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Visioning my future; “There, but for the Grace of God, go l”

Visioning my future; “There, but for the Grace of God, go l”

I am often very uncomfortable when l am introduced as an activist. It sometimes makes me feel like a fraud. It makes me ask the question, what am l? who am l? In my mind, activists are fantastic people, selfless people, brave and courageous people whose convictions drive them to achieve great and wondrous things, often in the face of risk and danger to themselves. Whereas l write what l see. I comment and l criticize. I try to point out what’s wrong and why l believe it is wrong and then l send it out there for the real activists to take action. I talk to women and offer an ear and support when needed. Am l really selfless, courageous and brave? I am afraid if people take a peek inside, l will be exposed as a fraud. What l am at the moment is a woman, who has had tremendous opportunities. Who has been guided and who has been blessed with a platform to speak and act in ways that can touch other people’s lives.

When l look at where l was, where l have come from, the thought crosses my mind “there, but for the grace of God, go l”. This informs my personal vision. To spread hope and encouragement to other women. To inspire them want to strive for their goals and achieve their potential. To show them that they can rise above the circumstances of their birth, the circumstances of current abuse, poverty or other difficulty. To show them that another world is possible.

To do this l strongly believe that we need to link women with women. Isolation and desperation drives women to desperate acts including suicide. It is needless and a waste of human potential. I think not in terms of grandiose numbers and plans but in terms of individual change. Where each woman that l have reached out to makes it her mission to reach out to the next woman, holding her hand and walking alongside her in her journey, until she can let go of the hand of support and reach out in support of another. It is women giving other women life skills- how does a young graduate deal with sexual harassment in her first job? How do l manage office politics? Where do l go when my boyfriend is beating me? Who can assist me get a divorce? How do l come to terms with being HIV positive? How do l get over being left pregnant and single, when everyone blames me for having sex outside of marriage? For each woman going through these crises, it is THE crisis. They do not know how to deal with it. But for each woman who is feeling stranded and desperate, there are a lot of women who have information, access, ideas and assistance. Small steps to change our communities and our world, by connecting women to women.

But in order for me to take the steps to realizing this vision, l need to be clear who l am. I need to be empowered and l need the skills to make this vision a reality. This is the opportunity that being a Voice of the Future Correspondent offers me. Further, it offers me a safe space in which to set out my ideas and my thinking and know that l will receive constructive criticism from other women. I will also receive information and ideas to bring my vision to life. I am mindful that in my small world, my vision may be limited perhaps by my limited exposure to the world, perhaps my day to day struggles impact on my ability to imagine. Being a Voice of the Future correspondent will open me up to other people’s experiences, imagination and wisdom. Perhaps after starting to work on my vision, l can grow and begin to earn the title “activist”.

Comments

Fungai Machirori's picture

Write on!

I hear you! But you are also necessary so that through your written activism, someone may act. If you did not write, then who who read and know and ACT?! Never doubt your value because you really are so very important to the cause!

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

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