Conventional wisdom says: women’s bodies belong to them and they are free to do with them whatever they want.

Fulu and I agree, but we were met with immediate and angry retribution for that belief.

Fulu and I leaving for Malawi

Yesterday morning we left the backpackers without taking cultural and African wisdom into consideration. Coming from a world where mini and microskirt are a norm, Fulu wore her favorite mustard colored dress. But we didn’t realize that this skirt would be deemed too short for the Malawian culture.

The result; we were accosted by a mob of about 70 people at the bus station jeering, clapping and angrily shouting “Hule! Hule! Hule!!”. I was just about ready to murder one of them as he tried to touch her. It was frightening.

The police intervened and cautioned us to go back and change into something a little more conservative or travel in a private car, sticking to tourist zones.

We headed back to the backpackers then successfully completed the rest of our trip after a quick change to something more “sensible”.

Fulu “sensibly dressed” posing on a train track in Blantyre

African wisdom requires you to be culturally aware and become a polite guest when visiting. Forgetting this can turn even the warmest people on earth into raving lunatics.

My only wish is that this education could have been delivered in the same warm-hearted manner as the Malawian people are.

Conventional wisdom must always be balanced with African wisdom… Because after all, #ThisIsAfrica

Hadithi Njoo!

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