YVONNE walks along a street and two men in the process of gazing at her, collide head on and are embarrassed to learn that they were starring at the same woman. She continues with her journey and a group of men are gathered having tea and one of them is about to pour tea into another's cup, suddenly Yvonne shows up, grabbing the attention of everyone to an extent that the man who was about to pour the tea misses the cup and pours the hot tea on his colleague who jumps in pain, goes an HIV/AIDS
The advert currently being shown on our national television channels is there to alert people that no matter how good looking and well built a person can be, he or she can have the virus that causes AIDS, especially if the person is under ARV treatment.
Though the advert is entertaining and full of humour and has been crafted to convey a certain message, it depicts realities of society as a lot of men and women just can't help staring lustfully at members of the opposite sex. Though the innocence of the gesture known as ogling is doubtful, most of the perpetrators do it for pleasure. Their senses of imagination will be overworking during that time.
It is beyond reasonable doubt that those who do it will be enjoying themselves. The society has even gone as far as coining different names to it. I remember one of my former workmates declaring in the newsroom one day that “the winter is over and it’s now time for body viewing.” I didn't get what she was trying to imply because the term body viewing describes a procession during funerals where people will be paying their last respects. But to my surprise she was implying that since winter (in cold regions such as Iringa and Kilimanjaro) forced people to dress decently as they try to shield their bodies from the cold, and now that the cold had gone, many of them were going to walk on the streets scantly dressed and that was an opportunity for some people to ogle.
This other day I decided to forgo daladalas and use private vehicles because of transport woes. I flagged down a certain pickup truck and the driver stopped. Luckily, the driver was going in the same direction as I was, but before boarding, two ladies and a few other people asked for a lift from this kind hearted man who did not turn down their requests. When we boarded the pickup, one of the ladies unzipped her handbag and handed a kanga to her colleague saying tujikinge vingine vyo watatuchukua picha za Xray.
What the ladies meant was that they had to cover themselves to avoid being ogled at.
Ogling has become common place in Tanzania to an extent that one just needs to get out of his or her closet and wait by the street corner and observe. The situation is serious, when a man comes across a beautiful or scantly dressed woman, curiosity usually grips him to an extent that he usually turns back moments after, to have a clear view of the back side of the woman.
As mentioned earlier, some call it body viewing, others Xray while the other section of the society calls it sexual harassment. This has not only become common on streets but even at places of work. People ogle at their colleagues and these have sometimes ended up with one of them taking further steps resulting in a serious sexual relationship.
Some men I managed to talk to revealed that by starring at women, they will be appreciating the beauty God created. They claim that the extent of the appreciation depends with the time spent looking at the person. If one is exposed to the person he or she is looking at for a long time then they end up imagining a lot of things including how the person might look like when undressed.
Most men, however believe that the practice is fueled by wanawake wanavaa nguo zinazo onesha maungo yao. Whether that is true or not, that I leave to you dear reader. But, a lot of bodies are being viewed while a lot of Xrays are continuously being taken. This is not only confined to men but women also.
Though most women are too shy to admit it, it is a practice some of them enjoy.
Because of our space and time dear reader, let’s continue this subject some other time but I leave you with this warning that many people have lost a lot of teeth because of staring at a woman who is accompanied by her husband or lover. Be vigilant, I am not encouraging you to do it, because when you ogle at someone's wife or husband, that is tantamount to stealing and when you are caught you deserve kupigwa kama mwizi. Fore warned is fore armed, don't say I didn't warn you. God bless you.