There is this picture that refuses to go away from my mind. It is a pity I cannot recall the day it appeared in The Chronicle. In it are two people besides a road near Security Mills in Belmont, Bulawayo. The two are male and female. The female is crying bitterly while the male stoically stands in front of her in the way the baboon alpha males used to stand in front of their females in Chirundu when the females were hesitant to partake in midday open coitus.

The caption mentions that the lady was apparently being beaten by a boyfriend over some alleged infidelity. The picture is so poignant such that I see her tears and can almost hear her wail. Surprisingly, no one else is in the picture and there is no mention of what transpired after that.

But madoda that is someone’s child being beaten in public, over some alleged pubic activity, by someone who has decided to lord it over her. I am not for infidelity( having been victim) and would be the first to condemn it in the loudest decibel I can muster but that does not give someone the right to publicly assault a defenseless woman in that manner. That is someone’s child who was conceived in the same manner like you. A woman carried her in her womb till she expelled her onto the outside world but she was not born to be your beating drum! How does the belly that carried that girl feel when her daughter makes 2nd page news being bashed by a bully whose hands itch every time he comes across a female?

Granted, no one wants to be betrayed but no one wants to be abused! The cameraman captured a sad picture but I read more than that in it. I see a society that fails defenseless women who are abused openly by men who deem themselves all powerful. The fact that she got beaten to the extent of shamelessly crying means this happened over a long time, long enough for someone to have intervened. But no one did and I guess the alpha male just strutted off muttering some imbecile words about harlotry and infidelity and most likely he walked into another woman’s arms after that!

Granted, women are beautiful people who also make mistakes but sanction must not be battering. Has talking failed? What happened to the sense of reason? Have aunties failed? Fists and slaps never solved anything. They actually breed emotional callouses that never wear off. It is nobler to walk away than use booted feet and fists. A male who sinks so low to the extent of battering a woman so unashamedly does not deserve to be called a man. Honestly, what man would do that?

And the most vivid ornament in the picture is a long rosary of white beads hanging on her neck culminating in a bone white cross near her midriff.  Poignancy? Sacrilege? Futility? WHAT?

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