By Bongani Ndlovu
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa is looking for a couple who feature in a video that has gone viral showing a man being publicly ridiculed for carrying a baby on his back.
The video has sparked a heated social media debate.
A majority of people, in the country’s patriarchal society, say the man is a “sissy” and should not stand up when men are being counted.
The unknown couple were recorded crossing a street, which looked like in Harare with the man carrying a baby wrapped in a towel on his back. Under his left armpit he seemed to be carrying his wife’s handbag in the 10-second video.
The couple strolls placidly across the street as people shout wakadyiswa/udlisiwe (he was served a love potion). A serious debate ensued after that with mixed reactions as some sided with the man while others said his behaviour was unheard of.
Posting on her official Facebook account, Cde Mnangagwa said she was moved by what the man did.
“I was touched by the love displayed in this video, and the gesture of responsibility and care demonstrated by this father carrying his baby; despite the abuse he received,” she posted.
Mnangagwa appealed to Zimbabweans to locate the couple as she wants to get to know them.
“I’m therefore appealing to my fellow Zimbabweans to help me locate this couple. There is surely more we can learn from their tolerance and love. It is through shared responsibility that we can enjoy parenthood and raise a responsible future generation for our country,” she said.
Baynham Goredema posted the video on Twitter and captioned it saying: “Man being abused in CBD for carrying out his husband duties.
MaZimba vakaona murume anoda mudzimai vake zvonzi akadyiswa (If Zimbabweans see a man showing his wife affection they say he was given a love potion). There is no such thing as kudyiswa.”
The boos continued unabated on social media. “This guy is now a full time woman in UK I think . . . haasi here that lady anoita ma live paFacebook (Is he not the woman who does live posts on Facebook?)” quipped Hon Namburo on Facebook.
“These are the guys that are not allowed to say anything at a meeting where men debate issues,” said another person on a WhatsApp chat group.
Women literally fell over each other defending the man.
“A man taking care of his own. I Stan a king! ?? Not this misogynic sexist prick screaming in the background,” wrote Miss Thobile Nzima on a WhatsApp Chat group.
“Very bad attitude. Insulting a man who is helping his wife. There is nothing wrong with him carrying the baby on his back if that is what he wants to do.
“This belief in Zim that a loving & helpful man akadyiswa is wrong. Muchati chii mukauya kuWest Africa,” posted Nosisa Mazibuko Doe, replying to the tweet. The Chronicle