Aibu Tupu! Wanaume wachapana makonde, mwanamke aingia uvunguni Kujiokoa, suala laripotiwa polisi – Shame! Two men fight over a woman while she hides underneath the bed!, Uwazi

Date: January 1, 1970
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This story is about two men who fought over bar maid’s attention.

This article may be used to:

  1. Illustrate how media often portray men as people who cannot control their emotions to the extent of fighting over a woman.
  2. As an example of as blatant stereotype.
  3. Demonstrate sensationalist use of images.
  4. Raise discussions on what is considered newsworthy.

The two fighters in the bar are engaged in a trivial fight over a woman’s attention. This act shows that some people have no respect for bar maids and expect that they deserve her attention. The article further speculates that the men could have had an affair with the bar maid which could have prompted the fight. Surprisingly the woman is not sourced for comment. The story is told from witnesses’ view point. Being a bar maid is reduced to a job that involves satisfying men and always making sure they have attention. There is not attempt to explore the affect of this on the women. The owner of the bar remarks that he is surprised that the men fought over one bar maid when the bar has so many bar maids who could serve the men. The article uses sensationalistic images that show the woman in a revealing dress, and the men half-dressed.

Discussion Questions:
1. What makes this story newsworthy? Does the newspaper often report on bar fights?
2. What do the photos contribute to the story?
3. What voices are missing ? How important are these ? 

Training exercises
Ask participants to go to the nearest bar and observe how male patrons treat barmaids and how the women themselves behave.
2. Make a list of criteria that make a story newsworthy. Doe this story fit them?
3. Break into two groups. Have participants each list characteristics or impression that they have of the parties involved, and compare.

Links to other training resources
Whose News, Whose Views a Southern African Gender in Media Handbook.”
Mirror on the Media: Gender and Tabloids in Southern Africa

Related GL Commentaries
Tabloids as gender activists? Research tells another story
Women consumers of media must flex their muscles 
Why is media literacy important for women 


Mayhem occurred in some flats in Dar es Salaam last week when a fight ensued that resulted in injuries. One man, Suma and another unidentified man were at a bar called Royal having drinks Suma allegedly quarrelled with the unidentified man. Suma complained that he was hoarding the barmaid’s attention and she was not serving his table. A quarrel ensued and fighting erupted. Some of the patrons who were eyewitnesses confirmed the incident but believed there was more to the cause of the fight than service. They alleged that one of the two must have had an affair with the barmaid which promoted the fight between the two. After the mele’e glasses, tables and chairs were broken and everyone took cover. Our reporter witnessed the guard of the bar trying to separate the two fighting men. The manager of the bar Mr. Salvatori Paulo when being interviewed was amused that the two fought over one barmaid when the bar had several barmaids who could have served them. Though he did not establish the cost of the damages, he asked the guard to inform the police and file a report.]



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