Home » General » What Our Behaviour Says About Us [column]

I have been following the Macheso family saga keenly.

I refer to it as the Macheso family saga because this is exactly what it is a private family dispute that should have never sucked so many people in.

Imagine hundreds of people thronging the courts to witness a private family matter unfold.

When a man and his wife have a tiff they should be able to resolve it without bringing everyone else into it, surely.

But this is what the Machesos did they brought Zimbabwe into their affairs.

Note again that I refer to them as the Machesos because that is what they became from the time the sungura musician formalised his union to Fortune Tafadzwa Mapako, through paying lobola.

In our culture that is the real deal as far as marriage is concerned. Everything else can follow but if that part has not been taken care of, then there is no marriage as far as a woman’s parents and indeed the man’s family are concerned.

That is why some solemnise marriages much later on at times when children are already in the picture.

It does not matter that there is Nyadzisai.

Macheso and Nyadzisai were in a customary union which allows for more than one wife.

I suppose it was quite deliberate of him (Macheso) not to certify the marriage with his first wife.

He knew that he wanted more wives.

Facts around us show that many men who are legally married also enter into customary unions with second or third wives.

The wives, instead of dealing with their wayward husbands, usually start fighting the other woman, leaving the men to continue accumulating even more wives.

Polygamy is not a new phenomenon in Zimbabwe.

It has been in existence for many years.

This is a fact even though some of us do not like it.

The thought of sharing a husband is one that many of us dislike.

Knowing that you are sharing a husband with another woman makes it worse.

My paternal grandmother was the second in a union of three wives to my grandfather.

Thank goodness my father never followed my grandfather’s footsteps. What I know from having seen my grandfather’s situation is that peace and polygamy do not c0-exist.

My grandfather built homesteads for each of his three wives and set them up very well.

They each had children — averaging five — but the politics at play as we grew up, to this day, amaze me.

I know my fair share of what polygamy entails.

The point I am trying to drive home is that despite the teachings of Christianity (that most Zimbabweans follow) which say one wife for one husband, and the fact that most men and women say they don’t support it, polygamy exists.

Macheso is one of the few that did it openly and he failed to manage it.

Unlike my grandfather and many others of his generation, today’s men do not do it as openly as Macheso.

These second or third homes exist and in many cases, lobola has been paid.

But the men involved act as if they do not as much look at anybody except their wives.

Today I am not writing to attack those who enter into these unions. These people are adults who make their own choices.

What I found a bit unfair was that Macheso decided to take his private family issues into the public domain riding on public sympathy and support, which he did not deserve for a decision he made on his own, or rather together with his second wife Mapako.

I also found it crazy that Mapako decided to do the same by spilling the beans on domestic matters.

By marrying Macheso, she was aware of the decision she was making, but for her to ridicule her man like that was astounding.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned for sure.

I doubt if Nyadzisai was even consulted when he decided to court and eventually marry Tafadzwa.

As I said earlier, this issue does not concern her.

I was shocked to see her at court daily.

But I suppose her scorn was now being allowed to show.

She was never okay with it.

No one ever is.

Nobody can willingly share someone they love.

Circumstances just dictate compromises at times.

Tafadzwa wanted Macheso, thus she pretended to be fine with sharing him with the one who got him first. Nyadzisai wanted him too, after all she had him first.

This is why she pretended to be fine with sharing him with the ‘mafikizolo’. That is fair and fine. They made choices

But what was her reason for going to court and try to crucify Tafadzwa? Was she aware that it was not just Tafadzwa being crucified but little children too?

Were Macheso and Tafadzwa also aware that in their prolonged fighting, the biggest losers are the children?

This family invited us into its drama and we now know them better.

We even understand Macheso, the man, better.

He is a man who cannot handle his personal affairs.

He is not a man who knows that were children are concerned, the last thing one wants is to be told by the courts how far he should go to provide for them and at what rate.

He is not man enough to handle his bedroom issues alone.

He is not man enough to rope in the aunts and uncles to solve a domestic dispute but instead he wants the media and the courts to do it.

When he was marrying two women, he was capable but when problems came, he wanted help from everyone else.

It is sad that the public took sides.

For his brilliance in music, fans were prepared to ignore his shortcomings.

What the fans overlooked is that in future, those children whose paternity he wants to verify will learn of what he put them through when they grow up. The Internet is good at keeping such records.

What is sad is how far Tafadzwa went by claiming a fortune as if she is disabled and cannot contribute to her children’s upkeep.

What is sad too is how Nyadzisai stooped so low for Macheso.

Why should decent and dignified women reduce themselves for men who think nothing of them when they are having their cake and eating it?

We saw it unfold in the case of Sonny Phiri, who was dragged to court for bedding a minor in Bulawayo.

His wife, a former beauty queen, went to court with him and he ended up comforting his 18-year old lover in front of her.

Why do we do this to ourselves as women?

Why do we do this to each other?

This question is for both Tafadzwa, who intruded, and Nyadzisai, who now wants to ‘fix’.

It will not be surprising to see Macheso and Mapako together again someday.

What will all those who interfered say?

Private issues should remain private. Aita twake ndihombarume. Parents should look after their children. There are enough serious issues to worry us.

btonhodzayi@gmail.com

Source : The Herald

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