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. Even though by the end of the year I wanted to grow them back again, I thought every artist had locks, and suddenly, far away from home it felt cliché! One of the major things I discovered was how different our cultures were. In a country where the divorce rates are quite high, and considering that I was at my prime courting age, I observed mostly the woman to man relations.
Women in this country are highly empowered! I commend the government for being able to educate their women and embracing them in different industries. Sadly, with their empowerment there seems to have been the disempowerment of their men also. They do not beat up their men. Do not get me wrong, but they are very competitive, overbearingly and for lack of another word, control freaks. This is not to say these societies are unsuccessful! No. These are some of the worlds most advanced, most sophisticated and most successful societies.
I saw a society with just about everything we advocate and long for back home - very low HIV cases, close to none, efficient health systems, tax systems and empowered women. But I also saw a society that either had to give up other cultural virtues in order to achieve all these social successes, or a society that merely over-looked that the emergence of some of the new phenomena would force out some old, and good ones. Much as the Afrikan continent seeks to empower its women, it is important to realise that we also have the duty to safe-guard the virtues that already exist in our culture. The Afrikan woman is strong, virtuous, respectful, motherly, warm, just and firm too. As we seek to empower her, let us not disregard how good she already was in ancient Afrika. May our empowerment not lead to the disempowerment of our men.