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Is Dr Masimba Mavaza a bag of contradictions?

05 Jun 2021 at 17:48hrs | Views
It is not easy to describe Dr. Masimba Mavaza with a single sentence. He is not complex; he makes it abundantly clear where his political allegiance lies. It is easy to throw him in a Zanu PF bag and label him a Zanurite, Zanu known as a party with chauvinistic/ misogynistic outfit since its inception. In retrospect, there is another side of Masimba Mavaza that is impressive to some of us who are gender activists. It is hard, not possible to ignore Dr. Mavaza's input regarding gender issues bedevilling societies at home and in the Diaspora. I really admired his articles he wrote today regarding femicide on Zimbabweans in the UK. Those who want to follow it, here: "Harrowing murders by Zimbabweans in the UK" in Bulawayo24.

His today's work is professionally researched and factual, non-emotion and to the point. It is not his first article; he has penned gender-based information related to gender mayhem in the Queens land- the UK before. Zimbabwean families in the UK are evidently struggling to exist and be part of a system nowhere resembling home. Wheels are invented every day to be the best of everything: the best marriage, the best children, the best car, the best home, the best beer parties, the best dress code. It goes on, the show and showcasing about who is better is a chain without end.

Inadvertently Zimbabweans bring with them values embedded in them: the concept of family and the importance of marriage are implicit virtues we grew up cherishing. However, in the UK there are challenges culminating from work-ethics. Demands for both partners to work are compellingly high, appearing as if there is some competition between husband and wife. Mavaza is right and to the point when he says Zimbabwean marriage homes have become the most dangerous places in the UK as most marriages experience domestic violence daily. The pattern of femicide is the same: it is when a woman decides to leave her husband and to cope on her own as the better option than maintaining a failing marriage.

Mavaza is again to the point; murders or femicide stems from masculine possessiveness and sexual jealous resulting in uncontrolled anger in most cases and gruesome murders using a knife to kill a once beloved wife and mother of his children. It did not mean that these men are drug addicts: not at all, such murders are carefully planned. Men cannot cope a life alone without a wife: so in their idle and shallow-mindedness, death becomes "mayenzanise" They are mistaking the "till death do us part" meaning to kill his wife and he commits suicide.

Dr. Mavaza argues that the families in the UK have no cultural guidance and for this reason, domestic violence and danger in partnerships and marriages are the result. However, I doubt this, femicide in homeland Zimbabwe is directly proportional to deaths in the UK. How many women are murdered daily with the same gruesome methods? Reading in the social media it is painful to note the high number of deaths both in urban and rural settings. Femicide in Zimbabwe has become a normality. Situations whereby communities gather together to watch violence as entertainment are common. You are right Mr. Mavaza when you say England does not change people; instead, we bring with us the culture of violence that is internalized in us and has become part of us.

Again women are burdened with family virtues: marriage is absolute to some of us. The price women pay in maintaining a failing marriage institution that does not serve her personally is known and is maintained as the noblest virtue and she hopes further to be emulated by other women. The culture of silence plays a big part too. "don't talk about your family problems in the public" is the culture we were taught from childhood; a dangerous culture because it leads to femicide in most cases.

At times, when a woman realizes violent attribute of her husband, she tolerates it as a virtue. In our culture it is a trophy to pass a domestic violent marriage. You will be the envy of other women in the same position; this is dangerous: envying a marriage shrouded in domestic violence is unimaginable by common sense and nonsense, hence they get murdered when they try to quit marriage because in most situations it is already late. To sit on a spike should never be envied: Women in similar situations should be assisted and advised to quit danger of domestic violence at its early stages.

Again Dr. Mavaza, our women have virtuously internalized pain: We hear these women complaining about domestic violence in their marriages and we are left wondering if her complaints are a show or genuine. They give us impressions that it is better to complain about domestic violence than to quit marriage and be called single woman. This makes us to think that some women curiously contribute to their suffering in marriages. The information we get is inadequate and misleading leaving us unable to assist or advise properly. Again our married womenfolk do not accept advice from spinsters because they think we cannot advise, or we are jealous of their marriages: a double bind.

Women more than men are victims of our culture values that we take with us to the Queen's land: the UK. Women should remove the pressure of showcasing in their lives and learn to appreciate themselves as persons first. Not all men are violent: that is a fact. Take time to know the man you are co-habiting with before you jump into marriage: it is much better than showcasing a wedding glamor that will result in femicide.

Competition in everything in the UK is highly pitched: Women should start to live within one's means, is a second step in removing unnecessary pressure to show off to the Zimbabwean community how high you live your life and the high quality of food and dress: the house you live in; the car you drive, this much unending show in the lives of Zimbabweans in the UK.

Coming back to your topic Dr. Mavaza, women can cope with life after a divorce much better than men; most men know this. Men, after a divorce are insecure: killing of spouses come in when a man realizes his insecurity in a country like UK, he will not take it: Divorce exposes his inadequacies and he becomes vulnerable: in a nutshell, if he cannot cope, they stoop from ten to zero, philosophically.

On the other hand, women do not stoop to ground zero but to level one going up. Femicide comes in because men know that his wife's life will be better off if she divorced. This show of ultimate power: masculine, male-chauvinistic, and misogynistic comes to play. I doubt if I could have said this better than you Dr. Mavaza.

Churches are not helping because they are in business of making money. They want to connect mostly with women/men with money and never the poor cousins. It is sad to note that people do not see through these church-prophets of our times and their love of money. However, this should be the story for another day.

Dear Mavaza, salute for your article that is educative at home, in the UK, and everywhere. A male voice that is gender-sensitive is a game changer. Your voice has more impact on the male-dominated population like Zimbabwe. Men will embrace themes on gender balance, gender-sensitivity, gender-parity better when there is a man-voice on our side, fighting for gender rights together with women activists.

I cannot thank you more. I thought it was compelling to give credit to where it is due. This time around you were spot-on. The fight, the commitment to free the last colony of Africa is noble, a fight that must be fought by men too. We will develop exponentially if women are free from men-domination, patriarchal dominance, and men-chauvinism. Thank you Dr. Masimba Mavaza.

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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