At one point, Clive “Mono” Mukundu felt so impotent that he associated women and sex with the psychologically traumatising experiences he endured as a 12-year-old, which affected his earlier relationships with the fairer sex.
Even as an adult, the psychological scars left by earlier sexual abuse at the hands of three of his family’s maids, a married landlady at their lodgings in Marimba Park, and two female fellow tenants, made him feel insecure about sex.
Unable to get the 12-year-old Mono between the sheets, the women would do all they could to slaughter his ego.
The multi-talented award-winning guitarist and musical producer, who has featured on over 800 local and international albums, having played for luminaries like Oliver Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo and Andy Brown, among others, reveals this and more in his book “Man Vacuum” (2020) published by Monolio Studios.
The book debunks the notion that masculinity and patriarch are toxic phenomena meant to subdue and gag the girl child and women.
It is a handbook for male emancipation in a world too busy to give them an ear.
Though he accepts that both feminism and masculinity if used out of sync can be destructive, particularly on the familial base, Mukundu, singles out radical feminism for rebuke.
He avers that notwithstanding the positive aspects that may be accrued, projecting the girl child and women as victims through emasculation of the boy child and men, is equally destructive no matter what disguises it comes in.
Using his own experiences, Mukundu highlights the folly of anti-masculine crusades beamed through electronic, print and broadcasting media, especially from Western capitals, political grandstanding and the Church’s pulpits.
The boy child is neglected and raised to believe it is wrong to be born male.
As a result, the so-called male ego is made impotent, thus robbing men, not only of their masculinity, but their confidence as well.
Children raised in families devoid of a fatherly voice, and are made to hate that voice too, often find the real world uncompromising.
Broken, relentlessly shamed, ignored and emasculated to feed into the political correctness theory that condemns patriarch and masculinity, most men lose their grip on reality as they seek the elixir in alcoholic beverages, crime, sex and ultimately, death by suicide.
In the book, Mukundu reveals how issues got to a head in 1983 following his parents’ divorce, which relieved him of the maids’ relentless sexual advances, but exposed him to a ruthless onslaught from more sexual perverts whose carnal desires knew no bounds.
Concerning the married landlady, who would follow him to the bathroom, Mono bemoans: “Whenever she knocked and I called out that the room was occupied, she would say, ‘Oh, it’s you? So it’s fine.’ She would open the door and sneak in.
“I would cover my privates in embarrassment, but she would sometimes undress or use the toilet there while sweet-talking me into sleeping with her,” narrates Mukundu.
Every time he “spurned her offer of sex,” she would go ballistic calling him a useless man, who would never please a woman, or that if he eventually got married his wife would cheat on him because of lack of sexual potency, castrating him in the process.
From the landlady, to the other tenant’s sister, who also said he was not a real man, and one Auntie Evelyn, who would join him in the bathroom, take off her panties and use the bathroom in his presence, the women angled at his manhood.
Psychologically traumatised, physically emasculated, emotionally subdued and sexually inexperienced, Mono lost grip on the essence of sex in relationships. Like many boys and young adults of his ilk, his first and second successful (after momentary fumbling) sexual encounters with a prostitute, who also used the same modus operandi of appealing to his masculinity or lack thereof, left him with sexually transmitted infections.
The STIs baptism worsened the then 21-year-old guitarist’s fear of sex and women, which prompted his resolve “to remain celibate till (he) got married, and the fear of being embarrassed was a big contribution to (his) celibacy, which in turn became an advantage because the majority of (his) fellow band members succumbed to HIV.”
The sex-shy Mono only became sexually active after meeting Jean, the girl that would become his wife, demonstrating how victims of abuse are psychologically affected regardless of their gender.
Mukundu affirms that although shaming men have become “inspiring” at public forums, the challenge is “men do not become good when they stop being men; they become good when they stop being bad.”
“The same masculine traits that bring harm can be used for good, like protection and defeating enemies,” for “being a man has its challenges, too, the same way being a woman has its own challenges,” he says.