Francis Tsawayo This week saw several twists unfold, with the sudden death of a man out on bail for shooting his girlfriend, and this afternoon people will know the fate of the young man whom the judge has found guilty of the murder of his pregnant girlfriend. These are not the only cases of violence against women and children that have raised eyebrows – more have come to light in the past months. What has really raised concern? Is it the cases or the escalation in the number of offences of this nature? Who are we to blame? Broader society or our individual selves? I understand that it’s a thin line between love and hate, but lately I have questioned how thin this line is, because it’s broken most times in situations where if we let reason go its course it would be water under the bridge, or would it? Society has become quite modern but why are we still having these barbaric acts of violence being perpetrated so often these days? Are our laws in need of review or are they still being observed at all? Like that saying, “It’s a jungle out there”, or is it? Violence is the same whether it is committed by an adult man, woman or teenager. We have to look into ourselves for the answer. Man is a product of his environment. Are we raising our children in that suitable environment? The media have played a part in this as it at times shows gruesome pictures of violence and more often than not films with violence seem to be more in demand now than ever before. The truth of the matter is that it all comes down to the individuals and because of human nature we look for some excuse and do not stand up to take responsibility for our actions. In a way, it reminds me of a saying that I came across and came to believe in, which says, “A man is as good as his word”. What do we really say to one another when we meet and discover certain qualities that influence us in pursuing a relationship? All men are born of women, then how do we go and make promises that we fail to keep or what do these women say that provokes these incidents? When as men are we going to change this norm? My advice to mostly young men is to learn to respect women, and treat every woman like your own mother. I do not think it’s difficult to do. The abuse that we expose the African woman and child to reflect a dark future for the continent. Look at it this way – HIV is sweeping the sweet paradise of Africa away; wars and conflict besiege the continent like a plague; hunger and poverty, all these issues fall on the lap of African women because in the end they are the victims. Regardless of the colour of your skin, whether rich or poor, good or evil, a man is still a man and it is time that real men take a stand and say no to violence against women and children. A man was created to overcome adversity and if men do not change, they will only realize when it’s too late that they have been victims of their own demise.
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