She does not want someone to foot her bills, not to buy her a drink, not to make her feel inferior because of the heavy loaded wallet, no, the African woman has risen from the doldrums of being judged by the hem of her skirt, it seems as though it happened in a single magnificent stroke, but she is slowly curving in the struggle of our economy into being an independent woman; yes she needs a little pampering but she has come to believe that it is about time she relies on herself, even with the short skirt, the gown of her future is what she has achieved and what she is achieving.
Back in the day, when Methalis(Proverbs) meant something in people’s lives and when the mini skirt had not yet been dismissed as a fashion of restriction, the African woman, had no opportunity to step into a classroom, formal education was meant for the African boy. White collar jobs were done by men and not just all men but the elite, those who had the opportunity to go to school. The best mentor of the African girl child was the mother; the respected girl child was one who knew her way in the kitchen, one who knew how to cook and one who knew that where men were, she had no say. That was the African woman. Who would have thought that we would skip what seemed as a late struggle behind a curve of the uprising of the independent woman? The recent upheavals in Africa about the independent woman has caught most of us off guard, we did not see it coming, because of the ‘gold digger’ trend, now the big challenge of most men is this new species of a somewhat ‘wannabe’ independent woman, who will not settle for less and why should she?
‘That is why you will not get married.’ ‘You will scare men into thinking that you expect too much from them.’
These are some of the sentiments that the Independent African woman is attacked with as she struggles to make the best out of herself. It is no longer a world in which gender is best at what but simply a world of who is best at what… so why limit herself so that she can let a man have the upper hand because of the mere fact that he is considered as the ‘head’ of the family? There are women who are still hung over with the ideology that a man should do everything for them and that there is no point for them to struggle, ‘That’s the work of a man,’ they say. In my opinion I think that this is primitive thinking. Men at least, though not all of them, have come to embrace the independent woman and even though they might cluster around her, pay respect and make phony smiles over her achievements, they have come to appreciate the lady who will offer to take care of them too, say like paying bills, being in leadership etc . We all have one vision to make Africa a better place, improve the economy and more so, build ourselves; does gender define us in this journey?
I am staring at the piles of papers, files and magazines lying all over my cushion and it is impossible to see the upholsters, all this because I want to join the trend of independent women, not to prove anything to anyone but to prove to myself that I can be a better person, drilling myself into literature by the best writers to help better my writing, study hard to crop the little knowledge i feel will level me up in this competitive economy. All this being said by someone who left her job of three years, to pursue a writing career that earns her no penny but gives her satisfaction that no dollar would. I know … crazy huh!
The debate of the rise of the independent African woman vis-à-vis losing the woman who knows her way around the kitchen should be subjected to the same criteria used to asses the ways to nurture and make our economy better. The external prescriptions of the need to be this independent woman, has resulted in a slow eradication of losing touch of the female duties in the house, as some may say. But I would draw this back to the individual, in my opinion, as we suit up and try to level up with the crème dela crème of the well off in the society , we should not forget our household duties: wouldn’t it be a double portion of independence and self fulfillment to be well versed in all sectors?
We don’t need to be dependent anymore, that syndrome that our fore fathers encouraged permeated the entire social fabric, but with time we have seized the chance to cut through what was considered as the male turf… look at us, this new breed, we hate them, at times think that they are just too much or trying so hard but the fact is, the independent African woman is one of the things that Africa needs to balance an economy benched for dependency on the West … but this is just my opinion.
I have always lived my life by thriving on chances and adventure. The motive that drives me has always been to set myself challenges and try to achieve them-Richard Branson