Rays of Sunshine..
By Precious Thathane
South Africa, like many other African countries, has had a good share of cultural practices and beliefs that hindered women from living up to their full potential and following in their dreams. Generation after generation, South African women have had to surrender to and endure a life that had just been reduced to marriage and child bearing. Anything outside of that considered a taboo. Forbidden.
However, I want to focus on the great deal of work and activism that has been done to date. I want to give credit to trailblazers who brought to life the spirit of a phoenix. Women who looked around them and decided that they deserved ‘more’ and went ahead to grab more. It is because of them that today as a young woman in South Africa, I have a different story to tell.
Each day, I wake up to enormous possibilities. I walk around with my head held up high knowing that I can and will be anything I want to become. It is possible and there is absolutely no one that can stop me. I draw my inspiration from the lady next door who owns a carwash. From Caster Semenya who breaks world records running on world renowned tracks. From Zozibini Tunzi who graced the Miss Universe beauty pageant stage and from my best friend who just got accepted to study at the University of Pretoria. The list is endless and so are the possibilities for women in this country.
Life is far from perfect and as women in South Africa, there are challenges that we face today. Our country is grappling high statistics of gender based violence, femicide, abject poverty and gender inequalities. For other people, these paint a very gloomy picture of our everyday lives. Coupled with the fact that we are in the middle of a global pandemic isn’t making things any easier. But every coin has two sides and we should always take a moment to look on the bright side of life and be appreciative.
As a young woman living in South Africa in 2021, I am fearful of walking around when it is dark outside. I am afraid of being trafficked or having my drink spiked at a club. I’m afraid of being beaten to a pulp or even killed by my lover.
I am also very grateful for other things, like how I have access to good quality education. I am thankful that I can choose whichever career path I love and I can even change my mind about that. I am absolutely delighted to know I can do more than just getting married and having children in this lifetime. I can do anything and everything I want.
I celebrate myself and millions of other women in my home country who are re-writing the history of a woman.
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