AT first glance, the house looks neat; the windows are open, letting in plenty of light, the surfaces are dust free, the floor is shiny and the air smells fresh. The chairs are dusted, the nets are white, the curtains are clean and thereâ€™s a general air of cleanliness. Youâ€™re impressed.
On closer inspection, you begin to notice small inconspicuous flaws; the table is missing one leg and is being propped up by a stool, half the bulbs in the room look cloudy and two chairs have rickety legs. Also, many of the pictures around are on the table instead of hanging from the walls. You revise your initial opinion.
This is a common scenario in households which have no resident males. For some reason, many women feel helpless when faced with manual jobs like clearing badly blocked sinks, fixing broken furniture, repairing electrical equipment and even changing bulbs. For this reason, such â€˜catastrophesâ€™ are carefully ignored until a male relative, friend, or even at times, stranger, passes by. This is when the problem is casually pointed out like it happened just that morning.
Christine, 24, lives with her two sisters. She says sheâ€™s afraid to repair her own broken stuff for fear of being thought â€˜manlyâ€™ by her girlfriends. â€œI have, instead, arranged for my brother to help out every weekend,â€ she confides.
In this day and age, itâ€™s more than high time women got rid of the idea that there are some jobs that only men can do. Of course, a few activities require brute force and strength but most are light and can be done by women. All thatâ€™s needed is a tad more curiosity than usual.
It doesnâ€™t hurt to open the pipe under the sink and poke around with a stick. You might encounter a lot of gross stuff but it wonâ€™t kill you.
Taking it out will leave your sink clear. Joseph, a physical planner says fixing a sink is very easy and can be done by anyone. â€œIn fact,â€ he asserts, â€œI would respect a woman who knew how to do her own repairs.â€
More to that, no one will think less of you if you hit a nail into the wall and put up a picture. Itâ€™s also okay to ask a male counterpart to explain to you the dynamics of a particular process or teach you how to repair certain appliances.
The good thing about all this is that itâ€™s very easy to get screw drivers, a small hammer and a couple of nails from hardware stores around Kampala.
Cars also usually have some tools in their boots so you donâ€™t even need to buy an entire tool box. Itâ€™s a good idea for women to take interest in manual work because they care about scarring the furniture or dirtying the walls. As a result, the end result is just as durable but a lot more neat. Better still, once the dreaded task is over, the filling of accomplishment is phenomenal!
After having conquered all these hurdles, itâ€™s important to remember that we shouldnâ€™t try to do everything. Some jobs really do need an expert. This is when you can call the most reliable male you know or a specialist.
Who needs a man?