Is Macheso the real deal?


Over the past weeks Alick Macheso has dominated the headlines with his decision to marry a second wife; whose courtship no doubt at some point necessitated that he cheats on his first wife.

I simply cannot see how any man can get to the point of deciding to marry a second wife without having gone via the cheating route i.e to meet, then date, then fall in love and finally make a marital commitment to someone else while you have a spouse at home doesn’t leave one smelling daisy fresh.

I am not a fan of his music and for the greater part of my existence – the man rarely crosses my mind therefore devoting a whole blog entry to discussing him would ordinarily be unwarranted.

However, I recently came across the not-so-funny information that this musician was now preaching the gospel of HIV prevention against the background of his dubious private life high jinks.

Really?

What qualifies this man to be entrusted with a life saving message when his own very recent conduct is contrary to the anti-HIV hymn book he now purportedly sings from?

A month ago, one Psychology Maziwisa took it upon himself to ferociously defend Macheso’s right and liberty to marry another wife because as far as he can stretch his powers of reasoning “it is the appeal of his voice not character that has gained him (Macheso) the legions of fans that adore him. Macheso is a celebrated musician not saint.”

Well, I will not argue that point having already admitted that I am not an authority on the man or his music and am therefore not equipped to make an informed or considered critique of Macheso.

But I am sufficiently versed in the discourses surrounding HIV prevention and messaging to wonder how a man who is about marry his own daughter’s friend becomes the best mouth-piece to spread the word?

Haven’t we established, beyond any reasonable doubt, that inter-generational sex is a major driver of HIV infection particularly in this region – and if the age gap between Macheso and his intended bride is not inter-generational; I don’t know what is.

Haven’t we spilt ink debunking the evils of sexual networks and how the practise of having multiple concurrent sexual partners is arguably the highest contributor to new HIV infections, most of which occur in marriages and long-term committed relationships.

Macheso’s lifestyle revolves around the two women in his lives and at some point it is very likely that his wife Mai Sharon was blissfully unaware that her husband was involved with anyone besides her or being intimate with the individual.

....age is just a number? Macheso with his wife-to-be, Tafadzwa who just happens to have been friends with Macheso's daughter

A dear friend Fungai Machirori’s commentary on the phenomenon seems an appropriate reference point at this juncture as it succinctly puts across what I am at pains to communicate.

We can reasonably assume that Macheso was not practicing safe sex with his wife (as most married couples who “trust” each other don’t) if the fact that she reportedly suffered a miscarriage not long ago is anything to go by.

And it is plausible that Macheso was not abstaining from having Tafadzwa (the wife-to-be) sate his manly appetites.

I hasten to say there is a lot of conjecture coming into play at this point but when a man with dirty linen hanging out on the line decides to become a detergent salesman – we are forced to wonder why we should buy into his pitch when evidence of his not-so-clean laundry suggests that he’s not practicing what he’s preaching.

I believe there is always a need for more voices to amplify the message of HIV prevention but I am also convinced that the integrity of the message is harmed when it is entrusted to people who are not credible as role models.

So the man is not a saint – fine. But where the hell does he get the crazy idea that he can be an “activist” advocating for HIV prevention when his own life reads like a script out of “The things one should avoid doing to prevent HIV”?

A few months ago, Garikai Muchemwa woefully lamented the “lack of a specific HIV prevention strategy targeting musicians” revealing that as a development practitioner with specific interest in HIV prevention he was “highly disturbed with the issues surrounding Josphat Somanje’s infidelity (he was reportedly caught by his wife in the act with a girlfriend according to H-Metro reports) and Tongai Moyo’s multiple concurrent sexual partnerships”.

He goes to point out that: “barely a week after disclosing his HIV status Tongai Moyo had a domestic dispute with his wife over his intentions of marrying a second wife and there are even some claims that the man impregnated his wife’s young sister. This unfortunately claimed Barbara’s life (Moyo’s wife) as she committed suicide using rat poison.”

But I digress.

What has really been grating at my mind is whether there is any merit in polygamy as a preventive measure for HIV or infidelity? If men were encouraged to marry as many women as they pleased would we witness a decline in HIV prevalence and would we see infidelity drastically reduced to becoming a very rare occurrence?

I ask this because someone hailed Macheso for being “heroic” enough to admit that he is cheating on his wife and will now seek to white-wash that reality by formalizing the relationship with his hitherto “small house”.
What I maintain is that it is not possible for a man to arrive at the destination called polygamy without going through the route called “betraying and cheating on his first wife”.

I only wish to strongly contest, Macheso’s suitability for the role of HIV prevention activist which he appears to have taken up with such shameless gusto.

Is he the real deal?

Mimosa and Action, HIDC (in their combined wisdom or lack thereof) seem to think so.

c

13 thoughts on “Is Macheso the real deal?

  1. tendyfish says:

    I’m not saying the man is right , neither am i saying that you are wrong Delta, but we should try and look at this issue at different perspectives. I totally understand your angle delta , but it wouldn’t be proper for us to totally rule off the man. We should ask ourselves why he is doing it……maybe it’s because he feels guilty of what he has done and doesn’t want anyone else to follow in his footstep or maybe its because he’s trying to bring down the heat on his issues,….we don’t know, but the fact is he still has a loyal audience regardless of what he did in the past and somehow he will manage to inform and educate people through his campaign…….

  2. Mokili Mobimba says:

    While i agree with you Delta that Macheso cheated his wife and all BUT his advice still makes sense and its up to his legion of fans to take it or not. How many times do we tell people to do what we never practice? Besides, no one knows if Macheso was not using protection and/or if he together with his new wife, got tested for HIV. Maybe the Sungura maestro protected himself and the wife from HIV, therefore let him preach the gospel. Lets take Macheso’s message in a positive perspective!

  3. itsdelta says:

    His advice makes sense – true. But HIV is a very serious challenge in our society requiring committed individuals who can live responsibly and lead exemplary lives especially if they are in the public’s eye. I think his recent personal choices have dealt his image a blow and now one can not help but wonder whether this new crusade in HIV prevention is not some publicity stunt to score a few brownie points with the fans he might have alienated or disappointed through his conduct.
    Like I said, the more voices speaking out about HIV – the better BUT it must always be a consistent message not watered down by the contrary actions of those who have placed themselves on the frontlines of HIV prevention advocacy.
    Does Macheso pass the credibility test? That is what I am asking and if he does fine. And if he doesn’t what harm can his posturing (if that is what it is) do to his legions of impressionable fans who may do as he does rather than do as he says?

  4. Bonnie says:

    I am laughing rigt now because something just hit me. Didn’t Macheso sing that song which supposedly goes like “Chinokufadza chiiko Madhawu iwe, Musha weumwe watopararaaaa” Isn’t he castigating small houses in that song. (I could be wrong).
    Wht message is Macheso preaching in the Campaign i question??If it as to do with promoting sexual monogamy, then, Delta has a valid point. When UNAIDS chooses Goodwill Ambassadors, it doesn’t pick famous playboys to advocate for abstinence.

    Of course playboys might find a role in advertising consistent condom use to young fans, thereby playing a role in curbig the overall spread of HIV, but you won’t find them being asked to advocate for fidelity and abstinence, because their behaviour is outright the opposite.Point: An ambassador’s behaviour must be consistent with his verbal message, because right now, people are just itching to find an excuse to ignore HIV campaigns to soothe their consciences while they do risky stuff. Kune vanhu vaakuttoti “Ah Macheso akatadza kuzviita wani.(staying monogamous) Ini ndini munhu wepuranga here anozogona kuzviita?

  5. Raisedon says:

    I think Hiv messaging is not the preserve of the saintly. How many people working in the field of HIV prevention are walking their talk? We must separate Macheso’s personal life and his intention in preaching the gospel of HIV prevention. Are you also saying all those in polygamous relationships have no business in preaching HIV prevention messages? If we go that way we may lose the battle. Anyone who wants to go to war against HIV and Aids should be encouaged to do so.

    Remember the saying: Do as I say and not as I do.

    This could apply to Macheso.

  6. itsdelta says:

    I agree that HIV messaging is not the preserve of the saintly but Macheso is a public figure and whether he likes it or not – he is held to a higher moral standard which moral standard he set for himself through the music and songs he has belted out over the years rebuking the very social ills of infidelity that he himself now demonstrates.
    The fact that he has announced his intention to marry his girlfriend does not ameliorate the negative impact his choices have had on his image.
    By taking up HIV advocacy he has the chance to redeem his image or the misfortune to have himself held to an even higher moral standard than before – I wonder if he knows what he’s getting into because any wrong move hereon could spell disaster for himself and could harm the message he now seeks to put across.
    People who opt become pastors will be held to a higher moral code, public figures (whatever their discipline or profession) will attract public scrutiny.
    HIV is contracted and spread by people’s sexual choices, which sexual choices are personal choices Raisedon, so separating Macheso’s personal life from his intention of preaching the gospel of HIV prevention would be silly to say the least.
    Sometimes the messenger is as important as the message. So for me, Macheso is not the best messenger to entrust the HIV prevention message to – for the simple reason that he might find it hard to walk the talk… unlike other people working in the field today he has one asset (prominence) which asset is also his curse because unlike the other nameless faces – he is in the limelight and his choices have a greater impact on the society than other people do.

  7. robin says:

    macheso is just being silly i guess. how does he tell people to abstain when he is doing the opposite he is a public figure and he must act in a manner that is acceptable not what he is showing us. saka aids yacho ayipere if people act like macheso. polygamy,in as much as it is acceptable in our culture, it is the one that is killing us. who ever chose him did not make the best choice , we need real role models to practice what they preach. macheso must stick to music nt zve aids zvaasati akunzwisisa fully. how i wish he had attended the HIV and Aids workshop i had attended this week.

  8. Thanks for the mention! I am now wondering – what’s better? That he actually marries another wife, OR that he keeps a hidden small house somewhere? I have lost all faith in Zimbabwean men being able to hold down just one fort (please challenge this belief if you are a man who’s doing just that!) and so I tend to think that it’s better for a woman to point-blank know who she’s up against without the man going behind her back. I think that tactic is low and shallow and I would rather make a decision from an informed perspective, ie. he brings the other woamn and tells me he wants to be with her,etc. And then I can decide what to do.

    You are right – he probably was having a concurrent relationship with the friend’s daughter. But what’s new there? Men everywhere are doing that! It’s a bit of tricky situation but I would rather know!

  9. Bridget says:

    I thnk ther are aspects of our tht are good like amasiko, ubuntu tht i wish we cld impart to our western brothers n sistaz lol. however other aspects, like polygamy, set us back as a people. polygamy dsnt value wmen it objectifies us and creates the impression tht one wman is as good as the next, so why not have a collection of them? and how empowered is this 2nd wife in this marriage? is ther such a thing as a ‘2nd wife’? the 1st wife is, to me the validated wife. all successive ‘wives’ after her are entertainment and variety for the husband

  10. GARIKAI MUCHEMWA says:

    I still maintain my position that as a country we lack a specific HIV intervention that targets musicians. And as a result we are bound to witness the ugly head of the pandemic in this sector beacause truly speaking most of them lack “UNHU”.

    How i hate people who preach what they dont practice. In my five years of development practice i have noticed that people wont take you seriously if you dont walk the talk. I think those NGOs that hold several workshops on HIV prevention must harness these musicians.

    I was really angry to say the least to not that there a number of people who are actually condoning macheso’s behaviour under the guise of culture. But then infedelity and prostitution no matter under what name remains the same.

    The debate continues, no to multiple concurrent sexual partners because its the major driver of HIV and AIDS kills

  11. Hello!, Very interest angle, we were talking about the same thing at work and found your site very stimulating. So felt compelled to comment a little thank you for all your effort. Please keep up the great work your doing!

  12. Tapainda Tapinda says:

    Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone. W\e should learn to be solution focused as progressive and fair minded educated Zimbabweans. Even if you inundate Macheso with your castigations and scolds, some of which are merely and wholly out of and ensuing from your innermost beings which are sum totals of malice and frantic endeavors to assassinate his person hood, personality and character, what solutions have got to offer. I hold his conduct with utter repugnance, disdain and abhorrence but what have you got to offer as a solution to this problem? I get disturbed when a highly esteemed lot of Zimbos folk in terms of academic prowess and open mindedness waste ink in trying at pains to highlight what we already know, what has already been reported on, without offering any solutions.All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.The Lord came to seek and save those who are lost. Some of you are not taking second wives but you are thieves, you hate your relatives, with your toungues through gossip mongering you have destroyed families. What qualifies you then to be demagogues of morality. There are people who are in the NGOs who have developed a penchant of squandreing donor monies that are intended for the vulnerable. Is that above board. Let us learn to forgive each other and support one another as we try to reform, just like what Macheso is doing. He needs our support together with his family. Vana Akon, Sean Paul, Madonna and all those American celebrities imhombwe wani asi munovachemera wani.Kwanai manzwa. Wenyu ndiye womotuka? Hamuna kukwana pfungwa. Mwana akatadza anorohwa asi tinozvita murudo kuti aite reform.

  13. Vanenhamo says:

    YOU KNOW WHAT AIDS APANA. IF IT WAS THERE DEI ALL ZIMBABWE MAN VATOPERA. I THINK MADZIMAI YEMAKWIKWI NDIYO, ACHIBUDA CHIBUDA WO. OWUYA NAYO AIDS NEWE WOMUPA WO. ININI NDANETA NEVARUME IVAVA. TUVASIKANA TWACHO TUNODA VARUME VAKAROORA EVEN IF THEY KNOW THAT THERE ARE MARRIED, MA EMAILS, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, MESSAGES AND PHONING THEY ARE NOT SCARED AT ALL. WANGU ANETSA NEPFAMBI M REMAKOKO. KUNYARARA AND SUBMITTING TO MY HUSBAND HAS NOT WORKED. BUT I STILL CONTINUE TO PRETEND AS IF NOTHING IS HAPPENING BECAUSE KUTAURA HAS NOT WORKED FOR MY FRIENDS EITHER.

    THE ONLY SECRET IS DEI MAURE ACHO AKAZIVA SECRET YEKUTI NEVER HAVE A BABY OR CHILD. ONCE YOU HAVE A CHILD MURUME ANOBUDA KUNOTSVAGA MA19 TO 28 YEAR OLDS VANODA MARI CHETE. TAFADZVA AKAITAMWANA MACHESO WILL LOOK FOR ANOTHER GERO, WHAT GOES ROUND COMES ROUND TOO.

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