VOF Week 2: (I Refuse to be Defined by Society)
I was born to Cameroonian middle class parents. My father’s job took us all over Cameroon. My mother is a teacher.While my father was a loving dad, he was hardly a good husband and many at times my siblings and I would find my mother crying or both parents quarrelling heatedly. Always it was because of the numerous mistresses my father kept. I never understood how my mother could stand it. As early as twelve years of age, I remember wondering why my mother put up with my father. I used to tell her to get a divorce but she would refuse and say she worried about us the kids. But as I grew older I realised that she needed the cover of marraige because society was not kind to divorced women. I also found out that she had married my father not only out of love but to prove to society that women from her family could marry (her elder sister is single to this day and back in time, tongues were wagging). Don't get me wrong, I loved my father but hated what he was doing to my mother.
I like to think I am a very open minded person. I think very independently and I don’t believe in gender roles. I remember that as a kid, I never understood why my brother was allowed to play all the time while I had to help mom in the kitchen. To this day, cooking is not my thing and that, in my context is an unconceivable thing for a woman to say. But, I refused to be defined by what 'society' thinks.
Because I have never wanted to depend on anybody, I broadened my horizons immediately I graduated from university. I was 18 and in my country that is too young to attempt finding a job. I was not frightened. I had just lost my father and I knew I had become some kind of pillar my mother rested on. I volunteered for a couple of organizations before becoming employed by state media just one year after graduation. I still volunteer for an NGO that works with underprivileged kids.
This is not enough for me because there are a lot of restrictions. So I cast a wider net. I always look for training opportunities for journalists on the internet. I do not want to work out of my country permanently. What I want is training so I can change my country using my pen. This is how I got connected to WorldPulse and PulsWire, through IJNET.The internet has proven to be well of opportunities anyone can fish from. It has also proven to be an instrument of change if used correctly. My dream is that Cameroonian women come to understand that they can do whatever they put their minds to and that they do not have to be dependent on men for any reason. I need women to know that marrying for cover is marrying for all the wrong reasons.