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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!

‘Lovely Violence’:The emotional scars that never heal

Nine years later, with vivid memories lingering,she narrates her ordeal about what she went through at that time. There are scars on her body that remind her of the man she used to love dearly but had the weirdest way of showing his love to her. Although the wounds have healed, the emotional scars will never heal, she still is traumatised. “Why didn’t she run?” is what we are quick to ask but when we are in  abusive relationships, at times we do not realise it, we think it is love, even defending the perpetrators of abuse with statements like kuchengera rudo or ulobukhwele. Nandi, was abused by her fiancé 9 years ago and she narrates her story: Continue reading

A day in the life of a vendor

It’s 4am in the morning, already she’s on her way to Mbare musika to get fresh vegetables for her small market. It’s dark and she’s hoping she gets a lift before some thug attacks her and robs her of her $30 that she’s going to use to buy the produce and her Nokia c3, or worse still rape her. She could have asked her husband to accompany her to the bus stop but he surely won’t wake up after he came home drunk two hours ago. Waking him up might risk herself getting beat up for waking him up or even taking ten dollars from the thirty she has, which might risk her business. She would rather risk her life for the sustenance of her family.

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Tribulations of a Woman

Her first cry marks the beginning of her trials and tribulations, the beginning of being stereotyped, already her life is planned, the society celebrates because not only have they received a daughter, but at the end of the day, they are looking forward to the wealth that will come from her in the form of bride price.

From a tender age, she is taught to be dependent, she is allowed to cry, girls do cry but boys don’t, it’s a girl thing. She is molded into a woman already, burdened with the responsibility of taking care of dolls and plaiting them, she has to ‘nurse’ them and take them to sleep, in preparation of what will become of her in the years to come.

Her hair is plaited and colorful, with bands and all, so that she looks beautiful. She is taught from a tender age that a woman has to look her best; it’s the way you look that attracts the kind of men you want.   vie Continue reading

Adopting the ‘Combi-driver’ attitude as Women

As i thought about the challenges we face as women, the obstacles that obstruct us from moving on with life, the negativity we face, the deaf ear we sometimes get when we are expressing ourselves, the limits we get from the people that surround us and how at times loneliness makes us weak. I thought of the attitude of the combi-driver (commuter omnibus driver) and i thought it as the right attitude to adopt and apply  to our lives.determined

Most of the combi-drivers do not drive their own commuter omnibuses, they work for the owners of the omnibuses. They are given a target, a daily target which they should cash in at the end of the day. What the owner of the bus wants is his money, what the challenges the driver faces during the day is not the owners’ problem, it’s the combi-drivers’ problem. If he doesn’t reach the target, he risks a decrease in his salary.

Most of the drivers start business as early as 4am, and they start transporting, with sometimes getting to the destination with not enough passengers  but the important thing is they get something that contributes to the target. During the day, they face a number of challenges, sometimes they are fined by the police for different faults by the police, losing something like $20-$30 a day, which means they might not reach their target. They do not despair, they continue their trips and even take the risks of loading people at undesignated areas, with the risk of the city council impounding their buses with hefty fines on top.

Sometimes, the conductors do not turn up for work or they come up late, that does not stop the drivers from getting passengers, they go on without or they will find another when they get to town. At the end of the day, they cash in, sometimes not what was expected by the boss and some days are better than the rest.

As women, we should take ourselves as combi-drivers of our lives and have the attitude of the combi-drivers in our day to day lives. Let’s take the target that the combi-driver is given as our goals in life,  We should aim to reach our goals in life and not give ourselves limits. The combi-driver does not stop piloting if he reaches his target in the afternoon, instead, he keeps aiming for more. When we reach our goals, we shouldn’t relax, there’s always something better to do than what we have now, the sky is no longer the limit, we can go beyond. Continue reading

Age of Consent: Cause for concern

An average twelve year old is at school right now, in class, doing her math, content or reading a passage in ‘Nhaka Youpenyu‘ so that she writes her nzwisiso. She probably isn’t concentrating much because she is thinking of the weekend, the games she will play with her friends, or probably the new dress she will wear to church on Sunday and show off to her friends.
She is thinking of which cartoon to watch and what she will buy with the five rand she’s been given for pocket money. She will have to decide whether to buy a packet of jiggies, nibble naks or lollipops. That decision might even stress her out more than deciding which secondary school to go to next year. The thing she is considering first is whether the school allows them to plait their hair or not, whether the results at the school are good or not, she doesn’t care.
Whenever she throws a tantrum over failing to go for a trip, she can be tamed with chocolate or a day out at the long-chen plaza. That young girl who depends on her parents for everything, who is still tucked into bed and still doesn’t understand the reason behind having to bath twice a day, is the same little girl whom is being thought off as the girl who can consent to sex.

primary school children

primary school children

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