This is what went wrong with feminism :Opinion

“I am lucky to be licking the right ass” ,  a controversial phrase  as it may seem is  from someone who happens to be a feminist. Chimamanda Ngozie  Adichie a successful Nigerian feminist have written a lot of books that are  full of feminist ideologies among them Purple Hibiscus, Half of a yellow sun, We should all be feminists and  Americanah.  The quote I have used an an escort is from her book Americanah and it   begins by saying, “The  biggest problem  in this country is not corruption. The problem is that there are many qualified people who are not where they are supposed to be because they won’t lick anybody’s ass or they don’t know which ass to lick or they don’t even know how to lick an ass. I’m lucky to be licking the right ass”. Whatever that means,I believe its a subjective issue, it depends on how you view it  , but  the phrase did a great job in bringing  me closer to the  main issue of this article which is  feminism and its short comings.

To begin with,  I  would like to applaud feminists both late and living for endangering their lives in standing up against  radicalism which was  and is still rife within the spheres of life which continue to  subjugate women in all forms.   The forerunners did a great job and without their effort the likes of myself and my fellow female colleagues would not have  been corresponding here.  Revolutionaries and philosophers like Jeanne Jacques Rousseau who heralded  important sentiments  that were  so powerful  and that we still refer  back to today such as  ” men are all born equal, but all I see is chains”,  did  an important role  also in advocating for equality, all this effort  cannot be substituted by anything .
However, I  strongly feel that  these theories  successfully empowered women theoretically and  they did overlooked  one aspect of life  which  is now haunting women  with their education or better phrased’ emancipation’.
Feminism, of course as a human rights issue  for example,  paved way for equality between men and women  through trying to tilt scales of imbalance, but the whole concept was done in a wrong way because tilting scales means there has to be some maintenance of  balance, but because  feminism only targeted women as it’s audience in the first place, it created that sort of isolation of women from the society. That also explains why now even if you want to talk about equality, men tend to ignore it.  As an aftermath, when women are empowered theoretically they then struggle now to penetrate through those positions  and because men with their ego have not been engaged  from the beginning, they refuse to cooperate . That also explains why now even feminists are trying to find the  right ass to lick . But honestly if feminism has been engaging with men more often, there was obviously going to be a swift transition of power without the other party having to lick the right bottom . Well frank enough theoretically as envisaged the feminism ideologies worked, but practically they are failing.

The  thing is- feminism is the theory of encouraging  women to be  better creatures, but in practicality it does not spell out how women ought to relate with men when they have attained the much talked about equality because men have been socialized that they exercise power over women from a tender age and  from a cultural perspective this is common sense, but sad enough women only got to know of  equality at a later stage in life which complicates the whole process of equality and very  few men truthfully  believe in feminism because as a theory  they  ought to have their own  views pertaining  the subject in question .
Feminism also failed to note that  biologically men and women cannot have equal strength , what we can have is equal opportunities, but these opportunities comes with a responsibility too  and women’s sexual desires cannot be quenched by theories, hence the  ‘we don’t really care about men’ ideology is a fallacy.

A few years back during  my high school days, when I was doing literature, I fell in love with two  women feminists, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie a Nigerian  novelist  and Tsitsi Dangaregmbwa a Zimbabwean playwriter .I was greatly thrilled by Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Dangarembga’s She no longer weeps.

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Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Nigerian  novelist and feminist

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Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwean feminist and play writer

These two women had a lot in common, radicalism,they were radical feminists  and their influence on young girls is  to date so strong .
I too was once ensnared in that net of believing  in feminist ideologies,  because I was naive  I was quick to believe that feminists don’t want men or better phrased,don’t want to get married or they won’t lick anybody’s ass,  but Dangarembga’s  recent marriage proved  that these  beliefs  are nothing but mere  fallacies .
I also did my research right and realised that Adichie on the other hand  is enjoying her successes because she is surrounded by males who  have the keys to unlock doors she can’t herself  , hence she now talks about ‘licking the right ass ‘.she points out clearly that even when one is well qualified, might not be successful if  not aware about how to lick the right ass.
So I noted with utter rage  that feminism like any other  school of thought , is   to do  more with Agenda setting and nothing else . Whether feminists became successful or not, that’s another angle saved for another day.

At some point Adichie had to confess that even  with education,women are still struggling to penetrate through the positions that have been a preserve for men . She reiterated that the higher she has gone up the ladder of success, the less women she had encountered there  which is really worrisome.
When Adichie wrote her novel Purple Hibiscus, she said that a male journalist approached her and said  her book was all about feminism  and warned her that it’s not good to call herself a feminist because feminists are viewed as  people who   hate men and they live miserable lives ,  but Adichie  told herself that  she was going to call herself ‘a happy African feminist’ either way it didn’t change anything because a feminist is a feminist regardless of the wording.
Unperturbed by that journalist,  another woman also approached her and warned her that feminism was un-african, and that  chimamanda had been mainly influenced by western books she studied much .
Sad enough even with her powerful ideologies she failed to change the status quo in Nigeria well the evidence is clear, the abductions targeted at school girls is a reflection that  the society still doesn’t believe in girls education and they haven’t grasped feminist ideologies yet .
I guess that  explains why she now divides her life between Nigeria and America and why she has many  American friends who believe in her ideologies , she is frustrated by little progress feminism has made in Nigeria and the African continent.

Paying a closer look at America itself women who show  feministic tendencies   also suffer from a lot of criticism one notable example is that of  Hillary Clinton who is one of the pioneers of women’s rights in the 21st century, in 1995 she made a powerful speech  articulating that ‘ women’s rights are human rights’ and this  gave birth to many women rights campaigns and activists  coming from hibernation, they voiced up  .
Fast forward to 2016 ,many Americans  see  Clinton as tough and thinks she  should learn to put a smile a bit  and act in a womanly manner than appearing rigid and stern and also engage men in a more friendly  manner  than  being tough  which is masculine, but  who doesn’t know   that  politics is a dog-eat-dog affair  meaning that there is no room for courtesy  .  
During presidential debates when Clinton showed feminine tendencies by  complaining of being nominated to answer the questions first, they were quick  to doubt  her eligibility as a presidential candidate, she was  viewed as  insecure  and lacked the stamina required in politics of dealing with critical and  urgent international issues that America as a  super power  have to deal with on a daily basis  without complaining.
It was really absurd  though to note that  besides that  Clinton was capable, the fact that she was a woman and also  that she  couldn’t lick anybody’s ass she was punished , the electorate  saw it fit to vote for a man whom they themselves have criticized and said he had the weirdest policies  regarding foreigners, Muslims and so forth  because America just couldn’t   have a female president.
I felt that a heavy cloud have hung heavily over all women advocates, it  was really a sad moment   for all feminists in the world.
This clearly depicts the  real  hurdles women are encountering.
Its really difficult for a woman to  climb up the ladder of success without being criticized for one aspect or the other.
Clinton has undoubtedly  worked really hard to be where she is now because she is focused , and its worthy to pay her due credit.

It is from this background now,that is see   the short comings of feminism as a theory. From the onset feminism should have taught  women how to lick the  right ass so that  in future they won’t suffer even if they are qualified. The  real facts about life is that no one can succeed alone, you need other people to help you. Feminists have however  failed to stress out this fact  making women believe they can succeed on their own .Its quiet funny how radical feminists end up getting married, but in the first place having been denouncing marriage, one notable example is that  of chimamanda,  she  influenced other women that  married was the worst institution ever  to be entered into,  yet she is now happily married to a white American  doctor, how misleading she has been with her ideologies!

Globally  we  might have made great strides in as much as empowering women is concerned, but  women are really struggling to hold the same positions with men without being ridiculed.      This is mainly because  power cannot be relinquished easily, those in possession of it  won’t  relinquish it willy nilly , feminists have tried to grab it the harder way,but the  theory had fallen short.
  Anyway,i have  ran short of words but i think that this proverb  summarizes all  ” he who does not know what went wrong, will not remember when the rain began to beat him and worse off will never know how to begin drying himself” we now know what went wrong, lets correct that and make sure women’s dignity is preserved as for feminism, should it  be revised?  Be the judge!

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This is what went wrong with feminism :Opinion

“I am lucky to be licking the right ass” ,  a controversial phrase  as it may seem is  from someone who happens to be a feminist. Chimamanda Ngozie  Adichie a successful Nigerian feminist have written a lot of books that are  full of feminist ideologies among them Purple Hibiscus, Half of a yellow sun, We should all be feminists and  Americanah.  The quote I have used an an escort is from her book Americanah and it   begins by saying, “The  biggest problem  in this country is not corruption. The problem is that there are many qualified people who are not where they are supposed to be because they won’t lick anybody’s ass or they don’t know which ass to lick or they don’t even know how to lick an ass. I’m lucky to be licking the right ass”. Whatever that means,I believe its a subjective issue, it depends on how you view it  , but  the phrase did a great job in bringing  me closer to the  main issue of this article which is  feminism and its short comings.

To begin with,  I  would like to applaud feminists both late and living for endangering their lives in standing up against  radicalism which was  and is still rife within the spheres of life which continue to  subjugate women in all forms.   The forerunners did a great job and without their effort the likes of myself and my fellow female colleagues would not have  been corresponding here.  Revolutionaries and philosophers like Jeanne Jacques Rousseau who heralded  important sentiments  that were  so powerful  and that we still refer  back to today such as  ” men are all born equal, but all I see is chains”,  did  an important role  also in advocating for equality, all this effort  cannot be substituted by anything .
However, I  strongly feel that  these theories  successfully empowered women theoretically and  they did overlooked  one aspect of life  which  is now haunting women  with their education or better phrased’ emancipation’.
Feminism, of course as a human rights issue  for example,  paved way for equality between men and women  through trying to tilt scales of imbalance, but the whole concept was done in a wrong way because tilting scales means there has to be some maintenance of  balance, but feminists went all the way  rallying for women to be at par with men while forgetting that by so doing they were alienating women from men who were sitting rigid on the  positions women were  preparing so much to take . As an aftermath, when women are empowered theoretically they then struggle now to penetrate through those positions  and because men with their ego have not been engaged  from the beginning, they refuse to cooperate . That also explains the beginning of  ‘licking the right bottom affair’. But honestly if feminism has been engaging with men more often, there was obviously going to be a swift transition of power without the other party having to lick the right bottom . Well frank enough theoretically as envisaged the feminism ideologies worked, but practically they are failing.

The  thing is- feminism is the theory of encouraging  women to be  better creatures, but in practicality it does not spell out how women ought to relate with men when they have attained the much talked about equality because men have been socialized that they exercise power over women from a tender age and  from a cultural perspective this is common sense, but sad enough women only got to know of  equality at a later stage in life which complicates the whole process of equality and very  few men truthfully  believe in feminism because as a theory  they  ought to have their own  views pertaining  the subject in question .
Feminism also failed to note that  biologically men and women cannot have equal strength , what we can have is equal opportunities, but these opportunities comes with a responsibility too  and women’s sexual desires cannot be quenched by theories, hence the  ‘we don’t really care about men’ ideology is a fallacy.

A few years back during  my high school days, when I was doing literature, I fell in love with two  women feminists, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie a Nigerian  novelist  and Tsitsi Dangaregmbwa a Zimbabwean playwriter .I was greatly thrilled by Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Dangarembga’s She no longer weeps.

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Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Nigerian  novelist and feminist

image

Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwean feminist and play writer

These two women had a lot in common, radicalism,they were radical feminists  and their influence on young girls is  to date so strong .
I too was once ensnared in that net of believing  in feminist ideologies,  because I was naive  I was quick to believe that feminists don’t want men or better phrased,don’t want to get married or they won’t lick anybody’s ass,  but Dangarembga’s  recent marriage proved  that these  beliefs  are nothing but mere  fallacies .
I also did my research right and realised that Adichie on the other hand  is enjoying her successes because she is surrounded by males who  have the keys to unlock doors she can’t herself  , hence she now talks about ‘licking the right ass ‘.she points out clearly that even when one is well qualified, might not be successful if  not aware about how to lick the right ass.
So I noted with utter rage  that feminism like any other  school of thought , is   to do  more with Agenda setting and nothing else . Whether feminists became successful or not, that’s another angle saved for another day.

At some point Adichie had to confess that even  with education,women are still struggling to penetrate through the positions that have been a preserve for men . She reiterated that the higher she has gone up the ladder of success, the less women she had encountered there  which is really worrisome.
When Adichie wrote her novel Purple Hibiscus, she said that a male journalist approached her and said  her book was all about feminism  and warned her that it’s not good to call herself a feminist because feminists are viewed as  people who   hate men and they live miserable lives ,  but Adichie  told herself that  she was going to call herself ‘a happy African feminist’ either way it didn’t change anything because a feminist is a feminist regardless of the wording.
Unperturbed by that journalist,  another woman also approached her and warned her that feminism was un-african, and that  chimamanda had been mainly influenced by western books she studied much .
Sad enough even with her powerful ideologies she failed to change the status quo in Nigeria well the evidence is clear, the abductions targeted at school girls is a reflection that  the society still doesn’t believe in girls education and they haven’t grasped feminist ideologies yet .
I guess that  explains why she now divides her life between Nigeria and America and why she has many  American friends who believe in her ideologies , she is frustrated by little progress feminism has made in Nigeria and the African continent.

Paying a closer look at America itself women who show  feministic tendencies   also suffer from a lot of criticism one notable example is that of  Hillary Clinton who is one of the pioneers of women’s rights in the 21st century, in 1995 she made a powerful speech  articulating that ‘ women’s rights are human rights’ and this  gave birth to many women rights campaigns and activists  coming from hibernation, they voiced up  .
Fast forward to 2016 ,many Americans  see  Clinton as tough and thinks she  should learn to put a smile a bit  and act in a womanly manner than appearing rigid and stern and also engage men in a more friendly  manner  than  being tough  which is masculine, but  who doesn’t know   that  politics is a dog-eat-dog affair  meaning that there is no room for courtesy  .  
During presidential debates when Clinton showed feminine tendencies by  complaining of being nominated to answer the questions first, they were quick  to doubt  her eligibility as a presidential candidate, she was  viewed as  insecure  and lacked the stamina required in politics of dealing with critical and  urgent international issues that America as a  super power  have to deal with on a daily basis  without complaining.
It was really absurd  though to note that  besides that  Clinton was capable, the fact that she was a woman and also  that she  couldn’t lick anybody’s ass she was punished , the electorate  saw it fit to vote for a man whom they themselves have criticized and said he had the weirdest policies  regarding foreigners, Muslims and so forth  because America just couldn’t   have a female president.
I felt that a heavy cloud have hung heavily over all women advocates, it  was really a sad moment   for all feminists in the world.
This clearly depicts the  real  hurdles women are encountering.
Its really difficult for a woman to  climb up the ladder of success without being criticized for one aspect or the other.
Clinton has undoubtedly  worked really hard to be where she is now because she is focused , and its worthy to pay her due credit.

It is from this background now, where feminism as a theory has failed   that women after having exhausted all tricks in their bags, i mean after getting tired of  talking about the equality theories,  international  agreements such as the Beijing declaration  and laws  which were meant to empower women  in totality , they resort to using’bottom power’ because  it is  now clear that our societies African or not have no place for  feminism. Women who have made huge successes in the end, they are let down just like that, Clinton is again an example.
Bottom power is when  women offer sex as a bait to entice  men in higher positions so that  she can acquire a certain post at work, acquire a higher grade at  school or any other favors in various life cycles in spite that academic wise she is okay or is eligible of holding that  post, those who are not willing to use bottom power are the ones suffering at large .
Bottom power  however reduces women to mere shadows of those who hold the unlocking keys.
Using bottom power, doesn’t necessary denotes that women are  unfit, its a  tactic being used to make life easier when the academic papers  and feminism as a human rights issue has failed to yield the  much expected results.

Globally  we  might have made great strides in as much as empowering women is concerned, but the fact still stands, within the corridors of our work, schools and other spheres of life, bottom power is at loose. This is mainly because, power cannot be relinquished easily, those in possession of it  won’t  relinquish it willy nilly , feminists have tried to grab it the harder way,but the  theory had fallen short , so now a  soft method approach  looks promising and women  using bottom power are  succeeding to some point.
Only time will tell before something else erupts up, we just have to wait and see.
  Anyway,i have  ran short of words but i think that this proverb  summarizes all  ” he who does not know what went wrong, will not remember when the rain began to beat him and worse off will never know how to begin drying himself” we now know what went wrong, lets correct that and make sure women’s dignity is preserved as for feminism, should it  be revised?  Be the judge!

Flamboyant lifestyle,mesmerizing character, who doesn’t remember Tongai Moyo?

Life  epitomizes a novel in that it is  structured in chapters and  complex  phrases that takes time to  grasp them .
The introduction itself  might seem boring and simple  yet the insatiable appetite is creates for one to keep on flipping through  the pages is so overwhelming.
Each chapter furnishes you with a glimps of  what the novel  is all about.  Although the  inner chapters  are important  in revealing the  theme or the gist of the novel, the introduction and history around it  cannot be easily  ignored as  doing that  gives a half baked view based on  myopia.
  It is therefore  plausible  to  allow history to be the escort  in understanding  how  someone’s life has been developed through the years.

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Image from Google.

It is now five years since the death of Tongai’murozvi mukuru’ dhewa Moyo whose Flamboyant dressings left tongues wagging each time he stepped into the  public.
Talking about the history of sungura music  now without mentioning the name Tongai Moyo,  is  again being myopic.
Sungara music in Zimbabwe is one of  the oldest  genres that is still surving to date . Many legends who made their names in the tightly contested genre  have different stories to tell, but most of them are dead.

Tongai Moyo’s life is best understood from his background .
Born on the 12th of March 1968 , Tongai Moyo  has been a resident of  kwekwe, the small town outside Harare  which did  played a pivotal role in moulding Tongai to be the  exceptional character that people still talk about today.
He dressed flamboyantly,his taste of fashion  plays the magic on the general populace  who  couldn’t resist his charm, but  ended up liking him apart from his music career .
Long coats that had’talking’ colors  such as white, gold, yellow and red were his favorites especially on stage.
The band members obviously did follow suit by looking good both on and off the stage.
Tongai Moyo also  had a mesmerizing character and each time he conducted his shows, he was a crowd puller who drived his fans  into frenzy with well choreographed dances and lyrics.
Surely, he was  a force to reckon with.

His music career   began in 1988 , where he played in numerous bands  before  joining Shirichena Jazz Band  ,he  served as a session musician. Like many other artists Tongai affectionately known as ‘muchina muhombe’ or dhewa came  face to face with hardships but being a vocalist, songwriter and guitarist  he had  a greater advantage  that propelled him up  from the small town into being a national, regional and international artist.

The early 1990s saw him forming his own band and was able to release his first ever solo album  titled’Vimbo’ in 1996.
He also released other successful hits like ‘Samanyemba and Mudzimu weshiri’, these hits  helped him earn a name for himself  in the  dog-eat-dog  industry of Sungura music which was well dominated by big names like  Alick Macheso, ‘senior lecturer’ Nicholas Zakaria, chamunorwa Nebeta and the late  Leonard’musorowenyoka’Dembo who  by that time was late, but his music was  still a living testimony  that he was an exceptional talent to reckon with too.

Tongai  Moyo  had 14 albums to his name and the album’Naye’ saw him scooping two Zimbabwe Music Awards (ZIMA) in 2005.
‘Muchina muhombe’ also won other awards such as  National Music Awards (NAMA) and he  came first on the Top100  ZBC End of year  music competitions numerous times.
Unlike other artists, Tongai Moyo’s music career was consistent  and many still believe  he and Alick Macheso   ushered in a new competition in the genre  that cannot be easily forgotten.
By the time he passed on, he had just released his 14th album in 2010  titled ‘Toita Basa’.
Peter Moyo his son swiftly rode on the  limelight that his father had  left and is still enjoying that privilege.
Up to date fans are still dancing to hits such as’Naye, Muchina muhombe, and Toita basa’

Tongai Moyo died in 2011 after battling with hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer at  St Annes hospital.
Apart from his music career, he had a controversial character too which  saw  him undergoing an HIV test in public to bury rumors that he was HIV positive due to his deteriorating health.  It is however noted that he tested HIV negative .
After his death numerous women  made  headlines  confessing to be his wives. The official number of his children by the time of his death was six.
Although when he died many artists including Alick Macheso  wept, the live battle between the two was never solved amid that they tried to bury the feud each time they shared the stage .

Tongai Moyo’s music career clearly depicts that, legends  are created, if they were born, I doubt nobody would have strived for excellency!

Young citizens need civics education, its their right.

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For quiet a long time, the law in our countries have been known to protect the rich and the powerful. In a scenario like this, it’s really difficult to talk about equality and justice as the law stiffles the poor while safeguarding the affluent.
It is from this background that  the general populace now need to  understand that  Young people are not citizens  in the making, neither are they leaders of tomorrow . This misconception if not  addressed will  continue to  stifle young people’s desire to meaningful participate in politics, law  and other issues that  does matter to them  .
Civics education  is the study of what it means to be a citizen  in a particular country, it covers a wide range of  issues from law to governance and being knowledgeable in civics education gives one lobbying power.
As a young  citizen of  Zimbabwe   I would like to believe that there is very little  civics education going on in my country as evidenced by fear associated with discussing about the government , the term civics  is definitely new to many citizens of my age.  I will therefore  share my views in this blog on  why  civics education  is important to young citizens.

To begin with, I believe in knowledge simply because it is power . If you are not knowledgeable, you cannot be in a better position to stand and  defend your rights ,  getting others to support you also becomes difficult.
Civics education however equips young people with knowledge about their modern day politics  and how to influence government as a citizen , It also  teaches  young people how their participation is important  and most importantly  educates them about their political rights.
As I have mentioned earlier that  , young people are not citizens in the making neither are they leaders of tomorrow, because they are here today means they are part and parcel of everything happening now, they are not exceptional . This means they have the right to know what’s going on and how is it going to affect them.  Those  who meet  the requirements needed to  vote, need to understand  why  their vote is important and how  their future will be affected  if they decide not to . Young people can only get to know about  all these issues through civics education, hence its importance .

I was tempted to write about this topic, I really was . This year’s  United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was held under the theme ”  The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World”. The theme itself  is  a driving factor in making member states  commit to the agreements made.
However  it’s been a year now since  Sustainable Development Goals  were adopted, but very few young people understand or have heard about them. This is making me  afraid that  if young people  are not meaningfully engaged in making SDGs a success  through educating them about what SDGs are and why  their country prioritized certain goals  leaving others out, or making sure that their issues are  being addressed in these SDGs , my generation surely will  be doomed as failures .
After  fifteen years most of the people who are advocating now will no longer be young people and sad enough many  of the leaders  who  have helped put up structures that  does little in encouraging  young people’s participation in matters that affect them  will be dead, hence in the absence of  open door policies that accomodate young citizens ,  civics education  for  now  stands as the only powerful tool in making the younger generation conscious about their  political rights, so they can be able to rightfully  demand their space without fear or doubt.

Furthermore, a research conducted by Dr James Arvanitakis et al  titled ” Putting the political back into politics :young people and democracy in Australia”  noted that  young people see a lack of genuine opportunities in formal politics which they feel is dominated by an ‘old guard’ . It is also highlighted that many of the  opportunities are seen through consultative committees that exist to fulfil formal obligation and policies, rather than providing  any real prospect to influence  political decision-making or structures. Therefore  making sure young people have access to civics education   helps them to be fully aware of the political systems that are there  so they can  meaningfully  engage ,  and stay  abreast with  the status quo  and equips them with knowledge on how to exhaust all the available channels  to penetrate and influence their decisions .
If young people are to wait for consultative committees or side events to push their agendas,the strategy is not going to work as all these are tokenistic  and highly controlled, as an aftermath young people’s opinions  have no influence and sad enough  won’t do much to change agendas.

Moreso, I believe that when we are no longer able to change  a situation, we are rather challenged to change ourselves, but how?
Margaret Stimmann Branson  an Associate Director  centre for civic education   highlighted that  ” democracies are sustained by citizens who have a requisite knowledge, skills and disposition. She also pointed out that in the absence  of a reasoned commitment on the part of its citizens to  the fundamental values and principles of democracy, a free  and open society  cannot succeed. “. I guess this has answered  how we as young citizens ought to challenge ourselves  to change. Civics education is the  only way we can use to influence, carry out checks and balances on  on our governments  from an informed point of view because it is impossible to engage or comment on something you have little or no knowledge about.

Furthermore, Fidel Castro   the Cuban president  known to many   both as a dictator and an icon  for certain reasons once noted that ” give me a child and he will be a communist for life”. This stresses out the importance of educating someone  from a very younger age, they grasp the concepts easily and won’t depart  easily from them.
Likewise, civics education helps instill  positive  values and habits  amongst young citizens so that they will be  able to hold their governments accountable,  and being responsible  citizens too who take note of their political situations.
I would love to see a generation that is knowledgeable about their government  and  won’t be deterred by  rigid structures that  usually  repel young people from  actively engaging and influencing their  government .

This is why Abortion rights of youths and adolescents matter

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Yunah Bvumbwe-Zimbabwe

“Say it loud, say it proud.My body, my rights”,one might not see the essence of these words, but to my understanding, our voices as young citizens can be held  collaboratively  to ridicule ideally abuses, negligence and rigid cultures that are not in tandem with what we desire to see.I recently ran across an article written by Kali Hawlk,  a US blogger  , and  something caught up in my mind and is still rattling in my head .She said ” change means you’re not settling for anyone else’s idea of what life should be like.change means you’re willing to bend and flex as you receive new information about your true self  and the world around you”. I then challenged myself in this blog  to  herald about  things that  I wish to see changing specifically in the sector of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of youths and adolescents and why  that  change is  important.

I am  a young  Zimbabwean who believes in  abortion rights of youths and adolescents.I have no doubt that restrictive abortion laws do violate  girls human rights based on  agreements made at the  UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the Fourth World Conference on women in Beijing and lastly  as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Articles (1&3&12&19&27) of the declaration which  emphasize more on social, cultural rights and the right to life
Therefore, as the world braces up towards celebrating  a Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion Rights  which is celebrated on the  28th of September every year , this blog  will focus  on why Abortion rights are a necessity and how their absence  jeopardizes the future of youths and adolescents.

I will begin with a quote from Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie a Nigerian female novelist, she said and I quote ”  culture doesn’t make people, but people make culture, if the full humanity of women is not part of our culture, then we must make it our culture”
I do concur with her sentiments and I strongly feel that  the erasure and silencing in the Abortion Rights discourse should be done away with .
It is this silence  which perpetuates   the unfettered  power  of culture and restrictive laws  to play it’s  subjugation role in downplaying   the ideas and efforts of legalizing  safe abortion rights and make the environment for girls more habitable and humane . If  legalizing safe  abortion is not part of our culture, we should make it one . A  lot of young girls are missing out on many education opportunities and some die in the process of unsafe termination of pregnancy because their culture doesn’t permit them to abort and  schools  also  are playing a policing role by denying   pregnant girls the right  to attend school. This devastating experience  takes away hope and aspirations of girls who risk becoming dependents for the rest of their lives as looking after the child   becomes a horrible reality/experience.

Moreover, adolescents and youths in developing countries who  lack essential services such as provision of contraceptive methods  and condom usage  , if they have no access to safe and legal abortion , they  are likely to die  in the process of carrying out unsafe abortion,  some girls attempt to  terminate the baby by inserting  sharp objects  into their uterus  which results in them injuring themselves.  if by chance they  survive, they risk developing  health complications such  as  fistula and  may not be able to conceive again in their lifetime as their  reproductive tracks are still narrow and immature, they tear during a forceful process of delivery.
NB:  Fistula is a silent disease, which has serious consequences,  sufferers usually have solitary  lives and young girls experiencing that from a tender age is unbearable. In Africa fistula is highly stigmatized and victims usually accumulate  names for themselves, it is at times associated with infidelity and witchcraft.    These sad situations can only be averted if safe and legal abortion Rights are put in place. 

Furthermore, Research has it that only three countries in Africa namely   Cape Verde, South Africa and Tunisia   allow safe and legal abortion. This is not good as  more young women  especially in poor and developing countries  don’t know when to have children and when to stop, a factor which has  led them to have more children than they desire to have. As an aftermath taking care of these children and providing meaningful education becomes a problematic issue  as these young mothers are poor, unemployed and uneducated . This is very wrong as it further perpetuates the cycle of poverty within the family, hence  putting in place safe and Legal Abortion Rights  is the only panacea in averting this situation as girls can choose to have a safe abortion and continue with their education  than risk becoming young, irresponsible mothers.

To elucidate further, as a young person I do understand that abstinence is undoubtedly the safest method  in avoiding pregnancy and STIs, but truth be told, few young people are now able or should I say are willing to abstain.  This explains that as the number of young people who are indulging in sexual activities is increasing, so should we scale up efforts to make sure that safe and legal abortion rights are put in place.  Most of the young people who are getting into these early sexual debuts don’t understand the implications of falling pregnant and how to take  care of the consequences , the idea of becoming mothers  at such a tender age  is usually not acceptable to them, some will see baby dumping as the only solution  besides that the society  in most cases  put forward  criticism  or labelling that is   meant to name and shame those girls who fall pregnant while still at school. Hence  making abortion safe and accessible  will help young girls  choose their future wisely and have a second chance, this will  decrease chances of teenage mothers dropping out of high school and pave way for education to meaningful empower them.

  I then do believe that  making the world a better and safer place to live in for adolescents and youths begins  by making sure  safe and legal abortion rights are put in place as birth control is critical to women’s  health, equality and economic security, without these in place, human rights laws that protects freedom of expression and right to life will remain a fallacy to girls.

Hope still stands for us!

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Yunah Bvumbwe

History  is and continues to be our escort-without it, we are blind.Hence, the  past makes the present coherent  and the past will remain horrible for as long as we fail to assess it fairly .Our failures or successes  are as a result of how we react to our  history . My name is Yunah Bvumbwe  , i’m a Zimbabwean  youth   who strongly believe  in Comprehensive Sex Education ( CSE) and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of adolescents and youths because  it’s absence  creates a hub for all the problems that young people will encounter in their future . I also believe  that the empowerment of young people should be  holistic as this  is  the only panacea  in rescuing them from facing a bleak future .

I stay in darwendale, a farming community which is  a few kilometers away from Harare .
Darwendale is one of the   marginalized areas  in Zimbabwe  that have little or no  cooperation with the outside world , everything is dull, roads are  filled with dust and  faces  heavily stricken with hopelessness are the ones you meet up with everyday, usually there is  a somber atmosphere, it’s a devastating experience to be residing amongst  young people who  have no dreams, who are  hopeless and live their lives anyhow . 
The majority of young people in my  community are not educated, they have  either dropped off school at grade 2 which is the second grade in junior school  after elementary or pre-school because of poverty  . Most of them are girls who  unfortunately  celebrate their 15th birthday  while pregnant or they are already  married .
This practice is very normal besides  the fact that  in Zimbabwe   it’s now  illegal to  marry off girls under the age of 18 years. This is mainly because very   few young  people understand the constitution and the domestic laws in general  , whether  they  affect or benefit them it’s not their priority either.

It’s  also worrisome that by the time they reach  the  age  of 24 , a lot of girls have either three or four children, who in most cases are malnourished  and have no proper clothing  and also lack comprehensive health care  . This situation is heartbreaking  and a cause for concern,  the mother is uneducated, unemployed and worse off a dependent in an economic situation that  has made hope an  ‘expensive jewel’ , hope is a rare product to  think of now   ,  as an aftermath, she cannot afford to look after children properly or send them to school, they also struggle to give them proper shelter and clothing.

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The teenage mother uses old- tattered nappies  or worn out pieces of clothes that are at times washed without soap  instead of  disposable diapers  that are safe due to poverty.

The statistics from a local survey conducted, highlights that  children whose mothers  were married at a younger age, have very  limited education opportunities  as the mothers themselves don’t see the essence of educating their children.  This situation thus further perpetuates the cycle of poverty within the family.

Furthermore, although  Section (81)(1)(e) of the Zimbabwean constitution states that ”  every child,  that is to say every boy and girl under the age of eighteen years has the right to be protected from  economic and sexual exploitation, from child labor  and from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse ” it’s  unfortunate that  because of poverty and the current economic situation in Zimbabwe,  children are dropping from school than ever,  they  have joined the fast growing profession of  vending.  For example in Harare these young people  have mastered skills of dodging municipal police  in a’cat and mouse’ affair between the vendors and the municipal police where the former are trying to earn a living and the latter is chasing them off in a bid to make the city clean and return the  status of Harare as the ‘sunshine city’ , 
In my community because it’s surrounded by farms ,  children who drop out of school because their parents couldn’t  afford their fees  are working as child laborers in  farms where they spend long hours working  only to get as low as US$3 , a move which will also push them back to continue working as the money is too little to accomplish  anything. The situation is the same also for those young people who resides in marginalized areas surrounded by mines  as they  also offer cheap labor there  whilst others   have ventured into illegal gold panning. All these are avenues for survival for these young people who face a double tragedy of missing out on many education opportunities and are  being forced into  child labor due to poverty.

Furthermore, of  great concern is also  that the  rate of survival for children delivered by  adolescent mothers   especially those in marginalized  communities  are very slim.
Most of them die during or after birth, the  young mothers at times develop health problems  because their reproductive bodies have not yet matured to be able to sustain the baby for nine months and being able to deliver normally. The situation is further  worsened by the fact that the young mothers cannot visit the  health care centers more often because of the long distances they had to travel to receive treatment .
Complications  that might occur after giving   birth  include the tearing of the bladder which leads to  fistula,it’s  worrying to note that fistula   haunts most of these young mothers for the rest of their lives. 
Fistula in Africa is still considered a taboo and punishment for infidelity,  because it’s a silent disease, victims end up in isolation not being able to live normally again.  
At times  community health care officers will have to help the young mothers deliver at home, this is scarring taking into consideration that the mother may face complications during delivering that may lead to  both the death of the child and the mother and also that the health care officers will not have proper clothing meant  to equip them for  the midwifery task.
These midwives also  risk their lives to contracting  HIV and AIDS as they will not  be in a better position to know the status of their patient.
These scenarios are  a simple illustration of  how  paying a blind eye to  Comprehensive  Sex Education (CSE) is greatly affecting the future of young people especially girls who are more vulnerable compared to their male  counterparts.

As a young person who had grown up witnessing  these situations, I  realised that there  was really a dire need  to educate young people in schools about CSE and HIV and AIDS . It was not a  surprise  to me that a lot of these young people have never heard about the terms,There hasn’t been anyone to stand on the gap and educate them about it . That  is heartbreaking considering that from the statistics that  the Zimbabwe  National  HIV and AIDS  Strategic  Plan ZNASP(111) 2015-2018  and the national AIDS coordinating body in Zimbabwe -(NAC) that is committed towards Fast tracking 90.90.90  target by 2020 and ending AIDS by 2030  , states that 14,800 girls between the ages of 15-24 are newly infected with HIV each year . This  clearly indicates  that the number one cause of death in adolescents and youths  is HIV and AIDS and also that adolescent girls are usually vulnerable to teenage pregnancies due to little or no Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) and  lack of knowledge on the use of contraceptives.

Currently i’m working with two schools,  one is a primary and  the other one is a  secondary school. The essence of this is to try and help  young people delay early sexual debuts  and empower them with vast knowledge about their Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights  (SRHR) and HIV and AIDS . Girls tend to shy away and want to dodge the lessons  compared to boys who are displaying great interest  in sexuality education. I think it’s because of how the society has socialized  young people notably girls  not to talk openly about sex related issues .
It’s also absurd to note that   Patriarchal societies like Zimbabwe  has socialized girls not to be more competitive by  emphasizing much on gender roles,this practice  is still rife in marginalized communities.
Strides have however been made  in other parts of the country  for example in Harare  where young people both boys and girls starting at primary level  are undertaking different projects  and are  actively   participating  in campaigns  to empower and enlighten them, it will be a great move to do the same for those young people in marginalized communities  so that they will be on the same page with other  young people  who are being enlightened already.

In marginalized communities,  school attendance for boys is higher compared to that of girls on a daily basis, one of the causes  is that when girls are on  their menstrual periods they  can’t afford to purchase sanitary wear,they  rather use cow dung, leaves  or small pieces of  clothes,all these methods  are not  hygienic and they make girls shy and  uncomfortable to attend school and because its the  biological nature of girls to experience menstruation every month , something needs to be done so that  girls will  enjoy  their menstruation and not miss out on school  . 
Girls also are not willing to actively participate  because of  the internalization of societal beliefs  that always barricades  their full academic development and force them into early marriage .  I strongly feel they need to be encouraged to be more  competitive  because that’s the only way that can enable more girls to be groomed into  a powerful force that isn’t  scared of  taking up  challenges and  compete for challenging sectors such as politics  and help shape the future  they  want .As it stands right now, the  higher you go, the few young people  you  will find there, the momentum is still very low.

Moreover, Cultural beliefs that  give boys an added advantage need to be abolished   and if the   full humanity of girls is not part of our culture, we  really need to make it part of our culture, after all,  culture is not a static phenomenon, it moves with time  , so should humanity.
I don’t really think that it makes sense to allow culture to stripe off our humanity from us, culture doesn’t make us, we rather make culture and also choose to  either make it rigid or relax it.
If tradition and  culture is not favourable to young people especially girls , we really need to stand firm, fight and reject it. That is how our present as young people  can be  made coherent, history has already told us that  culture that neglects and  subjugate young people, both boys  and girls is barbaric  so it  ought to be changed and I strongly believe that hope still stands for us  and change is  also still possible.

A week of sport in Mashonaland west

Mashonaland West province  besides it being  a sleeping beaty which prides itself with many tourism resorts    such as the legendary  sleeping pool  ( chirorodziva), kariba dam,  seven  Heroes    shrine  where the first battle of Chimurenga  was fought and also  dubbed as   the  bread-basket of Zimbabwe, has   proved also to be a hospitable home of sport as it   got the privilege to host the 14th edition of the Zimbabwe National Youth Games  ( ZNYG) which began on the 12th and ended on the 20th of August  this year.

The National Youth  Games which were held   this year under the theme ” sport  for a healthy and productive future ” ,has a mandate of uniting the youths and creating sustainability in sport .

The one week event  which saw competitors from all the ten provinces of the country competing in the following    disciplines : football, volleyball, basketball, netball, athletics, handball, boxing and  tennis were an indication that Zimbabwe really has talent which needs proper grooming .

Minister of state  for Provincial Affairs   in Mashonaland West  cde Faber  Chidarikire  in his opening remarks  said  the National Youth Games are a strategy to stimulate mass participation  in sport for talent identification as they showcase the best local talents in Zimbabwe and also attract Regional and Global Exposure.

“National youths games are a  national strategy to stimulate mass participation in sport for talent identification as they showcase the best local talents in Zimbabwe and also attract Regional and Global Exposure”he said.

He  also further emphasized on the notion that the future of national teams rest on these games, hence the theme  is sport  for a  healthy and productive future .

The city of chinhoyi became a hive of activities as the sleeping giant witnessed a week of activities with the various disciplines of the youth games being held in different places  . Basketball was held   at Lomagundi  college, Athletics at Alaska stadium, football at Sinoia primary school/Nemakonde /and chinhoyi stadium, Handball  at Nemakonde high, volleyball at chinhoyi University, Tennis at chinhoyi high school, Netball at Manyame primary school and Boxing at chinhoyi university.

One would be surprised with the huge turn out of boxing participants from all the ten provinces of Zimbabwe ,the discipline which thrilled fans and left them yelling for more, saw Bulawayo competing with Matebeland North, Matebeland South and Masvingo respectively in scooping gold medals in both the girls and boys categories .Mashonaland west had the largest number of participants in the boxing discipline, but the majority went away with bronze medals .

In the under 20 Netball category, Bulawayo scooped the first price after defeating Masvingo province in a tightly contested tournament.

Zimbabwe’s ‘finest’ the Harare province boys volleyball team were the champions after knocking out Mashonaland west province . Harare province proved to be unbeatable when it comes to volleyball as the girls volleyball team also went away with Gold medals after outshining their rivals Mashonaland West province who went away with silver medals both in the boys and girls volleyball categories respectively after putting up a spirited fight in both the boys and girls team.

The hosting province, Mashonaland West was able to put a smile on her face after facing so many disappointments in various sporting disciplines which they were either coming second or left competing for a third and fourth place. They won the boys soccer championship after knocking out their bitter rivals Masvingo province .

A take home message for all the teams that did not do well, was that practice and grooming talent is key in ensuring a healthy and effective future of sport. Hence the emphasis on making sure investments are done for the enablement of a healthy and productive future of sport.