Nii ma reke gwiire…So Muthoni wa Mukiri posted a picture clad in a very nice sexy bikini while at the beach and a bunch of her followers were not happy about it some even went as far as telling her to cover herself and pull down the picture. Now some of the comments that I saw that bugged my mind were comments like, we are Africans, what if her brothers and dad and in-laws saw the picture. A lady made a comment on face book that “These hawkers are not happy with their husbands, that is why they hawk online by advertising their nudity.” Another lady commented, “Mimi wacha kupost picha, na shidangwa watu huweza aje kuvaa bikini in the name of swimming arafu wanatembea matako yote ikiwa inje!”(Leave alone posting pictures how does one wear a bikini in the name of swimming and then walk around with their buttocks out.)
First, We Are Africans, do the people who really love to use this phrase really understand that we are Africans who are living in a world that has been 90% influenced by other cultures, from how we dress to the education we are getting. From the food we eat to how we cook them. If we are Africans and were to judge a person’s “africanisation” by the way they dress then proper African men would be walking around with their loin skin carrying spears and ladies would wear whatever ladies used to wear before the missionaries introduced modern clothes to us. These people need to make a stop at the national archives or peruse a book on precolonial history and then come tell us how Africans should dress.
Secondly, what if her brothers, dad or in laws saw the picture? Cheeeei! Don’t the male mentioned know that they have a sister, a daughter and daughter in law? Have they never seen a female body before? Aren’t these the people that she grew up with? If you are a man and you come across this post please leave a comment and make me understand this point or give me your opinion. Some of these ideologies we have about a woman’s body starting from the family setup are the ones giving some male out there the need to undress women on the street and insult them based on their dressing and body shape.
Thirdly, hawker hawking what? Did a woman attach another woman’s character because of a picture she posted on her personal wall? The bile! This, I did not even think about the picture I thought about the person who made the comment. How holy does she think she is? How happily married is she? Has she ever been in a swimming pool or duf mpararo (Swimming in a river) leave alone a beach? Too much bile, too much negativity and such a sad state to live life.
Fourthly, how does one wear a bikini in the name of swimming and walk around with their buttocks out? This comment for me highlighted the relationship majority of us have with our bodies and lots of this depends on how we grew up. From a young age we are taught to cover up. What with the body being a holy temple and all that religious doctrines we consume. For some girls it gets worse when they hit puberty and their body starts developing. They feel the need to cover up their developing bodies with more clothing. This leads to grown up women who are not confident with their bodies or their naked bodies give them shame. Women who can’t stand looking at themselves naked in the mirror or even have coitus with lights on. It has to be under the cover of darkness and under the blankets. Then there is the other lot who hate the current bodies they have either due to weight gain or weight loss and the whole idea of showing skin repulses them. A woman’s body at whatever stage dressed or undressed is nothing to be ashamed of or teased about and ladies lets us learn to embrace our bodies at whatever stage we are and let us raise a generation of girls who are comfortable with their skin.
Lastly, dear men we do understand that you are visual creatures, that what you see might excite you or repulse you. All I would ask from you is can you kindly handle you excitement or repulsion with more kindness.