THE 1st of April every year is a remarkable and widely commemorated day as many people take the opportunity to fool and trick their beloved ones. Many stories have been told of many people who contemplated killing themselves after having been fooled or tricked by their loved ones.
I know we have had various experiences in as far as this day is concerned. I would also like to confess that over the years I have fallen for such lies only to be embarrassed after discovering that I would have been tricked.
On the same note, it is the only time and day when media houses all over the world are permitted to publish falsehoods. Journalists on this day can cook a nice story and publish it without being reprimanded. Don't get me wrong dear reader, there is no way a media house can publish a libelous story on this day and expect to get away with it.
Many media houses in Tanzania and the world over carried hoax stories to commemorate April Fool's Day. One of the leading daily newspapers published a story about a top soccer player whom it said had struck a deal with Manchester United.
The paper reported that Taifa Stars and Simba striker Musa Hassan Mgosi secured a lucrative deal to go for trials at Manchester United in England.
Another newspaper reported that a new cellular network provider had planned to dish out free handsets to first 100 customers. The story added that the customers were to get new Nokia 6655 handsets together with 50 000/- free airtime.
I am confident that there are readers out there who were caught unawares and believed these and other stories published by different media houses on that day. I still vividly remember a story run by this this newspaper last year. Though the story sounds stranger than fiction, it is real.
A family marked this day (April Fool's Day) in style when they were detained by the police in Chumbageni, Tanga for more than five hours after they had lied on April fool's Day that their son had dropped in a pit latrine.
This occurred when Ms Fatuma Abeid sent an sms to her husband, Mr Ally Maulidi, that their son had fallen into a pit latrine. Mr Maulidi decided to seek help from the police who were forced to dispatch two vehicles to his homestead to rescue the child. They were, however, shocked to learn that it was a hoax on arrival at the homestead. They were left with no option but to detain all the family members, who were set free after apologizing.
Whatever the outcome, this day is meant for fun, so people should just enjoy being fooled. I know we have so many stories to share and let's share them.
Enough about the day of fools. When I browsed through my Facebook profile recently, I came across an interesting debate on rape. The debate was ignited by a post by a certain friend of mine on a new wave of rape cases perpetrated by women. This came after a group of four women offered a lift to a certain man in one of the notorious countries in Africa. Along the way, the women are said to have diverted their route and parked the vehicle in a forest before producing a pistol they used to threaten the man.
I really don't know how they did it but these women are said to have given this guy some concoction and forced him to have sexual intercourse with them. Unbelievable it might seem it is a true story and it seems it's not the only one as many other cases of this nature have been reported. It is suspected that these women are doing it for superstition.
It is this story that sparked an argument whether a woman can rape a man. The debate was streamlined along gender, with women defending their position that they are too innocent to rape men while men on the other side, pouring out their anger as they could not stomach the fact that the tables are turning on them. Gone are the days when men thought they are the ones who can abuse women as they are now facing the music. It's a matter of one tasting the bitterness of his own medicine.
Even prominent gender activists added their voices in the debate, defending women as incapable of raping. In fact they were hiding behind their fingers as they used the laws of the land to defend their cause. The argument unearthed that the legal definition of rape revolves around penetration. This then disqualifies men as victims of rape.
I know there are many boys and men who are taken advantage of by some powerful women and are sexually abused or are raped. This therefore calls for the society, in the same manner they try to protect girls from these hideous acts, to also protect men as the tables are turning faster than one can imagine.
Besides sexual abuse, women are said to posses the power to seduce men to make them fall in love with them or ending up in a sexual relationship. This is usually done by manipulating men's weaknesses. Men are said to be triggered by sight and this becomes a problem especially to those men who are weak as they are affected by the mere sight of a scantly dressed woman.
Some women, especially ladies of the night use this trick to attract clients. With globalisation and cultural imperialism taking its toll, women's dressing is fast becoming skimpy by the day. Some fashion trends are so provocative that some men are left disturbed and without a choice but to act.
In this country, we have for a long time been blaming teachers for having affairs with schoolgirls. We also have been crying foul over high numbers of girls who are forced to abandon school after falling pregnant.
I couldn't stop wondering after coming across a group of girls putting on their school uniforms. What disturbed me was the manner their uniforms were. One could be justified to suggest that these girls were heading to a brothel.
I think it is time something is done when it comes to school uniforms, especially those that leave nothing to the imagination. How will male teachers concentrate with their work while half of the class is scantly dressed?
The society, especially parents and guardians of these children, should make sure that they are decently dressed before they leave home for school daily. This will go a long way in helping our children to concentrate on their school work without disturbances.
It is also high time we take the advice of Mama Kikwete seriously. The First Lady, Mama Salma Kikwete, recently admonished schoolgirls in Mara Region for provoking men’s lust for sex by putting on indecent clothes.
Indecent clothes worn by girl students attract men who end up impregnating them or have them contract sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/Aids, and losing their education dreams, she observed.
“Stop exposing your bodies in public because you will gain nothing but sorrow by attracting lustful men,” she told the schoolgirls.
The First Lady, who was on the first leg of her marathon tour of Mara Region in Bunda, was addressing women groups including students from Bunda Teachers Training College and secondary school school girls.
She urged schoolgirls to refrain from accepting gifts from lustful men, asking the girls to concentrate on education which, she said, was a key to better life in future.
This could not have come at a better time than this and there is need for everyone in this country to play his or her part when it comes to protecting these schoolgirls. I will definitely doubt the sanity of a parent or guardian who lets her daughter leave the house for school everyday putting on indecent clothing. Parents should play a vital role by not only monitoring what their children put on but by adequately providing for them so that they won't be snared by uncouth men who use money and gifts to get what they want.
Let's all make this country a better place for everyone and bring an end to this madness. God bless you