By Salma Abdulatif
It is 2:00 am and I am wide awake. I put on my unkempt hair in a messy bun, switch on the lamp, take my writing book, and start scribbling. I can hear the grandfather’s clock ticking and I know that I am the only awake nocturnal being in a household full of sleepy heads.
I started writing this piece two weeks ago, but I never got to finish it. It makes me feel a certain way. Feeling like I am nursing my cramps, or when momma says no food today, better yet, when a thorn gets in touch with my finger.
But, you should never run away from the things that hurt and haunt you, should you?
Seeing other women succeed gives me so much satisfaction and happiness. Women, all over the world, are progressing and are beating the stereotypes of women being “just” housemakers or weak. I spend many nights watching the latest Ted talks featuring women’s success stories. Seeing my sisters achieving, makes me proud and ignites rays of hope inside. It is like applying honey to my soul.
But at the same time, we also see that the success stories have created walls between so many ladies; and rage that is enough to start a fire that can burn cities and continents. I have always failed to understand this hatred, the inability to appreciate and stand up for our sisters, the inability to be on the front line when we see our sisters launch their innovative products on the markets, the inability to come out and support when we see these sisters propagate for change and transformation.
We cannot say that we will start with developing our Africa, when we cannot even start with a simple “I am proud of you”. We cannot say that we will build bridges, if we cannot tear the walls that differentiate us, that make us furious, that make us group people according to their nationalities, their ethnicity, their background or their religion.
If we cannot embrace the most basic of characters that can unite us as one, we shall keep debating and holding forums and trainings that will not change our mirrors; because we want to see what we want to see. I have always believed that empowerment and support have been there since the beginning of time.
There is a concept that Stephen Covey mentioned in his book, “The 7 habits of highly effective people”:“Creative coordination”, our ability to synergize and work together to achieve our set objectives. What if the sisters came together to solve problems that affect our Africa? What if the sisters came together to creatively tackle corruption, poor leadership or poverty in Africa? What if the sisters think beyond someone’s success, what if they see an opportunity that they can easily work with their fellow ladies and create a revolution that we have all been blindly waiting for?
Those castles that we dream of, that life we always keep talking about where people are one and people love each other, that type of life cannot be built by anyone else but ourselves. We are the ones who make it sweet or bitter, we are the determinants. And if we will continue doing things our own way, there is no way anything will change, even if we publish a million books on kindness and empowerment.
It starts with you. Talk to your heart; remind your mind and soul that someone else’s success does not in any way affect you or what was written for you will never miss you by any chance.