Walking through the mall I spotted my friend Jackie in the distance. She had an ice cream in one hand and shopping bags in another. As I drew closer and she noticed me, we both burst out laughing – caught! See Jackie has a penchant for shopping, I know because I do too...but not as much as her. Often we berate ourselves for it but glad to say it is nowhere near an addiction nor do we ever buy needlessly, after all money does not grow on trees.
I do enjoy a lot of other things, and are even passionate about them. Actually my friends always remind me about the things I am good at and wonder why I do not do more. Write more, go dancing more often, engage more with like-minded people, and be heard. But it is not just about doing these things; it is also about recognising them in others, enjoying them with others, and encouraging others.
As a mother, wife, daughter, sister, employee, colleague and friend I sometimes struggle to cover all bases and unfortunately some sections suffer. And none suffers more than me.
This brings me to the conversation I had with Jackie. Perhaps needing to justify her fixation with clothes shopping, she pointed out that over the years she has realised that she had been putting off living. That sometimes one has to do things that make them happy, that keeps them balanced on the inside, while opening their minds. So as I was about to ask what that had to do with shopping, she added a few other things to the list before emphasising that she never actually spends that much, sometimes she just looks...right!
Sadly not all women can do what Jackie does – take time out. Women in Zimbabwe and the world over are stuck in a rut, struggling daily to get the basics for survival. And as if that were not enough they have to suffer the consequences of war, economic mismanagement, archaic and unfair cultural practices, sexual violence, lack of access to health and discrimination of all sorts.
For this reason, I have a dream. For a world where women do not have to suffer all these ills. For women to be assured of food, clean water, clothes on their backs and shelter over their heads. For women to be secure in their homes and streets, knowing that they can speak, move and associate freely and without fear.
I would like to be a Voices of our Future Correspondent so that I can learn from others how to put my innate skills to use and achieve my vision. That by learning to write and speak more purposefully, I can lend my voice, my mind and my hands to initiatives aimed at making the world better for women. That I can be better equipped to start my own movement, to find new means of whittling away at the old age barriers to freedom of expression and women empowerment. To ultimately learn and share from others like me, and be part of the change as we build a global movement. In the process I believe I can learn to take back the wisdom of feminine. I need for my friends to stop reminding me how good I am at doing certain things and reprimanding me for not doing more. For too long and too far I have drifted.
I know that not every woman will be able to go shopping on a whim like my friend Jackie. Not for clothes anyway. But, and this is the moral of Jackie's story, they can still shop. Shop to feed the mind and keep the soul alive and express it all in words, actions and all things visual. The currency - interest, ideas, energy and unity all rolled into one.
I would like them to be able to get the most out of life – whatever it takes to be safe, secure and content. So safe and secure, that they never have to worry about keeping body and soul intact. To pursue those things that will nourish the mind and soul so they can reach their full potential and more.
To be without limits as to what they want to do and what they can do. To just be.
I want us all to go shopping…everyday!
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Vision.