The Politics of African Wives and Husbands: Lessons from a Zimbabwean neighbour


In predominantly androcentric Africa (Uganda not a necessarily an exception here) one’s ability to manage the affairs of their home is a sought after skill.

Depending on where one was raised- that is if they were lucky because many just grow up and there is a world of difference between the two, managing home affairs can actually be correctly read as managing the wife.

In such communities or should we say a world view, man being managed by a woman comes as failed man which is seen as very derogatory and shameful in these by large sections of communities.

Such communities see a man helping his wife as weak with failed home management skills. So when Grace Mugabe was rumoured to have slapped her husband it is easy to see what the manner of conversation was in many a male dominated space.

Many men who see themselves as having achieved the ultimate desire of the African male world- that is managing their woman or women- given they are largely polygamous thought of Mugabe as weak and many could even have asked themselves and others the very simple question; how does that even happen?

They should have asked the world view’s logical question: how do things get to be that bad? How does one sink so low or lose so much control that the unthinkable happens right before not just their eyes but the eyes of another?

The epitome of all this was that Mugabe seemed to have done nothing and little or nothing in the form of punishments or reproach was ever seen in regard the highly disrespectful grace Mugabe.

The presuppositions of all these questions is that it is Mugabe that failed, they who think know what goes on in their backyard are registering great successes that they are happy to use as an example in the reproach of one they have non-kind words for and choose to blame for his embarrassment.

When Zebedayo Sekitoleko (name used for literally purposes) found out that his wife had built a 3-bedroom house at the home of her parents, he and his friends were left in shock no wonder its easy to see why he was hospitalized because of the shock. His friends asked him how he could have missed all the signs that something was happening.

Sekitoleko who along the entire way was sure he knew all his wife’s movements was left asking what did he miss yet he was in charge of his Mrs or at least he thought he was…

But he kept blaming Zefaniya Senkatuka whose wife flew to the US leaving not even a courteous note that she had left, he only learned she was not coming back and had left from a well wisher…Then.Sekitoleko had asked Senkatuka the common questions: how do you fail to manage the affairs of your wife to such an extent…He went on to argue that what had befallen his mate could not happen to him swearing over his dead body.

Well, what these lessons teach one is that it may not be entirely true that men can claim to completely understand men. (men used here to mean humanity).

As a theologian and critical thinker I am sure that humans have the ability of hiding the very thoughts and desires of their hearts while showing those they interact with what they think these need to see for the good of the intention of the former and regret of the later.

In my opinion this is why those who think that they understand men and continue to argue that what befell neighbor cannot befall them are just peddling ignorance of men’s hearts and should do better learning from Salongo Mubarak, Mzee, Kezekia Ghadafi, and lately Kizito Kulazikulabe Mugabe


By Samson Kasumba

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