As I penned this down, I thought the team at every day sexism would be very pleased to hear from Zimbabwe. We may have died for many things, but by no ways is the sexism issue dead and buried in this country. You know me, budding entrepreneur, energetic and always finding something to do for myself. Well, I was fortunate enough to be tasked to make my way to a very industrial and sexist part of the capital Harare. There are parts of this city which remain to remind me I’m not as tough as I believe to be. And as a veteran step mother, I can’t say I was very thrilled about taking two ‘kombis’ to my desired destination and stepping right to the intended door step.
I jumped out of the last one pretty dramatically, to everyone’s amusement I must say. Ever had people stare at you and think, ‘Who is she anyway?’ Well I’m me and my journey ends here thank you. I crossed the road hurriedly and started my search in this unfamiliar place. I had barely scanned my environment when some stranger asked where I was going. I rolled my eyes in my head and was tempted to ignore him for a split second. The part of me that still had faith in human nature responded reluctantly, but without giving out too much information. There’s a word for it. I’m sure it’s described as cold. But I was just being myself. And oh, my mom said I should not talk to strangers. And I take my mother very seriously by the way.
Laugh at me as you may, but I really hate how entitled some people can be. And this goes for both men and women by the way. I mean even if I don’t greet you back, it’s my hello and I do what I wish with it. But oh no, when you don’t greet these strangers back, they will throw a tantrum.
This is why I walk around with earphones in my ears. It’s not to silence the crazy voices in my head, but rather to shut the ones outside. Note, I mean this in the best light possible when I say it’s not all opinion that is relevant. Unlike other people who do not mind being brought down and whose defense is they will step on the soil and go higher up, I really think I’d pull down whoever by the shovel, knock them over and use their body to prop me out of that hole. I never said I didn’t have aggressive tendencies. So now you know why I need earphones, it’s to escape prison time.
But this was one of those rare moments when you have to reserve your battery for the long way home, so I excused my loyal servant from keeping me company. And I heard it all, the bare whispers, the uncouth shoutings, the inappropriate comments. And I marched on, the next step a little quicker than the previous. I surprised myself. I am famous for my ability to drag even during the most urgent of times.
But understand this, it was a life or death situation, and I was not prepared to die for these illiterate, unemployed bohos. My agenda was far more superior. And this journey, the longest nine, ten minutes of my life taught me to be brave. You would swear these men have never seen a dreadlocked woman walk down this street. Or perhaps in the entirety of their life…