why i am a journalist
The choice of journalism as my life career dates back to 1992 when I lost my father who was a pilot by then .My mother still had her job but life for me and my siblings changed for the worse. This is the time that I came to know who were my true relations, my family and people I could turn to in times of trouble and those that I could not bother to ask for help. Life became unbearable for me and my family after my father's death. We lost our property because my dad's relations took away almost everything from us. My late father's businesses were taken away by his brothers and sisters including the land that we used to keep for farming.
They told my mother to choose between her children and the property. What a tough decision my mother was given by her own in-laws, people she knew and trusted when my father was still alive. Which woman can give up her children for wealth or property?
Well , my mother with tears rolling down her cheeks told the gathering of relations at my dad's home village that she would keep her children and leave the property - she told them they can take everything from her but not her kids.
My uncles from packed all our belongings that we had from the house, sold cars and the land in our village too and shared the stuff among themselves. Since then I never saw these people again, they never wanted to come and visit my family, not even providing any form of assistant.
Life became really tough for me and family. We had to change schools from a private school to a public school because my mother could not afford to raise school fees that my dad used to pay.
Yes my mother had a job but it was difficult for her to make ends meet on her own. I remember, a few months later, my mother was asked to choose a man to get married among my dad's brothers so that he could keep the family name and in Malawi it is known as CHOKOLO (widow inheritance) - its a traditional custom. My mother refused to remarry and since then we have been together , with no disturbances from my dad's relations. They abandoned us because my mother refused to choose a man from the village,. instead she went ahead with her work and thanks to her two brothers who used to assist us whenever we needed support.
This situation made me stronger than ever and encouraged me to work hard in life and school so that I should be able to fight for the rights of women around the globe who are abused in similar ways - their property grabbed and forced marriage. This practice is rampant in many African countries like Malawi, especially when a man dies in a family. Such acts are dangerous because they also increase the spread of HIV/AIDS among communities.
I told myself to move forward and work hard to change the world through my work and I thought journalism was a suitable career to assist me achieve my goals. I've always worked to tell stories of women who are victims of domestic violence and advocate for action against such malpractices. I believe journalists can help women voice out their concerns and hardships - In doing so those with authority would act to ensure the world respects women as human beings and women's rights are recognized but also bring to an end domestic violence.
Joining World Pulse is now helping me to share with other women and young girls who will be reading my articles what they/we can do enhance our livelihoods.
Lastly, I find World Pulse so supportive and important to me as a female journalist, as it stands for uplifting of people's lives especially women through journalistic stories. I do believe that am in the right place at the right time despite what happened in the past. I am now assisting to change the world not only for the betterment of my life and my family but also for millions of millions of women out there who will be reading some of my work.
Life can be tough at times but with dedication and perseverance women can become great achievers.