Opinion| Mutsa The Survivor Of Toxic Maynard And The Archaic Zimbabwean Society

Staff Reporter

A week ago,Zimbabwe social media streets were awash with an article written by UK based Zimbambwean journalist, Maynard Manyowa.

In the article, Maynard explains how good it was having Mutsa and Boipelo as his wives at some point and the problems that followed leading to the first wife Mutsa leaving.

I hate to admit but that was the most  well written sexist, misogynistic, narcissistic article l have ever read.I swear monolithic thinkers did not see beyond Maynard’s romantised claim of admittance to being at fault for the failure of his polygamous marriage.But behind that ‘admittance’ lies a subtle woman abuser and an extreme patriarchal conformist.

l felt really sorry for Mutsa as this public embrassment was unwarranted.What happened to the ‘diplomatic immunity’ which our ex partners are supposed to enjoy when a relationship or marriage ends? Why embrass someone you spend more than 19 years with whether married customarily or legally.

I sympathize with Mutsa and her children who will grow up one day to read the article especially this part,“When my first marriage (let’s call it that) ended,I felt a weight off my shoulders.”

They will realise that their father did not even know which label to give what he shared with their mother and he told it to millions of strangers.I have always thought Maynard has a constant craving for the spotlight and will say anything just to trend, gain two minutes of glory and this was cemented by his recent stunt.

Catching up with Human and Women rights activist Nyaradzo Nyari Mashayamombe on Manyowa’s article, she said from the very start she had emphasised how this polygamous drama was never going to work.

“I vividly remember it like it was yesterday when Maynard Manyowa came out as polygamist.I was one of the people who commented that it was abusive for a man to have two women that he calls ‘wives’. He tried to portray a front that the ‘wives’ loved it,but the pain I felt for those women is unexplainable as I knew it would never work and voila.

“Now,he shares it as a ‘story’ because he is the privileged one with an international platform to publish and an audience to which l find manipulative and it makes me cringe.He got to put two beautiful women in pain and he sanitizes their suffering in a tone that is perpetuating sexism which at the very start led to him being a polygamist.”

Asked if she really thought Manyowa was a woman abuser,Mashayamombe had this to say;

‘I recall sometime last year in June, Maynard was dragged to court for allegedly beating Mutsa and a picture of a battered Mutsa was shared on social media.That’s Gender Based Violence and it reveals that Manyowa did not only subject Mutsa to emotional abuse but to physical abuse as well.Hence reading his article,one can easily see that the probability of there being bad blood and a need to embarrass her publicly is high.

“He is a very privileged man who chooses when to use women and sanitizes embarrassing them in public in the name of taking responsibility when in actual fact he doesn’t sincerely mean it but rather says it to make himself feel better.

“He is quick to drag other polygamists who fake smile pauses with women whose lives and difficulties he knows not of. He is not a woman in any of those marriages who are forced to share a man so I think instead of continuing to justify this abuse of women in the name of polygamy,he should just quietly and privately deal with his demons.”

Mashayamombe went on to say, “In that piece,Maynard claims he will always love Mutsa but contradicts himself by portraying her to be someone he never loved but felt obliged to love.

That’s very bad! I think instead of disrespecting these women or expressing himself with a sequel,Maynard should just keep his disrespect to himself and  save the little dignity that remains of these women.

“He gets to declare how ‘he loves’ both women and how happy they were but am sure deep down he knew from the start that Mutsa wasn’t happy as she later revealed,but he was greedy and only wanted his satisfaction”.

“Also,l believe people do not hate Boipelo because she is South African as he tried too hard to minimize his own perpetuation of how some Zim men have treated the women who they left back home when they crossed borders, which is exactly what he did.Where is the lie there?

Lastly, how about the third one, how come he is not talking about her? Maynard has a tokenistic and abusive trait were he is quick to ‘reward’ women with the ‘Mrs Manyowa’ title because he knows that with the archaic socialism and conditioning that the majority of Zim women have,they would settle for such mediocrity”.

South African author, geographer and feminist Malaika Wa Azania asserts that Mutsa is a victim of the Zimbabwean society as much as she is a victim of Maynard.

She said;

“Mutsa should have left when Maynard brought Boipelo into the picture. Why didn’t she? Mutsa is a victim of the Zimbabwean society as much as she’s a victim of Maynard. If the Zimbabwean society didn’t shame women for being divorced, for not making marriages work, and for being single mothers, she might have left Maynard long ago.But your society makes women stay in such toxic marriages and it must take responsibility for that.”

This really got to me as l realised that Malaika certainly knows the deep rooted stereotypes reserved for single mothers in Zimbabwe. It made me reflect on how most men and women with pick me vibes subscribe and applause one social media character, Shadaya, as he daily lambasts single mothers and labels them ‘low quality women’.

So now try imagining coming from such a sickening society, Mutsa must have felt suffocated and trapped in that polygamous marriage.

Having survived such a double tragedy and she lives to testify, she ought to be praised and supported for surviving what is killing most women in the marriage institution.

In the well put excrement, Manyowa says, “Without beating about the bush, my marriages were peaceful and coherent until we popped up on social media. Yes, social media can be toxic and in it’s toxicity,Mutsa might have experienced her Damascus moment and began questioning her marriage arrangement and if she had really signed up for such.

Mutsa represents thousands of women in unhappy marriages but the only difference is, she got up and left to which l believe Maynard never imagined she could as he regarded himself as her Alpha and Omega. In his article he states, “..they didn’t know how often I had offered to part ways with her.”

I guess he wanted us to rejoice and ululate that he had ‘offered’ to part ways with her on numerous occasions which l believe were just part of his mind games for he never dreamt of Mutsa having the strength to leave as he addressed her as ‘lovely woman,who wanted to save her family,’ This leaves me wondering what’s his definition of a lovely woman though.

Personally , l have nothing against Boipelo and never will but what boggles my mind is; Is she really the mother Theresa that Maynard portrays her to be? Why is he always saying’after everything Boipelo did for Mutsa and l’? Does it mean Mutsa never did anything for him and Boipelo? Why has he never bothered to name what Mutsa did for them?

I think tolerating them for the years she survived in that so called polygamous marriage,posing for pictures,sharing the man she never intended to share was extremely a lot.

So this narrative of parading himself and Boipelo as her Messiah is absurd and a distorted reality designed to probably ease the guilt of deceiving her all the years they lied and hid their marriage until a newspaper ‘threatened’ to reveal their secret.

I find it intensely ridiculous how Maynard says, “She will have a prime seat at my own funeral.” Well, Mutsa did not want a prime seat at his funeral but rather in his heart and life but alas,he had theatrics in store for her.

Hence,l won’t be surprised is she refuses the ‘dearly’ prime seat at his funeral when the day comes or accepts it and be physically there with no tears on her cheeks for l believe she has cried for Maynard whilst he is alive and she nolonger weeps.

Nyari Mashayamombe

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