Jan 06, 2021
3 mins read
I'm an African woman!
That statement alone carries a lot of weight in terms of responsibilities and expectations. Being an African in today's world is riddled with difficulties, leave alone being an African woman. The world expects so much from me that I feel overwhelmed by the expectations. As a woman, I'm expected to make my family proud by being the perfect embodiment of purity. Not a bad thing when you have an outside perspective but what if today we look at it from a slightly different angle.
What exactly do we mean when we talk of purity?
The kind of purity I'm talking about is one that means that you are still a virgin despite the hyenas aka village boys running after you with promises of undying love. Here I'm thinking that it'd be a great idea to close your eyes and heart to be able to maintain that purity but then again this would be such a difficult task to accomplish because the systemic values that you grew up with have left something in you broken. You are praying to all the gods available, earnestly seeking for a soul that will mend the broken pieces of your heart and love them to wholeness.
Unfortunately for you, the hyena asking you to give him your broken pieces, grew up in a system similar to the one you were born into. A system governed by fear of failure more than it is governed by love. He too comes with the burden of societal responsibilities and expectations. He expects you to be better off than he is, hoping that you'll be the one to guide him on how to carry out his responsibilities and meet societal expectations. He is looking for his Yin to his Yang but alas, you are broken and clueless. You too are a victim of circumstances and in need of a fixer. Your need overwhelms him, he cannot take any more responsibility than he already has. His first responsibility is to himself and he is yet to figure out where to start fixing his broken self.
But you are blinded by the need for a fixer that you dont see him. You dont see the small boy crying to be seen, to be appreciated, yearning to be accepted as he is to be able to grow into his identity. The boy never had the opportunity to mature into a man. Somewhere in between, his growth was suppressed by the environment he grew up in. He never really grew into his value as a man because he had no one to show him how to be. His father, if there was one, was busy trying to prove to all and sundry that he was a man. The boy was caught between the inner struggles of his father and the insecurities of his mother that he has no reference of how a real man looks like. He is now focused on finding that value from without, which is from you. Unfortunately for both, you too are looking for a fixer from without and that is a catastrophe waiting to happen.
And so, as you work towards fixing each other, failure is imminent. The hyena runs off to find his next victim, leaving you to shoulder the responsibility of trying to be human because a couple failed somewhere to show you how. Most probably the woman/girl is left with another human growing in her belly waiting to be born in the same system that produced broken parents. She is left to shoulder the generational guilt of trying and failing. She is not allowed the space to process her need for a fixer as she is driven more towards now finding a fixer cum cleanser, one who will prove her purity. After all, isn't purity meant to come from within and not without?
Where did we go wrong?
Are we capable of reestablishing our familial values that our ancestors lived by?