Dear sis Yvonne,
I am where I am today, because you have been there for me. I have waited for way to long, I can't wait any longer. I have anticipated for that day when I will meet you face to face, so that I will be able to tell you what a mentor you have been to me. I want to shout it in front of you, how you have been supporting me in shaping my vision. Sister, I want to tell you how you keep making meaning of the word "sisterhood" to me. I encountered the manifestation of that word through you. I tell people every day, that there is a woman, a sister I have never met, but who has the most open heart in the world.
My dear sister, do you remember how we met? We met on World Pulse When I first joined the platform in 2012. You saw one of my posts and you quickly commented on it and encouraged me. Without any waste of time, we connected, truly. You went ahead and sent me a friend request on facebook. We connected even more from then on. You opened your heart to me, you told me a lot of things on how to be a social change agent. You told me about the importance of the World Pulse Voices of Our Future Programme. In your own words, I remember very well, you echoed it to me in a skype chat "My sister, don't fail to apply for the VOF training when it is launched, it’s the best online training for women with vision." I kept those words in my head, and I still remember, that when VOF was launched, you were the first to send me the link of the announcement with encouraging words for me to drop an application. I quickly did, and I was given a spot to be a part of that training that has changed my life and those around me forever.
Dear twinnie, as we have lived to call ourselves, you have made it a habit to hold my hands all through my social change journey. Before the VOF training ended, I sent you a facebook message, that I wanted to start an initiative that will give out scholarship to girls. You jumped in on that chat in the middle of the night, your time, and spent over three hours with me, mentoring me on how to make that work. You connected me with sisters who were doing the same thing in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. You told me about Phionah Musumba in Kenya, Beatrice Achieng Nas of Uganda, and Buumba Malambo of Zambia. You went ahead to send them a message, telling them that I will send them friend requests just to connect, learn from them, and network with them. You sent me links to their facebook pages and finally through you, I became connected to those great women, from whom I have learned a lot of best practices. If I am growing today, it is because you built that bridge between me and those women who had been doing it big on the field.
Dear sister, you showed me true sisterhood, when during the launch of the maiden edition of my scholarship program in 2014, despite the fact that you were on a hospital bed, you wired me money to support my course. That was so emotional for me; it still warms my heart up till date and I ask myself often, how can one be so selfless and kind hearted? You chatted with me on skype before I left Bamenda to Bai Kuke, on how to put things in place, how to effect the selection, and how to kick off strongly. Today I am strong, because you mentored me perfectly well.
Dear sister, do you still remember how you held my hands through my visit to the women of the Bamenda Central Prison in December 2015? You helped me plan my five pack social media series, publishing my experience abroad and then finally calling on supporters to support my prison visit course. You shared my vision with your social media networks and in the middle of nights, you would call for a chat just so I get things done the right way. And the least I expected from you, was financial support, something you surprised me with on the day before the prison visit. When I received a call from your younger sister telling me she had an envelope for me, from you, on that day. Sis, I died in wonder, I asked myself again "What manner of woman is Chi Yvonne?"
My dear, I want to remember everything about how you have mentored me, supported me, and showed me true sisterhood, but it seems really hard to remember, because the episodes are countless. Hey, my mind just flashed on how you shaped my vision of creating “Girls Lead” clubs in rural secondary schools. This is something I wanted to do so bad, but my vision wasn’t clear on how to go about it, but you stood by me, helping me design my vision. How good?
What about the recommendation letters that you give me at any time I come calling. You have been giving me those winning recommendations that reflect my work, the work you helped me in shaping. And sister, I have used that to get good fellowships, some of which I were international and I was denied visa to attend. And some I couldn’t bear the cost I was supposed to incur. What are sisters really for?
My sister, I have a few questions. How did you become so supportive? Did you learn the act of sisterhood from World Pulse? Why are you supporting other women like me? The questions are so many, but let me stop here and leave the rest for when we ever meet in-person.
My lovely dear twinnie, for the close to five years that I have known you online, you have been a sister who is practically far-far away, but yet so close. If all women could adopt the true spirit of sisterhood, our world would be a better place. If all women who have something to offer could mentor other women who are struggling to find their way, our mission towards women’s empowerment would be easier. If sisters hold each other’s hand in one true sisterhood, we will meet MDG5 long before 2030.
Blessings and long life will be yours, sister. Your’s truly,
Nakinti B. Nofuru