IT is saddening that on many occasions, some married people have been frustrated by their better halves who reveal their private matters each time they engage in domestic squabbles.
Marriage counsellors, commonly known as banafimbusa in ci Bemba and alangizi in ci Nyanja have more often than not advised couples engaged in domestic disputes to keep certain issues, especially those involving bedroom matters, a secret no matter how serious the problems they might be facing.
But despite the advice that the counselors give to many couples, some wives and husbands have publicly revealed their bedroom issues and some of the revelations have led to serious problems which result in fights, divorces and deaths.
Those who cannot fight, divorce or kill have usually been disgraced and suffered humiliation because of the embarrassment caused either by their wives or their husbands.
Last Saturday I was in Ndola’s Kaniki farming area to check on the damage the armyworms had caused to maize in many fields including my garden. But before I could reach my destination, I passed through a village in the area to see someone I had arranged to go with.
It was around 09.00 hours when I reached this village and I found a number of people already taking the illicit brew, kachasu, and others brown and white Kankoyo opaque beer.
Among the people who were taking kachasu was an elderly couple (the woman was probably in her late 60s and the man could have been in his 70s).
While many were drunk, the couple looked extremely drunk and a quarrel between them ensued. The husband was shouting at the wife accusing her of being drunk so early in the morning and that was the reason why she could not work at home and failed to make the bed.
“That is why you fail to do anything at home and when you sleep, you sleep like someone who is dead and when you wake up you even fail to make the bed, you dog,” the man shouted at his wife.
“Why should I wake up early to make a bed for you! You bedwetting fool,” the wife replied.
On hearing this revelation, the old man, who looked befuddled with the illicit brew, charged at his wife and started punching her. Because of his drunk state, the blows failed to hit their mark and zinged past her. The woman who was taller than her husband aimed a slap at her husband’s face and it landed squarely between the nose bridge and the mouth sending the man reeling to the ground. Without knowing it, the old woman also fell to the ground beside her husband and because of being so drunk the two were struggling to get up.
The man was annoyed because his wife revealed that he was a bed wetter.
While all this was happening, the on-lookers who were also drunk were cheering happily urging the old woman to quickly get up and finish off her husband.
As an eavesdropper, I was surprised that elderly people could behave in this manner. I rushed to the old man and raised him amid shouts from spectators:”Leave them, leave them. Let them fight.”
However, I managed to stop the fight.
It was after some few minutes after the fight when an old woman among the drinking group started talking. She complained that men and women of the recent generation did not have respect for their wives and husbands respectively.
She said during her time, it was a taboo for a husband or a wife to reveal what was happening in the bedroom.
“It was wrong for her to tell her husband that he urinates on the bed. That is supposed to be a top secret. There are many things which happen in the bedroom and if husbands and wives were free to reveal them, marriages would not last,” said the old woman while pointing at the woman who was fighting with her husband.
She was echoed by an old man who narrated that his grandson in Chingola divorced his wife after she introduced a man to him that he was the father of their daughter because his husband was sterile.
The man explained that his grand son was in marriage with his wife for over 10 years, but the marriage came to an end some years back when the woman introduced another man to her husband during their daughter’s birth day anniversary party as the biological father of their daughter.
“My grand son came home looking very frustrated. He was very surprised when his wife introduced another man to him telling him that he was the father of their daughter after so many years with him,” the old man said.
According to the old man, when his grand son married his wife, all was well.
One year after getting married, the woman gave birth to a baby girl and relatives from both the woman and the man’s side were happy. But four years later and the woman realising that she could not conceiving again, she started telling her relatives that the father of the girl was her former boy friend.
“She told her relatives that she was already pregnant when she was getting married to my grand son and people believed her because she could not conceive again after giving birth to that girl. Her relatives advised her to keep that as a secret because it would be embarrassing if people came to learn she was pregnant from another man when she was married. Her relatives were also happy with my grandson because he was well cultured and had a lot of respect for others,” the old man explained.
He said it was during a birthday anniversary for the girl who had turned five when his grandson’s wife had the audacity to introduce her former boyfriend to his grandson telling him he was the father of the girl.
He said for a long time, all his grandson knew was that he was the father of the girl and when his wife told him about the other man being the father of the girl, his grandson was so frustrated and depressed that he nearly committed suicide.
“When the party was being organised, my granddaughter, who is the elder sister to my grandson, was even driving the vehicle of her sister-in-law’s boy friend for errands to go and buy things for the party. She thought the owner of the vehicle was a brother or cousin to her sister-in-law and yet he was her boyfriend. That was very embarrassing,” said the old man.
The man explained that during the incident, one woman who was the aunt of her grandson’s wife started yelling at no one in particular, but it was obvious her yelling was directed at his grandson.
“A few weeks later, my grandson divorced his wife. He is now married to another woman and they have three children together. His former wife who thought her former boyfriend would marry her after causing that confusion decided to go for DNA to establish whether he was the biological father for the girl. It turned out that he was not and he has also abandoned her and is married to another woman,” explained the old man.
“And so who was the biological father?” the elderly woman, like me, wanted to know.
The old man smiled as he explained that his son was asked to go for DNA test with the girl and it was found that he was the biological father.
The old woman burst out laughing:”Bedroom issues should remain secrets,” she commented as she turned to the old couple and blamed them for being not well mannered and bringing their bedroom issues in the public.
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