Poetic Activism: Day FOUR-16 Days of Activism

Anna Mwalagho is a Kenyan spoken word artist, actress, dancer, singer and storyteller. In this poetic piece, Anna reflects on the journey of African women, their struggles and success and paints a picture of survival and empowerment, as she calls upon us to unite and support one another in overcoming the hardships of being a woman.

As the flower of Africa blooms
So does a new day for the women of Africa unfold
From the time of her delivery
The African woman was known to be a liability not a profit
A loss not a gain
She was to be seen and not to be heard
To be abused, accused, humiliated and despised
Yet women of Africa and women of the world
Have evolved and transcended despite their hardships
They have survived inequalities, disintegration, physical, verbal and emotional abuse
Women of Africa have survived carrying firewood on their heads
Bags of food on their backs, a child on their breast all at the same time
While walking to the market talking to them selves
For their voices were not to be heard
And still we rise
We rise because of women who have paved way for equality and justice
Women like Wangari Maathai the first African woman to win a noble peace prize
President Ellen Johnson the first woman to be elected president in an African country,
Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks and of course you and I
And still we rise
We rise because we wear many hats
We are mothers, teachers, doctors, managers, politician’s even soldiers
And still humble enough to be ideal wives
We rise because our struggles have made us stronger
Thus our backbones have not weakened but hardened
To be strong as those of camels
And so as we salute each other today
I urge all the women to rally with one another
As we face new challenges of HIV and AIDS,
Poverty, breast cancer and other underlying problems while still
Fighting for proper equality and respect
Let us empower one another with knowledge
So we can help eradicate some of this problem
For knowledge is power and lack of it is death
Let empower one another through education
So we can teach both the boys and the girls the value of the girl child
And her need to be respected
Let us empower and economically enrich one another
So we can become financially independent
For we are the foundation of the home without us the house cannot stand
Let us partner and work with one another
For united we stand and divided we fall
And we all need each other
For to educate a woman is to educate the whole nation
Because it takes home to build a nation
And even though our struggles still continue
Let us not forget that we the women have already won the battle!

~ ~

Light & Love

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