ADMITTEDLY women haven’t been assuming more leadership positions in the world today because the systems created by men often do not place the right value on their strengths and significance.
However by the very nature of their role in society, women have evolved certain values that have not yet been fully celebrated within systems that focus on short term gains.
So the call by Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni speaking people, banning bare breasts at this year’s N’cwala ceremony, has come at the right time and needs to be supported by all interested in maintaining dignity in our women.
Yes, it may go against the deep original values of the tradition itself but all must accept that we are now living in a dynamic world.
We are equally not surprised with the reaction from government, through National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Godfridah Sumaili, who also thinks the move by the traditional leader will go a long way to help restore dignity of women at the ceremony.
It is indeed gratifying that for the first time in the history of N’cwala ceremony, all Ngoni women will have to wear bras and Paramount chief Mpezeni surely deserves a pat on the back for the move.
This should be so because displaying breasts, not only at traditional ceremonies, but also elsewhere has the potential of promoting promiscuity, especially among the male youths who are often at risk of developing ‘fresh ideas’ on seeing a woman’s bare breasts. It all has to do with biological effects.
Rev Sumaili is also right in urging other traditional leaders to emulate Chief Mpezeni and to do away with cultural practices that are against national values and principles.
It is also possible that Paramount Chief Mpezeni has just realized that in our newly connected world, there is need to put back power and dignity in the women’s hands.
Openness is the best policy – as the world becomes more interconnected, noting that this value will become more significant and importantly, put value to our tourism.
Today’s women’s fight for the top rung of the ladder is becoming more crucial in the face of the issues and opportunities and they must therefore be seen to be pushing moral values as well.
It is also our hope therefore other chiefs will follow suit and remove all forms of immoral acts that go against the gospel.
Other traditional leaders should emulate this noble act of Paramount Chief Mpezeni by identifying cultural practices that are against national values and principles and ensure they are banned.