It’s truly humbling to get a heartfelt apology from Women Rights Activist Nomazula Thata over her article about me, where she said I was in an abusive marriage and I need to leave my husband because of polygamy. When I write, I always hope that I am able to challenge and change perceptions especially that of black women in leadership. The black family structure is in a very broken state, many black children are being raised fatherless, in single mother homes, which is not normal, and in-turn much harm is done to the black community. Black feminism has actually done a lot of harm to the traditional black family structure. So when I read Nomazulu’s graceful apology to me, I was really encouraged in what I am doing and could not help but post her letter on my blog.
Article first published on Bulawayo 24 News.
When I read your reply letter of 16th October, a reply to my article about you regarding your polygamous life, I confess that this time around I was not dismayed or disappointed with your balanced reply. Instead, I took time to read your blog once more. You have written extensively about your life, as a growing up Zimbabwean child, your first marriage that took and shook your confidence and self-esteem: how you found a new love, albeit a polygamous marriage. I get the sense that it was your choice between you and your husband to invite two more women in your lives. It begs & boggles the mind of many, how I would come into your life and give some advice you do not need, not from a woman you don’t know. If you are happy with that arrangement how do I come in and advise! It sounds like an intrusion in your measured and well-organised marriage arrangement, polygamous as it is. I took time too, to read some of the comments made by men and women alike in your blog: to some degree there are women who actually encouraged you to live your life the way you want it, rightly so.
You rightly said that I am older than you. Yes I am and have seen it all by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. It is from these years of convoluted life experience that I taped from, to advise you, to to caution you about the relationship you are falling into, again. Having read how you put up a fight in your first marriage, fought to ever get a divorce from the first man, fought to get custody of the children; my feminine instinct told me to reach out to you, tell you to please, please never allow yourself to go through the trauma of a polygamous life yet again. You had to endure untold suffering in your life, a life of suffering I know too well.
You know Jean; as a woman we have this mammalian nerve that tells us what is to come in such situations most of the time. I confess to have fallen into this mirage of despair, I felt for you and hence I had to write such an article indirectly saying: my dear sister it will never be good idea to have two to three women in a relationship with a man, a husband and father of five plus children it did not matter how good he can display those love and affections to you and your children. It did not matter how much he told you he loves you. If he can sneak out of your bed at night and you know he is going for another woman downstairs, evidently for those conjugal rights with another woman!!!
I wish to let you know that I am deeply sorry for that article I wrote about you. I should realize that in as much as we find ourselves in modernized societies with all its challenges and intricacies, we do not interfere into other’s lives and marital arrangements. If you are happy, reading from your blog you are indeed a happy married woman, what right have I got to say it’s wrong. This is indeed a democratic world of personal choices despite its globalized challenges. People make those choices that must not necessarily sound “reasonable” to other people. Please, can I allow myself to say “enjoy yourself, your life while it lasts?” Tomorrow is promised to nobody. There are times when I feel I should be proven wrong in my analysis on women’s issues especially.
However, remember always that I am there for you just in case you may need my advice later in your life. Please do not be shy, just approach me openly and I am there for women of all colours and societies. If you ask Bulawayo 24 guys they will give you my email account.
That said, I do not want to shy away from admitting that I admire you: you are a woman of great courage. I am fascinated by your gift of story-telling, you are a born writer. Your articles are clearly written, a thriller and very engaging too. I am happy for you that you have enough time to just sit and write: remember Africa needs women writers. (You do not write what pleases Nomazulu for goodness sake) Please, in future do not hesitate whatsoever to contact me for anything even personal issues relating to you especially. I do not always have answers but when we share our joy and sufferings of womanhood, of motherhood and as women we can indeed inspire and encourage the coming generation of Black girls out there to read and write their experiences as growing up Africa girls with all the challenges you and me know best.
Again dear Jean, I am sorry.
And to you Ms Nomazulu I say, thank you and I graciously accept your apology. You are an amazing woman. Being open minded is always a strength which makes great leaders stand out. Keep up the good work!