You are chairing a senior staff meeting when your smartphone alerts you to a new WhatsApp video message from an unknown number; it downloads and on viewing it, bang! It’s a sex tape featuring a familiar face; it’s one of your organization’s female managers.
How do you handle such a situation? She’s also in the meeting seated right in front of you, one look at the video playing in silence, another look at her, (just to be sure), meanwhile, she’s unaware of what’s going on, no idea that she’s trending on social media.
This is not fiction, it’s the new reality we have to face, a new habit in a new media era. It’s a challenge to morality but also reflection of how the societal moral-fiber, the capacity to do what’s right, no matter the circumstance, has worn out.
That smartphone, like a dangerous drug, must be kept out of the reach of children for you never know what’s coming; that’s the tragedy of the day.
In Rwanda’s neighborhood, Uganda, the sex tape craze is almost becoming a national crisis; every time a video leaks, people dash to get hold of it; to be sure it’s not them captured on secret camera.
This week alone, two videos starring two well known female media personalities leaked and went viral on social media leaving one of the women, a television news anchor out of job, fired for putting the company name in disrepute.
In the video, the news anchor who’s married with three kids is seen having sex with another man whose face is concealed, but it emerged later that he too, is married with two kids.
Two married individuals cheating on their spouses, a scandal, so why would one find it necessary to capture the evidence on camera and then leak it to the public?
At least six sex tapes have leaked since last year featuring some of Uganda’s female celebrities, in all cases; the women have blamed their male sex partners for the offence.
Man is a sinful being and for many years, husbands have cheated on their wives and the reverse is true but these things were kept private, saved from the rest of us, third parties. We are used to Christians sinning in privacy and repenting in public every Sunday.
Today, people are sinning on camera and leaking evidence to the public; why? In a few cases, it has been claimed that these are fame hungry people seeking fast rise to commercial success yet others have argued that it’s jilted lovers playing revenge games.
I say, most of men have lost their male confidence in an era of an empowered woman, now men are doing things to seek attention and brag about their sexual conquests; consequences of the fall of man, the rise of woman.
A case last year of a ‘newly rich’ South Africa based Ugandan who after spending a night with arguably Uganda’s best female musician posted a picture on Facebook, of used condoms and her knickers.
But these cases have also exposed society as still largely patriarchal, women in these sex tapes have been shamed, judged and isolated by the public court yet their male partners in crime escaped scrutiny.
Like female prostitutes, the sex worker is condemned while the man who pays for her services sneaks away.
Same thing happened this week, the female television news anchor was sacked in spite of her pleas that the woman in the video wasn’t her, she was denied fair hearing.
Be careful because new media have empowered people with the ability to create and post content instantly without the traditional gate keeping process in traditional media.
New media has given way for new habits, habits that are anti-proper conduct with manners that threaten to destroy the core of society’s moral fiber. And by the way, I am no moralist but I am also not amoral, I am just concerned for the future.
But there’s a brighter side to this whole thing, those in the business of engaging in scandalous behavior must become cautious and perhaps consider reforming.
As a married man, before you cheat on your wife in a secret motel, beware of hidden cameras or a third party spying on you with a Smartphone camera, your secret escapades could soon be out in the open.
But also, celebrated women (and men), those in national limelight should be careful who you date, who you choose to spend a night with because that trusted partner could be taping your secret sessions to brag about it later or even blackmail you for it to gain favours.
These are new risks of misdemeanors, behave well to avoid shame.