I’ve had a bit of a dry posting spell (cough…6+ months). Not just because I wasn’t writing, but because I was scared. Scared that my writing wasn’t good enough, or that I was revealing too much. Scared of the lack of control after publishing. Scared of the potential backlash…
Out of the blue a few days ago, one of my aunts sent me her new blog: theruggedlawyerand I loved it!! Her uncompromising reckoning with herself, and the outpouring of her personality was so uplifting and liberating. She re-energized and inspired me without even knowing that I also wrote. That night, I could not contain myself. I wrote and published “I’m still me” and I haven’t stopped writing since.
This incident reminded me why it was important that I write. African women’s stories are grossly untold and underrepresented. This often leaves us isolated and endangered, unaware of the common threads of our experiences and thus powerless to change them when necessary. It reminded me that when one of us tells our truth, all of us rise with the tide. That it is important to write even when it is terrifying, and maybe especially then, as others also scared may find their voice too. That my articulated thought might inspire someone someplace, to disentangle a part of the complex knot of emotions we all feel.
I couldn’t have been reminded of this sooner as the theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is#EachforEqual; highlighting how all our individual efforts to fight stereotypes and celebrate women’s achievements, validates our complex narratives, makes us that much safer, and contributes towards the fight for equity for women.
And in true fashion of how this magic works, after reading my post, a friend sent me this quote by Ijeoma Umebinyuo from “Questions for Ada” which I will now forever draw strength from: “Do not forget your lineage, do not shrink. Do not bend yourself, do not shift your tongue for anyone. Whenever you forget who you are, remember the history you have inherited. Now, speak. Live.”
#nwaami #IWD #internationalwomensday
Photocredit: Instagram sourced picture of women marching in Brazil to condemn violence, racism, and lack of gender equality – November 2015.