I am a woman of Afrikan origin who embraces and celebrates the knowledge that, like all women, she is a personification of the Goddess and that she is a part of a sisterhood that has been celebrated and venerated in a past age but is, in the present age, oppressed and is weakened but not defeated. Accosted but not destroyed. When asked to define Afrikan feminism I say that Afrika is one big beautiful calabash filled with different and magnificent colours, shapes and sizes of stones, seeds, sands, waters and flora. I am one of those and I know that although I am an individual I am also a part of a whole. A family of creation. My core feels deeply and widely because it is not just my pain and sorrow or elation I feel when I feel but it is the feelings of the other occupants of this bag, however different they maybe from me. My feminism comes in when I identify with my warrior self. She whose quest is not to conquer and destroy, but to empower the members of her community – in its entirety and diversity – but especially the members of the sisterhood. Those who know what I know but have forgotten over time and space. Her quest is to remind them that they have the power to choose, not just to survive but to live and manifest the Goddess in them. It is not about getting them to walk my path – because mine is set out just for me – but to find their own set out just for them individually and choose to walk them. I seek not to teach them the ways of others but to teach them to find their own way as others have, whatever those ways may be.
This continent, our Mother, tells a story of beauty, of love, of hatred, of freedom, of oppression, of joy, of sorrow, of anger, of spirituality, of faith, of wisdom, of knowledge, of science, of magic, of tears, of laughter, of music, of dance, of passion, of sexuality, of sensuality, of death, of unity, of conflict, of family, of friendship, of loyalty, of acceptance, of hospitality, of rejection, of animosity, of hunger, of plenty, of abundance, of wealth, of generosity, of theft, of sacrifice, of loyalty, of betrayal, of envy, of jealousy, of pride, of heaven, of hell, of destruction, of creation but most of all, a story of strength and resilience, a story of survival. A story of Life. A story that cannot be told by one person or told only once or told in just one way or in just one voice. Hers is a never ending story.
They call Her the “dark continent” and tell stories of desolation and destruction but no light has ever shone brighter than the light that She shines and that is why She remains the most coveted in the world. She represents each and every woman born to Her and we represent Her. She is the beginning and She shall be the end, whenever She chooses it to be so. This is the story of the Afrikan woman. The Afrikan feminist. For as long as we continue to wear the shackles around us, the shackles around our minds and our bodies, She too shall She continue to wear the shackles around Herself; In solidarity and in mourning. No one can tell Afrika who She is and no one can tell you who you are. No one but yourself. Not the ram of patriarchy nor the serpent of matriarchy. Just you. My feminism is not to tell you who you should be but to tell you, and them, who I am. To pave the way for you to do the same if you so choose and hopefully I will inspire you to make the choice to choose for yourself too sister. That is my Afrikan Feminism.
© Doreen Victoria Gaura/ Colouredraysofgrey, 2012