“I think God made a woman to be strong and not to be trampled under the feet of men. This however contrasts with some of the verses in the bible which claim that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains. Richard Little” - American scholar.
Foreword for Issue 06 - Women's issue
January came and left so did February and March and April decided not to stay as well. And here we are! In May, marking the second quarter of the year, what does this mean to you, me and other readers who will stumble upon this article?
Unsure what the move had in store for me I packed my bags and came back to Harare. Unlike the fast paced life, traffic jams, bright lights that I was now accustomed to in the five years I lived in Johannesburg the Sunshine City had its own beauty and challenges. When I arrived back home I immediately got preoccupied with planning my wedding which was less than a month away. It was a pretty hectic time with premarital counselling, meetings with the service providers, family and friends; I barely had time to think beyond the wedding day.
Many people say silence is golden; well, I am not many people. Always forcing yourself, to be silent because of fear? The fear of being judged - the fear of people taking you out of context. We often die in silence because we don’t know how to express ourselves well enough for people to understand us. We now live in a society and generation where a lot happens behind closed doors, hidden away from the world. Only to be mentioned when it’s too late; when all the unnecessary damage has been done.
The subject of black women and their hair seems to have come under the spotlight lately, particularly with the resurgence of the natural hair movement. Some, like author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie claim hair is political. Others, like the late author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer, Maya Angelou, propose that hair is a woman’s glory. Still others like the late journalist and columnist, Shana Alexander, suggest hair is personal.
The invite said shorts and shades, girls only and promised to be fun as I got the call from my girlfriend insisting that I be there. The party was going to be at a campsite almost two hundred kilometres from the capital city. A message on Whatsapp reminded us departure time would be early morning, seven, very early for some of us on a Sunday but considering who we were doing it for, it had to be done.
Almost three years ago I experienced extreme pain in my left lower abdomen. I could not run long distances. I could not squat or do sit-ups. The pain was so intense at times it would wake me in the middle of the night and I would struggle to get out of bed. With no medical insurance then, I decided to sit-it out, as if that was possible. The pain got worse and one day I willed myself to go and see my GP and the moment she felt my tummy she said I had fibroids, several she said and I was sent for a scan just to confirm. Five of them it was revealed, with the largest at 7.2cm in diameter.
I was walking through the Avenues one sunny morning, taking in the sights and sounds as I went along – the nurses dutifully making their way to work, the vendor selling her wares at the corner, a woman with a wailing baby on her back waiting for transport to Mazowe/Concession/Glendale/Bindura/Mt Darwin…the touts yelling all of the above whilst dangling from kombi doors.
It is a hot April day when I arrive in the Matebeleland North capital of Lupane. It’s my first trip to the growth point almost 180km from Bulawayo and I do not know what to expect. Within the first hour, I find a noisy local sadza joint and meet people with uniquely Zimbabwean names like Talent, Wedzeramari and Lacoste. Everyone I meet has a vibrancy to them, and they all have a story to tell. However it is Jenipher Nyoni who arrests my attention. She greets the people in the room, seamlessly changing from Ndebele, to Shona, to English, to Tonga depending on who she is talking to.
In 2011, I had the great honour of travelling to a Scandinavian country where I lived for an entire year. For two semesters I was teaching music, and during the holiday in-between, I travelled to a few countries. I discovered many new things, from how you could wear your entire wardrobe each day for almost six months to the great joy of wearing a short skirt once summer came. This year was a year of immense growth and self-discovery. I went to Europe with locks, but a month later I cut them off.