Words, Visions, Dreams, Voices of an African Woman Expressed by Thulisa Qangule
To knock down the Black African Woman at this point in our history is to destroy the cornerstone of Mother Africa.
72% of black children in our country are raised by single mothers. Single black women.
42% of our black women are unmarried.
Its with great regret that as black women we still find ourselves competing in a white male dominated world that sits with 70% of their families headed by a responsible, married white male.
They of course will not and cannot relate to the black family reality and go about setting expectations and standards that may never be met by the black child or woman or man for that matter.
The implications of this are deep. It means, a black woman who earns R20 000 per month has to take care of a household, and children and is possibly the only breadwinner.
A white woman who earns the same, is married and taken care of, possibly has parents who have also afforded her white privilege and so she will have more educational qualifications than the black woman.
Of course, enter time to look for a job, guess who’s gonna get it?
Guess who’s gonna show up at work fresh-faced from the gym while the black woman’s already had an entire week packed into one morning?
Out of almost half of our unmarried women, the pressure to climb the ladders using the power of pussy is beyond tempting. With this element coming into play, we’re looking at further distraction of the black woman.
She will feel pressured to be the pretty Barbie doll, the voiceless one whose primary role is to provide sexual pleasure for men and nothing further than that.
Where’s all this coming from?
The backdrop of our cultural landscape and history is filled with powerful women.
How did we get here? Kanjani?
Contrary to popular belief about our culture pressing down on women, being full of misogyny, we have been led by feminists for as long as the preservation of our culture’s existed.
Matriarchal culture is no foreign entity to Africa.
When did we begin to, and why, did we start considering patriarchy as our sole path?
Queen Modjadji taught us what it is to be a powerful woman, centuries ago.
The rain queen and spiritual mother of the land.
Queen Ntombazi was the darker shade of righteous and yet embodied queenly qualities. The seer the sangoma, the revered and venerated woman.
Queen Nandi enjoyed the benefit of being the Queen Mother, for as long as her son governed the land.
Mkabayi ka Jama existed as a strategic aide to the rulership of King Senzangakhona (Shaka Zulu’s father), Shaka Zulu, as well as Dingane.
That was Woman Leadership.
South Africa you had better listen..
Today, after the wreck that was apartheid, we have internalised much rubbish that has come of a space that remains foreign to me.
The whole charade of putting one bull in the kraal with many cows competing has come to rule our way of thinking.
Women are suppressed and then pinned up against each other.
The cow that provides milk to an entire nation has been made to believe she is useless. She has been asked to bow to the Ox and yet even he will die without her.
Yes, during those years, our black mothers were turned into Maids. Even then, wet nursing was a reality and that should tell you that, even the masters of apartheid may have fed from the breast of black women.
For nothing our mothers have struggled and worked and I suspect the current system still perceives us as such. We’ve become the corporate maids, at the hands of not only white males, but the hands of non white women, some of whom are not black african and consequently self promote to a status slightly above and behave worse than Verwoerd with a bad case of piles. It is twisted, sick and disturbing.
There was no Winnie Mandela who was referred to as ‘Mother of the Nation’ for being the subservient entity whose role was to become the eternally pregnant, silent in the kitchen compandre to her man.
She understood the dynamic of the man’s existence as the head and the woman existing as the neck.
Chop the neck off and tell me how much bravado and machismo the head shows thereafter.
We didn’t have Miriam Makeba referred to as Mama Africa by being docile, at all. Ever!
She was a necessary voice who, during her time, sang and represented the collective soul.
We do not have a woman like Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka sitting at UN_Women by being voiceless and pretty Ms Barbie Doll. No. Her legacy speaks to much more than that.
We do not have women like Wendy Luhabe out there for fokkol niks, nothing.
We don’t have women like Lebo Mashile or Thandiswa Mazwai holding it down on stages and bringing down the house from behind the mike without personal truth being channelled.
Who are these foreign entities from yonder the fences of our borders come to tell us that we, the women and mothers and sisters on the mother land are to be treated as though we are beneath defecations?
Who are we as black women to sit and do nothing and buy into the current status quo and also buy into or sell out into the suppression and oppression of our own women?
It is often some mean mother in law, some evil step mother, some deranged office B!+ch who is responsible for much emotional and spiritual destruction of other black women? Hyeyi…ubuthakathi lobo, that is as good as withcraft. I call it out!
It is often some other woman engaging in malicious gossip about another or some suppressive game to keep another down. Yes, this I am very aware of, I am not writing this propelled by the winds of naivety.
Nokutela Dube was the first woman to found a school in South Africa. Eons ago.
Do not suppress black women in 20something.
Princess Magogo preserved praise singing and our arts and culture, eons ago. Do not suppress black women in 20something.
Mbuya Nehanda was a Warrior Queen eons ago. Do not suppress black women in 20 something.
If you are a black woman reading this, then please take a deep breath, release and honour yourself.
Self preservation is vital.
Self love more than important.
Self validation, better than oxygen.
Do not tumble down self destructive paths due to voices of negation outside yourself.
Do not bow down to abuse of any form.
Beauty and depth of character is much more than being a Vogue magazine cover girl.
Being pretty doesn’t make you superior to other women.
Take it in your stride to be a teacher, and leader to women in your community and let us not hear of obnoxious behaviours and stories because of you.
Let us please shine because each step you have taken in this lifetime has been an addition to the great legacy of black, powerful souls, black women.
If you are anyone other than a black woman reading this, please respect the living hoots out of a black african woman. We go through a lot and without much validation.
To the Mamas and unsung heroines of this land, I bow in respect
To the Sisters and unsubg heroines of this land, I bow in respect
To the young black girls and unsung angels of this land, I bow in respect
I am certain that transitioning into this world, in South Africa, at this time, as a black woman is one of the bravest tasks for any soul in this universe.
Thank you for reading this.