As a young girl growing up, I always heard these words: "Women are their own worst enemies; they can never support each other".
For some reason, even at that young age, I never truly believed that. Unfortunately, this rhetoric is so strong in most of our communities that we often see women pitched against each other. Women fighting each other. Women quick to put another woman down while elevating traditions and customs that mitigate against the woman.
Fortunately, from my mum, aunt, sisters and other female relations, I have been surrounded by confident, powerful women ready and willing to lift other women up. I have equally be fortunate that most, if not all of my female friends as I grew up make up the clan of women who do not fit into this rhetoric of women being their own worst enemies but rather, are determined to uplift each other, change the narrative by giving them a shoulder to lean on, a wrapper to cover them in time of need and preserve their womanhood and a hand ever ready to extend and say rise again because you have sisters willing to lift you up.
In the course of my sickle cell advocacy journey, I have met amazing sisters who are willing and ever so ready to join me in whatever way possible to them to make this dream of breaking the silence come true.
For example, during my yearly June colour awareness campaign in 2019, it was heart warming to see so many of my World Pulse sisters come out in their red/black and shades of white representing sickle cell colours to stand with me. From Cameroon to Nigeria and all the way to the Philippines, World Pulse sisters joined in strong.
I made a collage of pictures of all who joined me across the globe. World Pulse sisters had a special collage of only World Pulsers and each time I look at the collage, I feel happy, grateful and hopeful.
Happy that I have a worldwide support system of amazing sisters who got my back because they believe in me.
Grateful because I couldn't have asked for a more powerful, impactful and better group of amazing and purpose driven sisters for support and encouragement.
And hopeful because seeing women united in love and a strong desire to see each other rise and shine irrespective of where we come from, only convinces me that women indeed can and are most capable of working together and standing for each other. It gives me hope that the long held belief and rhetoric of women being each other's worst enemies is fake and once women understand this and dedicate their time to discovering the strength in each other and themselves, it becomes easier to scale mountains and build dynamic queendoms.
It gives me hope that there's strength and unity in sisterhood and if we all do our best to be a sister's keeper, we will make the world and women's lives a lot better.
I am thankful to all the World Pulse sisters who are working hand in hand in dispelling this myth and proving that women are indeed other women's best friends. It is a privilege to be a World Pulser, a space which continues to serve as springs of hope.