Little Miss Curious turned Human Rights Defender
Ever since I was a child, my sense of curiosity was overwhelming. I asked questions. Why were countries at war? Why did some people kill albinos? Why did white and black people in South Africa hate each other? As I grew older, I became my father’s best friend. We loved listening to BBC World Africa following the war in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), the tales of albinism in Tanzania and the struggle of black South Africans under apartheid. My father nurtured in me a consciousness of the importance of humanity and how human actions can build or destroy humanity. He taught me how good leadership builds and bad leadership can destroy nations. My conviction to do whatever it takes to fight for the respect of human dignity was kindled then and it remains in me still.
While studying for my law degree,my male counterparts discouraged me, suggesting that women's law and human rights were subjects for the ‘spineless and unambitious.’ I persevered because I had a vision; to see a world in which all human beings, especially women were treated with dignity, a dignity borne out of their humanness not status. My stubbornness earned me the label ‘the faculty feminist.’
In 2008 the Zimbabwean economy collapsed. Corruption, bad economic policies and bad politics drove my nation into poverty. My parents lost savings earned from 47 years of toiling and hard labor. Where they should have retired comfortably and enjoyed the fruits of their hard labor, they had to transform from being successful professionals and invest in the art of tilling the land, breaking their backs in their old age to make a living. I could barely help. I was fresh out of university earning peanuts. Seeing them and many others struggling broke my heart. I had seen them all fighting hard to make savings and send us, their children to school so we could have better lives than theirs. But the future we inherited had no jobs. The jobs that existed paid very little. My country is not unique. This has happened in many other countries and the reason has always been the same; bad leadership!
That is why I harp on issues of good governance because good political governance promotes human rights. It also fosters good economic governance which improves the social and economic welfare of states and reinforces the dignity of its citizens; lifting the burden of poverty which always tremendously weighs down on women and children.
In July I 'stumbled' upon World-Pulse and joined the Pulse. When the VOF application was announced I loved it because it represents an opportunity for me to be the voice that links the politics, law, human rights and dignity of women in my country and demand change. I drive my inspiration from Martin Luther King Jr’s challenge that, ‘In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.’ Should I remain silent, history shall condemn me for being spineless.