My Thoughts On The Weka Condom Mpangoni Ad

Mama Michelle – she with a hopeless drunk for a husband – has moved on. Because her husband is out drinking most of the time , and so as to ‘keep herself happy’ she is now involved in an adulterous liaison with Mbugua , the butcher , a relationship that her best friend approves of , but warns her to take precautions by putting condom use in the mix.

There’s something about this ad. It provokes you (more so because it focuses on married women). In the ‘real’ world, Mama Michelle is the long suffering wife who constantly prays for her husband and seeks solace in chama meetings and the the women’s guild. But that’s not the point.

Point is , we have 10 year olds who have been orphaned , thanks to HIV and who have had to quit school so as to become ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ to their younger siblings. And recent research findings show that higher rates of HIV infections have been recorded among the married (women), even more than any other demographic.

That , is the reality.

Question is, how can we correct this wrong trend? By encouraging cheating spouses to use protection? Then what next? Polygamy? And what happened to the school of thought that sex is sacred; that it is not just something physical but also spiritual, involving emotions and capable of altering relationships? And what active (rather than re-active) action can be taken on this? We have churches and mosques and all these forums where healthy marriages can be encouraged and nurtured. The media too! Sadly what sells in the media , is having people in relationships , share their adulterous escapades like heroes and heroines on morning radio.

Forget Wachana na Mpango wa Kando. Have we tried an ad that focuses on the BENEFITS of being faithful? How about coming up with a Tumechill version for the married? For the same reason that they say , WAR AGAINST TERRORISM is a contradiction in terms , I’d put my money on such an ad.

See , it takes light , to get rid of darkness.

But as long as we are to encouraging married folks to use condoms when they cheat, we are making a bold declaration that since it is inevitable to cheat, we should ‘cheat wisely’. As someone quipped, shouldn’t we as well, go ahead and run an ad encouraging thieves to wear bullet-proof vests when they go out to steal? They have loved ones too , who depend on them.

I mean ,why suffer when you can steal? Just be sure to wear a vest.

5 comments for “My Thoughts On The Weka Condom Mpangoni Ad

  1. Maggie
    March 28, 2013 at 10:49 am

    My exact sentiments.

  2. Wangu
    March 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Now that is soberly written. I concur 100%.

  3. Sue
    April 5, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Hypocrisy is a huge problem in Kenyan society. I say this because both ads portray people who are keeping up appearances. In “wacha mpango wa kando” a man is sneaking out in the wee hours to presumably go back home…(to his wife?). (Jimmie Gathu adding up the monthly cost shows the impact and that does not include the emotional impact!) In the second, Mama Michelle is having an extra-marital affair. I like the “wacha mpango wa kando ad” but the second one does not sit right with me. Still, we have to acknowledge that what it portrays is happening in society. I agree with you that there needs to be programs to encourage healthy relationships especially among the youth and those starting out in marriage.

    The VCT concept worked for HIV testing, why not create forums where people can have open and mature discussions?

    Also women need to raise their standards, it’s very telling that most of these side pieces are female, why settle for no.2 knowingly? If the issues are mainly economic, then women need to be economically empowered.

    Finally, when you say sex can “alter relationships” you hit the nail on the head. I am not married but I do believe that those who are having extra marital affairs but still think there’s nothing wrong with their marriages are like the proverbial ostrich. Head buried in the sand. It’s even worse when they have children because eventually the children end up realizing that their “happy” home is a facade. Further they learn an unhealthy way of navigating relationships. Some may not agree with this but Mama Michelle with the drunken husband in the ad would be better off finding a way out if she is so unhappy–yes even if it means divorce. The secret boyfriend is a temporary “solution” because even though he makes her happy, she still suffers heartache at home. Living a lie.

  4. April 8, 2013 at 11:09 am

    This post captures my sentiments exactly,height of morality breakdown is overwhelming. Marriage is for better for worse,and the vows are sacred.While this ad portrays the harsh but true reality,it makes marriage look like a game.

  5. fridah kendi
    April 17, 2013 at 4:45 am

    well articulated.

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