Extensive research needs to be done on why a society needs underwear.
Certainly it’s not to shore up the fortunes of the cotton industry. To be specific, do women need to walk around wearing any ngotha?
A ngothaless damsel is not one in distress as one told me: “The feeling is breathtaking,” stretching her arms wide as she lets off a sigh. “You know,” she continued, “This is how our fore mothers did it. They didn’t have panties. And that was life. ‘Downstairs’ was aerated, in constant inter phase with air.”
We posed this question to Dr Dorothy Gwajima, the assistant director of curative services, Ministry of Health in Tanzania. She composes herself and offered: “That’s hard to answer. No research has been done on it. But hygiene comes automatically – depending on many factors.”
She argued, a woman who works in the office and one who works at home may need different ways of keeping hygiene. The same would apply to one who works in a busy environment that demands lots of energy.
“It is possible to walk around without underwear and nothing dramatic will happen. So far, there is no scientific research that has found this kind of lifestyle dangerous to a woman’s health. But, I would take it that it is better having one than walking around with none.”
The tricky part of this ngothaless business is during menstruation.
“There is no debate on that. Panties at menstruation hold tampons and pads. They keep a woman comfortable through meetings and through work. It would be difficult to work in a busy environment with nothing underneath,” she said.
Ultimately, offers Gwajima, dressing is all about choice.
And while certain situations may demand for certain ways, at the end, preference and beliefs mater.
Just be sure that your choice will keep you happy... and you won’t be ashamed of anything in case you trip and your dress is not enough.