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The idea of loving one person for the rest of your life is not a real one

By Thabiso Mahlape | 2017-03-22 09:58:29.0

This past Saturday morning I woke up to one of the funniest "gone viral on social media" posts.

Soccer player Mohammed Anas's video clip of him accepting an award; and then proceeding to thank his wife and girlfriend. Realising his error he quickly backtracks on the girlfriend part. But it is too late. Live television is not anyone's friend honey.

His face, already sweaty from the game, further betrays him when his eyes pop out at the realisation of what he had just done.

He looks into the camera for the first time after his tongue slips, or his heart, depending on how you want to look at it, to quickly assure his wife that he loves her.

He even develops a sudden stutter.

With our friend Mohammed, I believe there is a girlfriend who, in what I can only describe as a plot twist, seems to live in his heart alongside the wife.

I call it a plot twist because people always want to imagine the "other woman" is just someone who exists for the wild sex one can't have with their wife.

In the society we exist in, you either know a married woman or man who is having an affair, a woman or man who has been cheated on or the third party.

I don't know when I realised, that much like Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, the idea of loving one person for the rest of your life really isn't a real one.

It's not the choice to love or be with one person, or the decision to remain faithful, it is the expectation I am worried about.

We have distorted a lot of things as human beings, look at what we have done to the earth. Global warming is all the proof you need to know that as humans we are driven by greed. Have we gone as far as to distort romantic love?

Everything that goes against nature we have been taught to want and desire. Everything including, I believe, monogamy.

From caging wild animals, we want to own everything, even other human beings. Where there was once an abundance of things to share like food and land, now everything is prefixed by "my". We may have gone a little crazy with "my", especially with sexual and romantic relationships.

This may not be important but the word monogamy starts with an m and ends with a y. My! No? Okay.

Is monogamy a choice we make willingly or is it a choice that was made for us?

You have to be a little bit on the crazy side to imagine that you are enough for yourself and another person. But it is a crazy that has been normalised so we nearly kill ourselves trying to achieve this.

If monogamy's "my" was enough to hold the fort, we would not hear of cases where someone's lover falls in love with another person.

Different people feed things within us, married people keep saying you sacrifice some things for a happy marriage. And maybe I am a greedy person but the idea of sacrificing some parts of me sounds neither appealing nor everlasting.

But I would perhaps settle for this if all animals were treated equally, if it wasn't just men who were allowed to deviate from the rule.

If Mohammed was Nthabiseng we would still be talking about it.

Mahlape is a publisher at Jacana Media

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