By Lesego Gaetwesepe

 

Africa has not only been a continent of strong cultural norms and values but also of upholding the spirit of UBUNTU; the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. These norms have groomed our parents into the leaders we see today; it groomed Africa into a beautiful and most attractive continent; which illuminated the importance of oneness and humanity. However, over the years, this norm has been slowly fading away, as we are slowly forgetting the importance of oneness, love and peace. Rather, Africa has become a continent of violence, wars, and a home for human degradation.

This is rather saddening that the once beautiful continent has turned into something we no longer recognise. We read stories every day of how women are being abused, children killed and despite all these atrocities, we still choose to remain SILENT. Silence has killed our humanity, killed the spirit of oneness, love and peace we once had. As we commemorate and recognise the efforts made towards curbing abuse, I can’t help but think if we are doing enough. This has not only become the responsibility of the state protectors but it has become the matter of the citizenry. 

Just a few months ago, we had recorded one of the most horrific incidents in our city, Gaborone. An incident where a young girl of only nine years had her life cut short by her own father. Not only did this vicious act leave the whole city in awe but it was a wake up call to many that more needed to be implemented, if we needed to curb the high prevalence of abuse affecting women and children.

As Albert Einstein once said ‘The world is not destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything”- with that said the time has come for us to echo our voices; and that can only be done when we as a community come together to fight and work towards averting such a horrific norm which has turned to take away the lives of our sisters and our beautiful children.

Gender-based violence is not only about exposing the perpetrators, but also averting silence. The world is no longer a safe place; women walk around with the fear of being attacked, being killed or even worse, their dignity being taken away forcefully; and if we continue to remain silent, how then do we plan on raising our future young girls?

As young women let this battle become our very own, let us identify every victim and survivor as those close to our hearts. Let their pain be our own pain, their tears be ours, only then will we be able to let our voices be heard, only then will we too be heroines for posterity.

Let’s rise and create a safer and better place for posterity, a place where women will not only be respected but will be allowed to flourish without any discrimination.

LET’S ALL TOGETHER SAY “NO TO VIOLENCE”