“A group of young African girls going missing will not be more than a hashtag to many people because they do not feel affected. To a girl in Joburg, this injustice means nothing to her because “they aren’t here” and she cannot fathom the occurrence of such a thing, therefore she will feel no specific way about it. To a man in Gaborone, who wants to throw in his 2 cents yet lacks empathy, his biggest concern is just how to crack the right joke that will incorporate the “hot topic” yet still have his signature humour to go with it. There’s someone in Zimbabwe who’ll retweet it to a follower in Ghana who’ll Favourite it then DM the tweet to a friend in Lagos and so it goes.”
The We Are The World days are long gone. We’re currently smack in the middle of a culture that sees activism and story telling stripped from main art forms: music, literature, photography, painting etc. I wouldn’t say stories aren’t still being told, of course they are, but not as honestly as they used to be.
And I guess I understand why.
As art becomes a business, image becomes [slightly more important than?] the craft itself.
To those who continue to give us their truth, and teach, and inspire, and strengthen: Thank you.
I was going through my music collection when I found a gem.
The POWA Mixtape.
Born from Akona Ndungane’s chilling account of her rape ordeal, POWA saw artists such as Tumi Molekane, Reason, Zaki Ibrahim, Zubz and Tuks, just to name a few, and Akona herself, collaborating to bring a project that will leave you emotionally wrecked, to say the least.
But it’s the truth.
It’s her truth.
And it’s the truth of many young women out there.
The reality of it is, we don’t talk about these things.
Society whispers to us to maybe, just maybe try and deal with the fact that this is our reality. Few people have the lack of empathy and ingrained misogyny in them to say “Get the fuck over it. You’re walking targets and you will be preyed upon,” but some do nonetheless and they really just verbally express what we’re shown.
It’s why sharing your rape story gets you stigma and shame, being shunned, instead of support.
It’s why people ask you what you did to deserve it before even considering that you aren’t the problem.
It’s why, when your partner rapes you, nobody calls it what it is, in their minds you signed over your rights to your body the moment you agreed to the relationship.
It’s why I’m writing this.
Because I can’t explain why I’m constantly crying at stories that other people tell me don’t affect me.
Because I’m constantly trying to explain to my male friends that at the very least, we live life constantly vigilant, if not terrified.
Because when I log on to Twitter it’s a shock to constantly see the number of women who share their stories of abuse. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, that we’re all THIS connected… by trauma. That we’ve formed a sisterhood because of all the things that’ve tried to break our spirits.
I’ve been an emotional wreck.
It’s not that it took me 5 years to realize that somebody violated me, it’s that there are countless other women who can either relate or never accept it, so never will.
It’s not that I know what I know, it’s that other women don’t.
It’s that I constantly have to find a new way to use everyday objects as a person.
I got excited when I found out that KEYS can be used for self defense.
That excited me.
And then it hit me how tragic that is.
Akona’s story, four years after it’s first telling, fourteen years after it happened, still needs to be told.
It needs to be repeated, felt, understood,for as long as is necessary.
Until our women aren’t being hunted anymore, until our men don’t think that’s a normal part of our lives, until the destruction of our society is halted.
But this is where we’re at now.
This is our reality, now.
Think about that.
Really think about it.
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