5 WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE – WOMEN’s DAY ISSUE

I call them my League of Extraordinary Sisters. They are from Cameroon, in the motherland of Africa. They have qualities that dare you look away. They have INFLUENCE. They reside in different parts of the globe and they are involved in different professions. Their sphere of influence is as different as the strands of hair on their head, and because of that, neither one is greater than the other, for what one lacks in one department, the other has in abundance, and what she lacks, her fellow Cameroonian sister has. Combined, they have POWER of LEADERSHIP!

On the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of the Woman, I have handpicked, carefully assessed, and now I raise my voice and the voices of my other sisters, to say “well done”, to these fine examples of Leadership, grace, talent and bold Cameroonian women of substance.

They are neither up nor down, they look-not sideways but forever upwards, and that is why their star keeps rising. They are talk show hosts, Publishers, Motivational Speakers, Entrepreneurs, Fashion Designers, Educators, Business Moguls, Pastors, Authors, they have been featured in magazines, on runways, LA Times, NPR Radio, and so much more! They are not looking back to see who’s watching, they are inspiring, breaking the mold, and creating new legacies. We can stand to take a moment to say, well done sisters, daughters, mothers, friends, THE ULTIMATE AFRICAN WOMAN. I have the pleasure of knowing them on different personal levels, and it is no surprise that I see the things I do. Be inspired by these Five Women of Substance from Cameroon.

So, whether from a distance or near, they have each influenced something about me, my journey, my dreams, my hustle; they are my mentors from near and far, and as they rise, a new generation of hungry women rises with them. So in no particular order, but simply as my brain will remember, World, I give you, Cameroonian Women I am proud to know on this weekend ushering the celebration of the International Day of the Woman 2015.

PAMELA ASOBO ANCHANG

She is the Founder and Editor of The Immigrant Magazine TV Hollywood, a multi-media corporation that specializes in the development and distribution of media that focuses on the United States growing and ever-changing ethnic population. In her recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Pamela is quoted saying  “My mission is to uplift,”, (LA Times, 10/19/2014), which she does through her interviews and vibrant magazines, hard-hitting interviews on her new Talk Show Frank Talk, which you can catch on her YouTube Channel, as well as many more endeavors.

November 2nd, 2014, she was interviewed on NPR nationally syndicated Radio station where she told Arun Rath “she founded Immigrant Magazine to provide a bridge to those different communities with stories from a wide range of perspectives” (NPR, 2014). Our eyes are watching, we love what we see African Princes. (oh did I mention she is my older sister? Yep, very proud of her)

KING PINYIN

SHE IS A BOSS!!

She needs no introduction, if you don’t know King by now, then allow me to do you the favor and get you from out of the rock. King Pinyin is the vibrant and dynamic CEO and founder of Ignite Your Life LLC Women’s movement. “She is an author, speaker, success coach, direct sales expert, talk show host and woman of profound faith, who has mentored and inspired many to reach their peak in life through her seminars, coaching sessions, leadership workshops, Mastermind Study Groups, Ignite Your Life Women’s Conference, Platinum Talk conference calls and speaking engagements.” (Kingpinyin.com/about-king). She is a member of the Anthony Robbins Platinum Partnership program in 2012,  which is limited to a hundred and fifty serious players worldwide. She has been profiled in Success from Home magazine (2008) and Your Business at Home magazine (2007), (2010), (2011) and Women of Wealth Magazine (special edition 2014). King has been a featured guest on Wisdom Keys with Dr. Mike Murdock airing on The Word Network, Dish network and DirecTV. Her accolades cannot be contained in a paragraph, simply put, she is a visionary, a pacesetter, lives life to the full and a child of Christ. I once asked King 2 years ago when I was starting to feel the fire for my dreams, “what makes you succeed?” and among some of the pearls she shared, she said “You have to be hungry!”. Enough said.

DORINE FOBI TAKUSI

GRACE, CLASS, ELEGANCE, SPIRIT-FILLED

“Her name is simply synonymous with everything successful. She is a very successful Pharmacist who has turned her professional career around to be her own Boss,  a young Entrepreneur and Owner of two very thriving Pharmacies in the State of Maryland.  Dr Dorine Takusi Fobi who is happily married to the dynamic Mr. Emmaunuel Takusi, the man Cameroonians are now watching with hopes to uplift the Cameroonian Film Industry.  Together they have 5 beautiful children and are well grounded in the spirit. Dr. Dorine Fobi-Takusi says she owes her success to none other than The Most High God.  She is an Ordained Pastor, a woman of great reverence and most of all very humble, with a heart of Gold.” (misscameroonusa.com, April 2nd, 2014)

KIBONEN NFI

“She is a fashion designer from Cameroon, a trendsetter, has appeared and showcased her designs on the runways of Mercedes Benz Fashion week in New York and South Africa. Africa Fashion Week 2012,After realizing the potential that ethical fashion could provide, KibonenǀNY together with some partners formed the Cameroon Fashion Common Initiative Group and instigated the start up of an ethical factory, Made In Camer, which today is an independent, charity based, ec0 and ethical clothing production unit that supports local talent and provides employment to Cameroonians in one of the poorest communities. She has appeared in Forbes Africa Live magazine and I am proud to say I have known her since we were teenagers. I am proud of this young woman and there is no limit to her wings as she flies higher and higher.

ANRETTE NGAFOR AKINYELE

FREEDOM THROUGH FASHION

In her interview with Dunia magazine, Anrette described herself and style with one word which is the name of this Fashion Designer force of nature, LIIBER LONDON, yes, LIBERTY, (Dunia PRINT Magazine Issue 11), freedom! She is another Cameroonian ambassador, paving the way and opening doors for more young dreamers to step in those shoes. She is an entrepreneur, Educator as she helps run the legacy, NACHO comprehensive high school college Founded in 1977, Nacho College is the brainchild of pioneering educationist, Albert Cho Ngafor and Cameroon’s first comprehensive institution. (Facebook, Nacho-College) She is a visionary, a free spirit, down to earth girl next door with impeccable taste and sharp wit. From the time I knew Anrette as a young girl, she always had her trademark smile, and a heart of gold. It is no surprise to see her turn every venture she touches into a colorful piece of art and success. Today we salute this trendsetter

Reference

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-immigrant-magazine-20141020-story.html

http://www.timtvhollywood.com/about-us-business/

http://www.npr.org/2014/11/02/360957597/immigrant-magazine-gives-a-voice-migrant-communities

http://kingpinyin.com/about-king/

https://www.facebook.com/search/str/Emeldine%2BKing%2BBabila-Pinyin/keywords_photos

THE POWERHOUSE: DR DORINE FOBI-TAKUSI TO CO-CHAIR MISS CAMEROON USA PAGEANT

http://www.kibonenny.com/

Merging Cameroon & the U.K. in Fashion Design: Meet Anrette Ngafor Akinyele of LIIBER LONDON

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nacho-College/173066026207475?sk=info&tab=page_info

NEW COLLABORATION: DREAMS BREATHE ON

How close are you to your purpose, how close are you to realizing your dreams…?

My dear readers and those who have so far followed my journey the past 2 years from writing my first blog post to discovering just how much I love sharing my heart’s desire, which is, positive enrichment words in the form of pearls of wisdom on my blog Pearls Of Our Lives. It has been an enriching experience going from shy writer, to insecure sharer and then in the last year, taking the bull by the horns to burst out and say, this is what I feel in my heart, hear me out and let me fly.

 

It is my joy to share my baby steps and big leaps in this journey with you. I despise not the days of small beginnings and I give thanks for the journey’s continuation. Now, this is no small step for me, to be invited to now be a major feature contributor on The Immigrant Magazine TV http://www.timtvhollywood.com – Voice of Immigrants in America.

http://www.timtvhollywood.com/living_well/positive-enrichment-pearls-on-wealth/#comment-66916

 “The Immigrant Magazine, Inc. is a multi-media corporation that specializes in the development and distribution of media that focuses on the United States growing and ever-changing ethnic population. As the voice of the American immigrant we provide this audience with publications that will enhance their experience in America and forums to address their unique concerns and interests.” timtvhollywood

 

I am pleased and excited, very honored in fact to join my work and words to the amazing Pamela Anchang, seen above, and her endeavor through my Positive Enrichment pearls of wisdom as well as my socioeconomically conscious articles featuring news from around the world and much more!

Look out for more collaboration and new ventures from me, The Immigrant Magazine Inc multi-media platform as I will be exploring other media ventures.

This means for your own dreams, do not relent, do not stop, if you think it is for you, grab hold of it and run till you get there. You will get tired along the way, you will doubt, you will worry but don’t you ever stop chasing your dreams, for slowly sometimes, but surely they come to pass. Join me in celebrating this milestone, which is the beginning of bigger dreams come true. Please enjoy some of the diversity of work and cultures that The Immigrant Magazine Hollywood has been up to in the last 10 years, from the Miss Asia Universe, to the Polish Film festival, interviews and many more exciting ventures. Join us! Enjoy the pics

Pamela Anchang of The Immigrant Magazine

Stay tuned for this powerful collaboration, between the power of African Women, making a difference in the USA and the diaspora.

MAH MEKOLLE

2013-06-12-19-32-06 – MAH MEKOLLE FOCUS MESSAGE 2

All images from timtvhollywood.com

 

EMPOWER YOUR MIND AND THAT OF YOUR CHILD

What have you planned for your family lately? On October 25th 2014, join me and more power house Speakers including but not limited to Dr Nicoline Ambe – our Keynote Speaker and Child Education specialist, Mr Darius Allen – millionaire/entrepreneur, Dr Dubi Sendze and other surprises, as we bring you a holistic approach to raising high achievers! Our children matter, the brothers, nieces, cousins in our care deserve the best. Bring them and yourselves for a few hours only, and empower your minds

Empowering Minds Series 1 flyer REGISTER NOW ONLINE

 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/empowering-minds-series-1-tickets-13208082731?ref=enivtefor001&invite=Njg0NjI5Ny9BQkJZV1lOTkVAWUFIT08uQ09NLzA%3D&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=inviteformal001&utm_term=eventpage

Again, need I say more? Your child from the time they are born to university bound, needs all the help to deal with school, high performance in education, strategies for staying focused, direct help and counseling, dealing with peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem issues, training on making good decisions, planning for future careers. We will have a special guest speaker, young adult, sharing his real life experience on the perils of following the wrong crowd and how to bounce back. There is something for parents and children from 5 years old to high school. Come, take advantage, only $20 per person for a valuable experience worth more than that! Bring everyone, space limited. Register today!!!

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MAH MEKOLLE- (Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, Poet, Writer)

MENTAL HEALTH EQUILIBRIUM

 

Mental health, what is it? I decided to write from my heart what I feel organically on this subject. So you will not see me strive to use approved definitions per any particular school of thought, but from knowledge I have gathered and understood over the years. This is my take on the subject.

Mental health is a topic I realized most people don’t talk about as often as I think we should. A topic so important that the absence of addressing it is an alarming oversight. It usually comes up when the negative effects occur, then we realize at that time that we should have paid more attention.

When the body functions as it should, we don’t wake up thinking about it necessarily. It is a given. The spiritually inclined might thank God, the earth, the Heavens for good health. We really only pay attention when the body has an interruption in its smooth flow.

PAIN

Pain is usually the attention-getter, the warning sign that something needs our attention. Sometimes it is dull, an ache, a cramping pain, sharp, burning, stabbing or piercing. Even with identifying the kind of physical pain, we can go as far as qualifying or quantifying its intensity, which takes into consideration the person’s ability to bear pain. For example, an identical physical wound might cause one person to scream and qualify it as a sharp pain of 8 on a scale 0-10, with zero being no pain, and 10 being the worst pain they ever felt. Another person with the same wound and using the same scale might say they feel it at an intensity of 4. Same event, different pain threshold, different experience

Mental Health, just like physical health is as affected by pain and all its factors as described above. Unfortunately, mental distress and pain is most ignored than physical pain. One can’t walk around with a gaping bleeding wound too long without addressing it. We fear infection and bleeding to death, or the aesthetic need to look neat, dress it up, look presentable, for people can see it.

The disequilibrium in mental health is harder to notice, address or treat. Most of all it is not as overt, it is hidden.  Only the one suffering knows they are in trouble. You’d think that like the one with a broken hand knows where and how bad their pain is, that the one with mental pain can easily narrow it down and seek to address it. But no, it is not that simple

It is hard for us to know when we have gone from the expected mental disturbances like anxious moments, spurts of anger, sadness, disappointment, to the conditions of constantly feeling sad, melancholic, depress and debilitating low self-esteem, phobias, then fear of nothing & yet everything.

MENTAL PROBLEMS

In the same way the body learns to cope by compensating in order to heal, so too does the mind. The body for example will redirect blood flow from the skin to the vital organs is necessary if blood supply is compromised in the body. Your body will rather sacrifice your fingers and skin to keep you alive, by feeding your heart, lungs, kidneys. The brain/mind has its own coping strategies. We smile, pretend, tough it out and try not to dwell on our stresses. Anything to keep from feeling the mental pain

However like anything that festers and worsens if not addressed, our faithful coping mechanisms fail, we reach the tipping point, boil over and prepare to crash. Choices upon us, to choose the red pill or the blue pill – choose life or death:

OPTION 1) surrender, seek help, talk to someone, share your pain, LIVE!

OPTION 2) Keep running. Avoid the pain, postpone help, DEATH

MENTAL DISORDERS

Not all mental disorders are due to chemical imbalances, and neither will I attempt to identify all or talk of all possible causes. I will seek to only talk of the disorders born of the escalation from poor management of seemingly benign mental and emotional problems to the cancer that is these disorders.

People display new characteristics like over-cleanliness, obsession with carnal satiety, extremely pious, doing good deed, painful humility, low self-esteem, ideation of grandiosity, split personality disorders, brash and hard exteriors, and some set out to hurt and do the same things done to them to others. Others crawl into a life of loneliness, waiting for something, someone to save them

What happens next, depends on the support system you have. Even then, a support system cannot identify for us what we wont identify for ourselves. It is a support system, and can not carry the weight of our success or failures, we ultimately do by the choices we make. We can choose to speak up, or we can choose to run. Sometimes the choice is not that easy to make, that is the sad example, it is not always that simple.

As a people who all have been through one or all of these stages, we should then live with the consciousness that it could be us, or it could be someone going through something. Build humanity, a sense of care, love, concern for fellow-man. Be willing to be vulnerable so those who need strength can break down walls as well, cause you did it. Be approachable, a life may depend on us. We are not directly responsible for that life but our own, but what if we could make a difference. Want to know how? It starts with love, it includes listening, not judging too harshly, and growing ourselves

MAH MEKOLLE

Images: chicagonow.com, faithsmessenger.com, marciakatz.com

AFRICALLY SPEAKING – MISS NGUM NGAFOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have known her for about 3 decades, lived in the same neighborhoods, slept in the same dorm in Our Lady of Lourdes secondary school and on the holidays, enjoyed Bamenda, Cameroon while dreaming! Yes, i’m talking about the one, the only, the brain behind the fabulous go-to medium for all things Africa, Miss Ngum Ngafor, Editor of AFRICALLY SPEAKING!

Ngum comes from a family line of entrepreneurs, her late father was an innovator, a pioneer who in Ngum’s own words, was the first person to introduce comprehensive education to Cameroon, first exporter of medicinal plants, and to venture into private higher education. Now you see her fascination with innovation. Watching her older sister Anrette Ngafor, designer of Liiber London has also been a great source of inspiration. I caught up with Ngum for teasers of Africally speaking

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My dear readers, keep your eyes and ears trained on Africally Speaking (AS) for up to date news on all things Africa. I am so proud of my friend and fellow Cameroonian woman, doing big things.

MAH MEKOLLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JEALOUSY, RAGE, ANGER: AN AFRICAN THING OR HUMAN THING

It has baffled me to no end, the things I have seen and observed as an adult woman, living in the USA but born and raised in my country Cameroon. The tendency for human beings to display unwarranted rage, anger and jealousy for people who attain a certain level of success or for someone who plainly has something one wishes they had.

SITUATION

Without beating about the bush I will dig right in to yesterday’s announcement that a fellow strong black African woman from Cameroon, had been appointed by Maryland’s governor to a position of prestige: Kate Atabong, also known as Lady Kate Atabong was apparently from reports appointed as Commissioner for African Affairs for the state of Maryland, USA. Wow, as a foreigner I went, wow, what an honor. As I read the link, I was curious to see what joy this must have brought to the hearts of other proud Cameroonians, Africans. Needless to say I was flabbergasted and frankly stupefied to see the barrage of insults and vile commentaries left for her or about her.

You see, while a select few congratulated her, some people couldn’t figure out where to begin tearing her down. Some started from the beautiful hue of her skin, they blasted her for supposedly bleaching her skin (as if there are no fair-skinned people in Cameroon!). They mocked her work which helped earn her the Commissioner position, which is her Miss Africa Pageant she launched to give ladies opportunities they might otherwise not have. She was even called a pimp in not so many words. As if that was not enough, some people even made fun of the fact that in her earlier career she was a Registered Nurse, they insinuated that this appointment was a ploy to divert attention from the recent healthcare fraud involving Nurses and other healthcare workers. Really?

Lady Kate Atabong’s story is not unique, for there are several others who have suffered a similar fate. It seems people are more comfortable when you are suffering and miserable, that way they can look at you and either feel better that you are worse than them, or they can smile that they are not the only miserable ones.

Some other instance in the last couple of weeks, it was revealed that a number of healthcare professionals, including nurses were involved in healthcare fraud. Very bad indeed. Now, do you think Cameroonians stuck to the issue at hand to criticize the actions of those involved and that they were ruining the good work being done by other more honest healthcare workers? Nope. Some readers instead decided this was a good time to insult and make fun of all nurses who are out here working their behinds off to provide food for multiple families, some of whom are back home demanding money daily from the same nurses they are now laughing at! Being called a nurse was suddenly a dirty word, people’s intentions for being in the healthcare field being questioned here and there, as if it is someone’s business how you choose to earn a living honestly. I was shocked and sad that within the guise of speaking against the criminal activities of some, people now decided it was open season to finally let their judgement of others earning an honest living at a very humble job blind them. And then, we wonder why no body wants to tell us anything?

People are on facebook prowling like hungry lions, visiting other people’s pages to see whether you are finally miserable or are you still laughing. They see news of your promotions, successes, happy families and their stomachs ache with cramps of jealousy. You forget that those are just pictures and that maybe A, B and C are not as happy as it seems, but they just found a way to smile. It does not occur to you that they are having problems like you, debts like you, deaths in families like you, marital and relationship problems like you, spiritual downturns like you. The only difference is that they found a way to still live a happy life. You take one look at photos and status updates, burn with anger, and go now hating people on an assumption that they are happier than you or doing better than you. Maybe if you took the time to celebrate them, you will see that you too might learn something, be of good cheer no matter what, stop judging and hating

We see successful people advertising businesses, driving Bentleys and BMWs, doctors teaching new things they came up with or found out, people attaining double platinum levels at sales and living in mansions, innovators coming up with new tech ideas to move forward, charities calling for help and doing good. However, while some look at these and are inspired to do same, others start the criticizing machine. Instead of asking people to teach you how they got their fish, you call them names and assume they slept their way to the top if they are a woman, or they scammed their way into millions. And some did indeed scam their way, and it is catching up with them, and yet the whole time you were mad at their fortunes. Now, will you share their jail cells?

ORIGIN

Where does this behavior start though, surely not only in the 21st century has this been going on? Why are Cameroonians notorious for destructive behavior, rather than build up, we tear down. I saw this in the play ground. The envious eyes of the primary school classmate who was angered when some people got dropped off at school while they walked from home. I remember for the most part I walked to school and back, laughing and playing with my friends, and I remember the childish commentaries laughing at those entering cars. Then when it was my turn that my school was very far from home and I had to be dropped off, I remember feeling self-conscious that I will now be the source of laughter, misplaced mockery. In secondary school people who are very intelligent either have an extreme group of people who admire them or those who laugh at them for being too smart. The backhanded compliments we pay each other, instead of a direct compliment

When we examine our hearts, we see that we start learning the behavior of tearing people down or not giving them due honor when we are children, we are nurtured in a society where to be kind is a hard choice, it is easier for mob action and group voices to criticize and bash. You hear that a politician has been locked up and we rejoice at their heartache, for now they have been brought to their knees. Yet, this politician never did anything to you personally, in fact, for some, he helped your family!

CONSEQUENCES

It is no surprise that one of the consequences of not being known as people who celebrate others is that no one wants to do business with their fellow African. If the business starts to thrive even just a little bit, the sabotage starts. If someone starts praising another, apparently it is a trigger for someone else to say “but…” But what??? Now, when people get successful or on their way to success, they start pulling away from their communities, associating with foreigners who will apparently not judge or try to bring them down. With good reason. People hide behind fake names on blogs and insult others, cowardice of the first order. How cruel.

MOVING FORWARD

How do we move forward, surely this is not an answer one person can give, but one we need to contribute to. What are your suggestions? I say how about we start by loving and accepting ourselves and our imperfections. Maybe if we start with the reflection in the mirror we will have little time to hate our neighbor. A little dose of humility doesn’t hurt either. How about we start asking the people we admire to teach us how they got what they have rather than die of pride and instead shun and castigate them. Even in our national team, as a nation, players like Eto’o, in spite of his imperfections, deserve respect for holding our country name high while he is abroad playing, but noooooo. When we comes home, it is insults everywhere. Wow. Where do we go from here as a nation, a people, how do we start changing?

Is this an African thing, Cameroonian thing or just a human thing?

MAH N MEKOLLE

(images: Mah Mekolle, kantianschool.blogspot.com, jamescruise.wordpress.com, relationshipmatters.com)

ALENNE MENGET – CAMEROONIAN SHINNING STAR

Alenne Menget Ats

THE GROWTH AND RECOGNITION OF A STAR

The SONNAH awards came and went, but it reminded me and many of you that we have talented people in our country and one of them is a star whose light has been shinning and you can’t help but notice. He enticed us with his documentaries which can be found on YouTube, numerous stories on the fabric of my dear country Cameroon. For someone like me living out of the country, I welcomed these documentaries with open arms and could not get enough. For me this was a gift, the opportunity to see my country from the eyes of everyday human experiences.

Then the SONNAH awards came and showed us that Mr Alenne Menget is not a one trick pony, he is multifaceted and versatile and should be supported and lauded in his upward climb to stardom. His style is brash, in your face, his humor dry and hilarious, his honesty evident in his facebook write ups, he is a talented actor. Most of all, whether you agree or disagree with him, you must give it up for the fact that he brings the discourse straight to your door. Please click on the link below to read more about Alenne’s SONNAH award rise to the top! We are proud of you, un seul mot!

Alenne has gone from a boy to a man, and we are only just beginning to see the tip of the wealth of talent he will be showing us in the years to come. Please support our rising stars again, help support and watch his work by ATS PRODUCTION. Alenne, keep doing a great job, the sky is the limit

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiptopstars.com%2Fmtdv%2Fthe-news%2F798-reward-alenne-begins-awards-grabbing-spree-for-up-coming-movie.html&h=RAQEg6wsX

MAH MEKOLLE

THE RAPE, TORMENT AND SAVAGERY AGAINST THE AFRICAN WOMAN

She wakes up a minority, among all beings even though she is the majority in the game of gender numbers. Her arms are sore from working like a mule, her legs ache from miles walked to cater to the needs of her family.  She is looked to from all directions for answers to questions that deal with catering to others, “Mamma where is the food, Mamma where are my shoes” and my favorite,  the overbearing voice of some men “WOMAN come here, service me!”… She wakes up not thinking of herself, she wakes up a servant in her bed, home, community and continent, somewhere in Africa there is a woman whose reality fits this profile, her name is Adama, Amina, Sirri, Zinzi…

Somewhere in Africa the woman sings her sweet sorrowful song. She has been violated again in the worst possible way, there were two of them this time. It is believed that having sex with a virgin will cure HIV, so they took turns at her with no remorse, they slapped her into submission and the other one covered her mouth, blocking her nose in the process. Although she kicked with her legs, her silent protest went unheard. She felt her insides rip and the life’s blood trickled down her aching feet. They transferred what they had unto her, and took her innocence away. They left her for dead as she prayed with her last breath for an angel to ease her pain. As her tears flow down her face, her sweet song fades away, she might not make it.

Down by the river a young girl plays with her friends, she is twelve years old, giggling in all her childish glory, hopscotch here we go, it’s time to play and laugh like a kid. But somewhere in the bushes hides the hunter, the pervert, the macho majority as he lusts for her young skin. He smiles for he knows, it is his legal right to claim her for a wife. The laws are in his favor, he watched her from the time she was born, he was already fifty years old! From fatherly pats on the head to lustful grin in his eyes, he will arrange the marriage and violate this young soul. Oh I weep for her, I cannot save her, I run and run but like in a dream the road disappears. She will be married by dawn, another African woman violated and the law said nothing!

Oh she cries and cries, and can cry no more. Her husband slapped and hit and boxed her like gym equipment. She had served his food at the wrong temperature again! She forgot his favorite calabash, the one he washes his hands in before he eats the food she toiled all morning to cook. That mishap, now her face displaced, dislocated jaw bone but not the only bone displaced. The neighbors hear her screams but they move on, her fellow woman just got her own beating a few hours earlier, she can’t help, the other one knows it’s just a matter of time. The law courts say the man can do whatever he wants with his property, she is his property. African woman valued less than a child, even livestock is catered for better than her. 

Abroad there’s an African woman, whose soul is dead but her body still functions. She wears clean clothes, has a great job, her make-up is fabulous. She brings home the bacon, makes the bacon and feeds her family. She rises before dawn, cleans like a maniac, shows up to work where she is manager, but back home he is a savage. Friday pay-day she collects her check, straight into his account it goes. She asks for pocket-money in her meek voice, as she calls him Baba, my Husband. He hands her breadcrumbs as he wakes up from his lazy slumber on his way to see his mistress. If she is lucky he will return home to watch the kids while she goes off to work again. One day she got tired, she told her colleague her pain, her colleague fellow African woman, surely she will understand? No. Her friend told her African husband, who told his friend and when she came back home that night, she was dead meat. I read in the paper a woman had been found burnt in Texas, husband on the run. In related news, another story of a woman from West Africa chopped up by her husband for disobedience!

 

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Oh African woman, gender majority, social minority. It doesn’t matter what social strata you belong, you have to fight for your rights as an equal human being, born of the same womb, same labor pains your mother endured. Your shoulders are broad, the burdens you carry. You have to be emotionally strong like Goliath, lower pay at work, fight stereotypes, fight for your voice, and still be a sister, mother, wife, daughter, and lover. Somehow you are expected to be the servant and yet act like you are grateful for the role. When does the fight end, where do we start, or how do we finish. They poke your privacy in public searching for your virginity, and when they find it they crush it. How about some respect for starters? Love her like you love yourself, fight for her like you would for yourself! African brother, time to rise up for your sister, your wife, your woman, your mother, your child!

MAH MEKOLLE

(photos by digital-art-gallery.com, lurkerfaq.com, madamenoir.com, gistmania.com and MAH MEKOLLE PICS)

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