What is your understanding of womens’ rights and feminism?
The way I understand women’s rights is that they are the vast distance between the rights that men enjoy, and the rights that women enjoy which is pale in comparison. The right to live free from violence, slavery, discrimination, the right to the same wage for the same work, the right to the same work, the right to own property, the right to vote, just to list a few.
Feminism, in my view, is the belief that women do in fact deserve these rights that the majority of men already enjoy. Essentially it’s about equality, and breaking down the barriers that stand in the way of both men and women enjoying equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities. It’s about not just the access to choice, but the right to exercise those choices too. It’s about closing that gap between the rights of men and women.
What is your take on traditional gender roles in a relationship and/or marriage and modern-day roles?
Relationships are about negotiation and compromise. Every human being is different with different needs, wants, desires, capabilities and limitations. With the so-called traditional gender-roles, how these different needs, wants, desires, capabilities and limitations, were catered for and expressed, were pre-negotiated by society and culture. What we forget is that society changes, and culture usually doesn’t, but in order to actually keep culture alive . . . parts of it must die in the form of rejuvenation. So I feel that in relationships in our day and age, it comes down to really knowing each other as individuals and doing the hard work of negotiating your roles. It’s the only way to define your relationship for yourself. Decide and compromise together on what will mean what to you and when, and how you will act that out in love. At the end of the day, if you’re someone in need of traditional gender roles, pair yourself up with someone who feels and believes the same. If you’re open to negotiate for yourself and on your own terms, find someone willing to walk that walk with you. Life and love are as fluid as the societies we live in, the relationships we build are meant to serve as a baseline for stability, security and peace in that crazy-beautiful ocean of chaos called life on Earth.
Sexual consent… Is there a grey area when it comes to the topic of
consent…for both women and men and where do you draw the line between consent and rape?
No means no. Even if at first it was yes. There can’t be any grey area, on both sides of the coin, for men and women. Because on both sides of the coin, even in relationships, men and women get upset or feel rejected if their partner says “no not today” or “no not right now” . . . but regardless, that’s to be respected. We’re not really conditioned to understand and accept this in relationships, because for the most part entitlement is the order of the day. But there can’t be any grey area, it’s too clear, nobody can lay claim to the body of another and it’s sickening and sad that every day, countless women are raped in the name of entitlement. And we’re also not really accepting of the fact that men have the right to consent as well. The assumption is that men must always want sex, and that if they don’t something is wrong with them. This perception is what leads to the stigma and ridicule around the fact that men can be and have been raped. There is no grey area, just circumstances that challenge us to know better, do better and rise above some of the backward conditioning of our societies.
Friendships with exes and the opposite sex, thoughts?
When it comes to friendships with the opposite sex, you yourself know your person. Or at least you should. At least well enough to be able to tell whether those friendships are true friendships.With that said, it’s also very easy to project your past experiences on to your current realities, so it comes down to knowing yourself as well. Easier said than done. But when it comes to friendships with exes, I’d really rather not, it’s too slippery a slope. Life and love are hard enough as it is, without adding that extra layer of risk and danger to it all. let the past live in the past, or it may just wreck your present and your potential future.
What’s your understanding of menstrual cycle, aka periods, and what are your thoughts on the various changes associated with this period?
It’s that time of the month where I know I need to be more aware of my partner’s feelings. She’s going through a lot of pain, her hormones are doing backflips and she’s gonna need me to be patient and understanding. It’s very easy to get this wrong, Lord knows I’ve done so countless . . . and in some cases, made my partner feel bad for something natural that she can’t avoid or escape. I have regretted those times every time. The knee jerk reaction to a very trying time in her month, is to just blame all negative behaviour on what she’s experiencing, but at my best I’m ready with “the care package” and lots of emotional support. Honestly, this time of the month is always a test that I try to stay ready to rise up to.
Lobola… Thoughts, preferences, does it have a place in today’s society, what’s the impact of new bill?
In general I really think my answer comes back to what I said about knowing what’s best for you and your person specifically. Personally, I really want to pay lobola, it’s one of those rites of passage that I want to go through. I want to experience and express that token, even though I’m not the most traditionally inclined individual. As far as the new bill, I haven’t really got myself up to speed on it to be fair. I just know that we’re gonna have our roora and we’re gonna have our white wedding when the time comes. And I can’t wait for that time to come.
“My name is Tendai Ryan Nguni, I am a musician by the name of Tehn Diamond, an actor (you might recognise me from the Netflix feature film ‘Cook Off’) and an entrepreneur. I’m from Harare, Zimbabwe where I’m currently working hard to build my boutique branding agency, Nice Life Brands & Consultancy. I’m also working on my relationship with God, my family and the parts of my self that need to grow. I’m a simple man, who enjoys his solitude and believes that in all things purpose prevails.”