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My Feminist Chronicles

At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution driven by my love and passion for the empowerment and emancipation of the female species. I had come to the realisation that the women in my country are quite remarkable because of the invaluable qualities they have shown in the face of such harrowing circumstances as life in Zimbabwe presents. Faced with high unemployment, indecent wages for the employed, a breakdown of social amenities, inaccessibility of basic necessities on top of a generally highly patriarchal social order, the women who surround me have proved to be women of valour. In them I see beauty, strength, courage, fortitude, resilience, inventiveness and many other beautiful qualities.

In their myriad forms, shapes and sizes, these women make womanhood an admirable thing, not because it is easy to be a woman but because despite all the challenges women surmount the strength to surpass all their challenges. I chose to feature 30 of them, 3 of whom were groups of women and 27 individuals profiling their work and the amazing things they have done for my beautiful motherland. I called the features the Feminist Chronicles, not because all these women identify themselves as feminists, although some do, but because of my own understanding of feminism as the movement that calls for a simple realisation that women are human beings too. And here they are as I invite you to meet just a fraction of Zimbabwe's phenomenal women.

Diary 1: Amy Tsanga, a lawyer and a feminist who has dedicated her life to educating other women on their rights and informing the nation of the status of women through research and advocacy.< >

Diary 2: Emilia Muchawa, one of the pioneers of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, and one of the forces behind the enactment of the Anti-Domestic Violence Act.< >

Diary 3: Gertrude Hambira , a labour rights activists who fought for the rights of agricultural workers. Her vocal dissent against the ill treatment of farm workers after Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme got her in trouble until she ran away into exile. < >

Diary 4: Ivy Kombo, a female musician who made personal mistakes that cost her career because she is a woman. In Ivy is the representation of society’s double standards in the treatment of infidelity by females as compared to that committed by males. < >

Diary 5: Jestina Mukoko; one of the bravest human rights defenders in Zimbabwe. She was kidnapped, held incommunicado, tortured and subjected to the most inhumane treatment by the state yet she continues living in Zimbabwe and fighting for human rights. < >

Diary 6: WOZA women; a group of women incessantly fighting for social justice despite harassment, arrest, detention, assault and torture by the state. < >

Diary 7: Beatrice Mtetwa; one of the most outstanding legal brains in Zimbabwe. She has represented the most victimised human rights defenders and advocated the most controversial human rights in Zimbabwe. < >

Diary 8: Tsitsi Dangarembga; an excellent writer on issues affecting women, a gender activist and current board member of the women’s coalition in Zimbabwe. < >

Diary 9: Auxilia Chimusoro-the late; the first woman to publicly declare her HIV status and one of the founders of the first HIV/AIDS support groups in Zimbabwe. She began a legacy for the de-stigmatisation of HIV positive members of society. < >

Diary 10: Fungai Machirori; a young and vibrant gender activist, writer and media personality who was 2010 Voices of Our Future Correspondent. She is also outspoken on HIV/AIDS and how it impacts the lives of women. < >

Diary 11: Fay Chung; a Zimbabwean born educationist of Chinese descent who became Zimbabwe’s first minister of education after the liberation struggle. < >

Diary 12: Chiwoniso Maraire; a phenomenal musician whose songs transport the souls of many into the deep recesses of their consciousness. < >

Diary 13: Betty Makoni, a lawyer and children’s rights activist who fights child abuse to the tooth and nail. Her outspokenness against political figures who abuse children got her in trouble until she had to leave the country for her own safety. < >

Diary 14: NoViolet Bulawayo; a phenomenal young writer who uses the pen to uplift the self esteem of women giving them a new hope. < >

Diary 15: Netsai Mushonga; one of the most influential figures within the women’s movement in Zimbabwe who has driven campaigns for the adoption of the Anti=domestic violence act, the equal representation of women and men in key decision-making positions and the inclusion of women’s issues in the Constitution. < >

Diary 16: Sally Mugabe; the late former first lady of Zimbabwe who embodied admirable qualities of a first lady. She also proved that women married to influential men can play a pivotal role in pushing for the empowerment of the societies they represent. < >

Diary 17: Emilia Njovana; the first Zimbabwean female pilot who broke new ground and has become a trainer of many pilots with the national airline. < >

Diary 18: Sr. Theresa Camillo; a Roman Catholic nun, who headed an all girls school and was instrumental in mentoring thousands of girls to become influential leaders in Zimbabwe. < >

Diary 19:The women of doors of Hope, a group of women survivors of politically motivated rape who have come together to find their own healing and demand justice for themselves and other victims of rape. < >

Diary 20: Delta Milayo Ndou, a young gender activist and writer who fiercely challenges patriarchy in all its forms. < >

Diary 21: Lutanga Shaba; a lawyer and gender activist living positively with HIV/AIDS who has taken up arms to defend children in poverty situations who may be forced to prostitute themselves to make a living, the way she was forced to survive. < >

Diary 22: Madeleine Nyamwanza-Makonese; the first female and black Zimbabwean doctor who graduated at a time when very few women were attaining higher education, let alone in the sciences. < >

Diary 23: Rudo Makunike-Mutasa, the first black , female pathologist in Zimbabwe who broke new ground to prove that women can do what men can do. < >

Diary 24: Rita Makarau; a Supreme Court Justice and first ever Judge President of the High Court of Zimbabwe whose station on the Bench has proved pivotal in influencing legal reforms to empower women’s access to justice and other human rights such as freedom of the press. < >

Diary 25: Rudo Gaidzanwa; a sociologist and university lecturer who uses her position of influence to drive societal transformation in mindsets and behaviour. < >

Diary 26: Joice Mujuru; the first female vice president of Zimbabwe, who despite her position of authority throws women into a ‘tiffy’ on whether they should celebrate her appointment as a woman or bemoan the fact that she represents the interests of a repressive political party. < >

Diary 27: Catherine Makoni; a gender activist who speaks out against corruption, social disintegration, violence against women and women’s empowerment. < >

Diary 28:Rebecca Chisamba; a national television talk show hostess who raises pertinent questions that affect women from abortion, rape, perceptions of beauty, witchcraft, prostitution, lobola, and domestic violence among others. < >

Diary 29: The ‘girls’ at Kubatana; a trio that has done amazing work in disseminating vital information to the grassroots via the internet, SMS services and call in technology that decodes voice messages into legible data. < >

Diary 30: Kuda Chitsike; One of the strongest voices against politically motivated violence against women. She also calls for justice for the victims of such violence. < >




Breese's picture

This is amazing, I can't wait

This is amazing, I can't wait to read them all!!!

MaDube's picture

Thanks Breese

I had thought of posting them on pulsewire as I was writing them but was of the view that I would clutter the space. So this was Scott's idea that I should still find a way of getting them to the pulsewire community.



Breese's picture

Not clutter at all!

I certainly hope you don't feel your posts are clutter on this website, though this is a great way to share it with the community as well! I hope you continue to share your writings and experiences with this online community! We love reading them!

MaDube's picture

I don't usually think my

I don't usually think my posts clutter the space but I was posting each and every day and just thought that would be a bit much for shared online space unlike a personal blog, if you know what I mean. Now that I know it's ok, the next time I have daily updates on any situation, I will not hesitate to post them on pulsewire and on my blog simultaneously.

Thanks Breese.

Breese's picture

Your voice is welcome and

Your voice is welcome and respected each and every day in this community!

I cannot tell you how inspired I am first and foremost just by the time and effort you put into chronicling the lives and achievements of these outstanding women. I have just read the one on Dr. Amy Tsanga (Dr. T) and I am completely blown away! What a woman and a strong pillar for women and human rights. I can absolutely see why you are in awe of her. Your write up as always is fantastic Rumbie. You have the knack for conveying your message across succinctly.I also admire your drive and determination to highlight the work of these and other admirable women and groups in Zimbabwe. Thank you. Cannot wait to read each and every diary because I know I will not be disappointed. Kudos.


MaDube's picture

Dear Barbara

First of all I must say thank you for your comments and second for reading the Chronicles. It was not easy putting together the Chronicles as I had not had actual interviews with the individuals concerned as would ordinarily be the case when writing profiles. But, somehow I still managed to do it, on top of the work at RAU, reading the material for VOF and writing the assignments as well. I must say although it was difficult, it was also a very fulfilling process getting to know so much about the women in my country and sharing it with the rest of the world.

P.S I am finalising my op-ed piece and it should be with you in the next 24 hours.



You are most welcome and worthy of my comments. I am eagerly looking forward to your next piece. We just had a Midwife's call and it was great! :) It is a pleasure working with you and I am glad that we were paired together. Keep up the great work Rumbie.


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