I grew up in the 90's in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. This city is the second largest in Zimbabwe and one that is mainly inhabited by the Ndebele people. Growing up in Zimbabwe, i was a happy child, always playing outside and i had good parents who took good care of me. It was not until the year 2000 that i began to see a Zimbabwe that i was not only ashamed of but afraid of. Elections came with their violence that devastated many people especially women and children. My parents protected me from these events but they could not shield me from the thoughts that began to form in my mind about my once beloved Zimbabwe. How was i supposed to grow up in this place? More importantly, where was my place as a woman? What were my obligations to my country and my people? It was not until i began to study in America that i realized my passion for politics, not only world politics but the politics of my country and how it affected the women i knew and loved dearly.
So now that we know how and when the violence began, the real question is how to stop it? After visiting my home in December of 2011, i was disappointed to find that many of the people had stopped fighting for their rights. For them, it is not worth risking ones life. But i must tell you,there was something in the air that December. A strength that women were exuding that was lingering in the atmosphere. It smelt like quiet defiance. So raw and growing steadily, like a vine creeping slowly up a wall. Women in Zimbabwe work hard to make ends meet, they fight for the lives of their children but i think it is time for a fight that is more visible to the world. The political situation is not always accommodating to ones thoughts and ideas but there is strength is numbers, especially female numbers as they carry their children on their backs and refuse to let these children suffer any longer.
Fear riddles many Zimbabweans, both male and female yet i feel that overcoming that fear is the first step to emancipation. It is the first step to unraveling what women can really do and changing the social and political situation and outlook of the whole country. But who then will have the courage to stand firm? Who will fight for you women of Zimbabwe? Who will fight for you Zimbabwe?