‘Our children are an endangered species!’

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IT’S 8am and the news on the radio is very distressing and disturbing. 

It is an affront to the Zimbabwean psyche.

Where shall we hide Zimbabwe’s children so that they are not washed away in the torrents of moral decay that are fast being popularised on our air waves, in the papers, everywhere?

Growing up in rural Zimbabwe, something was permanently etched in my psyche: Prostitution is the worst criminality against humanity

Our shop was next to a restaurant and our house faced one of its windows where we could not avoid seeing prostitutes staggering obscenely next to morally bankrupt males, holding bottles of beer as the ‘music’ blared through the windows. 

Whenever we sat by the fire in the evenings in front of our house this was a sore sight, but we learned to ignore it as an evil unfortunately and permanently visited on us.

It’s not that we were taught that there is any problem with dancing in our family. 

My father, now late, and my mother loved dancing. They always encouraged us to dance with them, so we became a family of dancers. 

I will never forget what my mother would say if you appeared shy and would not dance. 

Unosvodei kutamba pana vamwe, uri hure here? 

I hated prostitution; she had ensured I did, she had ensured we all did. So, whenever she said this, this would catapult me on to the dance floor. 

I am grateful to her, for dancing is a natural response to good musical vibes. As Africans, we have great dance music, so she did me a great favour, for I can never let good music go to waste.

But what was unfortunately visited on our eyes through the restaurant windows was not dancing; it was the staggering of the immoral. There was nothing beautiful, sweet, edifying or decent about it; it was so shameful.

In the news bulletin referred to above, it was lamented that Zimbabwe cannot reach its target of eradicating HIV by 2030 because its prevalence among ‘sex workers’ is 61 percent, also that young girls are vulnerable, and so on. 

Therein lies the problem; there are no sex workers in Zimbabwe, there are prostitutes. 

It is the gravest affront to our norms and values, to uZimbabwe hwedu, to foist this term on our psyche. Mahure, chihure is anathema among our people. 

Those who talk of ‘sex workers’ in this land are perpetrating a crime against us, eroding our spiritual edifice, dissipating our moral force which is our strongest protection, for without our morals we are naked and extremely vulnerable.

Where shall we hide Zimbabwe’s children so that they do not grow up thinking that it is an option to sleep around with any male who waves a dollar in front of their eyes? 

If our children are destroyed, what will be left, what will Zimbabwe be? 

When you call prostitutes ‘sex workers’; you are saying our children can actually say: When I grow up I want to be a sex worker

This is totally irresponsible, to our children, to Zimbabwe and to our future.

We still want our children to grow up knowing the difference between what is wholesome, beautiful, moral and that which is shameful; the sepsis seeking permanent and legal residence among our people. 

Prostitution is illegal in Zimbabwe, but first, it is against our norms and values; it is an appalling vice, those who sanitise it as a form of work are assaulting our moral fabric.

Prostitutes are not acceptable role models for our children. 

Why should there be talk of ‘sex workers’ in this land when prostitution is against the law and against our cultural values? 

Mahure are not part of our legal society where the term ‘sex workers’ comes from — the purpose is to ruin our Zimbabwe.

What about those children born of prostitutes? 

What is their future? 

Does it matter to those who peddle the ‘sex worker’ regime that these children are ruined right from conception?

They are likely to be born already diseased, and they are least likely to grow to be ‘normal’ people, socially and psychologically. 

Who would opt to come into this world in such a shameful, digraceful manner? 

Children should be born in wedlock, that is the best place for them to be, to grow and to mature. 

Of course it does not matter to those who pay huge sums of money so prostitution can flourish in Zimbabwe; they do not love Zimbabwe so they wish this cancer to fester among us. 

When a prostitute has children, those children grow up seeing her sleeping with different men day-in-day-out, this is what they see as the norm.

Once, my young cousin, a boy of 16,  was taking me home in the early evening. As we walked through the avenues, we saw several prostitutes coming out of the woodwork, to line up the streets. 

He pretended not to see anything, but I prodded him. “Tatojaira, this is my route from school everyday,” he responded, harshly trying to distance himself from this awful spectacle. 

Is this really what we want Zimbabwe’s children to get used to, to see as the norm, kujaira kuona mahure on our streets? 

This is a travesty; this is not the lot of Zimbabwe’s children, haisiyo nhaka yavo.

Last year, prostitutes had the temerity to display at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, an event which is visited by children of all ages. 

True to uZimbabwe, residents of Bulawayo raised alarm and condemned this travesty in the strongest of terms. 

What value does prostitution add to anyone or anything, to Zimbabwe?

Can we build the Great Zimbabwe through prostitution?

It is not worthwhile to protect prostitution, elevating it to a respectable and acceptable ‘profession’. 

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