16 Mar OUR BIRTHRIGHT ~ FOR PROUD AFRICAN WOMEN (Video coming soon)
Forbes Africa – Leading Women Summit
“Jack of too many trades”
They’ve called her
“Tone down your ambition”
Little did they know, each time,
They fueled the fire some more, inside
Every day – she’s inspired to grow
To reach high and touch the sky
More and more, she sees her inner light
She discovers parts of the treasure hidden her soul
Too many times,
The world has asked her to settle – for less than she is worth
To stop climbing the mountains in life’s path
To step back – like a ‘proper woman’ should
To sacrifice her passions
To be – a shadow of herself.
Too many times,
Self-doubt has threatened to consume her
To swallow her spirit whole…
Her confidence – brought down to its knees
The possibilities – blurred from her sight
Voices in her head – saying she had nothing worthwhile
To speak or write
Made her hide her words
Under the excuse that she was not yet ready…
Numbed by fear
Afraid to step boldly into her power.
But as dawn is sure – to break from night
So did the heaven’s place guiding stars
In her path – in form of women
Who truly saw & chose her
Who loved & invested in knowing her
Who heard & held her
No matter which way the wind blew – or waves went
These women spoke life
Into the broken parts of her.
These women rescued her
From the paralyzing self-contempt
In which so many of us are conditioned to normalize
These women cheered her
As she walked in the opposite direction
Of the limitations which, far too often
Have been written into the fate – of the African girl child.
These women pour into her
Like an eternal fountain of strength.
She finds new levels, each day,
Of courage, generosity and hope
New reasons to believe
That the story she is living is worth more – than one that is handed down
She is reminded, each day, of the women
Who wrote & sang & led before her
Daughters of the motherland’s womb
Now ancestors –
In whose sweet scent she is firmly grounded.
She has followed her heart
To countless stages
Woven stories into poetic verse
Touched souls of all ages
She has gifted people and places with word
Only to realize
That she had been gifted – with the magic
Of bringing people together
In true African spirit.
Little did they know, when they questioned her
That they fueled the fire some more – inside
Every day – she’s inspired to rise
To dig deeper and draw from her roots.
Sprouting from her fears
She finds new versions of her voice
And seeks to help others find theirs
She strives to be a stepping-stone
Toward realized dreams
Of young African girls – determined to move the world with their brilliance
Believe me when I say,
“The African girl child will dance and sing and wear her crown high
She will claim her rightful place – in history
So be prepared!
To un-write her erasure
And re-write her glory in its light!”
Believe me when I tell you
This is a dream she knows in within reach
She has felt it
And longs for that bright day.
She has read about it in our foremothers’ tales
This is not a fairy tale –
It is – our birthright!
These are the words of an East African Queen
The story of Rwanda’s child
A reflection of the many diamonds
Which are the continent’s women
She is all of us – wrapped in one.
She is I – Natasha Muhoza
Poet – Storyteller – Lawyer
An eternally, indescribably PROUD African woman!
~NM~ Natasha Muhoza