TESHE DIARIES (Kufukura Hapwa- Spilling the beans)

SSSSHHHHH Hazvitaurwe! Munhu wemukadzi anonyarara. Anofana kubata hana!

SSSSSHHHHHH HUSH!  Don’t say that! A woman must not speak out. She must keep things close to her chest!

And there you have it ladies and gentleman.  The Zimbabwean way OR rather the African way.  The good old tradition passed from mother to mother, generation to generation.

Don’t say nothing!

Speak in low tones!

Usataurise! Vakadzi vanotaurisa havaroorwe.

Women who speak too much and who are opinionated don’t get married!

Unorambwa nemurume! Your husband will leave you!

Hapana chinyowani pasi pano. Zvinoitika kumunhukadzi wese! As mukadzi chaiye anoshinga onyarara!

There’s nothing new on earth.  These things happen to all women.  BUT a good woman keeps quiet and has quite strength!

I’m 34 years old as I start this blog I aptly tittle TESHE DIARIES (Kufukura Hapwa- Spilling the beans). Honestly Kufukura Hapwa directly translated means “Opening up your armpits”.  I thought it would make it simpler to translate it in the “beans” way for my non-Shona speaking audience.

I am Zimbabwean, and this language you will be reading from time to time is called Shona.  It’s one of the national languages but I’m from a small tribe called the NDAU’s.  Once in a while even for you Shona speaking folks, you will run across a different/ interesting word in my dialect.  Learning never stops right?!

The purpose of this blog is basically an outlet for me to speak about a lot of things but mostly targeted at sexual health issues and how we as African women navigate through it.  The challenges are exacerbated by the fact that we live in Canada and there’s that demand to assimilate with a pull to stay truly “AFRICAN”.  Oh the conflict!!!

In being asked to stay “true” to being African are we also in a sense being asked to keep quiet about certain issues that potentially may be negatively affecting us?  Yes we are in the 1st world and in essence we must be empowered, right? Is that true? Or is that a generalization that is steeped in untruths and falsehoods that ultimately leave us even more vulnerable?

Lest it be unclear, The ULTIMATE GOAL is to be able to Empower and Effect positive change somehow by stimulating dialogue through though provoking, and yes, there will be provocative topics here and there!

This is from the perspective of a woman born and raised in Zimbabwe but with a new perspective as I  have lived in North America now for the last 18 years. I presently call the Province of Ontario Canada home but I’ve also lived in Dallas TX USA for a number of years.

I have dedicated my 20’s and early 30’s and hopefully with God’s blessing, many more decades ahead to advocating for the social and economic empowerment of young women in every country I have called home.  Have I done enough? Absolutely NOT!

I’m now a mother to a beautiful, feisty, smart little Queen with a hearty laugh and appetite and I swore the day they put her in my arms for the first time that I would do better! I would work harder to make sure I play my part in making the world a better place for her and many other little princesses and queens.

How do you change negative social norms and dynamics steeped in centuries of tradition and patriarchy? How do you change the narrative, the way of thinking, when the “right” way for a woman to act is to be quiet???? How do we get empowered?  How do we build safe spaces for women, a better nation and indeed world for young women if we cannot even speak openly about certain issues?

I’ve decided I want to open my armpits! Open them WIDE! I’m spilling the beans!

Please join me on this journey and as you see fit, please open up your armpits too and let’s change the narrative.  Let’s talk!

LET’S BE LOUD!

TOGETHER! TOSE! TESHE!

WELCOME TO TESHE DIARIES!

(Kufukura Hapwa- Spilling the beans)

 

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