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The Curse of my curves part one

Been a young African Woman can be daunting
The hurdles are too many and the mountains too steep.
I face many challenges ;
I am young so in a society that believes competence and experience go together I am sidelined.

My talent,abilities , strive and determination are not enough to push me to the fore.
If I speak up I am deemed disrespectful and rude, talkative and loud.

Our patriarchal system means that we hero worship leaders and put them on a pedestal.
A young person vying for a political position is termed an under five by so called veteran politicians.

A female politician has to contend with cadres threatening her with gang rape.

I would be chewed and spit, or maybe just called all sorts of things.

Then I am African; I love my Continent, but some things irk me.
I cannot challenge certain norms or I shall be seen to be nothing but a modern woman (who many say shall die single).

I am bound by customs, myths and traditions to bow.
I love my land and its vibrant culture but it at times chokes me.

It is AFRIKA where we the people demean ourselves by excusing our every fault as "typical of Africans".
I am Woman; an Empress the mother of the continent and the face of poverty, the evidence of what is wrong with us as a people.

As a woman I face more discrimination than most crowds you can think of.

If you are attractive and determined the odds are even worse.

It is either men who subtly or blatantly harass you

A man may walk in shorts but a woman must not, the very people who sell you the clothes rip them off your body.

I am a woman thus I am only as Good as the man I am married to.

An example is the wife to the vice president, not many people even know her real name she has been delegated to the ranks of Mrs Scott.
The fact that she is Dr Charlotte Harland is thrown out of a window.

Been a woman means that your abilities are constantly undermined and you are expected to not give an unsolicited opinion.

I attended a convent in high school and I remember been told, "Ladies are seen not heard". this seems to be a view held by many, if a woman expresses her opinion she is talkative, rebellious and down right loose.

Apparently if I cheat it will break down a house but if a man cheats I should just suck it up.

I am a Woman thus my body can be used against me, in Africa I am taught to please a man sexually thus I must mutate myself or be mutated to fit the norm.

I am a young African women thus the poverty in my country is carried by I and many silent victims.

I am a woman thus in Africa the chances of me been elected are only higher than that of a lunatic maybe even less.

I am woman thus I am raped, undermined, pinned to the ground, defiled, beaten and when I look to you my fellow woman you tell me it is the nature of Africa.


JaniceW's picture

Thank you for sharing

As women in Africa, you are intimidated into being silent and invisible yet when you are given a voice, you have the ability to start movements, reform laws and transform lives. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and provoking more dialogue around what it is to be a woman in Africa.

You might want to connect with some of our other inspiring members from Zambia and neighboring countries in Africa. To find them, simply click on this link for the Member Directory. Next to the map, scroll down the "All Countries" bar until you find Zambia, then click on the "Submit" button.

I also really like your blog and hope that you will share some of your posts here. I was inspired by the post about Oxfam and their efforts to bring men into the conversation around gender violence. It reminded me of Ali Shahidy's post about violence against women in Afghanistan. You can read his post here:

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

pelamutunzi's picture

that sounds like me

you are very right. and when you are round and curvy and talk you are seen as tring to entice men. whenever you support the women's movement you are a feminist and other women dont want to be associated with you and they are also afraid of their husband's opinions about you. if you are in office and you are unmarried during the parliamentary debates you are called names and abnormal. if you get promoted the husbands wants to know why you. what did you do and how come you were singled out for the promotion. being a woman in africa is hell but when you are not afraid of discrimination and name calling and speak your mind you can make a difference

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.

Nancy Handabile's picture

It is all of us

I concur with you its like the odds are stacked against us succeeding.

Blogger, Journalist and Performing Artiste

ikirimat's picture

Thank you for sharing. i

Thank you for sharing. i loved reading your post. Just reminds me of the on going debate in Uganda Parliament were the common woman (most of them ) still feel dowry should be paidm property should not be shared , marital rape is okay. We need to bring these issues out in the light.

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."

Nancy Handabile's picture


In Zambia the issue of marital rape is never even discussed or the issue of grey rape. people think in marriage things must be allowed.

Sometimes a prominent woman will be beaten badly but she will keep silent and the media will be called meddling for bringing out such issues.

Thank you Ikirimat

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