Many people in Uganda, especially men outside Tooro, either ignorantly or intentionally misinterpret the Batooro traditional phrase of “Omusaija tayangwa” to mean that a woman shouldn’t say NO to a man’s sexual advances.
First, there is no single word related to “sex” in the phrase. So, why do men continue to misunderstand the phrase and propagate the myth that Batooro women easily give away their bodies?
Research shows men tend to view women as sex objects. Because Tooro women are so beautiful, jolly, lovely, attractive, friendly, intimate and soft speaking, they have fallen victims to this objectification of women.
Many men look at beautiful Batooro women through the lens of potential romantic relationships mostly when sex is in their mind. Therefore, the unique way of life of Batooro women has been misinterpreted by others like women who easily give away their bodies, which is far away from the truth.
Here’s the surprising truth behind “Omusaija tayangwa”, which is a piece of advice saying.
In Tooro marriage traditions, the responsibility of finding asuitor rested upon the parents, with or without the consent of their children. Once the boy’s family found a suitable girl, they made their intentions known to the parents of the girl. Unlike in other tribes, Batooro parents sought the consent of the girl before they gave her away. After the girl agreed, proceedings to negotiate the bride price would be instigated.
Although the parents sought the consent of the girl, she was never allowed to refuse a suitor hence the advice saying “Omusaija tayangwa” loosely translated as “a man cannot be rejected”. By using this saying, the elders and aunties of the girl gave her the much-needed emotional support and advice to make her accept the suitor. This still applies today; but in the opposite sense, when a girl brings a partner of her choice to her parents. The parents and aunties are supposed to give her advice and approve the suitor, not to reject him.
Let’s widely SHARE this post to demystify the meaning of “Omusaija tayangwa” advice saying, which has been twisted and turned into a Batooro funny slogan.
Adapted from Tribal Tooro