VOF WEEK 4: ( THE END OF THE BEGINNING)
I knew, from the tender age of 8, that I would be a lawyer. My father was a magistrate and so I grew up in the corridors of justice. I specifically wanted to be a magistrate. There was a lady magistrate, working in the same court, and I was impressed at how people would bow when entering and leaving the court room, and everyone would listen when she talked. I wanted to be like her. From the tome in my dad’s library I was aware that I would have to work really hard, and read a lot, to be able to graduate from law school.
It is now 3 years since I graduated. I am not a magistrate. I joined private practice instead. They say that with great power comes great responsibility. I sit in my office and a client walks in with a problem that you would not in your wildest dreams conceive of. They look at me with the expression of, ‘you are the lawyer, fix this!’ All I am thinking is, “maybe if you had been here 3 years ago…” But the truth of the matters is, we have learnt to work the system, and we still have to eat, put a roof over our heads.
I, however, want a system that works. I want to be able to command respect, not by what I am but who I am. I want, 3 to 4 years from now, to look back and see that I was instrumental in empowering the people in my community, both men and women, thus averting disaster. Be a role model to young women in my community; have someone want to be like me, when they grow up! Most importantly, I want to make a difference.
Women are increasingly becoming conscious of the importance of standing up for themselves; voicing their needs and looking for ways and means to address them. While most men would see this as a movement to clamor for women’s rights at their expense, they need to be made aware that this is a win – win situation if we all work together. I want a community where the men will not see women attending literacy classes, for two hours in a day, as abdicating their duties to take care of the family. Where a woman in a position of authority will not be considered aggressive and masculine but one who is a go getter. A world where women will be judged on their potential first and their femininity second instead of being dismissed just because they are women.
Being a correspondent will provide me with a platform to present, not only my story, but also those of women who have triumphed, those who are struggling, those who have despaired. People always respond best real life experiences. They are more likely to believe they can achieve a certain goal, if someone else has managed to do it.
As a correspondent for World Pulse I will have the opportunity to give a voice to the tales of hope from women, experiences we can all learn from but most importantly, open the door for all those women willing to share their lives with others across the world.
Participating in this competition has brought home to me the fact that I am not alone in whatever I do. It has been a privilege to be able to share with others my life, and I hope I will have the opportunity to continue doing so.