An Imperishable Vision!
Visions are formed based on our personal experiences (from the community we live in, our schools and our homes) and the people we meet. Over the years, I have unknowingly nurtured and curbed a vision of having a world where all young people and women are empowered in all areas to freely and actively contribute to issues that concerns them in an environment that ensures that their rights are respected, protected and guaranteed- and I must be part of the change that leads the world in this direction.
The world can only change when countries change; the changes in a country are notable when communities change; individuals change communities. My personal vision is therefore to be a change agent for life! Don’t try to stop me because I have no plans of retreating. I use every opportunity I get, especially media platforms to try to change behavioural patterns or do some advocacy for policy change. I do not do this alone but with other young people who have the same passion and vision as me.
I believe in empowering women financially. It makes a lot of difference. It is with this thought that I intend to start ventures where women can be trained in areas of their choice aside supporting them to attain the highest standard of education (like I also want to) they would like to pursue. This seems like far away but I know, just as the eye’s vision, as long as I see it in my mind, I will definitely get there.
Having a vision and dedicating your entire life to get there does not make it challenge-free. People try to stop you because they do not burn with the desire you have; they have not developed the passion you have developed. During my first year in the University, I was also working as a medical assistant and a graphic designer (aside my voluntary work as an advocate and radio presenter of a youth advocacy programme on National Radio). I wanted to climb up the educational ladder but it was so expensive and this was what ‘pushed’ me to do all of these so I could support my parents to pay my fees. People just did not understand why I wanted to still go to school when “in the long run, I will be married off to a man who will work and take care of me”. Some relatives ‘adviced’ my mother to talk me out of schooling. “Boys must do that and not girls”. Well, I knew what I wanted, so did my parents. I am still in school and I know some of them have already started changing their minds about just pushing the boys to the higher levels of education.
All of these influenced my decision to be a Voices of Our Future Correspondent. I just want another opportunity to let people see the positives in being feminine and having women around; that young people are not just mischief-makers but when given the opportunity can turn things around; an opportunity to be a change agent and liaise with other change agents. The more people see these things and are fed with this information, the closer I get to my vision.
For the record, I just want to add that the most effective way of empowering women is by involving men. Hating men never solves the problem as others believe. I always stress on the need for partnership when addressing issues of women’s empowerment. Women who are empowered (academically, financially, in their homes and communities and by status) should help other women. Supporting each other is key!
However, I couldn’t but agree with a former U.S. abolitionist and women's rights leader, Lucretia Mott, more when she says, “Let woman then go on—not asking favors, but claiming as a right the removal of all hindrances to her elevation in the scale of being—let her receive encouragement for the proper cultivation of all her powers, so that she may enter profitably into the active business of life”.
I believe in empowerment, I believe in partnership, I believe in women, I believe in men, I believe in Young People, I believe in Voices of our Future, I believe in U, I believe in ME!