FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday took her Nharirire Yemusha programme to Masvingo Province where discussants came up with the qualities of a model woman and man suitable for the province to help promote good morals, reduce mischief among children and the collapse of marriages.
Amai Mnangagwa took advantage to the interactive session to remind the nation that Covid-19 was still prevalent and they had to continuously adhere to World Health Organisation protocols of masking up, washing hands and observing social distance.
Translated to mean someone who watches over a home, the Nharirire Yemusha programme was rolled out after children countrywide partly blamed their mischief on non-responsive parents who did not have time for their families.
During her interactive Gota/Nhanga/Ixhiba programme with children countrywide, most children said some of them were taking drugs and engaging in prostitution, among many other reprehensible behaviour, due to neglect by their parents and guardians.
Men and women who attended the programme first met as a group where the First Lady addressed them on the objectives of the programme.
“Vana baba nana mai (fathers and mothers), today I have come so that we discuss and put our brains together on the issue of nharirire yemusha because watching over a home concerns both men and women. I went around the country discussing with children during the Gota/Nhanga/Ixhiba programme and they told me many things that their parents are doing which are causing them to become mischievous. The children said parents have no time with them and spend time on their phones. They also spoke about domestic violence which they said was affecting them. They said if parents fight, the home will no longer be comfortable and they then resort to social media where they are adopting Western cultures. This prompted me to initiate this Nharirire yeMusha programme,” she said.
“What do you understand to be a Nharirire?” she said in her preamble at the highly interactive session.
In response Mrs Elizabeth Wafawarova said Nharirire was a woman in the home who spends time with children and then informs the husband what the children would have done.
Responding to the same question, another discussant said the term refers to a father, mother, child or anyone who defends a family member or community from harm.
Other participants begged to differ saying both the mother and father had the mandate to watch over their families.
Most women maintained that they were the Nharirire yeMisha.
The First Lady described Nharirire as someone who watches over or ring fences a family and defends it to ensure it remains a dignified home.
“Both the mother and father assist each other, but this does not change that the husband is the head of the family while the mother is his helper,” she said.
She continued: “Today Masvingo we have come to mould a woman of the house who satisfies us and you shall also give us a perfect man. We shall then put together the qualities that were raised by other provinces and come up with a man and a woman we want in Zimbabwe.”
The participants were then separated with the men having their own discussions while women did the same.
Gogo Cecilia Chabaya said a real woman must be satisfied with what she has.
“A real woman is one who is satisfied with what she has in the house, she is content with her husband as a married person. The woman we want here in Masvingo is one who dresses with dignity. Amai we thank you for this programme you have brought. These teachings mould us,” she said.
Wife to Chiefs Council President Fortune Charumbira, Mrs Priscilla Charumbira was thankful to the First Lady for rolling out the countrywide educative programme.
“I want to start by thanking the First Lady for her constructive programmes that she brings to our communities. As women in Masvingo, we want a woman with brains to sustain her home and helping her husband to keep the family well-nourished. A good mother must be able to teach the children to relate well with the extended family and children should be taught to be respectful,” she said.
Representing the church, Envoy Christine Chipikiri said a woman was expected to be God-fearing and sociable.
“We expect a woman to fear God, be approachable and sociable. We want a loving mother who does not harass her daughter-in-law or son-in-law and one who does not intervene in her children’s marriage causing disharmony,” she said.
Another participant, Mrs Lillian Chigwiko said a mother must have time with her children despite being employed.
“Even if she is employed, a woman must perform household chores. Some women consider themselves working class and have no time to do laundry and cook for their husbands, leaving all the work to the house help. Madzimai we must bath our bodies, sweep the house so that our husbands do not run away. We should have time with our husbands because nowadays we expend time on WhatsApp groups gossiping. A mother must speak with temperance,” she said before the women burst into song “Mudzimai anofanira kutaura nehunyoro, nehunyoro baba, nehunyoro.”
Representing men, Mr Farai Musikavanhu said a good father should be God-fearing, must not deny his wife conjugal rights and must have vision, authority and should be honest.
He said a real man must be approachable and must be a unifier.
“Even the Bible says you shall eat the fruits of your labour, so a father should be a provider providing for his family. He should be respectful because respect is earned,” he said.
On their list of qualities for a model woman, women said she should not be lustful, hardworking and cook and clean for the husband.
They said she should not deny her husband conjugal rights, dress decently, not be promiscuous and not be a gossiper.
In her closing remarks, the First Lady said: “From what has been presented from both sides, women are you happy with what men have written. Is this the husband you want. Men is this the woman you want,” she asked and in response both groups concurred.
“Masvingo, what you have written is what we are going with to say this is the view of the people from Masvingo.”
She said after putting together the input of all the country’s 10 provinces, there will be a national outline of an ideal man and woman the country wants. The findings will be consolidate and give us a father and a mother we want and if there is anywhere you see missing, you then rectify so that you become a wholesome woman in our country. Men too, you will then help edify to the missing aspects and become a perfect gentlemen. This may appear to be a game, but it has a meaning over our image as a country because our country we have seen that even us as elders are also aping western cultures. So to build our country, we need to start from the bottom,” she said.