Of changing social roles among men, women
Tafadzwa Zimoyo and Talent Gore
Singing in his chart hit, “It’s a Man’s World”, James Brown who is touted as the Godfather of soul clearly puts man in the forefront of everything.
However, he also acknowledges the importance of women in the second stanza when he says, “But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl”.
Be that as it may, it appears the future of culinary, barbing, or gardening still lies with men.
Take a look, nowadays women prefer their hair done by men, they want their food cooked by men and also want their tea made by men.
In the restaurants, salons, massage parlours or top chefs all have become men and the reason being that women naturally prefer it when it’s done by men.
If you go to salons it is mostly men who have more clients than women.
There is a good number of well-known men who started out as tea boys or chefs but later changed to occupy some of the powerful positions.
Names that quickly come to mind are businessman and philanthopist Dr Phillip Chiyangwa was once a teaboy while former United States president Barrack Obama was once a community organiser and even more were once in women’s world.
A tour at the dumped National Railways of Zimbabwe backyard site revealed that the area is mostly sued by men who sew designer suits that we see and admire on the runway or be at the chief executive’s desk will have been sewn is such area.
The secret is men are almost good at anything even before they rise up.
Saturday Herald Lifestyle conducted a survey on why most chefs, tailors or hairdressers are male?
Reasons have been cited mainly on strength, the fact that you have to work eight to 10 hours a day on your feet. Sometimes it is simply because the boyfriend cannot excepted or the woman has the family to take care of.
Also the culture the kitchen is very harsh same as the sewing machines are hard.
According to Joshua Engel, enthusiastic eater and adventurous cook that a big chunk of it is historical.
Women were gradually admitted to the brigade system, but it took time for them to work their way up to chef or best tailors.
Even today celebrity tailors cheffing focuses heavily on men, though that’s a status accorded more to ego and self-promotion than quality.
In an interview with Tendekai Munetsi who has been doing tailoring for more than 20 years said was much inspired by his father back in the village and fell in love with dressmaking.
He said by then that was the only job which was easily accessible at that time.
“At age 16, I was already a qualified worker. I married my wife as a tailor. Ever since then I have never thought of doing anything else other than sewing, I managed to open this small shop and I have sent five of my children to University with that money.
“I have also managed to build a house of my own and bought a car.
“All my life I have never thought of doing anything else. I make all sort of dresses, trousers, jackets and I even make school uniforms for children and people usually come to me because I have a passion for what I do.
“With the current situation in the country if you sit on your talent you will suffer so you have to utilise everything that you have such that you make ends meet.
“I have been part of this tailoring community my whole working life.
Without that background, opening a tailoring shop with a man’s name above the door might not have been as warmly received as it is has,” he explained.
Munetsi subsequently refined his tailoring skills with Miriam Muchati as a textile cutter and continued working beside her for 29 years and cultivating his love of excellent cutting and elegant styling day by day.
Another male tailor who has been dominating the streets of Harare is Mdara Jasi — real name Justin Mangweza — who said that tailoring has taken him to places.
“I came from a humble background and fashion designing has taken me to places I never imagined when I was still starting my cutting and designing course.
“At first I thought it was a course for mere tailors especially women but I have now realised the potential that the art has. A lot can be achieved if Zimbabwean designers get exposure. We have the talent and we can shake the international market,” he said.
He said have learnt to just be consistent and to try and match the fashion patterns and trends.
“Ever since I was a kid I used to like sewing to the extent that when I went to high school I begged the teachers to put me in the fashion class and when growing up I just thought I should pursue sewing and I started pursuing it has a career,” he said.
He said has managed to look after his three children to school and also build a house in Chitungwiza .
Mdara Jasi said he started sewing 15 years ago and this has been so well for me.