POETRY: I will marry myself

Brenda Matienga – CIPS student

HERE comes the bride all dressed in white, here comes the bride all dressed in rights.

I will marry myself; with the longest veil I will cover my bruised blue eyed face, swiftly walk myself down the aisle, with flower girls throwing confetti, complemented by a brass band marching behind, with crowds chattering thoughtlessly like hyenas in bewilderment, I care less.

My dearest mother Chihera, please do not cover your face with shame for it is my freedom I seek to gain. Iwill stand with a motivated heart , put a gold ring on my finger , idolizing its glamour, I will say I do, I do to me, yes I will marry myself, vow to love myself till death do me part, unconditionally without reservation.

I will kiss my own reflection with un-debated affection, say I do to me, yes, leave the abuse leave the confusion, myopic and hyperopic illusions with much ambiguity, that left my heart scarred, my gumption frozen and lame and my life nude with shame since he refused to take blame, for to him it was just a violent, adrenaline fun filled abusive game, that I had no power over nor could I tame.

Arrgghhhh belated caution, this needed much devotion, controversial discussions, with adjourned frustration…aarrrggghhspare me the platitude, now they question me, stand and judge me, lawyers holding me accountable, for I am my own advocate. Journalists and paparazzi are astounded, thirsting for a chance to quench their many rhetorical questions, neurologists and physiologists pouncing for a chance to experiment on the level of my (in)sanity.

Professor’s debate with me, but no theory or thesis can water down my special mind. I am in no mood to offer a platform for debate, for there is no one who can relate. Self-claimed potential marriage mates try and reason with me, promising me truelove, but I will not entertain their futile negotiations so I abhorrently shun their artificial sentiments….

True love, what is true love? There is no love in a world of inequality so in marriage I have no anticipation. I do not stand to hypnotise you, but I pray my ceremony will mentally baptise you.

Beautiful I am, slender shaped, charming, a well vested intellect, glamorous young lady, with much glowing splendour who believes in equality of gender, a red carpet lady. So why do I chose to marry myself this day, when in the eyes of society this is deemed to be so wrong?

My claim is no idol boast, no action I ever wanted to take, I too wanted a husband I could profoundly love and respect. But what is the point of this union when relationships and marriages are now packaged with sexual abuse, emotional and verbal abuse along with domestic violence?

You gave me no option, when I was raped and paralysed, I was offered no compensation or attention. Rather I was left drowning in a hangover of stigma diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.

In this age, sadly mothers are bearing their little girls for a generation full of mindless men, who abuse and vehemently refuse responsibility, educating them seems futile for in their greedy, narrow minded gumptions they are programmed to oppress women, yet we are all people, we are not machines.

Can we blame our culture; is it all in anthropology or our norms? When a woman speaks her mind out she is quickly hushed and tagged “Mukadzi benzi”, when she climbs the success ladder, she is called a prostitute and murdered a night before her graduation. Has this become men’s planet alone, astronomers please explain IS IT MEN WHO ARE TO REMAIN? Is marriage now a newly founddeath sentence? If it is let all women come to repentance.

Has domestic violence and abuse become our daily dose as women and girls?

How long will boyfriends abuse their girlfriends, fathers abuse our mothers, as we murmur in fear “ndizvo zvinoita varume vese” pathetically applauding their barbaricnature, when all we are doing is slowly embracing an exotic generation of men who have become monsters, young boys who have lost all respect for their fellow sisters and mothers, harming us in broad day light, can we say we are civilised beings when women and girls are nowlabelled prey?

How long will our girls be stripped naked in the open streets of Harare by touts calling them names? How long will single mothers be discriminated “zvonzi inzenza rakatadza kuvaka musha’, as we watch from a distance and not speak out, not speak out because we are FEMALE?

Why not cry out, women are not born to be abused. The girl child is violated like stolen property, seized before puberty and used like a door mat, yet we still encourage early child marriages, depriving young innocent girls of their right to education and freedom of choice, so journalists, lawyers, physiologists, interested crowds, critics, professor’s and the world round I stand in the spotlight to hush abuse…enough I Say!! Zviri nani ndigare ndega, I will marry myself, what is love after all when all it has become is an abuse affair.

Marriage is not an achievement, it is just a social status never was it on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, why cling on to a title that brings you pain, when you sure know you have nothing to gain but fruitless love contaminated with abuse.

Women and young girls why spend a lifetime in therapy sessions when you can speak out and put an end to men’s abusive obsessions.

So I stand at this alter, covered in my beautiful veil, a vexed crowd encircling me, bashing their heads with laughter, along with my old man Mr Jafter, faces filled with agitation, pity and animadversion, watching my solo man-less ceremony vowing to marry myself.

Some are justified that I have breached the level of sanity. Call me whatever you wish, a neurotic woman, the outrageous African spinster who needs the attention of an asylum, but I too have a story to tell. A story of women and girls who had their dreams thwarted,their right to speak silenced and freedom deprived, therefore I will not be silenced until justice prevails.

As women, let us educate ourselves, let us establish women universities, and repudiate gender inequality. Girls unleash the mega mind in you and unfold your ambitions, realise your worth and boldly put on your regalia, engage yourself in this war to fight against Child and Women abuse. Wherever you are Zimbabwe, Egypt, India . . . the fight against women and girls abuse has no boundaries, regardless of our race or differences, we are all women.

Abuse is not love, refuseit, why hold on to a title that brings you pain, your freedom is what you should seek to gain, don’t let abuse colonize you.

I will marry myself; with the longest veil I will cover my bruised blue eyed face,

swiftly walk myself down the aisle,

with flower girls throwing confetti,

complemented by a brass band marching behind,

with crowds chattering thoughtlessly like hyenas in bewilderment, I care less.

My dearest mother Chihera, please do not cover your face with shame for it is my freedom I seek to gain.

The writer,BRENDA MATIENGA, is a Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply student. She may be contacted on 0779 522 517 or [email protected]

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