Who needs the women’s month to appreciate their heroines?, this post is celebrating women who dedicated their lives to doing what we would rather not do. They are symbols of resilience with a heart of gold. They came a little bit before me, they are big sisters in the struggle.
As someone who has grown to be a human rights activist over the years, I know how it feels to get a knock on my door at midnight to see a woman whose husband has turned rogue on her. I know how it feels to receive a call that tells you that something unjust has transpired and people need help. I have shared my last bag of scorched vegetables with a woman with a crying kid on her back. I have had sleepless nights working on what I think matters to my community while waking up to mornings where I am asked on different platforms, “What are the so-called human rights activists doing about this!?”
But this is me, and I quit almost everyday. After quitting the tears and blood of those who came before me nudge me on the shoulder and tell me to try again. Knowing that I can just call on them at anytime and they will definitely show up is a humbling experience. Their passion for what they stand for built for them an unshakable foundation on which they now stand on firmly. They stand for that which is right without the aim of turning into “shinny objects” that people can stare at in public. Behind closed doors they conquer and live on.
A huge appreciation goes to Florence Ndhlovu 🙂 I call her sis Flo and she has been a comrade and a sister in my life. She has shared her knowledge, her networks and most importantly the spirit of standing firm for one’s convictions. When I first began interacting with her she was working at Zimrights, an organization with which she was with for quite some time. Over the years she would inspire close up and from afar, when she started working with ZIMCODD, I remember her calling to tell me that our organization should be a member. I watched her do wonders to that space and engage quite a number of young and old people in in-depth conversation about tax justice, it was information that we would have not readily grasped if not for the way she adamantly engaged us. I currently use some of her presentations and resources in my work. Most importantly she is a family person, and that alone is a value that cannot be rated in a blogpost.
Our next knight in shinning amour is Prisca Dube. She is a former magistrate, worked at Legal Resources Foundation, moved to ZWLA, got a lot of degrees under her belt and is currently with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. With Zimbabwe’s current legal system, trust me I would not want to be in her shoes 🙂 aside from the fact that they really are too huge to fill, it is her persistence that gets me inspired. Passionately known in most spaces as PD, she has really shown me the human face of the law and the good practices in administering the law. I met PD in workshops where she was breaking down the law for our understanding but she has impacted a lot of people beyond those spaces. She upholds inclusion, Pan-Africanism and Feminism, a recipe likely to change the world.
Then there is our beloved doctor of peace, Dr Ntombizakhe Moyo-Nyoni. Zakhe actually held my hand from my days as an undergrad student till present day. I am honored by the fact that I am actually looking forward to working on a research paper with her in the near future. She is a Doctor of Peace and my former lecturer at both undergrad and postgrad level. She was one of my supervisors when I did my internship at Grace to Heal. When YIT was formed she was one of the first people to not only shake my hand but also to hold it and walk me through the thorns in the civil society sector. Above all she is a reminder to keep calm and trust in your efforts.
These are three among many other powerful women that I interact with on a daily basis. Through the struggles and successes, I truly appreciate the unsung heros of my lifetime.