This movement is
#1 Best-Selling Author & Transformational Coach. Speaker. Mbira Player.
Healer-Daughter of Fire & Light. Daughter of I AM.
Now On Presale!
I am a child of war born in colonial Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe in 1970. I call myself the daughter of Fire and Light. My father was Ignatius Mandeya and my mother Lucia Chavanga.
I have seven siblings, five sisters and two brothers that I love very much, no matter what. We grew up in a loving family with both parents who modelled hard work, honesty, love, and charity. They were a great team who complimented each other. They were resilient. I am the third born in a succession of girls. My mother named me Ndaiziweyi which means Had I known? It is an expression of regret and pain. Society expected them to have a boy. When the boy came after me, they gave him an indigenous name which translates to “the one who brings peace”.
“To speak a true word is to transform the world”
I was 33, looking to liberate myself and boost my self-worth and net worth. I had just extracted myself from a toxic marriage. I found and still find Freire’s teaching prophetic. My favorite Freire quote is, “to speak a true word is to transform the world”. For transformation to happen, we must engage in reflection and action as a continuous process. I have applied his principles to many aspects of my life.
Were it not for the teachings from Freire who taught me to defy the culture of silence, I would never have dared to “lift the armpit” and share my story. It is by standing in my truth and being in reflection and action that I dared to expose the poisonous legacy of gender inequality and offer an innovative solution. Many continue to suffer in silence, but Freire taught me to use my voice, to read my reality and write my own history.
The moment of truth about bringing my message to the greater world came when I turned 48, the age my mother died. The series of events span over my life from my childhood to womanhood.
When I turned 48 on March 7, 2018, I reflected, did mom leave the legacy she wanted, having had eight of us and dying so young? I was sore for her as I realized at 48, I did not look and feel that old. What if I die? Facing my mortality was difficult. Fear, grief, and pain conspired to nag me. What legacy will you leave?
"It dawned on me that she
was questioning patriarchy"
I went deep into my mother’s story and became curious why she named me Ndaiziweyi? It dawned on me that she was questioning patriarchy through naming. I decided I would pick the button from where she left. I reclaimed my indigenous name and gave it an empowering meaning, “my mother’s voice against patriarchy”. I plucked the courage to speak against patriarchy in honor of my mother. I share how I endured abuse and injustice at the hands of boys and men and awakened to the truth that I am an equal human being, with equal rights deserving equal treatment.
I committed to leave a legacy of equality, love, and freedom and to have mothers use their power of unconditional love to teach boys to discern and unlearn toxic masculinity and girls to use their voice and be authentic equals. Realizing how powerful my mother was, and how powerful I am as a mother, I envisioned all mothers coming together, united in using the power we have, the power of a mother’s unconditional love, to make the world more equal, more loving and more free. We are qualified to do it!
Love is the highest form of power on this earth. Unconditional love is what we need to heal this world. Mother Behold Thy Son began to take shape in 2018 and I published it in 2019.
By sharing my story, I want all women and girls who are still silent to know that we can disrupt the culture of silence and when we share our stories, we save ourselves and our children. So, I set out to operationalize the sustainable development goal (SDG) 5, Gender Equality, bringing it into the home and have mothers and allies use Mother Behold Thy Son as the teaching guide, teaching locally, impacting globally.
The end result after we teach our sons and daughters equality in our homes would be to end discrimination against girls and women; end all forms of violence against girls and women everywhere, eliminate harmful practices such as child early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation, promote shared responsibility within the household and recognize unpaid care work, give girls and women equal rights to economic resources as well as access and control over land and other forms of property ,financial services ,inheritance and natural resources
“Men of conviction, confidence and integrity, loving brothers, husbands or partners, fathers, citizens, leaders, co-workers, all that they can become”.
So, I imagine that if we begin in the home, and every mother and ally commits, then it is possible to achieve real equality at the global level. Mothers would behold sons who are “men of conviction, confidence and integrity, loving brothers, husbands or partners, fathers, citizens, leaders, co-workers, all that they can become”.
I am sending the message that gender equality is not only the empowerment of girls and women, but also the liberation of boys and men from the clutches of patriarchy. It is not a fight between female and male. I hoped that men would be allies and would feel free and safe to share their stories too, so that we partner in dismantling the system of patriarchy that hurts us all. I envision politicians taking the message seriously and supporting the use of my literature in their areas of influence.
The Federal government of Canada has received my book and the Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, Maryam Monsef had this to say:
“Advancing gender equality is important to the Government of Canada. Women’s contributions have too often been marginalized in our history.
A greater appreciation of the work and roles of women, such as those described in your book, will lead to a better understanding of the diverse roles of women in contemporary society and will, as you describe “not just help their sons to reject toxic masculinity but also to model how their
daughters can become authentic equals”.
Bringing the role of women into the mainstream of literature, study and practice is key to achieving gender equality”.
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