Faridah N Kulumba
The new president of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan said that kneeling for her husband does not make her inferior and that she will remain submissive.
President Suluhu Hassan in a current video which is circulating online, revealed that she still kneels and submits to her husband Hafith Ameir to honour him and that it is also a sign of love and affection.
Samia Suluhu Hassan 61 year old made history on 19 March 2021 when she was sworn in as the country’s first female president and the six Tanzanian president after the sudden death of President Dr John Pombe Magufuli which occurred on 17 March 2021.
President Samia as a wife and a politician
Ms Hassan married Hafidh Ameir Sultanate of Zanzibar in 1978 before she started her political career in 2000, and they have four grown up children.
Born in semi-autonomous Zanzibar which is 99% Muslims, Suluhu attended school at a time when very few girls in Tanzania were offered the opportunity of an education outside the traditional roles of wife and homemaker.
Suluhu started her political journey in 2000 when she was elected as a special seat member of the Zanzibar House of Representative, and by then she had spent more than 20 years in marriage.
And by the time she was picked by President Pombe Magufuli as the first female Tanzania’s Vice-President in 2015 she had spent 37 years in marriage.
Why would a female president kneel before a husband?
President Samia Suluhu revealed that she still kneel before her husband while she was the first female Vice-president to President Magufuli. She said that despite the powerful position she occupies, Hafidh remains her husband and head of family.
She emphasised that such tradition should not be thrown out as it strengthens family bond and ensure children are brought up with ethics.
“Some of you will say we are equal in all aspects of society, No! That’s not the right position. Even as Vice-President, i will kneel before my husband. I don’t kneel because i am inferior, it’s because of love and affection.
‘Don’t leave this tradition so we can strengthen the bond of our families and bring up our children through good manners,” said Samia.
Zainab Ali a politician and aspiring member of parliament in Uganda, in an interview with African Report supported president Samia’s kneeling before her husband saying that many African tribes, take the act of kneeling before a husband or any one older as the sign that the person was brought up well.
“Kneeling in difference to men and older people, is a common practice for many African ethnic groups, so anything less and the woman risks being considered poorly brought up elitist and disrespectful,” said Ms Ali.
Will she be able to cook for her husband?
Soft-spoken Samia while she was still Tanzania’s Vice-President, she had an interview with BBC and expressed regret that her official duties prevented her from entering the kitchen and doing what she enjoys most in her spare time that is cooking.
“Sometimes the urge really hits me, but my grandchildren whom i live with here keep pushing me away and i have to take a back seat. Apparently the nature of my job means i am not allowed to dabble in that kind of thing.” said Samia.
Although they say that the way to man’s heart is through his stomach, with all the duties at her hands now that she occupies the top office in Tanzania, cooking for her husband will be very difficult for her, since she could not even do it when she was still the Vice-President.