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Bobby looks for advice on his new wife

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Dr Alex Magaisa looks for laughs, and takes a completely different tack from the usual political commentators, in this recent piece on the Government of National Unity (GNU). Bobby, an 84, soon to be 85 year old  man writes to Aunt Rhoda, Zimbabwe’s resident agony aunt, for some advice on his September marriage and how to deal with his new wife.

Letter to Aunt Rhoda

Dear Aunt Rhoda,

I am an 84 year old man, soon to be 85 and desperately need your help as I’m am going through a very sticky patch.

After an on-off relationship and a tempestuous courtship, I finally married my girlfriend in September 2008, a mere two months after our engagement. I had to get it done quickly before she could entertain a change of mind, as has happened before, to my extreme discomfort.

It was a beautiful wedding, presided over by a long standing and loyal friend who flew all the way from South Africa. It was right that he be there, as he had been forced to call upon his powers during the latter period of the courtship. However, problems re-emerged on the very night of the wedding, when my new bride indicated that she was not ready to join the matrimonial home. She insisted on extensive renovations and comprehensive clean-up of the household to ensure that she would have total control of the all maters to do with the home. I appreciate that in my time (and at 84 it’s been long) I have entertained different types but I thought she would use her vantage position as vahosi (the wife-in-chief) to do all she wanted upon her arrival in the house. Her reaction was an unpleasant surprise that caused me enormous shame and humiliation among my peers.

Normally, I would have dispensed with her company there and then. The trouble is I desperately need this woman at this point in my life. She is the bridge between the looming penury that I face and the greener pastures that only her company can provide, although this is a fact that I will not admit publicly. My business empire is crumbling and I stand to lose everything, so I have had to literally beg her. I have tried to put some pressure through my usual tried and tested ways but this has, so far, yielded nothing. Absolutely nothing but pain and sleepless nights! I have to admit that I am in the biggest fix of my life.

I am very sure that my new wife loves me otherwise she would not have put that signature on the marriage certificate. This much I know because her parents, my new in-laws absolutely hate me. They did not even attend the wedding. They have never liked me one bit and think that I am old and tired. The reality, auntie, is that even though I’m 84, I consider myself a ‘young old man’. I don’t see myself appealing to the walking stick any time soon and I am fitter than a 30 year old. Her friends have not been helpful; in fact, some of them are just consumed by envy and jealousy so all they do feed her lies about me. Just recently she spent two months ensconced at one of her friends’ home. That friend is one of those unmarried types who have never been seen in male company and I fear she might cause my new wife to do a ‘cross-over’ (you know what I mean auntie) and do all those things that even pigs dare not attempt. It is that fear which fills me with real rage and I have had to exercise the greatest patience to restrain myself.

Auntie, my new wife is not exactly in the build or looks of Cleopatra nor is she a female version of Einstein when it comes to the intellect and I thought she had done a wonderful thing to accept my favour. If she did not have those bags of silver and gold, I very much doubt that any man, let alone I, would look twice at her. But I want her to know that I love her very dearly. In fact, her hard-to-get antics have caused me to value her very dearly. What I cannot do however, to confide in you auntie, is to display this affection too publicly and to be seen to be publicly grovelling for her company. As a man of my stature I have to maintain my dignity by not publicly conceding to all her demands. I have too many friends and hangers-on who might think I have lost my power – for it this power that I have applied to maintain my personal empire. If they think I have lost my power, my new wife could face very difficult times ahead because even I will not be able to give her the comfort and protection that she will need.

So, auntie, I want her to know that all she needs to do is to come into the matrimonial home and as soon as she is here she can do madiro akamba (whatever she pleases!). My friends and village elders have tried to persuade her but tete, arikutsika madziro (she remains adamant) zvekuti ndatopererwa ini (I am really stuck). I need whatever help you can give, even if it means you coming round to use your renowned powers of persuasion. Please, auntie – I await your response; I will be checking my email every two minutes.



P/S I should also mention that we have a child together (we had her before marriage). The trouble is this child of ours has been fed wrong information about me and she, too, now hates me with a passion. To be disliked by your old child, auntie? It hurts!

Aunt Rhoda Replies:

Dear Bobby

Yours is a most unusual situation, Bobby and I can see that you are desperate. But you also sound like a man who is overpowered by his own arrogance. You say you love your new wife but if that is the case, why don’t you just be humble and accept her demands? After all she is going to be your wife, she will cook for you and share the matrimonial bed for life and, quite frankly, looking at the demographics that is not likely to be too long even though you prefer to describe yourself a ‘young old man’. Whatever that means, accept that you are old and as it is your arrogance is causing you to waste precious time. By the time she agrees, you might find that you will be unable to provide all that a young bride wants and she might end up finding other company, something that is sure to cause you ever greater heartache.

Forget about her parents or her friends and accept that it is your responsibility and if anything is wrong, it is purely your fault. You say you have a child together and that she hates you but again you blame it on others. Look yourself in the mirror Bobby, perhaps you have not exactly been the model dad to your child? With the pride you personally confess in your letter, I would not be surprised but you still want to offload all responsibility to others. That is your biggest vice.

Give your wife and child the respect they deserve and they might begin to warm towards you. The problem is you seem to be in the relationship for the wrong reasons; for convenience, to put it starkly and if that is the case, then she is right to worry about your intentions.

My advice is, be honest, be man enough to admit your mistakes and give your new wife what she wants. After all, you seem to be the one who needs her most.


Aunt Rhoda

Author’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Persons named in this work do not exist, even if circumstances mirror any real life situations that readers may know, honest!

2 comments to “Bobby looks for advice on his new wife”

  1. Comment by Sophie:

    This is good! I enjoyed it!

  2. Comment by Zeeyaa:

    This is good humour. It’s a pity if it would compare to to real life situations!! Bobby sounds impotent from the story and will not be able to consummate the marriage. So auntie rhoda, more problems will still arise even if Bobby takes the wife. So better save him the embarrassment and not encourage a marriage.