While growing up, I was taught all human beings deserve a good life, but as I grew up I realised how far from truth this is. I remember one time I was requesting that woman who looked very needy be allowed to eat for free in a hotel! In my innocence I felt this was the way life needs to be after all the dressing showed that she couldn’t afford a meal; yet she was hungry! This was my sister’s hotel & I knew my sister would not mind. However, the person in charge told me “Sophie, the world is fair, one day you will understand” and with this life went on ‘as usual’ she went away hungry.
Have I understood? May be not, but I have ‘known’, and that’s why I still have dreams and I dream of a better world; where everyone in the community has equal access, opportunities and capacity to make decisions. This is a dream that I believe can partly be fulfilled in my world, in my community. I strongly believe that there is a way of bringing about lesser inequalities, that the woman I experienced so many years ago, and everyday should be able to get some food. I have a dream of communities where everybody has the space to exploit their potential to the fullest, women and men, girls and boys. I envision a society whereby individual’s worth will not be judged by their gender. My personal vision is that each and every day I make a difference, positive difference in someone’s life.
Yes, like Martin Luther King, I have a dream, a big dream.
There are many disparities in the community that need to be confronted in order to transform people’s lives. Each and every day brings to me more awareness of the disparities between women and men’s lives and the unfairness of this. I experience the unfairness too in different ways in different circumstances. For the vision that I treasure to be achieved there is need to communities and individuals to all participate in their own different ways, either in telling the story for the reality to be known or in offering alternatives, hence need to be empowered & their voices amplified. Women and girls in particular are disadvantaged where they often go unheard and hence I remain focused in the lives of women and girls which have been affected by patriarchy and where silence has been very loud.
I believe that I have a great role in amplifying the voices that are too silent to be heard in the busy world. I will not only be touching lives but also making the world know about life of people in my community. There is a lot of misconception about women and girls lives in Africa and hence the strength they have often go unnoticed. My role will therefore be to offer both positive and not so positive experiences of women which can touch lives of others in the world and as a result get information that can make African women’s lives better and more fulfilling.
Sometimes I feel my voice is too soft, too alone, to insignificant…to make a difference, but yet I dream. I dream of making a difference in the lives of many women and girls, men and boys.
This is my dream.