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