Bed-ridden on a single bed at United Bulawayo Hospitals with blood-stained bandages on her legs and arms, 25-year-old Moleen Mpala (not her real name) could not fathom events leading to her being struck with an axe several times by her husband after she initiated a discussion on cond0m use.
The young wife initiated the usage of a cond0m to her husband after she had earlier during the week attended a workshop near her rural home in Inyathi which encouraged the use of cond0ms for se_xual pleasure, only to be clobbered by her husband and left for almost dead.
They have been married for almost two years. In those years she had never been the one to initiate conversations regarding se_x. She believed her husband was the only one to talk about se_x matters or instigate se_xual activities until she heard people talking freely about se_x and how it should bring pleasure to both parties involved.
An exceptional issue which triggered her interest was the use of cond0ms and their benefits for couples. She had never discussed cond0ms with her husband so she thought it would be wise for her to break the ice and share her new revelations with him in the hope that he would be impressed and also adopt the usage of cond0ms.
While in the hut cooking sadza and her husband relaxing on a wooden chair, she highlighted a few pointers on the use of cond0ms as she had learnt.
Her conversation was met with disgust and took a turn for the worst as he threatened to divorce her and heaped curses on her, accusing her of being a pr0stitute.
To add salt to the injury, he slapped her twice on both cheeks, hit her with the wooden chair and then grabbed an axe which lay on the floor and struck her on her legs and arms.
“I was so shocked to see blood trickling from my legs and arms so I screamed and the neighbours rushed to my rescue. I did not think that my conversation on cond0ms would spark my husband’s rage and lead him to strike me. I am now afraid to go back home because I think he will kill me,” said a teary Mpala.
Mpala is one of the countless people whose marriages take the nastiest turn after initiating discussions about cond0m usage with their partners.
The use of male cond0ms among married couples seems to be an ongoing debatable issue because of misinformation and speculation which surround the cond0m.
The male cond0m which is largely associated with mechanical barriers of protection from se_xually transmitted infections (STIs) and blocking semen from proceeding into the va_gina, thus preventing a woman from getting pre_gnant is detested in many marital settings.
Some married men and women do not inquire about the benefits of using cond0ms because they believe that male cond0ms promote infidelity, pr0miscuity, or even pr0stitution.
As such, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) provincial manager for Matabeleland North Province, Blessed Bukhosi Gumbi who is abreast with the latest information on cond0m usage expressed enormous concern on the attitudes that married couples have towards the cond0m.
Gumbi said se_x must be enjoyable and cond0ms are there to make se_x more exciting, so people who are seen purchasing them should not be labelled as pr0miscuous.
“In terms of knowing about cond0ms most people are basically familiar with the fact that they are used for dual protection that is prevention of unwanted pre_gnancies and STIs if used correctly and consistently at all times, so people who are seen buying cond0ms, especially married people, are usually thought to have multiple partners.
These are just misconceptions that society has associated with cond0ms,” said Gumbi.
Gumbi encouraged married couples to embrace the use of cond0ms so as to have fun and spice up their se_x lives.
He said it was high time the use of cond0ms is destigmatised especially by married couples as they come in different textures, colours and sizes to help in enhancing stimulation of genitals.
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