THIS week, social media was on fire. Facebook in particular. Of late Twitter has been doing the things, it is arguably the liveliest social media platform at the moment. However, Facebook groups are becoming interesting communities and escape spaces for women.
Well there are these two interesting Facebook groups, Mucheno Wemumba and Classy Homes. Sometimes, these groups give people chest pains.
I follow both, there is a lot of activity there and there is a lot that every woman can learn from the platforms.
What was particularly interesting this week was the “hubby surprise” showdown.
Women were showing off top of the range cars that they received as “surprise gifts” from their spouses.
With the number of people who got surprises, it looks like husbands are busy out there.
Some women however changed the hubby gift discourse and then started the woman empowered showdown, where they shared pictures dubbed “the fruits of my sweat”. Funny enough, those in that group seemed to be showing off even nicer and bigger cars. It just shows you how far girl power can go. It goes the extra mile.
The group then started a noise. On classy husbands and how people always group all men as “dogs” under the same big umbrella.
Some people started saying real men were the ones who gave the big gifts. However, the more reasonable women came out and pointed out that real men were those who loved fully and not half heartedly and those who gave from the bottom of their hearts.
This one woman raised a point I liked. She said some people who posted the hubby surprise gifts may have gotten them but still in shaky marriages on the verge of collapse. So those big gas guzzlers were not synonymous with blissful homes.
I think all the drama that stirred in that group points to the fact that people must love, with or without extravagance, be content while still striving towards better achievements and living within their means.
I sense an element of competition from the group as people continued posting cars and interesting versions of surprises. Some cars were apology gifts after infidelity, some were to thank wives after child birth, some anniversary celebrations and all.
Celebrating achievements and sharing them with friends is okay but some people started going in a direction I choose to differ with as they were of the view that those who did not receive cars as gifts were not loved enough.
I think the conditions of our existence are different. For starters, that group is made up of people, mostly Zimbabweans, scattered across the globe and a significant number of them are not based locally. So, I think for one who stays in Zimbabwe and earns an honest living to start wanting to compete with a diasporan living in a more stable economy borders around foolishness.
Women, and the husbands too, must not feel pressured to live up to the standards set in that group as some of the “surprise car gifts” may have been bought on credit and not cash. So, some families out there may be drowning in debt because of the V8, six-litre engines that were the envy of many.
To those wives with husbands who can afford those big gifts without breaking the bank, good for you. To those sisters who can afford the big vehicles from your sweat and toil, I say you are the real deal and the inspiration to sisterhood that a woman can achieve whatever she wants and more, without having to attribute any of it to a male figure in her life.
To those couples that are still sharing a car and living a modest life, I say keep on persevering.
And to those that do not have a car today, I say keep the love burning and continue with the hustle, your days are coming.
However, I particularly want to state that car or not, everybody needs a happy home. After all a personal car is just a very convenient mode of transport. Yes, it empowers you as a woman and you are able to be wherever you want to be, whenever, but it should not be the measure of success. I am picturing some homes being on thorny ground with some people making four-wheeled demands about cars following the Facebook group posts.
We must all remember that while we converge on social media for those moments, it is only the glam side of things that we show. Some of those women could be victims of domestic violence. Some could really be living their dreams. You just don’t know the full story.
All I can say is the pressure exerted on us by the glamour on social media is that those posts do not contribute a cent to your budget. So empowered with that knowledge, I say love, be loved, keep the hustle, and slay in your lane.
It will not help to wake up and go to a car dealership and buy a vehicle on credit when you won’t be able to keep up with the instalments. Imagine the embarrassment when Mr “Repo Man” comes along.
Sisters work harder, be grateful for everything and keep the slay in your lane. — @andile_tshuma