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‘To be or not be Mrs . . .’

21 Aug, 2015 - 00:08 0 Views

The ManicaPost

Catherine Murombedzi
THIS is one topic that is likely to bring debate and smacks from those who feel offended, but what is in a name? Of late, weddings have become trendy and it seems a fashion statement as the bride, groom and train change into three or more attires. This appears as an affirmation of getting into a new life in style. Dressing and gowns, I will leave for another day, for now a closer look at being MRS.

When a pastor at a church wedding pronounces two husband and wife, the woman in most cases happily goes on to carry the man’s name. In very few circumstances will the woman remain Miss and this is by choice. I do not know of gay marriages what the name of the supposed wife would be. News for another day as the pastor pronounces the two husband and what?

Even after a wedding at the registry all and sundry are informed that one is now married and better known as Mrs being a choice that one takes on getting married why should one not take the same choice on divorce.

There have been many notable figures who have continued to use their ex-husbands’ names years after annulment of the marriage and one wonders why? There can be a current Mrs to that name, so why stick to a name that was cancelled.I have respect for the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, Cde Oppah Muchinguri. In the early 90s she was married and was a Mrs Rushesha. The day she divorced she did not take a wink to decide that she was Muchinguri. We did not mistake her, so the sob story that it is for identity’s sake does not hold. No one ever mistook Oppah Muchinguri even after a name change. Her CV has grown from strength to strength.

She has moved on and had a traditional marriage done at her rural homestead where Bishop Kashiri asked for her hand in marriage. Had she decided to stick to the Mrs, prospective suitors would have not been able to approach her thinking she was still taken.

There is Muzvare Betty Makoni. She is married to Irvine Nyamapfeni. As a princess from the Makoni Clan, she prefers to be called princess, hence Muzvare.
“I am a princess from the Makoni Clan. I am happily married to Irvine Nyamapfene. He has no problem with me being Muzvare Betty Makoni, that is who I am,” said Muzvare Makoni speaking from her base in the United Kingdom.

There is also Sikhosazana Dlamini-Zuma, AU chairperson. She called it quits, ages ago with Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, but she still prefers to be called by the double barrel name.

So kudos to brave sisters who know when to use Miss, Mrs and Ms. We can never mistake you.
There are the celebrity couples who have remained using their maiden names even after marriage. There is Beyonce Knowles married to Jay Z. Not all select to use their father’s names, Victoria of the Posh Spice fame married to David Beckham became Victoria Beckham and no one mistook her.

What is in being called Mrs? Is it the prestige at church and community at large? There are times the name even does some damage to one as it spoils chances of further settling down.

Into mind comes a beautiful woman in her late forties who was once a model. She tied the knot to a soccer coach and a few years down the line the two had called it quits.
No one would have mistaken the sister if she decided to use her maiden name. Tendai Kateketa still prefers to add Westerhof after the former husband Clement. This hinders or blinkers any prospects as some people still believe there can be a chance of making up.

To all sisters, the choice is yours to be or not to be Mrs, no one will mistake your identity.
A Harare lawyer, Mr Raymond Nembo, said maybe the name had a benefit attached so one would use it even after divorce.

“I would think the name carries weight and it adds value to one. Why would one use a name that is a no name at all? It is by choice so I think there are benefits to using an ex’s name,” said Mr Nembo.

For sisters who are professionals, I see they use the double barrel.
In the media there is Monica Cheru-Mpambawashe. She is the child born to the Cherus and married to the Mpambawashe clan. There is also Beatrice Tonhodzayi-Ngondo, a journalist of repute too.

Tonhodayi-Ngondo said it was her choice that she respects both names hence the double barrel.
“I am Beatrice wekwaTonhodzayi and am a daughter-in-law to the Ngondos. I made my name as a journalist before I got married. I therefore want to use both names. I do so because that is the best way to sum up my identity. It does not offend anyone and that way I feel happy being called that,” said Tonhodzayi-Ngondo.

She went on to say as an activist and mother she felt she needed that name hence the choice.
“As a media person, activist, I had established a name before marriage. I respect that name. As a wife and a mother I am Mrs Ngondo and I feel I have the choice to be known as such and it does not make me any person less. So it is my wish to retain both names,” said Tonhodzayi-Ngondo.
There are some who have chosen to be known by their maiden name. We have not doubted that they are married, it is a choice.

Television producer and director, Miss Anna Miti is happily married to Percy Nhara. However, the former has chosen to be known as Miss Miti.
Miti said her husband was not fazed and sees nothing wrong in that name. In fact, she said the hassle in having a name change was what made her decide to stick to her maiden name.

“I use my name because all my official documents have that name. I would need to change my documents to Nhara and is it worth the trouble? I am married and my easy going husband does not raise dust over it. It is the trust, not the name that matters. There are so many famous Nharas e.g. Man Souljah (Joseph Nhara) and am tired of being asked: ‘You are married to which Nhara by the way?’ so for me, it is what we have that matters not what I am called. I carry myself as a married woman and that is what matters,” declared Miti.

“Secondly I had built a professional reputation and became a personality on my name, so for me it was a no brainer, besides my liberal husband does not mind, but if he did, we would probably have fought about it,” said Miti.
Melody Gwenyambira is happily married to Munyaradzi Doma and are the newsroom’s First Couple.

Melody uses a double barrel name too, Gwenyambira-Doma.
Munyaradzi and Melody are both journalists working for our sister publication, H-Metro. They work on the same desk and have thus become to be known as newsroom’s first couple.

“People knew me as Melody Gwenyambira when I first made it in the media. I then got married to Munyaradzi Doma and have added on my husband’s name. I again intend to honour both families so I use both my surnames. It is cool and Munya has no problem with that. Even if I were to change professions I would still use Gwenyambira-Doma.

“That way, my two families are known and honoured through my work,” said Gwenyambira-Doma, a mother of one.

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