An­other league of ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­tle­men

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Lifestyle - Born­wise Mtonzi Life­style Cor­re­spon­dent

TRA­DI­TION­ALLY men are known for tak­ing up tasks some­where away from the kitchen. In most African cul­tures, it is un­com­mon for men to do house­hold chores that are pre­served for women.

While a lot has changed and some men be­ing em­ployed in the hospitality in­dus­try as chefs and waiters, it still re­mains a chal­lenge for men to ac­cept do­ing fem­i­nine roles.

The trend used to be com­mon be­fore In­de­pen­dence when whites would em­ploy black men to cook for them, but the area of clean­ing the house and do­ing laun­dry was largely re­served for fe­males.

How­ever, some men are not let­ting these so­cial norms hin­der them from do­ing jobs that can put food on their ta­bles.

It is even bet­ter for them be­cause some em­ploy­ers pre­fer male em­ploy­ees as their “house­men”.

It is now com­mon to see men’s names on the maids agent list.

In an in­ter­view Bernard Nha­papta (36) from Bor­row­dale said back in the days he used to pre­fer women maids to do his house chores but has re­cently changed and em­ployed a man.

“With times chang­ing, I have no­ticed some men are bet­ter you know. I used to em­ploy house­maids to do ev­ery­thing in my house but now I have re­alised that a man is bet­ter.

“It is not that women are bad or can­not do these jobs, to me men are bet­ter be­cause they are faster when it comes to do­ing things as com­pared to women,” he said.

An­other fam­ily man from the same hood only iden­ti­fied as Wal­ter echoed the same sen­ti­ments stat­ing that men are more or­gan­ised than women.

“My brother em­ploy­ing a man to do your house chores en­sures that things are done per­fectly.

“I never used to be­lieve that man are also good when it comes to do­ing house chores, they are fast and get things done eas­ily,” he said.

Anne Mwenda, a mother of two said she re­alised that the rise of men in the house­hold chores has not come as a sur­prise to her as she has al­ways pre­ferred them more than em­ploy­ing a maid.

“Since I was grow­ing up my fam­ily em­ployed men for house chores. I have seen how good man are in per­form­ing these du­ties. It started when our gar­dener called Takudzwa used to han­dle house chores when our maid was off duty.

“We re­alised he was so good at it, ac­tu­ally bet­ter than the maid and he was so

“Men are fast, punc­tual and good time-keep­ers. Give a man some­thing to do, that thing would be quickly done . . .

good in the kitchen. He cooked great meals and at last my par­ents ended up hav­ing him to do both du­ties,” she said.

Tafadzwa Mataruse of Domb­o­ramwari, Ep­worth said he got into the job be­cause of fi­nan­cial chal­lenges, but later fell in love with it.

“I never wanted to do this job, but I have re­alised that it is bet­ter and I am paid well. I have also fallen in love with my job as I have re­alised that I love cook­ing,” he said.

Mataruse said he later at­tended evening cook­ing classes in Haig Park and is now very good at bak­ing and cook­ing.

How­ever, it is true that the world was ready to adapt to change let alone ap­pre­ci­ate the ‘new men skill’, be­ing the house­man.

Some peo­ple de­scribed the house­man as some­one whom one can eas­ily work with but still put their faith on women.

“Per­son­ally, for cook­ing let us leave it to the women. Why bother your­self fo­cus­ing on plates and knives.

“For men the garage should be your favourite place rather than the kitchen un­less you are greedy,” noted one com­men­ta­tor.

Ku­dak­washe Mdutshwa from Green­dale had a dif­fer­ent opin­ion.

“As a per­son who does not en­joy do­ing chores but like clean­li­ness, I have re­alised that men can do that for me and I do not mind at all.

“Men are fast, punc­tual and good time keep­ers. Give a man some­thing to do, that thing would be quickly done,” said an­other.

Mdutshwa added that women can­not eas­ily work to­gether, as some can eas­ily get threat­ened when it comes to their hus­bands.

“If you see most women who em­ploy house­maids, there is a bit of bad blood be­tween them to the ex­tent that they would change one maid af­ter an­other for the sim­ple rea­son that women do not eas­ily get along.

“As multi-tuskers, a man can also en­sure se­cu­rity at the house and most men can feel that their premises are pro­tected when they are not there.”

While this may seem like trend here in Zim­babwe this is not a new phe­nom­e­non.

Trac­ing back in the colo­nial era we have peo­ple who started as ‘tea boys’ and now are be­ing ranked among the big­gest names.

House­men are mainly found in the up-town as fam­i­lies in the ghetto still seem to have reser­va­tions about the trend.

A house­man mak­ing a meal

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