The world through my eyes

Posts tagged “Women

Where is the Love?

Young man text messaging with young woman sleeping

 

“All men cheat!” Nope, this is not from a title of a song, though it has become a declarative anthem from almost all the women I speak to.  Now I will be the first to say that this generalisation does not hold true only because of the use of the  word “All” which makes the statement an unfair rationale. However the more I look into it and talk to both men and women who are either dating, in a relationship, or are married, it is almost impossible to find a man who doesn’t! Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of women that do cheat and play the field while the man remains faithful, but it is still easier to find a woman who is faithful than a man who is (this is based on my experiences and some of my friends experiences). I remember talking to one guy and he told me that he doesn’t believe that man should be monogamous and the reason we see a lot of broken relationships and marriages only adds substance to the fact!

I am going to be honest and say I have never cheated while I have been in a relationship. At least not physically, my thoughts and my eyes have sometimes wondered, but when I am in it, I am in it. Now this comes down to a choice I have made for myself. It is not like I haven’t been approached by men whilst I have been in a relationship and there are times when the temptation is almost overwhelming, but I already know where I am weak and if I know I can’t say no, then I just choose to not put myself in that situation.  It’s hard, but not impossible.

But then someone asked me, “Would you ever cheat?”….. and that made me ask, “What makes one cheat?”  I know it is all relative, but I would like to think that there is something fundamentally there that when it boils down to it, it is universally true. Like the fact that we all want to be loved. I don’t care who you are or what you have been through, as long as you are human this holds true. Some people cheat because they are “Unsatisfied” (I use this term loosely) in their relationship, others cheat because they want to experiment, some cheat in retaliation, others because they are bored or a combination of all the above and others still just because they can. The list can be exhausting and I don’t have an answer to the question  on what makes one cheat, just my thoughts and speculations and my own life experiences.

Quite some years ago, I dated a guy that I thought was my dream guy. He had the looks, the charms, the name, the money, the entire package. Very shallow and superficial qualities, but hey I was young and I thought it was enough. It didn’t take long for that dream to turn into a living nightmare as I discovered things about him and myself that woke me up from dreamland. I  was warned left and right about this guy, but when you are ” in love” you don’t want to hear anything bad about your boo.  I gave up a lot for him, including my friends and family. I soon became this shell of a woman as this guy gained more and more power over me. I had always considered myself  a strong woman, but I had never felt so weak. With all the sh*t he put me through, I was appalled that I still loved him. It made me hate myself  because I was sure something was wrong with me. This guy was cheating on me and playing me for a fool  and I let him. When a friend confronted me with the truth, it hit me like a slap across the face, which was exactly what I needed. So I understand what it is like to be so caught up in something it is hard to see the truth or even accept it. I am thankful I came out of that relationship with only a broken heart, but I am also thankful for it because what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

It is very easy to blame someone else for our actions, but at the end of the day, we chose to do what we did and must live and deal with the consequences. No one knows you better than you, and you know what makes you tick and what gets you going. When you cheat, you make a conscious decision to do so, so please don’t blame it on the alcohol, the drugs, or the fact that you were seduced and you had no choice “but to do the deed.” It’s a new year, but that doesn’t mean we get to reset the past and have a clean slate. Instead of letting the past weigh us down, let’s learn from it and become better human beings for ourselves and those we love. Tomorrow is not promised to us, so let’s make today count.


*NEW CAMPAIGN* – African Queens Project – Going Rural

Africanqueenslogo

 

I had started a project, “African Queens Project“, this year with the intention of impacting a marginalised group in Africa: women and I have now seen it grow beyond my expectations from wining an internationally renowned award to impacting and changing the lives of young girls and Women.

I realised however that the people who would really benefit from this project were not being reached and thus have launched a new campaign called “African Queens Project – Going Rural.”

Everybody has a story and a story has the power to change someone’s life. The award-winning project, African Queens Project, has become the source of all things related and affecting African women. We collect the stories of phenomenal women from around African who are shaping their communities and countries and put it on the website in the form of videos, interviews, and audio bites as well as sharing news stories and articles about African Women. For to long African women have been marginalised and we have taken the initiative of changing women’s mindset to believe that the impossible is possible.

We want to make African Queens Project more accessible to women and girls within the rural areas in Tanzania by creating applications, books and conducting workshops enforcing our message of leadership and working towards your dreams.  We would also like to create documentaries about phenomenal women and girls doing amazing things from the grassroots level and instilling change in their communities. We also want to do this at absolutely NO cost to the women and girls who can benefit from our services.  This is where we need YOUR help.

Your contribution in any amount will be instrumental in changing the lives of women and young girls living in villages who think that this is as good is as its going to get. Change begins in the mind and mindset transformation is key if we want to see a new generation of women who can be the leaders of tomorrow.

If you would like to support us you can do so by going to this link:

http://igg.me/at/africanqueensproject/x/5356679

I would like to say a BIG thank you to all the friends and supporters who have believed in this project thus far and have seen it go from being a dream to a reality.

You are royalty!


The Birth of the “African Queens Project”

Sealwinners2013

African Queens Project wins at World Summit Youth Awards

So a post has been long overdue, but I have been busy working on building a project very close to my heart called “African Queens Project“. A lot of people have been asking me who is behind this project and how did it come about. So I have finally decided that with recent events that have taken place (which I will happily share) this will be the best time to let you guys in on the behind the scenes of “African Queens Project”.

First to address the questions of who and/or what is behind ‘African Queens Project’ I must take you to the beginning to where it all began. It was the summer of 2012, in the bustling city of Accra, Ghana. I had just landed and was busy taking in my surroundings and praying that the people who were to pick me up were not operating on African time. I saw a tall lady holding a sign with my name on it and made a beeline for her pushing my luggage on the trolly as I went. I did not know what to expect, all I knew was that I was going to be surrounded by 27 women from different parts of Africa for the next 3 weeks. My prevailing thoughts were: PMS and a whole lot of Estrogen! If someone had told me that I would form life long friends and inspirational connections with my fellow African women, I would have given them an, “In your dreams” look.

So I bet you are now wondering why was I in Ghana with 27 other women? I had been selected to attend a prestigious fellowship whereby they look for 25 young African women leaders each year in Africa, and bring them to Ghana for intensive training and workshops and upon graduation you become a part of a prestigious network of women known as MILEAD Fellows. Part of the fellowship requires each fellow to carry out a project that targets women and children in their home country for at least a year.

So I remember taking my time while I thought about what I could do that I could willingly and happily put all my heart and soul into that would make a sustainable impact. I went through a lot of ideas in my head trying to think of the best way I could go about doing this while still staying true to my passions which is media and journalism. I knew I didn’t want to do just another program or project that would eventually die or be forgotten. I continued to ponder this as I went through the fellowship, listening to the intensive lectures and taking part in some of the workshops. We got to the part  where different fellows shared their stories and backgrounds and what they are doing to revolutionize their country and community. As I sat listening to these stories, I was moved to tears several times when I heard stories of hardships, defeats, triumphs, and accomplishments from women who were still relatively “young”. That’s when I knew what my project would be about: providing a uniform platform whereby inspirational women can share their stories thus inspiring other young girls and women to aspire for more. ‘African Queens Project’ was born and the rest is history.

So currently I have seen ‘African Queens Project‘ taking shape and growing and becoming even more than I had imagined. I can happily and officially say that ‘African Queens Project‘ is an award winning project, and we will be honored in Sri Lanka as part of the World Summit Youth Award winners event. So that is it in a nutshell, you can read the press release to fill you in more about the award: http://africanqueensproject.com/awards/. I like what the Professor Peter Bruck, Chairman  of the World Summit Youth Awards Board said about ‘African Queens Project’:

“African Queens Project’ is helping many women in Africa to exchange vital experiences and share a new world of possibilities and opportunities. It is important to make visible the struggles, triumphs, and victories of anonymous African women who are making a difference in this continent.”

So I leave you with that and be sure to check out the website as well. Until next time, inspire to aspire!


The Progressive African

This subject is a hot topic among my friends, but the more I interact with my fellow Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora, the more I realize that this is a widespread discussion that transcends age, gender, culture, etc. What does it mean to be an African? What does it mean to be  progressive? What is a Progressive African? Now, I don’t claim to have all the answers, but these are just my observations and comments and my own philosophies I have attained over the years.

I was chatting with one of my girlfriends and she was telling me how it is so hard to find a man locally who is not intimidated by her success and independence. I can almost hear the resonating chorus of “Amens” from the women who are reading this. But on the flip side, I hear from seemingly well-rounded men about how hard it is to find a well-rounded woman. So from my observations I can safely conclude that there seems to be this gap where we see more and more successful and empowered woman who are single and in the late 30’s versus men who want the best of both worlds. In the general African culture that is something we frown against, the African culture encourages women to be settled and married no later than 25 on average. Once you have passed the 25 mark you are considered expired goods. Usually when I speak to some of my “homeboys” they tell me how they prefer marrying someone who is young and in their early 20’s versus someone who is in their late 20’s or 30’s while they themselves are in that range and still single. Double standard?

However, when I look at my generation today and I see this growing trend of successful single black women and intimidated black men, I ask myself is this the cost of being a progressive African woman? Or is this the new Africa? I would like to say though that there are many African men who are not intimidated by successful African woman who in fact encourage their success and consider them to be quite the catch, but unfortunately those men are more in the minority than in the majority.

So I define progressiveness in this context as a branch of empowerment, or to put it in directional terms it is a continuous forward advancement that is embedded in all areas of society and culture. Please note the word “continuous,” which means that there should not be a standstill, the play should always be in motion. So as we continue moving forward, we need to close the gap between progressive African women and have more progressive African men so we can have a progressive Africa and be the progressive Africans. When we look at where Africa is going and what Africa already has, it only makes logical sense to say that the future is bright for Africa. That means our mind sets need to be changed if we want to not only maintain, but sustain this inevitable progression.

Take some time and evaluate your values, your mindset, as well as your philosophies and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to think in another direction or be afraid to make the necessary changes or adaptations. My fellow Africans, let us be Progressive Africans!

The Pan-African Way!


Saudi Arabia to Allow Women Athletes to Compete in 2012 Summer Olympics

The Jeddah Kings United all Female Football (Soccer) Team

When I heard those headlines it not only shocked me, but made my day. I consider Saudi my second home since I actually know it better than I know my country of birth. So I know that the government to agree to do this was no easy decision to come by.

When I think of Saudi the song, “It’s a Man’s World” by James Brown comes to mind. The Kingdom as I like to affectionately call it caters to men: Men drive, most of the job holders are male (imagine having to buy your lingerie exclusively from men!), the government is male dominated, etc, etc. Saudi women are usually covered from head to toe, are not allowed to go anywhere without escorts, and are treated more as property than human.

Don’t get me wrong, Saudi does have it kicks especially if you are there with your family and not to mention how cheap electronics are there. But I mentioned all those negatives to show what a huge monumental step this is for them to allow women to compete this summer. Ok, yes they were receiving a lot of pressure from the Olympic Committee and Human rights organizations saying they were going against the spirit of the Olympic Charter which stood for equality and not to mention the bad public image the government was getting. What with the recent Arab Springs, and the sporadic protests that have been happening around the Kingdom, though the Saudi’s have done their best to keep it out of the international eye, this move in allowing women to participate is a well calculated move.

Though I applaud them on this step and hope this will be just the beginning of better days to come for Wwmen’s rights, if not just basic Human rights!