Author

Thembi Terry

There’s nothing more erratic than being on your menstrual cycle. You lose control almost over everything. No two periods are ever the same and you could reach menopause and still not be used to having Aunt Flo show up every single month. There is assured discomfort at this time of the month, every month. Not only is the actual period uncomfortable, some of the pain management remedies are equally as not ideal. Have you ever been burnt by a hot water bottle?

We still live in a world where women still need to disclose being on their period and be exempted from certain religious practices. Despite being extremely uncomfortable, women are still required to carry on as if everything is normal. Since the 28th of May is Menstrual Hygiene Day, here are some of the ways in which menstruation is uncomfortable.

Premenstrual Syndrome

PMS is such a confusing time. You don’t know if you are pregnant or terminally ill. The boobs hurt, they are heavy as stone, you are nauseated. You have headaches, abdominal cramps and mood swings to boot. One minute you’re fine and the next you’re crying buckets for no reason.

Period Pain

According to scientists, period pain can be equated to an actual heart attack. The scientific name for period pain is dysmenorrhoea. If you have severe period pain, please visit a gynaecologist and get a professional diagnosis. Period pain can be mistaken for a more serious condition like Endometriosis. Stay ready for those spontaneous sharp butt pains which render your legs useless.

Lack of supplies

Due to water rationing, most women and girls don’t have access to running water. The debate about reusable pads raises the issues of hygiene and safety of reusable pads without running water. Disposable pads are a luxury for under privileged girls. Not having pads doesn’t excuse girls from their daily chores. So they resort to unsafe products instead of sanitary wear.

Leakage freakage

The reason why pads have wings is because they take flight so much. The glue on pads is clearly fake. Every time you sit down you have to run an assessment. What colour is the chair? Can I get up from it without anyone seeing if I’ve leaked. When people are leaving, you want to be the last one and you want to be the absolute last one to get up so that you can run a check before you leave. Most girls were surprised by their first period and have PTSD of having leaked in front of the whole class.

Paranoia

One thing a period will do, is surprise you. You can track your days and it will still show up or not. You dread having to survive period pain but have you ever had your period not show up? This is terrifying especially if you’ve indulged in sexual relations because now you think you’re expecting a baby. Truth is, you can have a delayed period for a myriad of reasons.

When you sneeze while you’re on your cycle and it feels like the river Nile just gushed out onto your pad. Now you’re unsure if it leaked onto your clothing.

Anything that isn’t fresh doesn’t have a pleasant smell. You know how a butchery filled with old blood smells? Now you’re scared that everyone can smell your period. Not only that, but if you have to share a bed with someone else, forget about a peaceful sleep, with every toss and turn, you’re wondering if you have displaced your pad which will now leak. Also, can the person sharing the bed with you smell your period?

Post-period

For girls with longer periods, the pads may cause chaffing due to the prolonged friction. There’s also the issue of not knowing exactly when your period will end. You’ll get a clean pad twice and thinking you’re home free and then all of a sudden, the last kicks of a dying horse. To protect yourself, invest in some pantyliners so that the residue from the cycle doesn’t catch you off guard. Develop a period aftercare routine to re-calibrate the hormones and pH balance.

Not only is the period uncomfortable, the home remedies you resort to, are equally a thorn in the flesh. Please seek medical advice from a medical expert on pain management. If you buy the right period products for you and change them as regularly required, you should be fine. Minimise your movements, take your painkillers, hydrate and stay away from light-coloured clothing.

All the best for the next time your uterus punishes you for not giving it a baby.

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Sharon Chingwaro is the founder and formulator at Mambokadzi Bath and Body. I first got to know of her in the Mambokadzi Facebook group which is a community of women who are passionate about beauty and health. My first Mambokadzi purchase was the Clarifying Gel which made my skin silky-smooth and gave it an undeniable glow. That’s when I started getting more and more products and the one thing that stuck out for me was that Mambokadzi had a product for any feminine ailment you can think of. As an added bonus, Mambokadzi products are made from natural ingredients with minimal to zero side effects. I had the opportunity to speak to Sharon about Mambokadzi Bath and Body and I hope you find something you like.

What are ancient age secrets?

It comes as no surprise that our ancestors were quite the beauty enthusiasts. They indulged in beauty rituals they believed not only enhanced their appearance, but also had magical and religious powers. Ancient beauty secrets included various natural ingredients that have stood the test of time. Age-old remedies for clogged pores and dry skin are anything but antiquated, with many antidotes for dull skin sitting on the shelves of the common kitchen cabinet, the garden and the forest. This is the backbone of Mambokadzi Bath and Body.

What inspired you to get into cosmetics?

l got into cosmetics because l was broke and l liked good, expensive cosmetics which l could no longer afford. This pushed me to explore alternative methods of taking care of my skin. My route of ending up in the beauty industry is probably different from most. My background is in Hotel and Catering. After getting pregnant with my second son, I became a single mother. I was broke and couldn’t afford high-end beauty products anymore. So l decided I would make my own. I am beauty and wellness obsessed, so that helped, but really just research, gift, determination, and a lot of passion got me to where I am.

How did you choose the name of the business?

Our government name is Wild Child which means from the wild (harvested) but over time as l delved deep into my roots, I am from the Royal House of the Soko Wafawanaka Chingowo Dynasty. Besides that, in African Spirituality, Culture and Tradition, the Woman is Sacred. She is protected and served by African values, principles and taboos making her a natural and divine royal archetype by design. She is Mambokadzi.

What was your very first product to make?

The Mambokadzi Demabrasion scrub was our first product! My clients call it miracle in a jar.

What’s your best selling product?

the miracle jar! Mambokadzi demabrasion scrub because results are instant and Vhunze remoto from our wellness products.

What makes your products stand out from the rest?

It’s simple, they work and our clients are proof. We get most of our business from referrals. Our products are organic and handmade from indigenous herbs and oils that grow wild on the Zimbabwean landscape. They’re are carefully handpicked using environmental friendly methods, mostly by women in marginalised communities who in turn sell them to us at fair prices. Using old age beauty, healing and wellness secrets, we turn them into user friendly and recyclable products.

What have been some of the obstacles and how have you overcome them?

Our biggest obstacle was our own people. Self hate. Until we learn to love and embrace ourselves and appreciate what our ancestors and nature has given us, we will always look outside for self-actualisation and help. We have created a toxic relationship with consumerism. We consume everything, as long as it’s from outside our borders and our people. In the end, we fail to create a value chain amongst ourselves making other people and nations richer while we remain poor and average. Instead of just selling the products, l started educating consumers about natural beauty products so they could appreciate before buying.

What are some of the treatments that women can get at your spa?

Yoni-steaming is an ancient practice used in our culture to promote overall vaginal health with gentle and effective care techniques that utilise heat and organic herbs/salts to assist the body’s natural cleansing processes.

River luxe is a full body exfoliation treatment using a textured glove, oils and herbs that removes dead skin cells and layers of grime. It stimulates circulation and leaves your skin silky smooth. Complemented with a milk rinse and a relaxing oil rub.

How did Mambokadzi become the popular brand that it is now?

My mentor always says, “get good, get seen, make money.” I spent years getting good and my people accepting and embracing the brand is a result of all that work 

Which 3 products do you recommend to women as essentials they can’t live without?

Definitely the Gogo Moyana steaming herbs, Vhunze Remoto and Makanaka Liquid Gold you will thank me.

Your products deal with some of women’s top issues such as period pain, skin care and womb health, how do you stay informed about the plight of women?

Firstly l am a woman healing women that certainly helps. Then as a brand our products are designed to be solutions to every day challenges. So we have social media groups my team and l interact with women of different backgrounds about all kinds of issues.

You offer Chinamwali sessions, why are they relevant to women?

What is Chinamwali? Chinamwali is not a new concept. It is about teaching  women about their bodies, about interaction with men and about managing a household. Our Chinamwali  class is rooted in the understanding that sexual energy is the creative life force at its most elemental. The Chinamwali Class provides insightful instruction that will empower you as a sexual and sexually actualised woman no matter what your current experience of sex is. The course is structured to prepare individuals to conduct meaningful relationships and interactions. 

How can someone become a distributor for Mambokadzi?

It is easy all you need is to get in touch with us, purchase products worth US$50 and you are automatically part of strong  team changing lives.

How did you build your virtual community of women in your highly interactive Facebook group?

The ‘Beauty, Health and Wellness Zimbabwe’ Facebook group was built upon being real. l had to be honest about who l am and my experiences and l guess many women identified with this. Also posting daily! To keep the pages active.

What’s the big picture vision for Mambokadzi Bath and Body?

The beauty and wellness industry is still dominated by colonial or foreign products. It does not address the needs of our own people’s skin, hair nor immune systems. It’s not from our own cultural, traditional and value system. My inspiration comes from that imbalance and void. Above all, I am inspired to continue from where our grandmothers left off to evolve and grow the legacy and create nhaka for myself, my family, our nation and our people globally.

I aspire to merge natural, organic skin care and wellness products with high pharmaceutical standards only using nature’s own pure ingredients. Building a global personal care brand which encourages a more conscious culture is our vision.

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Moments after I had sent it, she called my phone in a panic. “Are you okay?” she asked. I reassured her that I was fine. She went on to explain that she thought something was wrong and that perhaps I was contemplating taking my own life and that this message was goodbye. 

Why is it that we don’t tell people that we love that we love them? Why is it hard? 

When was the last time you sent your sister, brother, mother, father a message telling them that you love them? It’s almost like we assume that they know that we love them. How would they know when we don’t tell them? 

Telling someone that you love that you love them requires a level of vulnerability that’s almost repulsive. It’s so much easier to say an ‘I love you’ that you barely even mean like those windis who love every woman who passes by. When the ‘I love you’ feels like a boulder in your throat, that’s the one that really needs to be said. 

In African homes, we are yet to normalise telling each other how much we mean to one another. It’s like the “I love you” statement is solely reserved for romantic relationships. We can live in the same house for years and only tell you that we love you on a WhatsApp status on your birthday once a year. A long essay on Facebook pouring out our love for you is easier than sitting down with you, looking into your eyes and saying the very same things to your face. Why is that? 

Charity begins at home 

Our homes are the first place where we ought to grow and nurture love. Where we grew up is where we were meant to formulate an idea of what true love is like to prepare us for the world. We are currently searching for love in all the wrong places to fill the void of not receiving it from our families. Umjolo is giving us dating problems because frankly we are a Lil Wayne song and we don’t know how to love. 

The world is going through a tough time. We lost so many people to the pandemic. It’s time for us to come together and relearn how to love each other loudly and blatantly in our homes and within families. This means more hugs and more ‘I love you’s. Our mental health is in shambles and there are people who literally need to hear how much they mean to you because they are not soothsayers. Tell them so that they don’t have to guess that you love them. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. 

Fathers tell your sons how much you love them. It is not homosexual for a father to love his son. 

I challenge you to send out those messages of love today. Take note of their reactions. One response that I got was, “I really needed to hear that.” It broke my heart. Why had I never said it before?

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I was on Twitter when I bumped into a tweet about how full figured women struggle with being naked during sex. I had never considered this or thought about it because I’ve just always had my body issues even though I’m not exactly full figured but I did some research on the matter and I have thoughts.

Yeah, this one is for my b- with a fat a- in the f- club like a Nicki Minaj song

When we speak about fat shaming we hardly ever discuss some of the fat shaming that happens in terms of the bedroom. This is usually so embarrassing that the scars and the repercussions of it are hidden away in the women’s psyche, in her self-esteem and in her memory. The fatshaming that happens online goes straight to their self-esteem and the insecurities start to show up in the bedroom. Now women are unable to be comfortable in their own naked skin with another person in the room just because of your horrible tweets.

I had a friend of mine ask me if she if I thought she smells bad and I was like why would you think you smell bad? Why would you ask me that? And she said it’s because of the general stereotype that fat women stink. And I was like no you don’t smell bad and I’m sorry that this affected you so much that you felt you should come and seek clarification about how you smell.

Sex is for everyone except children. The fact that we hardly ever see love scenes even in just general movies that include bigger women is disturbing. This says a lot about the lack of representation for full figured women. I think it’s rooted in the flawed ideology that big women are lazy, they don’t exercise and you automatically assume that they won’t be active in bed just because they’re bigger. Contrary to your inflammatory beliefs, there are a wide range of reasons why a woman would be bigger and laziness is not even the top reason. There are big women that are more fit than skinny girls.

We see the #ThickThighsSaveLives but we forget that thick thighs can come with rolls, pot belly and flab. The problem here is that too many people have been brainwashed by the slimthick Instagram baddies who have risked their lives to get plastic surgery for those impossible, improper-fraction, disproportionate body features. In the lyrics of Big Sean, “how your waist anorexic but yet your ass is colossal?” Yes, how Sway? Normal women can’t have their cake and eat it. They can’t afford plastic surgery. Why slam them for it?

 

If you find yourself in bed with someone who you can’t get naked with, he is not the one Sis. Sex is about being free and vulnerable. You won’t enjoy it if you are caught up in your insecurities. Find yourself someone who appreciates you for who you are. He is not doing you a favour by having sex with you. Let him know it’s an honor and a privilege to be in your presence. A pot belly still gives good loving.

The exclusion of big women from the sex industry also seeps into the lingerie industry. Miriam C. R. Mushaikwa blogged about it here. It is laborious to try and find lingerie for bigger women. It’s almost as if they don’t exist or they don’t like nice things.

What can you do?

If you’re a fuller bodied queen, and you’ve been struggling with your body, I’m sorry you had to go through that turmoil. You are beautiful. As you try to conquer your issues, try and spend more time looking at your naked self in the mirror. Make peace with who you are and appreciate all your wonder. Once you master this, no one can take your peace from you. You can also start journaling to make sense of your limiting beliefs. Journaling helps you to get to the bottom of your self-esteem issues. Write about some of the slurs that you’ve heard, how did they make you feel? Bury that hatchet and create new positive affirmations to replace the limiting beliefs.

 

 

 

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A lot of women and girls see marriage as some sort of emancipation. This stems from fairytale storylines about true love’s first kiss and living happily ever after thereafter. The truth is, marriage isn’t the freedom you think it is. It’s an intensification of all the things you thought you were running away from in your father’s house.

Quick question, why are we trying to be free from our parents’ houses so badly?

Young women are hardly afforded the opportunity to live by themselves before marriage. Some are even told that, “the only way you will leave this house is by marriage.” It’s almost as if a woman cannot be her own master. Even in the Bible, an unmarried woman must concern herself with the things of the Lord, when she marries, she must prioritise the things of her husband. You can’t catch a break to just be yourself. From being under her father she can only be passed onto being under her husband. In between the two, women need to experience life by themselves and they are not afforded that opportunity. This is why marriage isn’t as great as they’d like it to be.

Sexual emancipation

I’ve seen a tweet from a young woman who claimed she can’t wait to get married so that she may enjoy ‘legal sex.’ While it is legal, there’s a wide range of issues that come along with it. This is where you find out why so many married men are out in the streets with extra marital affairs. “When I get married, I’ll have sex everyday,” oh poor baby. Remember when you couldn’t wait to be an adult? How’s that working out for you?

Financial emancipation

Getting married does not automatically grant you access to his money. Maintance Court is based on this premise entirely. You could marry a rich man who is stingy. You can also marry a man who spends his whole paycheck at the pub/shebeen with his friends. There is a reason why money is one of the top three causes of divorce. The assured financial benefits of marriage are the bride price/lobola/roora which you will not get a single red cent of. Be wary of which voices are pressuring you into marriage, they may have financially vested interests which trump your best interests.

Spiritual Emancipation

If a woman is unmarried in her mid-thirties, the family will see it as a cause for concern and start a witch hunt for the underlying cause. Between pastors and witchdoctors, they have seen more prayers for marriage than for salvation and repentance. Unlike Disney princesses, marriage will not solve any of your issues, spiritual or otherwise. If an evil stepmother has cast a spell on you for being the fairest in the land, you will go into the marriage with those problems. Marriage is not a curse-breaker in any way, shape or form.

There’s a freedom that women are yearning for and it’s not found in marriage. You are tired of sharing your room with your siblings? In marriage, you will share your bed forever. You’re looking for your own sovereignty without yout parents but guess what? Marriage means that you now have 2 sets of parents to report to. The dishes you hated to do at your mom’s house, you now have to do them for all family functions which do not have professional catering. As the family sits kwejisaring by the dinner table, guess where you are, by the sink washing dishes. Enjoy your wedding day, it’s the first and last time you will enjoy the limelight, thereafter it’s the background for you by the sink or by the fire.

 

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I recently discovered the Vybz App on the Sisters Connected page on Facebook. It’s an amazing app for women and girls in Zimbabwe even though the content can be consumed by anyone in the world.

Is something strange going on with your private parts? Are you too shy to speak to someone else about it? And you are cash-strapped to go and see a doctor? That’s where the Vybz App comes in. The app allows you to access a wide range of Sexual and Reproductive Health services and resources for free on your mobile phone.

You can chat to an expert over WhatsApp.

When I texted them, I was responded to in under an hour which was pleasantly surprising. I asked my question and received an insightful response. The expert was accommodating and professional during our chat. I had many interlinking questions and all of them were answered to my satisfaction.

One of the other cooler features of the app was that it has a Spin the Wheel game. This game has two categories to choose from between HIV or Sexual Reproduction Health related trivia questions. It added to the cool vibes of the app. Now when people ask me if I have games on my phone I can say yes.

The Self Risk Assessment quiz allows you to answer a series of questions in order to gauge your exposure to contracting HIV. I think the questions could be improved upon but this is a great start. Once you get your risk results, there’s information about how you may retain control over your sexual health to avoid falling sick.

What else did I like about the Vybz App?

  • It is user-friendly
  • Most of the resources are available offline
  • There’s a Vybz Man section for the other gender
  • There’s a directory of SRHR service providers with addresses
  • There’s a resourceful Menstruation Handbook with period pain management tips
  • There’s a period tracker within the app
  • You can book an appointment directly from the app
  • The app has no ads or paid features

You may download the Vybz App from the Google Playstore by clicking here.

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During my time overseas, I met a Liberian girl who wore waist beads. Nothing fancy, just one bright strand of glass beads around her small waist. She explained to me how she uses the waist beads to keep track of her weight. I thought, “those must be some magic beads.” If they get me a small waist then sign me up immediately.

Fast forward to two years later, I now wear 5 strands of waist beads.

Why waist beads?

I’d love to say that they are spiritual but that would be a lie. I really wish they were. There are some people who are spiritually gifted who have to wear waist beads as instructed by their spirit guides. Some are given the waist beads when they are born. This is most prevalent in African cultures who believe the waist beads will bring blessings, protection, divine health, depending on what colour the beads are. Yes, the colour of the beads is critical.

What’s the big deal surrounding waist beads?

I came across a post that cautioned men not to mess around with women who wear waist beads. All the author said is, men should run when they meet women with waist beads, he didn’t bother explaining why. I’m very curious to find out how he came to that conclusion.

Are all waist beads wearers bad?

Like literally anything and everything on this planet, there are some people who have perverted waist beads and thus resultantly, created a stereotype surrounding waist beads. I was doing my wedding rounds with my best friend and my waist beads kept peeking at the top of my jeans. When we were in the car she said to me, “Maybe it’s best you leave them at home when you are wearing jeans. Not too many people will understand that they are just for aesthetics.” This is the last thing I wanted considering I was about to join a new family whose beliefs I wasn’t sure of.

Aren’t waist beads sexual?

In my research, I came across an article which implies that women will cast spells on their waist beads almost like a love potion to enchant men. I can’t disprove this claim because I don’t know the first thing about mystic things.

Some women will earn waist beads during sex education trainings such as Chinamwali. This is an African culture ritual for women to learn about their sexuality. It’s much more than just about sex. This practice is frowned upon due to the rigorous nature and possible sexual abuse of girls as young as 12 years old. In this new age, young women can signup for the watered-down version of these Chinamwali sessions which may or may not include, back-breaking.

What do my waist beads mean to me?

I was influenced by Beyoncé to get some of them. She mentions them in her song, ‘Black Parade.’ She is also adorning them in her promo videos for Ivy Park Drip. In this one video, she has her back towards the camera, twerks, and the waist beads pop out and back under. It’s a game of peek-a-boo. There’s a sensuality that comes with wearing waist beads. It’s the same feeling you get when you are wearing cute lingerie or a pretty dress. I find myself moving my waist a lot just to hear them jingle. Hopefully, this leads to a smaller waist.

As women, we need to be allowed to wear whatever we want, society be damned. Prudes will be infuriated by waist beads because of the sexual liberation the waist beads allude to. If you wear waist beads you are seen as a Jezebel temptress or Siren luring men to their deaths. A gender which is always sexually assaulting women, even spiritually with Mubobobo, is afraid of glass beads. Make it make sense.

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Gone are the days when a private affair remained behind closed doors. Private parts have now become public viewing. Pokello Nare’s sextape went viral whilst she was on the Big Brother reality show in South Africa and just as the dust was starting to settle, Tinoponda Katsande’s sextape also leaked. What is this world coming to and what example is this setting to young girls?

In Zimbabwe, the people are highly conservative and sex is a taboo topic which has posed as a threat to sexual health education. Resultantly, when Nare’s sextape was made available on the internet, people took to social networks to blast her behavior. Pokello was branded ‘un-Zimbabwean’ and a petition was created on a Facebook page to advocate for her eviction from the Big Brother house.

In America, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian both shot to fame after the leakage of their sexual ‘home videos’ and this has further aggravated the stereotype that for a woman to make a name for herself she must be naked. Coincidentally, Halle Berry was the first black woman to win an Oscar award after getting bare-naked in a movie. This is a clear sign of moral degradation and sheer desperation for attention.

Dealing in pornographic material in Zimbabwe is against the law. This further emphasizes how conservative we are in Zimbabwe and yet there was no legal retribution for the two ladies. Allow me to highlight the loophole I personally identified. According to the Oxford dictionary, pornography is, “printed or visual material intended to stimulate sexual excitement.” Based on this definition, the sextapes by the two ladies were firstly, intended to be a documentation of their ‘good times’ and secondly, their videos were neither stimulating nor sexually exciting. They were simply disgusting.

These sextapes are hindering the cause spear-headed by the feminists. It is worthy to note that these sextapes are never named after the male participant. This resembles the story in the bible about the adulteress who was brought to Jesus for stoning whilst her married male counterpart was not mentioned.

B-Metro once covered a story about school children that were recorded having sex by their peers through an open window. Clearly the situation is already out of control and now they have contraception from as young as ten years of age. Zimbabweans need a resurgence of role models that did not have to undress to be addressed by the titles they earned through honest hard work. Women play an important role in society as mothers and nurturers. They instil values into children and reprimand them to make respectable individuals. It used to take a village to raise a child but nowadays the global village has assumed that role in the form of the internet and Western media television programmes. Mothers are the best weapon to counter moral degradation and they must play their role viciously and instil values of self-worth in young girls to be somebodies not somebody’s.

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Have you ever seen how people go through your trash?

Well, they do.

Due to poor service delivery in some places in Zimbabwe, garbage can lie unattended to for days if not weeks. This leads to dogs ripping through the trash which litters the street and the community and ultimately the country as a whole. Some people have resorted to placing heavy rocks to make sure that the bin doesn’t topple over but that is not full-proof. Here in Harare residents are erecting these iron structures outside their gates where they place their trash far from the reach of the canines and felines.

Even when your trash is collected on time, there are people at the dump sites that make a living out of scrounging through your trash. As unhygienic as that sounds, it’s happening. During my time at Miss Earth Zimbabwe, I visited the dumpsite with one of the pageant’s contestants. I took a couple of pictures but security made me delete them. You need high level clearance to take pictures there. We met people of all ages that scrounge through the garbage for all sorts of useful junk. This one guy makes a living from picking up plastic at the dumpsite and turning it into plastic animal statues.

Now you’re thinking of all the gross things that you threw away.

For women it’s different, we need to consider the disposal of our sanitary wear.

When I was in primary school, we had an incenarator. In Grade 5, you’d move to a new set of toilets that had incenarators. They taught us how to effectively and discreetly dispose of soiled sanitary wear. The incenarator is like a furnace that would burn your sanitary wear never to pop up again. It was a great way of getting rid of used pads. Nowadays I don’t see toilets that have incenarators. How are young girls disposing of their used sanitary wear?

Most public toilets have a bin specifically for sanitary wear. Some will even go as far as to provide the little plastic bags for you to wrap your pads in before placing them in the bin. But does that mean for me to get rid of my pads I must travel all the way into town to throw them away securely? Surely there must be another way that doesn’t end up with my dirty pads strewn all across the street. Note that dogs are carnivores, they smell blood and assume that its meat.

What must happen now?

Well, the issues that need to be addressed lie in the hands of the country’s policy makers. We need more efficient service delivery to start. Trash must be collected in a timely fashion. We need new ways of handling the trash crisis. Yes, it’s a crisis. Last timeI checked, the landfill where all the trash goes is almost full. We need to start teaching people to recycle. This starts with separation at source, the source being the home. Each home must start to sort its trash according to glass, paper and biodegradable. The first two can be recycled whereas the last will go back into the earth without harming it. Once the trash is sorted, at least even the scroungers will pick up the trash that’s useful to them without having to sort through all of it. The unemployment rate needs to be addressed to deter people from resorting to these unhygienic income generating activities.

While conducting research on this topic, respondents stated how some of them wash the used pads before disposing of them, some girls have resorted to reusable pads instead of disposable ones. Reusable pads are cost efficient and washable for reuse. They are made of fabric instead of plastic. Some girls use menstruation cups and the ones that use tampons and disposable pads often burn them in the yard but pointed out that pads are hard to completely burn and get rid of.

What are some of the ways that women can dispose of used sanitary wear?

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These streets aren’t safe for women all over the world. Knowing how to drive or even having your own car has a multitude of benefits for women and girls. If you don’t have your driver’s license, here are some of the reasons why you need to look into getting one as soon as possible. You will thank us later.

1.Most job adverts nowadays require the applicants to be in possession of a valid driver’s license. The company could have a pool of cars at it’s disposal and it would be more convenient and faster if you could drive everywhere. Living in Harare, it could take an hour to commute between places to run errands. Having someone that can drive simplifies the logistics of the company meaning more can be achieved during the day.

2.Having your own car means that you can now work longer hours. When I was studying journalism at NUST, my lecturer explained to us that girls do better than boys in school but boys are the ones that get the jobs. His argument was that women had curfews and couldn’t work certain hours for their safety. I could relate because when I was working in advertising, I couldn’t work overtime like my male peers because I had to be home before sunset to avoid getting mugged or worse. You don’t want to find yourself in this tricky situation.

3.Having your own car gives you the freedom to move around as you please. Imagine you’re at a party, something happens and you no longer want to be there. It’s late and dark outside. The person that brought you is still having the time of their life. Now you are held ransom by the driver. The driver dictates when the party will end. The driver is probably drinking meaning with every minute you spend at that party, they are becoming more and more incapacitated and unfit to drive. Whereas, if you had your own car, you could drive off when you feel like it or be the designated driver if the situation calls for it.

If you plan on having a family you’re going to be a mother. Children spend more time with the mother than the father. In case of emergency, you need to know how to handle a vehicle to get the child emergency health services. Ambulances are unreliable and it would take a shorter time if you rush the child to the hospital yourself.

It costs $5,00 to buy the Highway Code from the Traffic Council of Zimbabwe. There are free Provisional Tests apps available for download on the Google Play store. You’ll need to carry your Highway code with you when you go and write your provisional test, along with your ID and license photos. To register to write your provisional costs $20 and you need to pass 23/25 questions in a short test that is 8 minutes long.

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