TRY INFIDELITY! but use protection.
Infidelity hurts. Whether by a woman or a man. More so in marriage.If there are children, they bear the brunt. There is the possibility of them growing up without the active presence of one parent, or if the parents decide to stick together after all, they are exposed to an environment of hatred, vengeance and mistrust before things can go back to normal again, if ever.
That said, there is this advertisement that has got the tongues of a section of Kenyans and religious leaders wagging to a point that it was pulled off air. The ‘Weka Condom Mpangoni’ advert was perceived to encourage immorality and infidelity in marriage. Other Kenyans however see nothing wrong with the advert and they have not shied away from stating why. It portrays a reality of what is happening in society today; the Kenya of today, they say. Objecting to it, they claim, is akin to burying our heads in the sand. Denial is not the way to fight HIV and Aids, they reason. We have to be open about such issues in order to win the fight against HIV. Valid points? I should think so.
I will give credit where it is due and state that I like the advert for two things;
a) It carries a very relevant message; that if you insist on being unfaithful, use a condom. I am sure that every woman or man who finds out that their spouse has been unfaithful, while they will be devastated at the betrayal, will be relieved when they find out that they were not put at risk in the process. It’s a straw, of sorts, to clutch onto in the face of danger posed by the sinking boat that is infidelity.
b) It addresses the woman. Finally, someone somewhere has noticed that women play a part in infidelity. The many adverts that have been run before have appeared to believe that infidelity is gender sensitive.
It goes without saying that the advert is clearly resigned to the fact that infidelity or as it is known in Kenya, mpango wa kando, is part of our marriages today. The ‘wacha mpango wa Kando’ campaign seems to have failed miserably, yet this one has not elicited the desired reaction either.
That aside, I have no qualms joining the disgruntled voices of those advocating for its ban because of just one reason: the advert blatantly sells infidelity, not the use of condoms.
The woman in question states that her life would be miserable with baba Michelle (a miserable drunkard of a husband) but since “Mbugua wangu” came along, she is bila stress and Life is good. As if to prove this, she is out shopping for vegetables. A happy child of school-going age who we perceive to be her daughter runs to give her a hug as she goes about her business. Evidently, she is accepted by her child and her friend. The woman is all smiles, she looks healthy. Why wouldn’t she be, she is having her cake and eating it. The crowning of the cake is that the society does not shun what she is doing any more-It is the norm, we insist, hence giving her impetus to keep the affair going. She has the audacity to share her shenanigans with a friend, who amid laughter and ‘high-fives’ cautions her to ‘weka condom mpangoni’ in passing.
After selling all the good stuff to us about infidelity, the advert attempts to scare us by showing Mbugua, the mpango wa kando, taken by a younger girl. If you are cheating would you be overly surprised that your mpango wa kando could be cheating on you too? Sure, we are afraid. We are very afraid.
The advert endorses every action of the woman; she sneers at her drunkard husband and makes a mockery of the union of marriage by claiming to love her side dish. She shamelessly gambles with her children’s future and stability and yet we maintain our cool. But when she reveals that she does not use a condom, now life stops? Don’t we have our priorities warped?
Are we saying that it is ok to cheat but a crime not to use protection while cheating?
Seeing as marriage is not a walk in the park and most women are persevering through the hardships, which woman wouldn’t want to be mama Michelle? Who wouldn’t want to partake of what is keeping mama Michelle glowing and happy despite the fact that her husband is a drunkard who has neglected her? Which woman wouldn’t want to have their cake and eat it?
Every woman would! But sensible women know that two wrongs do not make a right. We are dealing with spouses who are people too, and these people have feelings. Families will be left hurt and betrayed. Last time I checked, a condom cannot mend broken hearts nor restore broken trust. So if any man or woman out there feels like they deserve better, do us all a favor; stop giving marriage a bad name and get the hell out!
When I see women, who have been the family anchors, the voices of reason, the people who have shown their children direction when their husbands are out there chasing skirts, when these same women start taking the direction of mama Michelle, and worse still with the support of men, I get worried. It scares me to think of what will become of our families, of our children in a few years to come.
I wouldn’t have any problem with the advert if it was solely advocating for use of condoms in ANY relationship. But it sells infidelity instead. The tragedy is not that she is not using protection. The tragedy is that she is a married woman having sex outside marriage. Or is that not an issue any more?