thick milk (amasi) at home to fill the stomach. We have decided to age gracefully as single women, a fate we have gracefully embraced. Nothing shocks us at our age, we have seen it just name it.

However Dr. Mavaza, just like in your previous articles, my story has many holes, it left out a lot of information to my favour. Frankly speaking, I went on with the relationship, pretended I was interested in him! I did not tell you that I dangled thousands of US dollars to purchase a farmhouse near Bulawayo where I will have lived with him happy ever after. That was not fair, at best cruel to promise a hungry man so much in an economy like Zimbabwe. For argument sake, how do you embark on thousands US dollar investment in Zimbabwe at my age, resources for my son were going to be enjoyed by a stranger. Again when I realized that this professor was in for financial advantage, I decided to go for wool-gathering, and I got it. That was good material for a feminist, an author of books. It was to me a given opportunity to know more about Nguni men: chauvinistic, misogynistic, still dwelling in the hey days of Lobengula kingdom where they were Princes: I learnt first-hand, within nine months of serious communication about a Ndebele man of Nguni royal background. Indeed vana va Mambo Varanda kumwe.

We write these articles so that our daughters and granddaughters and of course the coming generations have something to read and learn from it. We do not write them for fun. This is truly activism to benefit generations to come.

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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