By Ntsako Mlambo
Women are the lifeline of our society. To be a woman in this life can be to forget the meaning of freedom and the taste of laughter. To be a woman in this life can make you believe that fear and mediocrity are your only ‘homes’. You don’t have homes to feel comfortable with or at peace in. The homes were built for you and you were forced down into them – stopping you breathing, speaking, finding your voice and singing the truth.
Our sanctuaries are being turned into graves. It is all our fault. A mother would rather ask her child what she was doing out so late, than ask who the perpetrator is. A relative would rather advise a victim to keep quite and not lay down her traumas simply because the ‘abantu bazothine’* syndrome resides in her.
In this time, you don’t have to be a man to be patriarchal; the roots of the patriarchy have spread into some of our mothers, who unconsciously inflict pain on their own sisters. These roots have grown too deep and stretched too far into our systems. How can a girl child thrive if her own species turns on her?
We have forgotten that life was breathed into our souls; we have forgotten that we orchestrate our lives; we have forgotten what heroes look like. If it is not safe for my sisters to breathe in the same space as men then I am afraid for the human race. We are too careless with women. They are the healers of this world.
As women – nobody is entitled to our bodies, or to determine who we should be. Women should be honoured and respected for dancing in the rain and becoming the fire in so many lives. After all, all life comes from us.
*abantu bazothine syndrome = a syndrome where the person is always concerned what other people will say about them, even if it’s not true. These people are more worried about reputation than anything else.