Gender Focus with EMELDA MWITWA
BEDROOM duties hold such importance in an African society that people would do anything to excel in that area, even if it means putting their lives at risk.
Both men and women go out of their way to please partners because in our culture, that’s what defines real womanhood or manhood as it were.
Apparently, every man wants to be praised as ebaume aba (these are the real mean) or ndiye anakadzi awa (there goes a superwoman).
In the villages ‘real men’ in that sense command a lot of respect and have lots of admirers. Some of them have a string of lovers because they are known to spare no efforts when it comes to satisfying a woman.
Similarly, the badmouthing of ‘below-average’ women in that respect is common and such stories spread far and wide in the villages. She will be a subject of gossip in women’s circles because her man will be seeking satisfaction from other women. And to avoid losing her man to another woman, she will come up with a plan.
Apparently, no man or woman wants to be outdone in that area, hence the coming of sexual stimulants and enlargement ‘remedies’ we are seeing being marketed on the streets.
People go to the extent of using unsafe pills and traditional concoctions to display unmatched bedroom expediency and charm their partners.
What makes me wonder is why people want to go beyond the natural capacity of their biological make-up to ply bedroom duties on borrowed powers and sexual stimulants.
Old men are refusing to age in an effort to please their partners in bed, and so are mothers of many children who will go to any length to outdo their husbands’ young lovers.
When age catches up bane, it is a reality you can’t escape. It is better to manage the changes with natural and harmless tactics.
Similarly, if your normal body temperature is 35.5 degrees Celsius, you don’t have to induce a fever and make it 38 degrees Celsius to warm your bed.
Well, let me now address the abuse of a tobacco by-product called nsunko or snuff by women in Zambia as a temperature enhancing substance.
When United Nations Resident Coordinator Janet Rogan talked about it last week, I realised that this nsunko abuse by women is actually happening and the scourge is alarming.
In those days, nsunko was a tobacco powder that our grandmothers sniffed, but now, snuff is greatly used by younger women as a sexual stimulant.
Imagine this strong drug processed perhaps in unclean environments being applied in wrong places of a woman to raise body temperature.
In my wild imagination, if cigarette smoking could cause serious damage to a person’s respiratory system, then the side effects of smokeless tobacco is equally bad and women need to know that.
Ms Rogan’s talk about the abuse of snuff by women as a sexual stimulant broke the silence about a growing problem in our society that no one is talking about.
Apparently, there are two types of tobacco that women are abusing – snuff and chewing tobacco.
Both are taken orally as users hold them in the mouth and chew them slowly. Snuff is also ingested by way of sniffing.
The practice of chewing tobacco is common in many parts of the world, including the Western world.
What was common in Zambia in the olden days was the consumption of snuff through the nose, mostly by elderly women.
But now, there is a growing trend of middle-aged women using smokeless tobacco by way of chewing (chewing tobacco), sniffing (snuff), while others mix it with alcoholic beverages.
I talked to two marketeers who shared that there is a growing demand for nsuko by relatively younger women.
‘These days a lot of young women use insunko, they are our regular buyers at the market,” a marketeer shared, in reference to the growing demand for snuff by younger ladies.
From what I gathered, both snuff and chewing tobacco are quite addictive and young women who use them are often more regular buyers than the older women.
The ladies love it because they believe that it raises their body temperature and improves sexual performance.
What do you expect in a society where from a young age, girls are told that their body temperature should be ‘inviting’ even by a mere handshake?
So if one’s body temperature is relatively lower than others, she will be scolded by alangizi while friends will pour scorn on her, as a way of tempting her to ‘warm up’, otherwise she would keep potential suitors at bay.
This is why women consume all sorts of concoctions that end up harming their health and sometimes killing them prematurely.
I know that this is one subject some of my readers may consider a taboo, but we need to break the silence because a lot of women are abusing tobacco and other harmful concoctions in the name of pleasing their partners.
Perhaps what women don’t know is that snuff, chewing tobacco or nsuko, if you like, are tobacco products that contain the addictive and deadly nicotine.
It seems we need to start sensitising women on the harmful effects of these substances.
From the little that I gathered from a research by a US-based anatomic pathologist called Melissa Stoppler, there is more ingestion of nicotine through smokeless tobacco, snuff and chewing tobacco than by smoking cigarettes.
The oral consumption of tobacco puts the user at risk of oral cancers, pre-cancers, tooth decay, tooth loss and heart diseases, including heart attack and stroke.
In short, the consumer is at risk of developing 28 types of cancers, according to that research.
Perhaps if we raise awareness on the harmful effects of artificial temperature enhancers, women will begin to say no to peer pressure.
Any sexual stimulant that puts your life at risk is not worth it. Remember, no one should feel pressured to please their partner at the expense of their dear life.
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Gender Focus with EMELDA MWITWA