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And who shall Court?

08 Feb

When that particular moment in an African woman’s life dawns after she has seen her moon and tradition commands that she paints her innocent and ripe body with faint but sweet- smelling paint, jump over bulls, have every inch of her body tattooed, bejewel her graceful neck with fine color- beads, go downstream in attractively short Kangas, participate in the dance of reed (Swaziland) or have her clitoris cut and things of the sort all in the name of pleasing the ever- admired deity of beauty, it is only the ‘slow’ ones amongst the boys that are left behind glued to their mothers’ aprons.

Afrikan Woman. Strong Woman. Beautiful Woman!

For which other season would a man, but for his ingratitude, beg of the Gods other than this where girls in their purity dimple the village with their blooming cheeks, heart-stopping smiles and glisten the soil with their radiant thighs of smeared ghee? Which other season really other than this of abundance where fortunate men make harvests of their lifetime?

By tradition, when this season dawns in the vast and rich plains of old Africa, it is ordinarily man or boy who tells that particular village stunner, the one his heart craves for, how hot the passions and desires that sit at the deepest end of his heart are. This is done in a thousand many ways according to norm and custom of each particular suitor. In my mother Bunyoro-Kitara/Tooro, it is done through the incalculably lovely pod- rattle dance of courtship called Orunyege/Entogoro.

I do not know in the least how it is done amongst the Banyakigezi from the hills that recklessly roll, amongst the Banya-Nkore of western Uganda, the fearsome Dinka of the Sudan (south), the Pokot of Eastern Uganda and Western Kenya, the Basongora- habitants of the slopes of the Rwenzori, the Bakonzo- Bamba also of the same locality, the Bafumbira of the undulating cliff-tops of South- Western Uganda, the Luo peoples of East Africa, the Baganda, Masai, Akamba, the Igbo of Nigeria let alone all the other tribes of Africa not mentioned here in their hundreds of thousands counted.

I know for instance that a genially- grinning Himba man from the far- south of Africa whose heart has been floored by the mouth-watering looks of a girl he stumbles into whilst in one of his grazing errands, woes her, this shiniest gem of his heart’s crown, by way of lyric and song.

But in whichever regal trend one tailors his advances irrespective of his ancestral background, the denominator of this whole ritual is that it is man who is always burdened by tradition with letting known these desires to woman after which fortunate woman is only left with either the option turning them (petitions of love) down or receive them to the gladdening of man’s heart. This is seemingly the very procedure through which all of us came to know that there actually lives the great bowel earth.

Thus the only role that norm grants woman in this process is that of either acknowledging or snubbing man’s advances. This not withstanding the fact that woman is but human and can also have the instinct of desire tucked fast to the walls of her soft heart.

My questions then:

1. Should it remain a hard and fast rule that to man is the proposing as to woman is the accepting?

2. Especially in this Facebook/twitter age?

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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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