By Mohalenyane Phakela
MASERU — As part of their mission to educate communities through films, Sesotho Media and Development (SM&D), held a screening and discussion seminar at a community hall of Malealea, in Mafeteng on Monday.
The gathering was meant to bring awareness to the situations that lead to infidelity among partners and discuss how this could be averted.
The Malealea community was shown a locally-produced documentary, Colour of Gold, about the way some Basotho men live when they go to work in South African mines.
One of the men featured in the film chronicles how he got infected with HIV from his lovers in the mines, and how he struggled to tell his wife when he returned home.
The man goes on to say how they find it hard to talk to their partners about using protection
and getting tested for HIV.
The community was then given the floor to air their views regarding what they had just watched and how it relates to their daily lives.
Some said the documentary resonated with what is happening in their communities as men who go to the mines tended to come home after a long time, mostly once a year, and created families in South Africa while deserting the wives and children left in Lesotho.
The situation is made worse as the loneliness of the women left behind compelled them to find partners to satisfy their sexual needs while the husbands are away.
In most cases they seek companionship from younger men who they call “Ben 10s”. popularity.
Furthermore, some women have also left their lonely husbands in the villages to work in Maseru.
Worse still, the gathering learnt, concurrent sexual partnerships also occur among couples staying under the same roof.
SM&D’s facilitator Bohlale Sents’o implored the people gathered to come up with possible solutions to the problem.
The possible remedies suggested were that partners should start appreciating each other and that there should be open communication between them.
“You need to remind your partner that you love them on a regular basis because if you do not, someone else will. Show each other that you care. Share ideas and have fun together,” was one suggestion.
“It does not have to be the male who initiates sex in a relationship but it is a two-waystreet,”
said another.“If the wife feels like making love, then she should feel free to discuss with the husband
and not feel like a taboo.”
Community members sat down in groups after the seminar to discuss the way forward.
They decided to form support groups where men can discuss their problems separately to find ways to tackle relationship issues.