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Yaya Is Somebody

Everybody is somebody for nobody is a nobody. Every human has a useful reason for being here. Why look down on yaya just because she did not come riding in a luxurious car, has no bank account, nor house. Her palms are coarse, so rough from tilling the soil. She works from dawn to dusk just to ensure there`s food for all.Yaya is soaked by rain and dried by sunlight everyday in the fields, with a baby on her back.Yaya,once full of splendor is now a shadow of youthful self.
At dusk, she makes her way back home descending numerous slopes, crossing many rivers, sometimes dangerous hanging bridges, bringing with her vegetables,fruits,cocoyams,cassava etc.The bag of food might be too heavy but there must be space for firewood to cook the evening meal and some more strength and space on her back to carry the baby. Back home she must prepare the evening meal and keep the house and children clean. At 5am, she is up to prepare breakfast and fetch water for all to clean up. At 6 30am, she begins her long walk to the field. Her labor is most intense yet her reward is least.Yaya is the most affected when anyone at home is sick, as she is the principal care taker, searching for herbs and administering them, keeping sleepless nights to take care, trekking long distances to access hospitals etc.Yaya does all her husband deems necessary to maintain the marriage, including bearing children at the risk of their life. At thirty Yaya is mother of eight, soon to be a grandmother, carrying a one year old baby in her hands and a two months old unborn baby in her tummy.Yaya, some call her rural woman, others describe her as a ‘’beast of burdens’’, I call her the World`s Sustainer. Our heart beats are sustained by her activities, without the food she produces we would not be alive.Yaya,so useful yet so minimized and neglected. We all depend on her labor to survive, yet no one talks about her .Yaya produces 70% of the food we all consume.World Pulse is here to tell her story forYaya is somebody though treated as a nobody.


WILDKat's picture

All the world's women...

Beasts of burdens, many and for long periods in the past. But this is changing. Can you feel it? Even your voice speaking for her is bringing light to her injustice. Shedding hope and possibility where before there was sweet ignorance. No need to deny when we gleefully ignore and create other distractions to hide our hearts from Yaya's suffering. We shall now know what is Yaya's quest for familial love and honor the life energy she invests daily in sustaining her offspring. Yaya here in America has a ring of fun, old female friends from a popular story. I now have a multidimensional appreciation for that name. Is it yours?

Naturally grateful,
Kat Haber

"Know thyself." ~ Plato

Usha RS's picture

Telling Yaya's story

Thank you for shining a light on Yaya's plight. Your description of her is vivid and brings her to life. I see how hard she works - and I wonder about the daughters she is raising. Will they be educated or will this way of life continue for another generation? I like how you treat her with so much respect and gratitude for her labors.

Let your light shine!

SAsong's picture

My Yaya

is actually my Nana...My grandmother's and great grandmother's stories are embedded in this story. It brought back pictures from when I was a little girl, hearing stories and seeing the farms, worked not by well greased machines, but actual hands...daily... Thanks my sister for this piece, a reminder that we are responsible for every Yaya's wellbeing. Yes we present the story and raise awareness, but we also change how the story ends for each one.


Glory's picture

Dear Sis,

Dear Sis,
We are indeed happy for every Yaya`s wellbeing.

Leina's picture

Dear sis,

Dear sis,
I am happy to know Yaya`s story reminds you of your grandma.Yaya is for all the rural women in Cameroon whose stories we have to tell.

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