I Must Set Forth, my Calabash Awaits!
The year is 1993, I am cowering behind my mother’s door, listening as her younger sister recounts the beating her husband had just meted out to her, this time it had been worse than usual. My aunt had suddenly descended on us with her three children, a ton of boxes and bruises all over her body; I was young but I immediately knew that something was very wrong. I was curious, so I eavesdropped.
My mother’s siblings were also present in the room, fusing over my aunt and tending to her wounds. The family had quickly rallied around and flocked in from various cities when my aunt had announced that she was finally leaving her husband of six torturous years. The general consensus of her family seemed to be that my aunt should “bear “ the situation and return to her husband’s house, after all what was the alternative, to shamefully return to her late parents’ home? At the time I found it incredulous, I could not decipher what they meant by this. Even in my young mind I thought it quite clear; if someone constantly beat you up then they obviously did not like you and you would do well to stay away from them. Why then were these grownups giving this sort of advice?
A collection of random experiences and stories have greatly influenced and molded who I have become today, but that incident has left an indelible mark. What sort of country ensures that it inculcates in its people the ‘values’ of the worthlessness of a woman in the society, especially without the endorsement of a man, no matter how abusive? And nearly two decades later much has not changed, women are still being beaten everyday without any firm laws to protect them. What laws that there are only crawl out when a woman has been battered to death, and even then we can all hear over numerous outcries of rage, the mocking words; “too late”.
Today I have become weary of relationships and I am paranoid about ever finding myself in defenseless situations. And for this I amplify for the rights of women at every opportunity I get. When I heard about the Voices of the Future citizen journalism training, applying was a natural step. Here is a great platform on which I can unmask the abuses which women undergo every day and the inequality we have to live with. Here I can eschew to the hearing of the world, societies that encourage male superiority and accept violence against women as a sort of norm. On World Pulse I have found my stage. On World Pulse I shall give voice to those who suffer in silence. On World Pulse I shall reorient the world, one person, one community, one country and one continent at a time. With the help of World Pulse I am ready to set forth on this life-changing journey, my calabash of grievances poised and overflowing, waiting to confront and influence the world.