Pela how are you? Really, how are you? you know that you are not true to yourself and others but i hope you will be honest with us. As a woman I know your burdens, I know your workload, your betrayal and your zeal to live. You have many dreams but how many people have told you to stop dreaming, grow up and become a mother. How do you explain that fighting for women's rights doesn't make you hate men. at times you feel like giving up but you find yourself seething and have to start writing again. The borders of my being and your being separate us. We are one but we are two. Society keeps reminding you of your position and you feel you are always carrying a heavy load by being a woman. As you protest against the rape of girls someone has asked if you have also been raped because they would never want to be heard talking about rape as people might think they are talking about themselves. As such they blame the girls for being raped and speaking out. Pela, such thoughtless, selfish people anger you, your throat constricts, your voice comes out croaky and it takes few minutes of deep breathing to breathe normally. these are the same people who ask what the child did to be raped and who swear they will conceal rape because it is too embarrassing. They label rape survivors and criticize those fighting for girls rights. Oh pela, how you wish you were the president to change all this and stop the madness… but pela don't forget you are scared of politics not because you can’t talk but what will people say. You are married and must only take public office in the church as the young mothers coordinator. Who wants a wife showing herself in public they ask you? Be a woman and think properly like one they say. “Your mother knew it before she died, she said you were rebellious. Now who will show you to be a woman? Suggesting and commenting about such things. Why are you questioning domestic violence? Isn't it a man's right to discipline his wife? If he kills her, so what? After all she is his property. Didn't he pay for her?”
Pela you are now visibly angry and no one can tell why. Even mai tee who is nursing a black eye from the thrashing she received yesterday. “Don’t you know baba tee he behaves like an animal when he is drunk. But he loves me and I also provoked him.” You want to ask what lesson she is teaching Tee when you realise gender based violence is accepted in our community.
So Pela, I want to ask to keep writing, keep protesting and keep talking. I know you have questioned the wisdom of speaking out but your greatest gift is you can speak. Pela use the education your mother allowed you to stand up for the rights of women. Pela you are not alone and your worldpulse friends will always stand with you as they offer encouragement with their comments. Remember your dream-to have swim in a pool of unity with all women worldwide. One day it will happen Pela, but not with your mouth shut or your pen down.
Worldpulse women, you have changed our world, myself and me. Lets keep writing and protesting, encouraging, loving, caring,and together we can. Encourage Pela so she never loses her voice. Its really funny that today I wrote myself a letter. But it helped me to be true to myself and realise I can change my world and circumstances. Borders still separate me from myself but I will pull them down.
Lots of love
pelaEmagazine: Bridging Borders