I write to let you know that you are precious. It does not matter to me, who you are , where you are from, who your parents are, what you do not have or have, how you look, what you believe in or how you worship, your life is a sacred gift.
Today I celebrate your life on this day that the United Nations designated for the Girl Child.
I was born girl number three in a succession of girls in 1970 in Africa, Zimbabwe. My mother named me Ndaiziweiyi meaning Had I known? Had I known I would give birth to yet another girl? Had I known I would fail to produce the much desired boy, the heir? Had I known I would be in this much pain?
I was born into the energy of "you are not enough"
My name says it all. I was born into the energy of "you are not enough"
Then, society was unashamedly open about the boy child being more important than the girl child.
Today as society, many of us still tend to value boys more than girls and avail more opportunities and resources including time, to males.
Have you ever been treated unequally because of who you are? If so, know that you are not alone!
As a girl child you are worthy, you matter. Your story matters, your story is a set up for your greatness.
I lived in my smallness and fear for so long. My life was a fight from the time I came out of my mother's womb to the time I became a woman, now a mother and hopefully a grandmother soon.
He did not believe a girl could be more intelligent than a boy.
In primary school I took punches for being smarter than boys. A boy named V.M. attacked me from behind. He had been bullying me saying teachers favoured me because my parents owned a shop. He did not believe a girl could be more intelligent than a boy. So V.M used force to try to ensure that I stayed below him.
We tend to tell and teach our boys, "you cannot be beaten by a girl in class, in sport, in a fight. Boys are strong, girls are weak".
Have you ever heard anyone saying such things, such dangerous lies?
I say dangerous because the lies make our boys bully and hurt girls. V.M used the power of force to try and make the narrative that boys are smarter and stronger than girls true.
In the end, V.M. suffered life-long shame because I beat him in class and in a physical fight he had initiated.
How happy are such boys and what kind of men do they become?
He was booed by the boys he had brought to cheer him on and he could never look me in the eye again. The boys riddiculed him. How many boys and men are like V.M?
How happy are such boys and what kind of men do they become?
Unfortunately VM died in 2019 before I met him to talk over this childhood issue. My dream was for us to teach the boys and girls in my primary school about gender equality and the dangers of the system of patriarchy that values males more than females and ends up grieving both.
My experiences with boys did not get better with time. In secondary school, a young man my age , 18, felt entitled to my body. As he violated me, I could think nothing, I could say nothing, I could do nothing I froze. By remaining silent, did I give that young man permission to violate me? No! That day I was an innocent young woman, I had not known a man that way!
We tend to remain silent when boys and men feel entitled to touch us , rape us and abuse us emotionally.
If you have experienced such abuse and remained silent, you are not alone! I decided to break the silence and I cried for help, but the school authorities told me, " boys will be boys."
"boy will be boys!"
What does that statement mean? We hear many parents saying "let the boys be boys" Perhaps you have heard that too? Some boys say that themselves, "boy will be boys!"
I do not think that boys should be free to violate girls, to say offensive jokes at the expense of girls' dignity and to laze around while girls and women do house chores! How how many families let the boys be boys? I say boys will be accountable, boys will be responsible. Boys will face consequences if they choose to treat girls abusively and unequally.
I say Girls must be empowered and be free to talk about the experiences that they are afraid to disclose. Girl, use your voice as I have used mine, but ensure that you find a person whom you trust.
As a mother, I believe boys must be empowered to know that behaving in a entitled manner will only lead to future misery as they become abusers who use the power of force instead of the power of love.
They must be educated about patriarchy a societal system that says boys and men are more valuable, deserve to get more respect, more money, more food-everything-than girls and women.
Benefiting from inequality hurts both boys and girls, albeit differently.
I threw his thick hand off my body and he got the message.
As a young married mother of two, when I started working, I stopped a manager from further groping my thighs as we drove to a project he had assigned me to manage. I threw his thick hand off my body and he got the message. He went after my colleague. I warned my colleague about the kind of man he was. He never bothered me again. I wish I had reported him to the human resources department, but I was afraid of being fired.
At times we feel coerced to value our jobs more than our bodies. I tried as much as I could to speak up, but I wish I had known more about my rights earlier.
I left a painful and toxic 12-year-old customary marriage, forced upon me and the father of my children, in the name of culture. I do not blame our families because they did not know better by imposing me on someone who was not ready to be a married man.
I had not known better myself. I was groomed by society to be a persevering wife, to hold the knife by the hand and always say yes to the husband and never leave my marriage.
In that marriage, I was losing myself , my confidence and self esteem and I was inevitably losing my mind.
I was dying inside, but something inside was also alive to the fact that I was meant for more.
The pain I felt taught me it was enough! Have you ever felt stuck somewhere knowing you deserve more but you are bound by society's expectations on you? Have you been told to persevere while dying inside?
I was dying inside, but something inside was also alive to the fact that I was meant for more. So the conflict raged, inside. As it exploded, I learnt speak up and stand up for myself. I went to look for information about my rights.
I realised that I was an equal human being with equal human rights, who deserved equal treatment.
I learnt that the system of patriarchy sets up girl against boy, sister against brother, husband against wife, co-worker against co-worker and makes it impossible for healthy co-existence of human beings.
It has always been that way for centuries!
Today, it is a fact that in 2021, girls are still being deprived of education in many parts of the world.
It is a fact that child rape, which is officially called "child marriage" is rampant in a world full of males who are supposed to protect girls and women.
It is a fact that in this pandemic, the girl child has suffered and endured more abuse than ever before.
It is a fact that in our homes, the girl child is burdened with chores and has less time to study and rest than the boy child. Why?
It has always been that way for centuries! The root of all this pain and suffering is a system that has been there for centuries.
I say, "at the helm of all systems are human beings who have the power and choice to change the systems so that they serve humanity in equitable ways". The question becomes, are humans willing to make the changes?
Are humans willing to let go of all the advantages they enjoy and give other humans equal chances to be all they want to be?
Today is the day that the Girl Child must know that she deserves to be treated equally as a human being. You will not always be a girl but your Girl story will shape the woman you will become.
May you know that the most powerful human beings I know are females. When females decide to use their voices and stand on their stories, they are capable of healing and changing the world. You Girl Child are our hope for the future. You are the voice of the future, an equal future.
I wrote my first book in 2019 Mother Behold Thy Son where I share my gender inequality story. That is where you will find my full gender equality story from my childhood to womanhood.
As a mother, I wanted to behold my son become a man of confidence, conviction and integrity and become a loving brother, husband or partner father, leader and citizen. I wanted to teach my son to treat girls and women equally through storytelling. So I told him of my experiences with boys and men, so that he would know that if mama felt that much pain, the girls and women would feel the same if he treated them unequally.
I was also modelling behaviour to my two girl children so that they know that they have equal rights and they can use their voices.
Girls are strong, girls are intelligent. Girls are equal to boys. They are not biologically the same, and are never meant to be, but they are equal and deserve equal opportunities to education, work, personal development inheritance, equal study time, so that they become all they are meant to be.
Girls are capable of becoming independent and successful without needing to be married to a man or propped by men.
I encourage you to use your voice as I have done. I write, I speak, I sing, I coach and I train with the aim of changing the world. I know I cannot do it by myself but if we all work on ourselves and we come together to teach and learn from each other, we will change our undesired reality.
I celebrate you Girl. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. I encourage you to:
Know who you are and learn on the empowering aspects of your culture to be grounded rooted.
Take Care of yourself
Love yourself unconditionally
Lead yourself and be aware of what it is that you desire for yourself.
I teach this to girls and women in my personal leadership training , CALL.
A few more tips:
Walk in Faith not Fear
Exercise gratitude daily and
Set daily intentions for the things that are important to you
Dream very, very big Girl!
I want to end this sharing with these affirmations for you in no particular order:
I am beautiful
I am worthy
I am enough
I love myself
I am a divine feminine born equal to other human beings
I am capable of creating an extraordinary life for myself
I am blessed with gifts from my creator.
I am special and I have a unique purpose
I am the daughter of I AM and my story matters
I have a voice and the world needs to listen to my voice
I matter and so do other girls and all human beings.
Add other affirmations to your list and remember to always speak kindly about yourself.
I am a Mother, Author, Coach, Speaker, Mbira Player and Healer, Once-a-Girl. I have a full time job too!
You can talk to me on 867 222 0700 if you want to share your girl story with me. Maybe even put it in a book? I can coach you to birth your story so that it helps other Girls.