Last week, South Africa heard the cry of her women who have had enough. Rape story after murder story plastered the news and angry ladies marched the streets, proclaiming that they would not stand for cat calls, male expectations on them, rude or stereotypical comments made about females.
The injustices done to women because they are women hit a peak when a beautiful young lady was raped and murdered in a post office. The outcry was immediate and the women finally screamed, “This isn’t our fault that these incidences keep happening!”
There were news reports, poster boards, new hashtag movements and social media posts colouring South Africa in deep shades of angry red.
I love how our generation know how to speak up. Older generations criticize us for being idealistic and individualistic, but our parents always told us to follow our dreams and always be on the look out for ‘stranger danger.’ Well, this generation are now fighting for their dreams; dreams to be able to safely mail a letter. This generation are now screaming because they know that both strangers and friends are danger, and they are willing to scream until they are heard.
However, in the midst of blasting canons full of sore words and angry tones, I sat in the back row in church on Sunday and listened to one girl’s voice. It was strong and rich and said things that unraveled things in the hearts of her listeners. Waterfalls of words splashed the cheeks of the people listening with their ears, their eyes and their hearts.
She spoke a poem that she had written to herself on her twenty- first birthday, ‘Daughter.’ She described her beauty, her curly hair, and rich dark skin, her worth and her place in a white city. She asked white women to raise their daughters to see all the different shades of skin colour and to love the rainbow that they create. She promised to raise her daughter just the same.
Her audience could not sit down at the end of the poem.
Through the chaos and the desperate screams of a desperate country, the #menaretrash and #aminext movements fell away. Men looked at her in awe and wonder over her incredible gift (not at what she was wearing or what she owed them), and I think many women answered her request with a solid ‘yes.’
Whenever I speak about it, my words ironically gush in nonsensical rapids of excitement over just how beautiful, powerful and defining it was.