The Making Of Mambokadzi

I came to the realisation that KikkyBadAss is the only female Zimbabwean Hip Hop Personality that I know who hypes herself A LOT.  She has a daring creativity.  She’s the one female rapper I know who is comfortable in her skin, speaks her mind and plays no games when it comes to pursuing her passion.  Last year she scooped two awards for Best Female and People’s Choice at the Zimbabwe Hip Hop Awards.  Enter 2018 and she’s on the nominees list yet again and I did my fair share of voting; true to her words she has been working hard on getting her shine on.

KikkyBadAss MaKupsy.jpg

KikkyBadAss

“Peace of mind in times of war help me get some clarity”  KikkyBadAss

A few weeks ago she dropped her EP titled Mambokadzi (A Queen).   A Queen is strong, an inspiration and a goal getter and KikkyBadAss mirrors these qualities.  After she shared her story with me it all made sense.  KikkyBadAss has been through a lot in the past year; her music has been her form of expressive therapy.  She wrote her album during a very dark time.  She went through a miscarriage, she had to let go of a relationship of almost 2 years, she contemplated suicide and she also lost her grandmother who she was very close to.  All this plunged her into depression; she had to channel her pain into something beautiful and it birthed the album Mambokadzi.  This album is dear to her and once you listen to it you will understand just why…

I love all the songs on the EP, I’ve listened to it a million times over. My favorite tracks are Mambokadzi and Rewind. I could add Suicide to my favourites but each time I listen to it I end up feeling blue and experience flash backs filled with past hurts.  It’s not a bad interlude at all but it really gets you deep in thought, a place we often don’t want to revist.

Despite the dark cloud in her life KikkyBadAss has still experienced wonderful opportunities this year.  She traveled to Cyprus and left me behind even after I asked her to be her hand luggage.  It’s not everyday an artist gets to leave the country to perform on an entire island, it shows that she’s doing something right and we should take notes.

KikkyBadAss never disappoints when it comes to quality visuals and her latest video Boys Dze Tonaz was a great way to highlight 2018.

One thing I’ve come to learn after writing this piece it’s that you need to find your passion and give it everything you’ve got.  You only have this lifetime to leave your mark.

Mambokadzi is my album of 2018.  Which music album made your year?

©MaKupsy 2018

Advertisements

5 Tips On How To Survive In Zimbabwe

You’re going to need survival skills if you’re going to make it out alive in Zimbabwe.  All I can say about the current situation is that…It’s A LOT.  I had a time I said to myself it’s just a phase it’s going to get better, just give it a few more weeks and all will be well.

Just yesterday I finally bumped into a lady who was selling avocados; to say I was delighted to see her is an understatement.  I’ve been craving avocados for the past few weeks but couldn’t seem to find them.  The store bought ones taste different;  I have a certain type I like and the lady I bought from happened to have exactly that.  To my surprise instead of the normal 40 cents I’m used to paying she told me that they were now going for 75 cents.  I bought the avocado grudgingly because I thought it’s just an avocado what has changed?

Sadly the current economic situation has gone from the frying pan to the fire.  Prices are changing every other day or being charged in United States Dollars in some shops that time my earnings remain in the Bond Notes currency.  Instead of sitting around worrying about how my life is going to filled with nothing but stress I’ve decided to compile a few tips for my own sanity’s sake.  I hope they will help you too and even better you can share more tips on how we’re going to ride this blustering wave.  We’re going to be making a lot of uncomfortable changes.

Zezuru Rockstar Image.jpg

Image from @ZezuruRockstar

1. Food

Did you know that bread is now going for $1.50?  It used to be a whole buck and you could actually afford to eat bread every single day.  Before you decide to deprive yourself of bread completely like I’ve done you can have a better alternative.  You know how some supermarkets make their own bread?  Yes, that loaf of bread is way cheaper and goes for a cool 80 cents.  Who needs sliced bread when you have a bread knife at home or you can ask the bakery section of the supermarket to slice it for you once you choose the loaf you want?

You can extend this approach to other things as well. If you were buying meat for $15 before just buy for that amount and be happy that you actually have meat. It could be worse…There’s always an alternative or a bargain buy, get your thinking cap on and your eyes on social media.

2. Transport

Not too many moons ago there was a fuel shortage in Zimbabwe.  I remember my friend telling me she was stressed out about the situation and my first solution was to tell her to leave her car at home and use public transport instead.  That way she wouldn’t be worried about where she would get fuel from and not be involved in traffic congestion.  The fuel is now readily available but the traffic congestion is still very much.  I’m not a fan of our mode of public transportation; commuter omnibuses.  My friend Larry calls them “death traps”.  However, they maneuver through traffic like it’s nothing and you don’t have to deal with road rage.  All you have to do is pay your fare and hope and pray you arrive alive.  If you still don’t want to try out my tip then I’ll have you know that studies suggest that…

“One of the stress triggers while driving during a traffic jam is impatience—having to wait for the traffic to move and dealing with the mistakes of other motorists on the road.  Stress, according to psychiatrist Emily Deans of Psychology Today, is a “killer disease” that makes people vulnerable to other diseases and even depression.”

Do you want a stress filled life or a happy life?  The choice is yours.

3. Entertainment 

House parties are going to become an actual thing.  When it happens tell everyone you read it from here first.  The beauty of these is there’s no entrance fee and no need to buy alcohol at some insane amount.  All you need is a homey venue, lots of ice, good company and snacks.  You’re going to have to make sure you eat before you leave the house most people can’t afford to be dishing out meals left, right and centre.  Or better yet bring your own meat and do a braai at the house, just make sure you guard the braai stand 🙂

4. Hair Care

  • Learn how to do it yourself.  I’m a pro at African Threading.  If you have internet access YouTube tutorials will soon be your best friend.
  • Change the location of where you get your hair done.  There are still places around town that aren’t charging exorbitant prices.  Out of town is your best bet, just make sure you get a referral you don’t want to get disappointed by trying out someone you don’t know.
  • If all else fails go for a big chop, it’s just hair, it will grow back.

5Make More Money

You’re going to have to figure out a way to create multiple streams of income because one is clearly not going to help you through this situation.  Look deep into your natural talents.  Are you good at a certain skill?  Then charge for it.  Do you know somewhere you can outsource something people really need and sell it a profitable amount?  Then get started on it.  Do you have an idea you’ve been meaning to implement but were too scared to try out?  Then there’s no time like the present, go out and create those avenues because the only way you’re going to enjoy spending money is when you’re making money.

*BONUS TIP* Pack your bags and sell your belongings and leave while you still can.  I don’t know where to though because most countries don’t seem to like Zimbabweans.  

My biggest concern lately is medication and I have no clue how to solve that one.  Almost all pharmacies are charging in United States Dollars.  I know we can turn to supplementing with natural herbs or prayer or both but my question is to what end?  I’d love to hear from you.  What are you doing to find calm in all this madness?

May God be with us…

©MaKupsy 2018

 

 

 

 

8 Simple Ways To Fight Stress

I’m sorry to announce that my blog title was misleading, but seeing that you already clicked the link let’s get on to reading shall we?  I unfortunately do not have the answer to fighting stress but I can tell you how I manage my own stress and fears.

Answer to fighting stress MaKupsy.jpg

Image from Pinterest

  1. I run.  I already have a serious and dedicated running workout plan but when I am stressed out or worried about something I run like there is no tomorrow at a pace that even scares me.  Maybe it’s my body’s way of “running away” from my troubles.
  2. I read a lot of self help articles online.  Either that searching for quotes on Pinterest with positive affirmations to lighten my mood.
  3. I fix myself something to eat that is packed with a tonne of calories; most days it works but on some days I end up feeling worse than what I was initially feeling.  My go to meal is almost always something deep fat fried or baked goods. (Don’t try this idea)
  4. I fix a very strong drink; vodka anyone? Unfortunately my alcohol tolerance levels are pathetic lately so two or three glasses later I fall asleep.  Sleeping helps, I can at least forget my troubles for a few hours.
  5. I write about what I’m going through.  Sometimes I journal it other times I bring it to my blog and just vent.
  6. I take time off from work to try and sort out my feelings.  I don’t think people realise that sometimes trying to go to work when you’re going through something isn’t a very bright idea.  You aren’t as productive as you’re supposed to be and you need time to unpack your feelings.
  7. I cry.  When I’m really hurting that’s the best cure for me.  It cleanses my soul but leaves me with puffy eyes the next day.
  8. I try and keep a positive mindset and remind myself that there’s always sunshine after the rain.

There you have it the 8 not-so-effective ways to fighting stress, do attempt them at your own risk.

How do you manage your stress and fears?  I’d love to hear from you.

©MaKupsy 2018

Acrimony, Movie Review

I finally watched Acrimony a movie produced, written and directed by Tyler Perry.  If  you haven’t watched it yet I suggest you stop reading now because there will be spoilers along the way.  Acrimony means bitterness or ill feeling.  The movie touches on issues I believe almost everyone has experienced in their life.  You have felt jealousy, anger, unforgiveness, you have been heartbroken and it has taken over your entire life at some point.  This movie brought flash backs of a time I was an angry black woman and never again will I allow a relationship to bring out the worst in me.

Acrimony Movie Review MaKupsy.jpg

Image from Google

The element that won me over during the movie was when Melinda was narrating life with her husband Robert.  The part where she walked to the bathroom, looked into the mirror, washed her face, wiped it and they both went from young and energetic to 20 years older and Melinda more miserable than ever.  That was a great way to transition  the times.

Robert pissed the heck out of me the first parts of the movie.  He was working tirelessly on his battery idea for 20 whole years while his wife worked not one but two jobs.  I mean, this guy could surely have looked for part time work of sort to help out Melinda with the bills and upkeep but he didn’t.  What made me even more upset was that he kept approaching the same organisation with his idea, surely there are plenty of other options, it’s 2018 for crying out loud!

Acrimony MaKupsy movie review.jpg

Image from Google

The movie had great picture quality; Tyler Perry movies are almost always like this.  However, parts of the movie had background elements that looked like it was shot in a studio.  A great example is when Melinda and Robert go for a walk after her accident.  I promise they could have done a better job by actually going outside instead of shooting that scene from who knows where.  It looked so unreal.

The sound track was honestly making me feel sad and depressed.  I suppose it helped to illustrate just how Melinda was feeling.  I’m not sure if that’s what he was aiming for but it worked.  I had to search for the movie playlist on YouTube and the artist is Nina Simone, I’m currently listening to some of her tracks while I type this.

The acting by Melinda (Taraji P. Henson) was fantastic, then again I’m biased towards her.  I still call her “Cookie” her character from the series Empire.  That’s the sort of impact she has on me.  She played her role perfectly and managed to portray the image of a bitter ex to the tee.

The costumes were a yawn fest.  Nothing out of the ordinary there.  Whoever was doing the wardrobe was probably uninspired or working with a budget.  I couldn’t steal a single idea for any look whatsoever. How disappointing.

I thought the movie was pretty okay until the end; the ending was horrible.  The set for the boat scene a complete disaster.  I’m assuming they shot it at a swimming pool because that’s what their budget afforded.  Surely in this day and age there’s a way to work around this to make things more believable.  The part that got me in stitches was when Melinda emerged from the water after being pushed over…she was back on the boat with the wedding gown she was wearing as dry as a bone and her hair still intact, didn’t she just get out of a whole ocean or sea or lake???  Oh wait, we agreed it’s a swimming pool from the looks of things.

Tyler Perry had an opportunity to dig deep into mental health issues but it only ended at; “Have you heard of Borderline Personality Disorder?”.  I had hoped he would shed more light on the subject.  Mental health is already a subject that’s hushed about in the black community and he could have done a world of difference but chose to just mention it in passing.  I’ve gone through phases of mental health issues myself (Depression In Pregnancy , My Battle With Suicidal Thoughts) I know how society makes light of the subject, I was completely let down by watching the topic swept under the carpet.  Melinda had a mental illness that went untreated and it’s a damn shame that she died in the end and never got any help.

To wrap it up, I’d say watch this movie in the comfort of your home.  Don’t worry yourself by going to watch it from the big screen because on a scale of 0-10 I rate it at 6.  At least if you don’t like it enough you can press stop and watch something else.  Tyler Perry wrote, directed and produced this movie, that’s a very big deal.  In my opinion input from other writers for his script this would have made Acrimony a 10 outta 10 movie.

©MaKupsy 2018

 

 

 

My Heart Is Not At Home

Each time I come home for the weekend I suffer from mental exhaustion.  It actually starts affecting me prior my visit.  My friend Tanyr highlighted that to me a few months ago when she told me that the week I’m meant to go to Marondera I suffer from insomnia, migraine headaches, I tend to overindulge in alcohol and I’m generally just a mess.  Coming home is a lot for me.  This place doesn’t feel like home.

Day 3 #SheHeals MaKupsy.jpg

I still hope that some day my parents will choose to live in a different town but that’s highly unlikely.  As it is coming home will forever be a chore to me.  Our past hurts don’t easily shake off and coming back to the place where nothing but bitter and sad memories reside is a tall order for me.

You can read about why my home town doesn’t feel like home from here.

However, it’s still a beautiful Saturday morning, what’s on your mind?

©MaKupsy 2018

Make Yourself A Priority

I realised I’ve been stressed out lately and it’s all thanks to not knowing when to press pause.  I’m one of those people who are a genuine cheerleader.  If you have an idea you want to work on I’m right there encouraging you to go out and make it happen; you’re going through a stressful time I’ll be there to listen to your worries while we figure out how to resolve the issues; you’re struggling with your weight and I will give you tips, links, images heck I’ll even write a blog post for you so that you can start working on living your best life.  I enjoy being a positive influence because I feel that we are all fighting different demons everyday the least I can do is be helpful as and when I can.

put yourself first makupsy.jpg

Image from Pinterest

Things have to take a drastic change.  I can’t keep trying to save people anymore.  It’s  time I start saving myself and put my emotional and physical needs and wants first. I can’t be running on empty because I’m trying to push for someone else’s goals, what happens to mine?  I’ve neglected myself and I know it’s because my passions are both a blessing and a curse.  I want everyone to be the best version of themselves but I can’t do it anymore, I’m only one person, I can’t perform miracles.  I matter, I need to give myself the tender loving care I know I deserve.

In 2018, I will be selfish with my time, after all selfish people live longer…

However,don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying don’t listen to other people’s problems, it’s important to do so, we all need a shoulder to cry on BUT don’t end up making those problems your own.  You will do yourself more harm than good.

You might also enjoy reading this article: How To Deal With Burnout

©MaKupsy 2018

I’m Emotionally Exhausted

It’s the beginning of a new year and you would think I would be excited and looking forward to a fresh start or better yet a continuation of the beautiful things I was working on last year.  I had such a refreshing getaway to end my 2017 but when I came back home to face my realities I realised that I’m not feeling too good after all.  I’m not physically ill but emotionally exhausted.  The worst part is that it’s affecting my creativity in a very bad way.

I think I’m on the verge of a burnout and I need to do myself some good and take a step back and figure out what exactly I’m entertaining or not that’s bringing me so much melancholy.  I’ve been using music as a coping mechanism and the one song I listen to every single morning is Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus.  It probably touches on some issues I’m going through but listening to it is a bad idea because I end up feeling worse instead of better; but still I listen to it!

I’m exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel…

MaKupsy 2018

My 6 Year Old Is Being Bullied

Never in my wildest dreams did I think preschool children bullied each other.  I mean these are supposed to be sweet and innocent little human beings, where could they possibly get a mean streak from?  Turns out I was wrong, very wrong and my daughter told me the most heart breaking thing a few weeks ago.

Me: What are your favourite things in the whole wide world?

Miss Kupsy: Pizza, going to school, princess dresses and exercising with mummy.

Me: Aww sweetheart, isn’t that lovely.

Miss Kupsy: But Alex from school pinches and smacks me sometimes…

preschoolers and bullying.jpg

Image from Google

I gave my daughter a warm tight hug and asked her to tell me more about the incidents.  She told me that the boys were twins but only one of them gave her grief.  He apparently drinks her juice, pinches and smacks her and sometimes takes her lunch.  I was gutted!  I have never smacked her at all and here is this little person making school a nightmare for my daughter!!  I instinctively told her that she should fight back (which by the way isn’t even in her nature) but also realised that it would probably make the situation worse for her and that there surely should be another way of handling the situation.  She didn’t want to dwell on the subject any further and asked we change the subject, which we did but I had to do something about it.  I spoke to her teacher who confirmed that the little boy was indeed a problem and they had taken to smacking him whenever any child reported his behaviour and that my daughter is not the only one being picked on, there were plenty more who were victims.  Thankfully schools closed and she won’t have to face him again because she’s off to grade school.

However, I still feel that this isn’t going to end here.  I know this too well, I experienced bullying first hand and it’s not a pleasant space to find yourself in.  The form of bullying I had to deal with was isolation.  School children can be evil little creatures!

You would think bullying would stop by a certain age right?  Unfortunately for me I had more bullying in store for me in my adult life!  This time it was in the form of cyber bullying. Turns out my blog wasn’t “cool enough” to be regarded as a blog.  My writing style didn’t conform to what bloggers from my country were used to and it wasn’t a themed blog as well.  I would sit and read the most hurtful comments and wonder what exactly was wrong with being different?  I wanted and still want my blog to be a reflection of me, I have multiple layers to me, why should I restrict myself to being one set thing? 

I spoke to my close friend about my daughter being bullied and she recommended that I teach her to be bald and fight back.  I think enrolling her in a self defence class of sort will actually be to her advantage.  As women, we aren’t actually taught how to defend ourselves, if anything we are given a whole list of chores we should be able to do by a certain age and absolutely nothing on our own safety!

A male friend suggested speaking to the authorities at school the next time it happens, or better still to confront the parents of whoever gives my daughter grief, that way it would help tackle the situation head on.

According to Google; “Long-term bullying can lead to depression and feelings that you are worthless. Some of these effects can last for a long time, even into adulthood. A person who is bullied may become an adult who finds it hard to trust others, has problems making or keeping friends and lacks in confidence or self-worth.”

bullying in preschool.jpg

Image from Unsplash

I want the best for my daughter and I don’t ever want her to let one of the things that make her happy be the same thing that brings her sadness.  School is clearly her happy place and I would be more than thankful if you have any ideas or suggestions on how I can help her take care of herself at school in my absence.  I’m welcome to ideas, as long as they don’t involve her becoming a mean little person, she’s a little angel and I would like her to stay that way for as long as possible.

Have you experienced bullying?  How did you tackle the situation?  What makes people bully others?  Please help me understand this madness, I’m losing my mind!

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Day 26: Being An Illegitimate Child

Today’s topic is “Children born out of wedlock” and I have the pleasure of having @_6_Legend as my Guest Blogger.  He shared his story with me and I hope as many people can get to read this and realise that; after all is said and done children whether born in or out of wedlock have the same rights and feel the same way as any other child.

We live in a society that can sometimes be harsh and harmful on the very people that make it up. A lot of people suffer due to societal standards that affect them regardless of the fact that they cannot change their position nor is it of their own making. Children born out of wedlock are some of the people affected by these societal standards and I want to talk about some of the things that they (read we) face due to their “status”.

Society is an integral part of who we are. From the people we call family or relatives, depending on the nature of the relationship, to the 3 year old girl who lives down our road, all are integral to our being. Human beings are designed to associate with and interact with the people around them. This interaction takes many different forms and has different levels of impact. They all, however, have an impact and no matter how small this impact is, it contributes to who we are as a whole. The nature of these interactions, positive or negative, also will contribute towards shaping who we become as people. As a child born out of wedlock, I had a lot of interactions which I know, now, contributed to the person I am today. I say now because when these things happened I had no idea what they meant and I sure as hell didn’t know what they were doing to me psychologically.

illegitimate-child.jpg

Image from Pinterest

My mother and biological father were never together. She married another man and I only discovered he wasn’t my actual father when I was an adult. When I did discover it though, it made sense. He treated me differently. His family treated me different. Whenever we visited the rural areas, I could feel that I was an outcast. I think I knew right from the start that I wasn’t a part of that family but I didn’t know the alternatives and that’s why I just didn’t have that truth fall naturally to me. I told myself that my “father’s” family didn’t like me because of my mischief. I wish they had just told me I wasn’t one of them.

Then I learnt the truth…

I met my biological father when I was 20. I had mixed feelings but eventually I thought I should make an effort to form a relationship with him. I shouldn’t have. On our first encounter, he spoke about how he only lost touch because my mother got married and my step dad didn’t want him talking to her. He went on to tell me that his whole family knows about me and he would take me to meet them. No one knew about me. Five years later and I have met none of my sperm donor’s family (that’s all he is really). The moment I realized it was never going to happen, I stopped trying and I became happier. I am a fatherless person and I have embraced it. When I left my step father’s, I remember one of his sisters saying “ndakambokuudzai kuti vana vemusango vanonetsa”. Loosely translated, “I told you these fatherless children are a problem”.

The term “vana vemusango” (bastard children) has been used to describe children born out of wedlock for a long time. The term came as a description of men who wander out of their matrimonial homes and go “kusango” where they bear children. I feel that the term carries heavy negative connotations, the brunt of which is bore by the children. It is a term that shames children for being born out of wedlock as if it was their choice. It is a term designed to discriminate and sideline these children. As a society, we forget that we are all equal. Once we begin to label other people as illegitimate, we have taken a whole lot from those people. Their dignity. Their pride. Their association. Their being. We strip it all. And yet it is not this person’s fault that they came into this world in that way.

142367-143532.jpg

Image from Google

I don’t even know what I wanted the point of this to be. I just had things to say and I hope I have at least articulated myself well. We all came from somewhere. Hakuna mwana wemusago…

©MaKupsy 2017

 

Day 25: What Feminism Means To Me

Day 25 of #30DayAfriBlogger Challene topic is Feminism or Humanism or Womanism.  Where do you stand and why?  I have a Guest Blogger who shared her thoughts on Feminism with me, enjoy the read.

“I am compelled to remain on this feminist path by the many women that…feel comfortable in living differently” –​ ​Florence​ ​Butegwa

XcKtUkTU.jpg

Vimbai Midzi

 Women deserve to be treated equally, to be given a fair chance to succeed, and a safe environment to live their lives in. – Vimbai Midzi

It was a quiet realisation in a room full of women who had been through the abuse I had experienced. I hadn’t spoken at all that day, and my heart was heavier than I can articulate. There were hundreds of candles for the vigil, and hundreds of women sat in the hall – some shocked at the stories that were told, some crying, some humming quietly. My friend, who had been the closest person to me since school started, held my hand as we swayed back an forth. Without warning, surprising myself even, I stood up and began to tell my story too. I spoke with the smallest voice I’ve ever heard come out of me about a violence I wish I could forget. I stopped, one minute in, fighting tears. I looked up for reassurance of some kind, and when I looked back at my friend, she had a sign up that simply said, “You matter.” That tiny act of kindness which probably only I noticed, was the beginning of my journey with feminism and defining what it’s meant to me.

Feminism, broadly speaking, is the belief that all women and men are fundamentally equal, and that the differences in the way women and men are treated comes down to patriarchy.

Patriarchy is basically a system that privileges men over women in society – whether with regards to workplace opportunities, access to education, inheritance laws, political leadership positions or romantic relationships. Patriarchy is the thinking that says that women are intrinsically inferior to men, which trickles down into various sectors of society. For example, patriarchy is the reason in many developing countries, if a family cannot afford to send all their children to school, they’d rather send the boys and not the girls. Sometimes it’s subtle. It’s in the way girls are raised to aspire to marriage and are ‘trained’ to take care of a family’s needs, while boys often lack basic domestic skills because they aren’t expected to take part in domestic labour. Patriarchy is the reason why, for years I stayed silent about my sexual abuse, and was willing to go to the grave with it, for fear of being ridiculed or blamed. Patriarchy says that women’s lives, ideas, dreams, bodies don’t matter as much as men’s, and feminism exists to counter that.

You matter.

African feminism stems from African women’s actions and thoughts around equality within the context of African societies. It’s important to stress that my African identity is integral to my fight against patriarchy across the continent. It is particularly important, on a continent where women are systematically excluded from economic, political and social spaces, that my feminist work does everything in its power to tear apart the patriarchy that holds women back and under the feet of men. African women, post colonialism, had to deal with fighting racial oppression from white regimes, and further oppression from their own black male family members, colleagues and leaders.

Feminism is both collective and individual in its practices. Many of the changes in laws protecting women’s inheritance rights, fighting violence against women, ensuring equal opportunities in professional and educational spaces, have come as a result of the collective action of groups of feminists across the continent.  Being a feminist also means that feminists over the years have fought for me to have autonomy and personal choice –an integral part of feminism.  It also means that I’ve come to have a personal understanding of the different ways patriarchy affects me and the ways in which I fight it in my daily life.

tn4XTa7L.jpg

Vimbai Midzi

Personally, there are two things that come to mind when I think of what feminism means to me.

1. YOU MATTER

The jokes about self love aside, loving myself and acknowledging my intrinsic worth has been the foundation of my feminist journey.  Women deserve to be treated equally, to be given a fair chance to succeed, and a safe environment to live their lives in. Feminist policies like advocating for free sanitary pads so girls don’t have to miss school because of their periods, is telling girls that they matter. Their ability to attend class and society’s effort at leveling the playing field for their start in life, matters. My pain, my joy, my failure, my success, my ideas, my dreams – they all matter, and they should be taken seriously.  Feminism makes it necessary for this to be actively made a truth in women’s lives. Every demand for harsher punishments for rapists and kinder environments for rape survivors to tell their stories and get justice, every push for states to address femicide and emphasise women’s autonomy over our bodies, is feminism telling us that we matter.

2. PATRIARCHY MUST FALL

It’s important to note that patriarchy is enacted mostly by and for the benefit of men, but that women can perpetuate it too, and that men can suffer from it. Feminists fight against patriarchy as a system that harms both men and women, albeit harming women more.  Patriarchy sets impossible and toxic standards for men and how masculinity should be performed. This often means that masculinity is associated with violence, strength (the kind of strength that can never show signs of perceived weakness) and unchecked power. Men are therefore socialised to believe that they cannot be emotionally vulnerable.   for example. This would explain the rise in male suicides as a result of men being unable to seek help for mental health issues like depression. Patriarchy also socialises women to make decisions or say things that are harmful to other women, and that ultimately benefit men. When a woman judge in Uganda suspended a female court clerk for wearing a mini-skirt there were a lot of comments. In this instance, women’s dressing and bodies continue to be policed by a system that takes away women’s bodily autonomy.  That the decision was made by a woman, shows the pervasiveness of patriarchy and that; as a whole system, it needs to fall, for the sake of women mostly but also for the sake of men.

24101f7132ac3e5835ecc88102a6f9c4

Image from Pinterest

Feminism for me means learning and unlearning everyday.  It means standing up for myself in an environment that seeks to shrink me.  It means standing with women at all times, ensuring that our rights are protected, our voices are listened to and the war on our bodies is being stopped.  It means being unapologetically me and living myself past the pain of years of ingrained patriarchal practices and language. It means reclaiming the identity that men for centuries have given to women, and forming one for myself. Most importantly, feminism for me, is the quiet realisation that I matter.

You can find Vimbai on Twitter; @Just_Midzi she loves, supports and fights for or with black African women.  She also has a new project under way and you should watch this space for it.  A big thank you to Vimbai for sharing her thoughts, I for one now have a better understanding of what Feminism is.

©MaKupsy 2017