THE TAMALE SCANDAL; PORNOGRAPHY OR NAIVETY?

The pornography scandal that hit Tamale recently awakened a dead topic within me. When I first set foot here, I looked at the dressing of the females and they earned my respect instantly. Their veils, their clothes, even without veils their clothes were and are still like decent wedding gowns. I looked at myself and saw the short dresses I brought from the south and looked back at them and saw the look of horror some wore.

I remember telling my boyfriend then when he came to visit of the decency of women in Tamale. He laughed so hard and told me;

“Ceci, you are decent than most of them. You should see the things they do before getting under those angelic clothes. I lived here for years before going down south, and the way these ladies, even some girls chase men is horrible. Why do you think most of their men don’t respect them? Please don’t wish to be them, I love you just the way you are. Let them judge you with what you wear, they don’t know you”

Then, I thought he was just being sweet. But I can’t lift my head after the scandal. Most men call from far, others seek me out shamelessly to show me some of the pictures, old men you might be tempted to think will advise against the circulation begs for the pictures on their phones. A female holding a “stick” and posing in the camera, a lady lying naked and looking happy at being snapped, etc. What were their thoughts then? I want to know.

Was it that the camera was new to them? Was it that they were promised with marriages if they pleased the said guy in bed? Then what about those who were supposedly married? What of those who are now married? what will be their fate in this “woman is nothing realm?” What will make a woman agree to be filmed by a man even if the said man happens to be her husband? What thoughts could they have to have allowed themselves to leave their “shamefuls” in the hands of a potential threat.

I know marriage is a big deal to women here, considering some are forced into marriages with people their fathers’ age (although I thought now things are changing) getting a youthful husband is a great feat, and if there is money in that youth’s family, all the better. Some I know are very materialistic, a man with a motor bike is all it will take to capture their hearts, and if the person is kind enough to buy her one, her soul is for the person. But this must not be it. No matter how unthinking or naïve a person is, videoing sex, she must know is for the viewing of more than a person. Why will I have you take pictures of me in those times? A human does not know what his future holds. What if the relationship goes sour in the future? What if the fault is yours and the person wants revenge?

A missing hard drive is a perfect alibi, always will be a perfect alibi and for this scandal to break, I get evidence of more filth under those cover-ups.

A woman must first respect herself before gaining respect. Filming your pride when your existence is seen as that of a helper is no way to move forward in honour and maintaining your pride. Life as an African female is not easy, but that of a female northerner in Ghana is worse because many men use the Holy Book of their religion to subdue and trample upon their right. Change must start from us. We need to know what we want, what is right and what is good for us in order to enjoy our rights.

All I can say to the men sharing those pictures is; you do not look down on a womb that gave you life. Treat it as trash and it will mean you are trash. And to the women happy and sharing this, since the organ is the same everywhere, apart from its colour and size, you sharing and being happy tells of you ruining your pride. Let’s not wash our dirty linen in public, a woman is still a woman even if she is at fault. Let’s think.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014

47 thoughts on “THE TAMALE SCANDAL; PORNOGRAPHY OR NAIVETY?

  1. Wow, such a brilliant post. Your powerful thoughts have certainly stirred up a few hornets nests. Well done!

    It is good to witness those attacking your words because it shows them to be true. I was shocked to read such angry responses to you, but you have opened my eyes.

    Thank you, your thoughts are so important to read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Homepage
  3. A timeless piece applicable to all societies acroos the globe. I as a man am sometimes appalled by the attitude of men and so saddened that woman who are the mothers of the planet are disrespected and abused and yet feel it is necessary to demean their natural beauty and self. Socieites need to look at themselves with a much more honest and critical eye I think. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “All I can say to the men sharing those pictures is; you do not look down on a womb that gave you life. Treat it as trash and it will mean you are trash.”
    Beautifully expressed.

    Like

  5. Wow, Cecelia, it appears you have hit several cords with your post! Good, for that makes people think and re-think what they believe to be true. I have read through some of the comments to your post and I found it in error to tell you that you should avoid criticism in your blog. There is always going to be someone who disagrees and challenges what you say but it is your blog and you can write whatever you like. It is good to show both sides of a story but this post was based on your personal experiences and what happened in that particular moment in your life. Some of your responders attack you personally and that is uncalled and the weapon of a person who cannot formulate a good argument based on facts. Try not to be discouraged with such comments as they will always arise. I found the one comment, ” I live in an advanced country”, ironically comical due to the fact it shouted the poster’s belief in her superiority to others. When in comes to evil doings by humanity it does not matter what country you are from because it exists everywhere. There is no “advanced” country when it comes to barbarism against women and children, for it is everywhere and there is no government, belief, religion or other that can protect women from it except the women themselves. Take heart and keep blogging away! Blessings to you dear Cecelia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the advice. I will moderate properly from now on. This is what African women are experiencing. Whatever we say, we are heavily criticised by our own, they try their hardest to get on our nerves by mostly going off topic. I blame the religions they are associated with without proper understanding. I saw that comment, I just didn’t feel like arguing so I decided to let those who read through judge his advancement. And thank you for all your encouragements.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with you for your stand for women, I am an advocate for that belief, but where I will differ is your hasty conclusion on the suppose angelic dressings of girls in Tamale, the link with the sex scandal and your boyfriends mockery. It is rather a clear naivety on your part, if I may put it this way and ignorance on the part of your boyfriend.
    I will explain:
    If you think people deserve respect in you wisdom, respect them as human being and for who there are. It does not matter where a wrong takes place. It remains wrong. Whether in Axim or Kumasi it is wrong, not only when it is in Tamale that you see it to be wrong. Can you stick your hand up and say that illicit intimate relationships do not take place in your village? if it takes place and for whatever mean outsider see it should they not respect you as a people? Will you be confident enough to claim that the sisters who dress better than angels do not have private lives that they do things opposite to what they preach before their congregations? Is your boyfriend telling us that the Osofo in his village who is well dressed with a cross in his hand in the day time and sleeping with other’s wives in the night should not be mocked at because it’s not taking place in Tamale? What about children being raped and sodomised by self-claimed anointed men of God all over Ghana? Does that mean we should not respect good people in that system? I think as someone in the media you should have rather drawn your boyfriends attention to balance reporting and objectivity in your profession. My sister put in the same shoe as it goes men will behave the same. I hope your boyfriend is seeing you alone and does not see any of these girls without your knowledge. Where in Ghana is there no barbarism? Is it fathers making babies with their daughters elsewhere in the country that you will consider as civilised people or the stealing of children for ritual?
    What I will expect you to do is offer suggestions because you are in the same boat as those ladies and beware that the intent of a man can never be known. I live in an advanced country and what I see every day is worse than what happens in Tamale. Even the issue of women equality is a battle being fought all the time. I see a complex in the conversation between you and your boyfriend. You did not have the confidence to challenge him and defend on your views as a media person with broader perspective but gave in simply because he is a man; a dominant sex, that must not be challenged even when wrong. The same problem you claim to be fighting against. My sister, if there is something wrong in Tamale, it is in Ghana and you will not be counted out when the issue is discussed in any direction because you are a woman. You are in Tamale for your daily bread please treat them as you will treat anyone anywhere and not create such things, start a problem only to turn and blame them again I will advise.

    Like

    1. First thank you for reading, second, I am in Tamale because I want to. Thirdly, I am not a Christian is I am not to be related to Christianity in anyway, I believe in the supreme being. And if you read it very well, I did not say things like these are only for the people of Tamale, neither did I say that ladies in Tamale are not to be respected, what I said was that I did not agree with my boyfriend, and things like these, I expected only in the south and not in the north because I only saw their angelic selves seeing as everyone I saw judged me based on my dressing.. It seems Muslims only read this with their prejudices. As of now, I’ve only watched four of the pictures I watched mistakenly, I deactivated my whatssup to prevent people from sending me any of those, and as for my boyfriend then, he stayed there for years he had his own opinion and he knew I did not agree with him, but for the fact that I thought he was trying to put me above everyone, I thought he was being sweet, challenging a person must not be verbal, I don’t have to have my hands cut off or my face maimed before I speak for women, please try reading it again, without prejudice, without associating me to any sects, then you’ll know what you are accusing me of is just baseless.

      Like

      1. amaofawaa points of corrections;
        First I did not associate you with any sec. I only used the nearest example in the south with all respect to Christianity.
        Second there is no prejudice on my mind as you think
        Can I offer some suggestions?
        As a blogger, what you need to make your blog readable and interesting is to be analytical, eclectic and constructive. Raise topics in order to find solutions and not to say what you think people are, particularly when it is the negatives you are highlighting on.

        Views other people expressed in conversations that you want to put in your blog should be explicitly explained making it clear where you stand and not just mention them and move on. Otherwise, you make reader belief that it is your stand as well.

        Be critical, (I am very critical my sister). When you are you, leave no room for people to criticise you and align you to sides even if they do, they will know what you are driving home for the good of society which is the purpose of blogging.

        I hope to read your next blog and see this happening. Good luck

        Like

      2. Points taken. I just had to hit all sides on this one, from the men to the women, I thought I was being objective, too bad you did not get my objectivity. I’ll take that into account next time. Thanks for your time on this blog.

        Like

  7. amoafawaa, remember comments are free. You have made your comments right and made some wild claims with the hint of your boyfriend about angelic appearence of women in Tamale. I am not to dispute any of your claimsbur will rather to ask if you are confident enough to claim that girls/women of your home town are angels and can confirm that what happen in Tamale does not happen in your home town or elsewhere. My sister worse things are happening in the world today that you do not know. You are commenting with all the facts you have about Tamale girls and woment because its been recorded and published. I cannot see a perfect society anywhere my sister, even the most celebrated men and women of God you can thinks of are different people if you did deeper. Please you do not make such conclusions about people. If you think you need to respect people, respect them for who there are. Wrong is wrong and not when it is done in Tamale. In Kumasi, Accra or Takurade it still wrong. What we need to do is sympathise with the vcitims who thought there were having fun with this evil guy. Please suggest sollution for your society because for now if you live in Tamale it becomes your community untill you leave. Your boyfriend was wrong, the girls are not angels and do not pretend to be. That is the way most of them dress and are human as any other humanbeings anywhere. I hope you nreset your mind and live with them as you would in your own people as Ghanaians.

    Like

    1. Thank you someone, remember in the article I did not completely castigate them, and I didn’t say my home town girls were saints. I was referring to the way their treat people who wear clothes they deem inappropriate as I was wearing, and truly the way they dress and behave and the things I hear about them if I am say it all, you will think I am paranoid but I am not,. Thoughts are free, I guess I was just trying to say that they made me think back to what my boyfriend said in those times. He might have been wrong to say that, but with this fact, he is justified somehow. I always try to be objective. I am sorry if I have offended you by doing so, but what I wrote are purely my thoughts and so will not apologise for it.

      Like

      1. My sister you don’t need to apologise. You made your points just that I tried to draw your attention to the fact issues concerning a community needs constructive analysis. Suggestions that will help not those that sound derogatory and just highlighting negatives and sound as if its only peculiar to that community alone.

        Like

  8. ”even heard women up der really lavish ova men from the south .” please Anonymous, you are only hearing things. That has no basis.

    Now to the piece, very good write up. Things would be a lot better if our women are more informed and know how precious they are. Our women need to realize thier worth and stop allowing themselves to be trampled upon by ‘ignorant men’.

    As for the part in your comment about ‘…I will say it over and over again, we are fighting with men, the Bible and the Qua-ran.” i beg to differ on the part of the Qur’an. If there’s a book that uplifts the woman and makes the woman the heart of the household, den it is the Qur’an. Sad thing is most of us don’t read the Qur’an much and we also don’t even question the attitudes of our religious scholars here. Islam is a religion that encompasses all. We would understand and appreciate this better if we would just read… Those men who treat women with disdain are just ignorant and hide behind religion to do this, doesnt mean the religion or Holy Book preaches same.

    Lovely piece… Bless you for the write up. Woman must be educated and informed. That is where we should start from.
    Thanks

    Like

    1. I agree, but an imam telling me the Quaran allows for women to be beaten gave me that impression. That there is a measurement for the hand, it is not supposed to be brutal, blah blah blah. We are humans and do more than we’ll be allowed to. So even if the book means no harm, that is the ticket of a very aggressive man to batter his wife or his woman. I see that as a grave challenge.

      Like

      1. The fact that an Imam tells u that doesnt mean it holds. Why i am concerned is because lots of us dont read wide and take things hook, line and sinker; by that some people who read ur piece and arent better informed might be misled into thinking Islam suppresses women as ‘we are made to believe’ day in day out.

        It is my prayer that we are able to uphold our religious values and make this life a better place. Respect for one’s self and others is a basic requirement to community living…

        Like

      2. Well, I did not only say Islam but Christianity too. It is true that The Quaran gives men the right to beat women. I asked a lot of people when I heard. But if you’ve ever been to Tamale, you know that even if the beatings that your prophet talked about is supposed to be mild, many here make it severe. The sad thing is, many women cannot talk about it because once they get those men arrested, the family members of those men pack their things and throw them out. I know it is true and if you really read the Qua-ran as you say, please get that fact. There is that quotation which is worse than the Bible’s codification of submission of women. Not to talk of that part where the voice of a woman must not be publicly heard because it may tempt a man. You know there are many quotations that unscrupulous people stand on to treat women as nothing. As much as you want to defend your religion, be objective.

        Like

      3. Also know that many Muslims here confuse their culture with religion and use it to maltreat women. I worked in the media and still do part time. The barbarism is too much. I know I speak the truth, if you think I am lying, find a day to come to Tamale, you can try going to the social welfare to see the few cases that are there. You might be tempted to preach to them to perhaps interpret some of the quotation they misinterpret to do wicked things to women. My writing it here may make someone think I am hating on your religion. Far from that. I stay with Muslims. My boss is one. But the religion, any time I listen to things about women, makes it so unattractive to me. No offence meant. I will never allow any religion to take control over my being and make me see myself as a lesser being because I am a woman. Because the things I have been able to achieve in this life, the so called human beings, most of them will never be able to achieve, and I am not talking about money but deed.

        Like

      4. I have lived in Tamale most of my life and i still live here. Your point about culture is on point as to the northern culture being the reason for the beating and molesting of women rather than Islam.
        The subject of women is a very delicate one and believe me you think you know what Islam stance on women is but u dont. As for the verse you say you have seen, that has been taken out of context.

        this is what the Qur’an says;

        {And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your [hearts]: verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.} (Ar-Rum 30:21)

        {Live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.} (An-Nisaa 4:19)

        Islam is also against emotional abuse, not just physical abuse. Emotional abuse includes name calling, belittling, using threat of divorce as a weapon to manipulate the other, threatening with a real weapon (even with no intention of using it). Even frequent teasing, though it might start as fun, may become a type of abuse if it takes the form of sarcasm or demeaning remarks.

        The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised us to control our anger, not to call each other names, not to use vulgar language, and not to point a weapon at another person. This advice was general for all, but it should be taken even more seriously within a marriage.

        On the issue of beating; The Quran is very clear on this issue. Allah Almighty says:

        {Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more strength than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah would have them to guard. As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) hit them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance); for Allah is most High and Great (above you all). If you fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family and the other from hers. If they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation; for Allah has full knowledge and is acquainted with all things.} (An-Nisaa 4:34-35)

        Like

      5. This verse has been greatly misconceived. Many people take it to allow wife beating, but this is not a correct interpretation of the verse. Islam is a whole system, so you cannot isolate one point without considering all other related issues. When the setting is not taken into account, it distorts and falsifies the original meaning. We should also keep in mind that the original Arabic wording of the Quran is the only authentic source of meaning. If one relies on the translation alone, one is likely to misunderstand it.

        The Arabic verb daraba is better understood as “hit” rather than “beat” (which means repeated hard hitting, usually with something). The one verse in the Quran that mentions this—Surah 4:34—has to be read in its entirety and understood in Arabic.

        Islam actually prohibits men from hitting women, except in one very limited case when the wife is continuously rebellious and disobedient—not when she disobeys one request—and only as a last resort after all else fails. The husband should first admonish her, then abandon her bed if she continues to be rebellious, and only if those steps have failed then he may hit, not beat, her. The earliest commentators understood that the hitting was to be light enough not to leave a mark and should be done with nothing bigger than a miswak (tooth stick).

        Also, Muslims are instructed to follow the exemplary model of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was known to have never hit his wives, servants, or even an animal. Consequently, a Muslim husband does not have the right to beat his wife!

        What is the definition of “rebellious” and disobedient”?

        In Islam, while men and women have equal rights, those rights are not always identical. Islam intends the spouses to be complementary, not in rivalry, so there is a clear set of rights and responsibilities for each within the contract that rules the relationship. Islam stresses the importance of respecting contracts, most of all the marriage contract, which is described in the Quran as “ mithaqan ghalithan” (a firm pledge).

        Furthermore, there is no tyranny in an Islamic marriage. We are all told to conduct our affairs by mutual consultation, as the Quran states what means:

        {And those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and their rule is to take counsel among themselves, and who spend out of what We have given them.} (As-Shura 42:38)

        So in marriage, the man is named responsible for protecting, decision-making, and breadwinning; in return he has a right to have a quiet, orderly home and a loving wife to come home to who doesn’t make his life difficult with constant bad temper, nagging, or aggressive attitude.

        The woman is named skilled homemaker, loving mother, and faithful counselor; in return she has a right to be provided for fully by a caring, faithful, protective husband who honors her and respects her individuality. Both should be equally supportive, loving, and caring. Both merit respect and support from their partner.

        As in any other contract, signing means that both parties agree to the terms and intend to adhere to the rules. So failing to fulfill one’s responsibilities is a breach of the contract and merits limiting or temporarily withholding a corresponding right until that one gets back within the boundaries of the contract, or else the contract is nullified.

        So, for example, a wife who repeatedly and intentionally refuses to consult her husband and does things that damage the well-being of the family, or one who fails to do what they had agreed upon after consultation for no logical reason other than rebellion, or one who intentionally does what her husband hates just to make him angry, is certainly a type of woman who should be disciplined in order to preserve the peace and harmony of the Muslim home and the family members within it. This is, of course, assuming that the husband is continuously fulfilling his responsibility towards his wife and family but is not getting his fair rights in return, and that all other peaceful methods of resolving the dispute have failed.

        Commenting on this issue, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America, states:

        While it is important that a wife recognizes the authority of her husband as the head of the household, the husband should also use his authority with respect and kindness towards his wife. If there arises any disagreement or dispute between them, then it should be resolved in a peaceful manner. Spouses should seek the counsel of their elders and other respectable family members and friends to patch up the rift and solve the differences.

        However, in some cases a husband may use some light disciplinary action in order to correct the moral infraction of his wife, but this is only applicable in extreme cases and it should be resorted to if one is sure it would improve the situation. However, if there is a fear that it might worsen the relationship or may wreak havoc on him or the family, then he should avoid it completely.

        It is important to read the section fully. One should not take part of the verse and use it to justify one’s own misconduct. This verse neither permits violence nor condones it. It guides us to ways to handle delicate family situations with care and wisdom. The word “hit” is used in the verse, but it does not mean physical abuse. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explained it “dharban ghayra mubarrih,” which means “a light tap that leaves no mark.” He further said that face must be avoided. Some other scholars are of the view that it is no more than a light touch by siwak or toothbrush.

        Generally, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to discourage his followers from taking even this measure. He never hit any female, and he used to say that the best of men are those who do not hit their wives. In one hadith he expressed his extreme repulsion from this behavior and said, “How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then embrace (sleep with) her?” (Al-Bukhari, English Translation, vol. 8, Hadith 68, pp. 42-43).

        It is also important to note that even this “light strike” mentioned in the verse is not to be used to correct some minor problem, but it is permissible to resort to only in a situation of some serious moral misconduct when admonishing the wife fails, and avoiding sleeping with her would not help. If this disciplinary action can correct a situation and save the marriage, then one should use it.

        Like

      6. I hope you find this informative…

        All the points you raised about the happenings are true but that is the culture up north here and not Islam.

        Let’s get that straight.

        Would be grateful if we can dialogue further on the subject of this page… I live in TAMALE and it would be nice to have the opportunity to explain this further. Maybe via email or in person…

        Again your writing is great…

        Like

      7. Very informative. The hitting part, you remember I said, giving a human an inch may result in that person taking ten inches. Once again, thank you very much for your comments. I have been so enlightened.

        Like

  9. this kind of stuff is happening all over Ghana,have you forgotten the Bekwai tapes,the recent whatsapp posts of the Kumasi assembly man’s daughter or that of foreign minister’s son and lecturer’s daughter? yet here you are attributing to it to the hypocrisy of the women of Tamale, and you have even managed to add in about how their holy book is used to subjugate them, WOW.
    Get a grip!!!! Tamale is a part of Ghana and what you see now is general reflection of moral decadence in the whole country.
    it cuts across, irrespective of region, tribe and/or religion.

    Like

    1. I have a grip sweetheart. But Tamale is one of the places people have respect for women. Many think because of their dressing and forced submission, things like this must not happen here. Even the way they judge people who they think are scantily dressed. My dear, isn’t it true some people use their religion to subdue women? I am here and I know. That lack of respect is here and some have the effrontery to use quotations from these books to back their poor treatment of women. Since I have a grip, please get enlightened, then we can speak the same language.

      Like

    2. And oh, talk of a place in Ghana where the whole world saw a girl tied with a rope, put into a booth of a car like a cargo and was being transported to her very old husband’s house. I am talking about respect for themselves so we are able to curb this. It is because I am human, a female and a Ghanaian that I have taken an interest. Your offence is uncalled for. I know what I go through to live here. How I have suffered to get the respect I’m due and the type of name calling that goes on around me because I am a woman. You’ve got to be a woman living here to understand. Being a man, no matter how sweet you are, makes you a potential abuser and since society backs them, there’s no way the unfairness to women will be seen. I am still appalled that women in Tamale here will be involved in such and I will say it over and over again, we are fighting with men, the Bible and the Qua-ran. And I know why I am saying that because I was a victim when I first came here.

      Like

  10. Shameless men adulterated the pride of womanhood in d past.I used to think such unpardonable practices have been a thing of the past. Let’s make it clear to every woman that if U allow yourself to b disrespected in such crude,naive fashion, U are disrespected for the rest of ur life no matter d changes at a point of realisation. Be informed

    Like

    1. I’m informed, and I’m sure others who will read will be informed, those who are listening to the news circulating will also be informed. Thank you Effah for your comment.

      Like

  11. this is a serious one
    even heard women up der really lavish ova men from the south . So what will prevent them from doing stuffs lyk dis . Its a shame

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.