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Defying gravity

You may not hear guns blazing, bombs exploding or helpless shrieks in the streets but that does not mean there is no war, Zimbabwe a name that has hogged the headlines is well known for its politicals. Hidden behind the veil of the Global Political Agreement is a war unlike any other, silent but it is there. Many will deny its very existence and will swear on their graves to protect their loved ones. The inhumanity and injustice that has ravaged Zimbabwe since 2008 is yet to be stopped. There is no freedom when one is harassed, tortured, kidnapped or murdered on suspicion of association to a political party. There is no democracy when one is forced to vote in fear for their life. 2008 young women were forced to affiliate with certain political youth groups that terrorized people, most of them were raped and as a result today they either have a child or are affected/infected by HIV/AIDS living in abject poverty....inhumanity, injustice.

In Africa Zimbabwe has one of the highest literacy rates of 90.2% and only 30% are women . Of that 30% 15% makes it to tertiary education and 10% graduates. Political instability coupled with economic hardships brought a lot of change to Zimbabweans. Nowadays teaching is no longer about the education but about the money. Teachers have become impersonal and less concerned about the child’s life than they are of the pass rate. Though I may not be a trained guidance counselor, it doesn’t take a genius to know that most children need guidance from teachers to be able to make rational decisions. The disruption of the traditional structure has contributed to an increase of school dropouts, teenage pregnancy and a 2% increase on the HIV/AIDS rate. Some now see education as less important and now consider marriage as the way out.

Unemployment rate is skyrocketing, at approximately 90%, most families are living in abject poverty. In Chitungwiza, my neighbor Patience whose 14 years old and a teenage commercial sex worker struggling to provide for her 2 siblings is an example of the many young women who are taking to the streets to earn a living by selling their bodies for as little as USD$2.

I may not be able to change the past of these women and children, but I can contribute in changing their future. I have dedicated myself to empowering women in these situations through the positive power of business. Helping them start projects and businesses that bring in a stable income that will sustain them and improve their standard of living with the help of World Vision and BOOST/SIFE.

I offer my services to Youth Empowerment Trust to help educate youths on various structures such as politics (human rights), health and life skills. I believe in being involved rather than being a spectator. I instill hope in those who have lost it and encourage those I can reach, but with Pulsewire and other networks I can do much more. These networks are information and solution centers .They are powerful tools and with power comes responsibility. It’s time to try defying gravity and challenge the natural order of things and with these tools, whose to stop me.

World Vision-


Claire Leland's picture

Telling it like it is

Hi kilio,

It continues to amaze me that once a "conflict" is determined past, a country moves out of the press spotlight though the challenges may continue. I appreciate what you've shared here about Zimbabwe and about your community, blending the numbers about education and money-driven aims with your neighbor's personal experience. I admire your involvement with Youth Empowerment Trust which looks like a really cool organization.

Continue your activism and continue sharing these important words with the PulseWire community!

Best wishes,


p.s. great title -- defying gravity!!

kilio's picture

Don't look back

Thank you Claire

I believe that if we keep on giving excuses for not standing up for our selves we keep getting weaker and weaker which simply reflects that the stereotypes are true. Even if they are true no one has the right to take advantage of that .If people think you are weak they have a tendency to trample over you. By telling it as it is ,it means i am no longer afraid to speak for myself and others and thats defying gravity.

While every woman has a story to tell, we should not stop at story telling ,but look forward and find solutions to our problems.It may not solve all of the problems but just doing something is enough.

Its about time we women stand and support each other in the struggle for women kind!!!!

Claire Leland's picture

Standing together

Hi Kilio,

I agree with you that recognizing the opportunities for action is so important -- beyond telling stories, it's using the stories as motivation for important change in our societies and for women in particular.

I saw this article today in a newsletter I receive and wanted to send it your way. It helped me learn a bit more about human rights movements in Zimbabwe and the barriers to activism that you discussed. Do you feel the article reflects your experience?

Thanks for sharing!


ddegarm's picture

Defying Gravity

More and more we hear about conflicts that are deemed "over" by the international community when in reality those conflicts are ongoing and swept under the carpet. Your voice is so important because without, the world will lose sight of this tragedies and move their attention elsewhere. Are there other ways in which your work is assisting women and children affected? Are there education programs, health programs in addition to business and business opportunities?
I cannot help but think that there needs to more overall support for these individuals to help them overcome their trauma - business is one aspect of that. What are your thoughts on that?

Peace and keep writing - I want to learn more.

“Women have a special capacity to lead us to a more peaceful world with compassion, affection and kindness. And there is no more important time for that than this moment.” - Dalai Lama

elizabech's picture

the invisible fight


Great piece on the invisibility of war. Often we only focus our efforts on the direct war which involves outright conflict. It is important to remember that oppression is the silent war that is waging in many countries around the world. It will be great to have you using social media to reach out for those that cannot reach out for themselves. Keep up the work on the invisible wars.


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