We are from a past that was divided along racial lines. When freedom bells rang, songs of joy rand with Iimbongi ringing out their praises and predicting the future, and we anticipated a peaceful country. Instead of that peace and harmony, we have a country that is torn along gender lines. Where we learn, just about every day, of men having assaulted, raped and/or murdered women. This destroys the fabric of our society. While fighting this scourge, we should be wary of antagonising good men who share the pain and do everything in their power to fight this pandemic.
Are we right when we refer to these monsters as men, amadoda? Shouldn’t we have a collective name for them that separates them from peaceful and respectable men? Shouldn’t we call them izinja ezimilenze mibini (two legged dogs), hoping that dogs will not protest about likening these people with them? As is the case now, they are not bothered as they are clubbed with all men, whether violent or peaceful. They hide under the name amadoda. Real men are not seen even when visible, hence slogans like “men are trash!” So every man is being seen as an abuser, rapist and murderer.
Last week I watched Cutting Edge, where Pemmy Majodina attended the funeral of a woman who was raped and murdered. At the end of her speech she rudely commanded all men to stand up and the poor men slowly stood up. IsiXhosa could put it aptly, “Anyoshoza ukuphakama amadoda”. I could feel the humiliation from bishops, pastors, priests, heads of families, and perhaps chiefs and headmen. Men who are respected in their homes and communities, men who had come to share the family’s pain, men who, through their actions, have pinned their colours of goodness to the mast, only to be publicly denigrated by Pemmy Majodina. [Majodina], just like a teacher, instructing all boys in her class to stand up.
That [Majodina] is in government should not give her licence to divide society along gender lines. Her mission should be to close any schism in society. Arrogance of people like [Majodina] will not heal our land. I hope parliament will find time to reprimand [Majodina] for her arrogant and divisive utterances. Mirriam Makeba, in her song, West Wind, has lyrics, “Unify us, don’t divide us.”
By: Sabelo Bantwini Jayiya