Zangose Tembo

This is Womanhood to Me


What is womanhood to me?

It is sitting up straight and being organised at all times.

It is politeness and never speaking out of turn.

It is chores that never end and orders that you shouldn’t disobey. 

It is rules around your body and things they say your body cannot and shouldn’t do.

It is emotion that is never fully expressed and fatigue that you should never feel.

What is womanhood to me?

It is being told that you would never but you could and you did.

It is leaving with your children when he hit you again.

It is becoming a changemaker following sexual violation.

It is rising against all odds when you were orphaned at a young age.

It is academic excellence when they told you that you would never amount to anything.

What is womanhood to me?

It is giving at all cost.

It is selling what you can to feed your family.

It is walking for miles each day to raise money for your children’s school fees.

It is fighting their taunts and put downs everyday.

It is speaking up when your heart and soul cannot take it.

What is womanhood to me?

It is Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi who reminded you that you have no limits.

It is Miriam Makeba who taught you to use your voice for change.

It Sara Longwe who fought for your right to enter hotels unescorted by a man.

It is Amina J. Mohammed who has made your childhood dream of being secretary general of the UN feel attainable.

It is the Angolan warrior princess whose story fills you with fight and fire.

What is womanhood to me?

It is my grandmother who raised 7 unique beings.

It is my single mother who worked long shifts for 30 years to feed me and give me a good education.

It is my sisters who evolved from scared traumatised children to strong minded, successful women.

It is my friends who laugh at how far we have all come.

It is me who has leaned to enjoy life and the ups and downs that womanhood brings.

This is womanhood to me