The government has issued an appeal to older women, urging them to refrain from engaging in romantic relationships with younger men in Tanzania. The call comes as a response to cultural values and concerns about the depletion of the workforce. Authorities emphasize the need for adhering to traditional norms and discourage relationships that may be seen as inappropriate within the community.
District Commissioner of Ileje, Farida Mgomi, has called on older women to refrain from engaging in romantic relationships with younger men.
Speaking in a village in the country, she urged women to avoid romantic involvement with individuals under the age of 20, stating that doing so depletes the nation’s workforce, which primarily consists of young people.
Mgomi emphasized this while addressing a concerning trend, particularly among young people and many urban women, which she said contradicts African cultural values.
“Young people, let’s focus on working hard. I have a message for my fellow women, as a mother, I must tell you. There’s something that deeply saddens me; mature women aged 40, 50, are involved with young men in their 20s, 25s, and 30s. They bring them into their homes, marrying the same children they gave birth to. Are we mothers like that? Aren’t we supposed to be their caregivers?” questioned the district commissioner.
“You’re 40, taking a boy of 18, and you claim you’re nurturing him? Young people, let’s go out and work. Stop engaging romantically with your mothers; they are your parents who gave birth to you. You’re 20, getting involved with a 50-year-old woman; that’s your mother. Stop it!” Mgomi vehemently expressed.
The district commissioner was passionate, declaring that such incidents must cease within her jurisdiction. She emphasized that these actions, while appearing commonplace, are far from normal.
“We have lost our way, my fellow women. It’s not a trivial matter, yet you’re making it seem ordinary. It’s not normal for a mother to be in a romantic relationship with a young boy,” she concluded, expressing her deep concern.