The African woman has to fight for equity in education and job sectors. She also has to fight for a place in society, whether to have a voice or not, where she stands with family and society and where she does not, what can she speak about and where are her opinions considered baseless and too feminine. The African woman has been belittled especially by set traditions which force her to act as a person she is not, to accept ideologies she would have otherwise screamed about.
As much as the world is evolving, and so is Africa, there are still some traditions and cultures that are meant to oppress the African woman from metamorphosising into her true self. With each generation advancing further, ladies always find themselves confined with ideologies they were taught growing up, some they witnessed, and these ideologies work as a reminder in their day to day lives.
We live during times when we take our daughters to school but still do not expect them to have a voice and an opinion. We live in a generation where men have been raised by their fathers to believe that they must be the head and therefore if you make more money than he does he forces you to quit your job using the term marriage and the head of the family. Our women have been put down so many times that they are shaken and have no idea where to stand and when to speak. The idea of a woman being the breadwinner of a family repulses some men to the point they would rather beat and humiliate you to ensure you fail. Eventually you, the woman accept his’ and society’s ideals, and you lose yourself in their thoughts and opinions of who you should be.
Today I speak to African women as one of them, as a lady who wants to be oppressed no more. As an African woman who expects her voice to be heard and her opinions considered because I too have a something to say and I will not let a chauvinistic society stop me from flying high and fulfilling my dreams. So here goes:
Dear Africa woman,
You are an eagle with the ability to soar greater heights than you can possibly imagine. The strength that lives inside you shows how powerful and transcendent you truly are. Don’t let society put your down. By society, I mean our grandmothers and mothers thinking of whom a woman should be; our fathers, brothers and husbands thoughts on what you are entitled to and what you aren’t. No, make your own rules for without women society falls. We are the backbone of the very thing that puts us down. Women hold the glue that brings the world together. We cannot let the universe dictate who we should be and how we should go about it. Sis, if you don’t want to be a wife and a mother, so be it, go chase the paper. Lady if you feel you can be a mum, but not a wife make your stand. For those who feel like they can do it all, mum, wife and a professional, go for it. Yes, you can do it because you are an eagle and you can have the skies and land. Your background is irrelevant, if there is a fire in you that pushes you into doing something, follow that passion and pursue it, and you should never stop until you achieve that which you desire. There will always be someone who wants to put you down. It does not matter if they are man or woman, they exist and they will for a very long time, all you need to do is to take a stand and stick by it. Wangari Maathai did not become the icon that she was by bowing to what society demanded of her, no, she spoke out regardless of who was against her. You the African woman have to embrace the beauty that you are, love yourself and be fierce in whatever you believe in because it makes you who you are. Adeline Bird says, Be Unapologetically You, and I insist embrace who you are unapologetically. Focus on what you want and where you are going because sis, you owe no one any explanation or apologies. As long as you feel pretty, powerful and resilient in that dark girl skin, embrace you and live life making choices that scream you and make you more loving and accepting of the person you are turning out to be. Embrace the power within you! From an African woman who believes in making her own rules.
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