I got a message on WhatsApp today from a young man. He was distraught. See, he had witnessed his mother being brutally assaulted by his father. He was traumatized, and angry, and fearful for his mother. He wanted, desperately, to do something about it, but did not know where to begin.

As the world marks 16 days of activism against gender based violence, I am reminded that gender based violence still defines the lives of millions of women and girls across the globe. This piece is for the women that suffer in silence and live in fear. May you find the courage to speak, to leave and to embrace your magnificence, and may we find the courage to believe, embrace you with open hands, an open heart and the sisterhood that bonds us all together. 


Woman, you are beautiful

You’re a gem

You’re a princess, you’re a queen

You are not one to deceive

You are God’s own

You are more than the photos on your phone, your shoes, your clothes,

The attention you seek for, so desperately, hungrily,

The desire you seek to acquire from those that do not deserve your…attention.

Pay attention.

You are more than they would ever know

More than a night with that stranger, that man whose name you do not know

Who looked at your physique, measured your bosom, drooled after your be-hind,

Who was unkind, seemed to think you didn’t mind

As he struggled to find, the zipper to your dress

Never mind the fact that you were intoxicated, medicated, dedicated to find just one man that would see you,

Love you, accept you for you,

Get to know you, embrace you,

Love you for who you are


You are, more than that

And woman, that’s a fact

Indisputable, it’s that flat

There’s no arguing, you are marked,

Forget that mark on your face from that man

That smile that you wear as a veil

That laugh that you share that’s so fake,

The smile that you wear when you wake,

You alone know the pain that it takes,

The insults, the kicks, the deception, the lies,

You alone knows what strength really means 

When they say you are weak 

When they say you’re naive

They don’t know naïveté

Pity!! They laugh, they shake their heads, they smirk

But you, woman, are worth more than that

Worth more than their cheap compliments their comments and stares

You are more than just a source of gratification

Temporary satisfaction

A marital dysfunction

Whatever is in fashion?

Your lightness or darkness

The size of your assets

You are an asset

You’re magnificent; you’re divergent, you’re a sweet dream, you’re a magnet

So woman, smile,

Walk with your head high,

Laugh and cry 

‘Cause that’s where your strength lies

Don’t mind, don’t hide,

You’re a masterpiece,

Don’t hide,

Woman, you are fly, you’re magnificent, you’re divine

You are God’s design…smile.


Feature photo by @melodyjacob1

Nafula Wafula

Nafula Wafula is a fierce advocate for gender equality and human rights, passionate about Pan-Africanism and social justice. She is currently the Vice Chair for Policy and Advocacy at the Commonwealth Youth Council.

  1. That was Beautifully written and inspirational I am doing my first year of A-levels in Oxford and one of the requirements for my school is to write a 5000 word essay it’s official name is extended project qualification. For mine I have chosen the topic of: African Feminism, I thought I would mention it in case you are interested in helping me by expressing your powerful views and thoughts.

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