Women, let’s be bold for change

For years now, we have been crying for change, for platforms to express ourselves, for equal opportunities as well as reasonable representation in policy making platforms. Platforms have been provided, opportunities are there and representation has since improved, but are we bold enough for change. I believe change begins with us and it all begins with changing our mindsets.

Photo on 25-9-2014 at 4.52 PM

  1. Getting rid of the Inferiority complex

Everyone is talented in different ways but some people tend to hide their potential, leaving success for the others. What we forget is success is not for anyone else but us. We often complain that not many opportunities have come our way but sometimes it is not about the opportunity that comes your way but it is all about standing up and doing what you can do to the best of your abilities and opportunities will certainly come your way. Never think less of yourself, you are worth more than you can imagine. Women are so gifted and I believe if we stop feeling inferior and come together, we can do wonders and change the world to be better.

2. Changing the dependency mindset

Most ladies my age, who are not yet married and looking forward to marriage tend to have the mentality of looking for someone who will take care of them while they sit and gladly accept hand overs. Yes, a man is ‘supposed’ to take care of his wife but what are you doing to sustain yourself in case he leaves you. Society has taught us to rely on men but it is time we changed that. Let us teach self reliance to the little girls and change the gospel of finding a rich husband but the gospel of working hard and being a rich wife. Be a rich girl before you find a rich man, so that you complement each other. Marriage should be about companionship and not financial benefits.

Reliance is the same reason why most women have stayed in abusive relationships, mainly because they do not have anywhere to go, if they leave that marriage they have nothing to sustain themselves hence they live for the money. I don’t blame them, but I blame society that has, from the very first day, taught us to rely on men. It’s time to change that and try as much as possible to be able to sustain ourselves before we can think of marriage.

3. Making other people’s lives your career

Unemployment is on the rise and this has often seen most people having nothing to do other than spend the whole day on social media, admiring and criticizing the celebrities’ lives and also following other people’s lives. ‘Who is dating who? Who got dumped by who? Who got married? Who got impregnated by who? And so on..’ But how does this edify your life?What benefit is it to the world? What value does it add to your life knowing and rejoicing on someone’s progress or recline in life?

If the answer is nothing, then why not invest that time in doing something that will help in making you  a better person. If you can’t invest in the smallest project, better invest your time in reading and in that will you find motivation or tips on how to be a better person.

Gossip, viral threads and jokes only give you something to laugh about at that moment but it does not make your life any better. Make something out of your life and find things that will bring food to your table.

Use social media to your advantage. Social media is a chance to show yourself to the world, what you can do and how you can help in the world. There’s more to facebook other than selfies and funny skits. Take action.

4. From Pull-her-down to pull-her-up syndrome

Women tend to have a problem of finding it hard to support fellow women in what they do, they are good at telling her, ‘you are bound to fail’. It is difficult to let the men believe in us if we do not believe in our fellow women. The more we support each other, the more we are represented in policy making affairs. It is quite unfortunate that recently, the minister of women’s affairs, Nyasha Chikwinya, who is supposed to be supporting the women, recently appointed a male chairperson for the women’s bank where there were a number of female applicants. So much for empowering the women.

From a tender age, let’s teach the girl child to support the women as much as they support the male counterparts. Opportunities and positions should not be accorded as to one’s gender but as to one’s abilities. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie puts it, “Teach her to question or culture’s selective use of biology as ‘reasons’ for social norms.” If the girl wants to be a mechanic, let her be, mechanics is not in the DNA of men, neither is cooking in the DNA of women. As a woman, you should not be bound by societal expectations but by what you want to do. Never mind the other women who won’t support you, well they will admire you when you are up there.

5. Getting married because society feels you are ‘ripe’

So when ladies get to their twenties, and they graduate from university or college, what society expects from them is marriage. They are now old enough to get married, which has often put pressure on them. Ladies end up getting married because of society and not because they have found the right person which I think has contributed to the influx on divorces before five years. Get married because, deep down in your heart you feel you have found the right person and deep inside, you are ready.

It is all about changing our mindsets, shifting our focus not only on being caregivers but being leaders and innovators. Women are blessed with the gift of multi-tasking, there’s nothing we cannot juggle. Let’s stand up and do something for ourselves, something we can be proud to stand up and say, I achieved this as a woman. Get rid of people who do not push you up and discourage you and start associating yourself with those who encourage you to do better and become innovative.

Happy women’s month! May we aim to change the world for the  better.

Note to Olinda……

I would be lying if I said I know how u feel right now, because I don’t.  Probably that’s the reason why I thought you were overreacting when you posted your first video. I even laughed and regretted feeling sorry for you when you posted an apology the next day, putting all the blame on yourself. But I do know you are hurt.

olinda-chideme

I must say I am sorry for that. I have come to realise that there are situations when one is depressed, when you haven’t done anything wrong but the world seems cruel to you. Having tried to be the perfect woman but the person you are doing it for never notices, they instead make you feel worse.  You cry, scream and shout and sometimes feel a bit over the edge, suicide becomes an option.

Probably you told a number of people about your predicament, hoping they would make your burden lighter, but they could have made it worse, telling you ‘we told you so’ or spreading it over to more people to make it worse. Maybe that is why you decided to take it to social media.

I am not married and probably am not the right person to try and comfort you but I just thought I should say what I feel might be helpful.

You are worth more than you feel you are.You are beautiful the way you are and no one should ever tell you other wise. You can never please everyone, so do what you are comfortable with and not what the next person thinks is better for you. When you are disappointed, cry, shout and scream all you want, just let it all out.

Suicide should never be an option, it’s your family that loses their loved one and your death will only leave scars to those who truly love you and fulfillment to those who don’t. I understand what could have made you more emotional is because you lost your mother recently, you wish if she was there you could tell her all your problems. Whenever you think of suicide, think of what your mother would have wanted for you and what she would have loved to see you achieve and work towards that. I am sure she wouldn’t have wanted you crying over a man.

You can never tell someone in love to leave their partner because they have been wronged because tomorrow you might seem to be the enemy. I won’t tell you to leave Stunner but I will tell you to think of who stands to benefit in this marriage or if you divorce, who benefits more. But what matters the most is what your heart wants, follow you heart.

There are many organisations that are willing to listen to you cry, their doors are wide open and at any time you can call or visit. Social media might have been your last option but I feel posting videos of yourself in tears might even worsen your situation, with some nasty people who are there to curse for no apparent reason.

Go away for a holiday if you have to, forget your misery and think things through. I can see you have started retail therapy, great going! There is more to life than cheating lads. Tomorrow will be a better day. Pray as much as you can and ask God for forgiveness.

I am sorry for what you went through, I hope you are recovering.

Have a great life!

Shame on you, ‘Prophet’!

I can’t explain how angry I was (I still am) as I listened to Tilder Live, with Tilder having in the studio, ‘Prophet’ Mapfumo and his rape victims. The bible clearly tells us not use the name of the Lord in vain yet some grown man uses the name of God to satisfy his sexual needs in the disguise of healing.

prophet-mapfumo

I listened carefully as the first victim narrated her ordeal. Apparently, ‘Prophet’ Mapfumo of By Grace ministries, during his one-on-one sessions, ‘saw’ that this lady had a problem with her stomach, and in order for him too heal he, she had to remove her clothes.

Sensing resistance, the man asked why people had faith in doctors, where they would remove their clothes without resistance yet they resisted removing their clothes for the ‘Man of God.’

“Because I had so much faith in the man of God, I told him I believed in him for healing and I stripped my clothes where he raped me thereafter,” she said.

Now, when people speak ill of the prophets of today, the congregants curse those who would have said out their mind. But after hearing this story, would one be justified to persecute those who do not believe in the prophets of today? And then we begin to question all those one-on-one sessions in the ‘prayer rooms’, are the rooms used for prayer only? One tends to wonder.

Maybe there are true prophets, who have been truly called to serve, but it is people like these who make us doubt the authenticity of their works. Well, don’t throw stones at me for speaking out my mind.

A grown man, with a wife and children at home (who were listening to the show), doing such a shameful thing and publicly accepting his crime and blaming it on temptation. Man, we are all tempted on a daily basis, but there’s something called self control, which you clearly don’t have which is a necessity in the field you had chosen.

The saddening thing is you have tarnished the name of prophets, you have humiliated your congregants who had so much faith in you and most of all you have disgraced your family. It’s such a shame beginning the year with the awakening that your father who’s a ‘prophet’, impregnated a young desperate woman, (could have raped more, we are not sure) and asked for sexual favors in the name of healing to a number of female congregants. In situations like these, the bold would have spoken out and more could be afraid to speak out for fear of breaking their homes and labeling in society.

It’s so unfortunate that there are people out there who are taking advantage of people in desperate situations. I know most people would be laying all the blame on the woman for being so naive. Sometimes we give in to such crap because we are desperate to get out of a lot of situations. Society expects a lot from us, and we end up acting without thinking twice, because someone has used the name of God.

I applaud the ladies for speaking out and reporting the matter to the police. ‘Prophet’ Mapfumo, I hope you get a stiff sentence, for taking advantage of desperate women and mostly for using the name of God in vain. I hope a number of church leaders who could be thinking of doing the same learn from you.

Of the words I wanted to say….before tears got the best of me

When I enrolled for university 4 years ago, there are two things I really couldn’t wait for, my graduation ceremony and my graduation party. What came with graduating is what is generally important but for me, the day when people would gather around and congratulate me was the most important. No matter how hard things seemed to be, I fought harder so that I could get a graduation party. One important part of the party I wanted was the time when I would say my speech, talking about my journey and thanking all who helped me throughout the journey, but tears got the best of me and I only said a few words. But here goes what I always wanted to say.dscf8584

 

Growing up, I have seen my parents try hard to make sure we have the best of education, not that I went to the best of schools, but I went to the best of schools they could manage and it is through that, that I became who I am.

I have grown to see the people around me excel and fail. For those who excelled, I learnt that anything is possible under the sun and you can achieve if you only put your heart in all that you  do. I must say though, that I learnt a lot more from the people who failed and made mistakes before me, for they tested the waters for me, they drowned and I made sure I didn’t take that path.

My Journey at Midlands State University

When I applied at Midlands State University (MSU), my name did not appear in the press when they published the names of people who had got places at the University, I was distraught, where would I go? UZ had offered me Bachdelor of Arts which I had no interest in whatsoever and MSU was my last option, with my first option being Psychology, Politics and public management as second option and lastly Media and society studies.

I kept my faith and I knew I would get a place, I was going to reapply as soon as the semester started. I had so much faith that I went to South Africa to shop for school, when I didn’t even have a place. My cousin brother, who’s a lecturer assured me I would get a place, but in Human resources. as it was the department that was still recruiting.

As soon as the University opened, I went to Gweru with my school fees carefully tucked in my jeans and I went straight to the Human resources department to ask if I could get a place. The attitude I got from the department, yohh, I will leave it here. But we were made to wait for five hours straight without any feedback.

My cousin later came, just a few minutes before lunch and asked what they had said and I told him they hadn’t attended to us since morning. He then asked if I would rather be interested in History, I refused, History was my worst subject at A level, and I wasn’t going to spend the next four years studying something I hated. He then asked if I would rather be interested in English and Communications and I just asked what I would do with that degree and he tried explaining but still, I wasn’t interested. Then he asked if I would rather be interested in Media, and I leaped with joy, I wanted Media.

We went to the Media and Society Studies department and we met the chairperson. There were vacancies in the department, provided I had Literature in English and at least an E in O level Mathematics. That was it! I got the place and I was about to start my journey.

Of course, the parents weren’t really excited about me studying Media, why not Human resources management, they asked. But I had made up my mind, I always wanted to be a celebrity, and this was my breakthrough, I thought (LOL). I packed my bags, with my mothers prayers and a long lecture from my dad, there began my journey.

Along the way, I met different people from different backgrounds, some whose characters I wondered how their minds really operated and for some I respected. But I learnt a lot from them. I just kept my parents’ words at heart, never to let them down.

2014 I started my internship at Jive Zimbabwe, as a communications intern. That was a fun filled internship, mostly because I regularly worked with Jah Prayzah and also because I worked under minimum supervision, my boss had so much faith in me. It was quite an experience at Jive Zimbabwe and from Benjamin Nyandoro, my boss, I learnt that there shouldn’t be a limit to our dreams, you should dream big. With the online music distribution phenomenon being introduced first by Jive Zimbabawe, I knew I was working for a visionary and I was, and still inspired to be one.

My final year was pretty hard, as can be expected of any final year, but with God’s grace and determination I pulled through. My dissertation was exciting, Online music distribution and piracy in Zimbabwe: A case of Jah Prayzah’s album Jerusarema on Jive Zimbabwe’s Online music store. I had the best supervisor, Dr. Ureke and compared to how others struggled with their dissertations, mine seemed to be a walk in the park. I worked hard and had a distinction for my dissertation.

25 November 2016, I graduated with an Honors degree in Media and Society Studies and I thank God. It wasn’t an easy road and as I sing Ebenezer, I reflect on what I went through over the past four years, and what my parents went through to get me where I am. I thank God.

I am grateful to my parents for doing all they could so I could complete my degree. The moral support was super and there was no way I could have let you down. Mum, you are a star and I salute you, all the tears and struggle you went through shall not go in vain. Daddy, I know I made you proud, and I am glad to have done so.

I want to thank my mums for helping in all they could for my welfare. I couldn’t, even if I wanted to, let you down. May you be blessed. And to all who chipped in along the way, helping out with anything they could, thank you, God will reward.

I could go on and on and on, but I can never thank you all enough. Thank you so much for the support and the advice. I didn’t like the lectures lol, but they did help.

I must say, I am proud of myself, I went to MSU and set my standards and goals. I achieved them all and here I am, counting my blessings. For each and every opportunity that has come my way, I am thankful. All praises be to God.

 

 

Tears of a native

 

My heart bleeds when i think of my nation, I don’t think any other nation has a miserable people as much as my nation does. One can only wish for the night to be longer as day brings nothing more than more problemswhatsapp-image-2016-10-21-at-22-17-16

The breaking of dawn comes with it reminders of the bills that have to be paid, the outstanding salaries, where the next meal will come from and whether or not to switch on your phone. Switching it on would mean the people you owe money might call, one after the other, with all of them asking “How far?”.

Well, one might decide to switch it off for the greater part of the day but then the one who owes you money might call, asking whether to bring the cash or to deposit in the bank. If your phone is unavailable, they would rather deposit it in the bank before they are tempted to pay someone else whom they owe money. That would be a nightmare as no one wants their money deposited in the bank, you might get swollen legs waiting for a very small amount of money.

The usual sight of the CBD nowadays is queues  at every corner, not just queues, long queues where if you get to the bank just a few minutes after eight, you might get the number 300 if you are lucky or you don’t get a number at all and you would have to try another day. It is sad that you would have to keep trying for a very small amount of money.

It is no news that there’s a cash crisis in Zimbabwe. Probably it’s because companies are not depositing the cash because people are not buying from their stores because they do not have money, their money is in the banks and banks cannot give them money because there aren’t much deposits. I am not sure how it really works but the point is, the cash crisis has caused misery in the country.

Whoever thought that bosses of big companies would one day humble themselves in front of Ecocash agents. Some had crammed agent codes and they would just get to the agent and claim they had a cash out of a certain amount and they would get it. To some extent, it has taught people manners and reminded us that no matter one’s position, we will need each other at some point in time.

Nowadays, one has to humble themselves, greet the agent politely, ask how the weather is treating them, whether they are having problems at home or if they need a new pen. After a lengthy conversation they then ask if they have cash, and if they don’t, (which in many cases they don’t)  they ask for the agent’s phone number so as to call and confirm if there’s money or not.

Some of these agents have become wealthy as in every crisis, someone benefits. If they do have the cash and you have created a good relationship with them, they can keep the money for you, with the condition that they get a percentage of that money. One has no option but to comply, you need the money.

After the struggle with getting cash, one is not really keen to go home. With the little cash that one has, they have to balance between bus fare, food for the family as well as other expenses. One goes home with a heavy heart. Thinking of how they will balance work (if they are employed) the following day, standing in the long queue as well as get more money for survival.

As if the economic problems ain’t enough, there comes the water crisis. With the wells going dry in this heat, there’s massive saving of water. No water is thrown out. After bathing, washing the dishes or mopping the floor, everyone knows, the water is for flushing. There now is a reservoir of ‘dirty’ water. Everyone is forced to control their bowls because if they don’t, with the water crisis, one is forced to knock on neighbors gates (who are fortunate enough to have boreholes) frequently. I guess everyone’s prayer these days is not to have diarrhea.

No one wants to be a nuisance to the neighbours, eventually they will get tired of your begging. The City council has let us down. I bet the city fathers don’t even know the stress we all go through just to get a bucket of water as they are living in far much better conditions than all of us.

City council has no mercy for either the residents or the workers. There is poor service delivery in the residential areas with the garbage collectors coming once a month (twice if they feel like it) and one can imagine the flies by the gates when the people take their bins out every Thursday, and the risk of diseases that those flies bring. Now that there’s an outbreak of typhoid, I wonder if they will ‘remember’ the needs of the residents.

To some extent, one cannot blame the city council workers as most of them haven’t been paid in a while. The stress they handle each and every day is sad. Thinking of the school fees, the tummies to feed, and the accumulating bills. The situation is just bad.

Up until when will we remain a crying nation? We’ve gotten used to consoling each other everyday. Telling each other it shall be well when it’s been years now with no change, just worsening conditions. Even graduation ceremonies no longer hold as much value as they used to as nowadays one thinks of what value it brings in going to a graduation ceremony, pulling out resources and leaving parents and guardians in debt when you have no job.

I hope our generation can one day enjoy the fruits of our nation. I hope one day we will be able to bath freely, without thinking of saving dirty water for flushing. I hope being a graduate will one day be something one can be really proud of  and I hope life will get back to where one would never  have to fear of switching on their phone in fear of the loan sharks….One can only hope.

 

 

When the Protector becomes the Perpetrator

For the first time in four years, I was afraid to admit that I studied Media, because I didn’t know what would have happened if I had done so. Would they abduct me, would they lock me up in the cells or would they beat me up and leave me with permanent scars that would make me warn my fellow colleagues that the Africa Unity Square is the most dangerous place to be if you are a journalist.

This was the day that Sten Zvorwadza was brutally attacked for protesting, I was at the other end of town, just opposite the parliament, waiting for the protestors to get to the parliament. Upon arrival at the Africa Unity square, I could see that the police had already prepared themselves to attack the protestors once they got anywhere near the parliament. They were in three small groups with their water cannons and small cans (that I assumed had tear gas) attached to their trousers. Continue reading

Naivety from Unemployment: We all are victims

My heart bled as I read the story of Samantha Mhlanga, who was one of the women who were abused in Kuwait. She went through a lot, together with the other women she went with there but one cannot blame them as they had gone to seek employment  and they thought they could make their lives as well as their families’ lives better after they would have settled down. They never thought anything bad would happen and one cannot blame them for being naive, with the current economic situation in Zimbabwe, we all have become naive.

People have begun taking advantage of the current situation to con people and waste people’s time as anyone will go anywhere where there seems to be hope or promises of jobs. I recently completed my degree and despite the CVs I have dropped at different companies there hasn’t been a response as yet and all I do is hope that soon, my phone will ring for an interview, and as each day passes, the levels of depression rise. Continue reading