Her Zimbabwe is currently accepting thought-provoking articles and creative fiction around a range of issues affecting women and men in Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwe’s diasporic communities.
Whose Rising is it anyway?
This right to rise, to sing to dance,
This right to say no, to say I won’t, to say enough,
Whose right is it anyway?
Is it my sister with her long hair and red-bottomed heels?
Is it my sister with the PhD, the BSc or the MBA?
Tell me, is it the one with the Hummer Jeep,
The red lips and the long lacquered nails?
I have to admit that it is not easy for me to talk about this. Sexual violence is mainly a euphemism for rape, and I feel the urge to offer my apologies for using this brute word, this blunt formulation.
I have meant to write this for many months. But the time to sit and be lucid in my thinking always seems to evade me. With life, as you will know, there is always something pressing to be taken care of; a chore, a task, a mishap, a celebration.
The picture of Tinopona Katsande shows a bruised face, one eye swollen shut, her lip split. She looks miserable, hunched on a seat in the ZiFM studio. In another picture, she is walking out of court, a purple lump visible on the side of her face; her bruises are ghastly in this aftermath of her beating by her boyfriend. And commentary on the matter continues to flood the Internet.
I am glad that people are talking about the very serious issue of gender-based violence (GBV), and the tremendous work that Her Zimbabwe is doing in initiating and encouraging dialogue around it. It's great to see people expressing an interest in it and speaking out; and this includes the ones who are coming with misogynistic commentary defending and justifying abuse. The important thing here is that people talk about it and we get an idea of what exactly we are dealing with.
Irreverent. Brutal. Thought-provoking. Laugh-out loud funny, yet also sobering.
With its ensemble cast of three actresses playing 28 different characters, the play ‘Vital Signs’ is nothing short of a roller coaster ride of emotions depicting a range of women’s lives – the women you know, the women you hope to never become and the woman whom you might be right now.
I recently came across a tired looking old lady who asked for a dollar for transport to go back home to Mabvuku. I asked her why she had come to town and she showed me an empty bowl (the ones that most of us have in our kitchens - the enamel ones with the lids) and said she had just come from giving food to her grandson at the remand prison.
I was tempted to pay her no attention her but a little voice inside me – the little voice that I have so often ignored before – said I should give her the benefit of the doubt; after all she did look tired and in need of some assistance.
While speaking with my friend about all things Zimbabwean, he said that before he had met me, he didn't know that it was possible for a Zimbabwean not to speak Shona, the major indigenous language spoken in Zimbabwe.
I am more Zimbabwean than you because…
I am more African than you because…
I am more woman than you because…
People always want to claim an identity and, to some extent, prove their claim to that identity by discrediting others’ claim to the same identity. Human folly and selfishness, I guess. And that trait has not escaped us Zimbabweans.