Award winning singer and philanthropist marked the day of the girl child today with a touching note on Instagram. In the note, she revealed some of the hardships she faced as a young pregnant teenager and her early struggles as a single mother. She ended the note with a rallying call to action for all women to help in the education and welfare of the girl child. Full text after the cut…
Today, the 11th of October, is the International Day of the Girl Child and I really want to celebrate my childhood and thank God for how blessed I am to have the mother that trained me. I want to celebrate my daughter… The best thing that has ever happened to me and the most important person in my life!
When I was still pregnant with my daughter, I had very tough decisions to make; would I have to quit the university to raise my child? Would I be able to live my lifelong dream of being a musician? Would I be able to raise my daughter single handedly? How would I make ends meet?
I was one of the lucky ones, the ones with a support system of mothers , of parents pushing their daughters to pursue an education, to continue to dream, to work towards their dream and to continually inspire, motivate and push other young women to excel.
I look around me and I worry about the future of women and girls. I worry about the world I am building for my daughter and her friends. I worry about how our legislation affects girls. I worry about our girls being married off to men their fathers’ age when they should be in school. I see inequality everywhere and I wonder how these young girls who we are celebrating today will cope if we sit and do nothing about their future. Does every single woman have to fight her way through and with everything to remain honourable and respected in her field? I wonder about all these things… But nothing bothers me more than the inaction by women in power and authority.
Too often women fail to empower each other. We forget that our daughters too will follow our actions and not just our words and as the world shrinks into a global village, it will also be our fault that our girls are not sitting on the table and contributing to decisions that ultimately affect them.
There is so much work to do to re-educate the modern day woman to remind her that we are not each other’s adversaries but that there is strength in sisterhood. To teach the generations that come after about those that paved the way for us. Now it is time to open doors for our daughters and sisters and to embrace our weaknesses together and turn them into strengths.
We can blame legislation. We can blame men. We can blame War but if we do not take responsibility for our future, we only have ourselves to blame! I am speaking directly to everyone, especially women in positions of influence and power. What are we doing to educate, enlighten and empower young women and girls to compete equally in the society?
It is time to take responsibility and save the world… It is time raise more women! In our case, It is time to educate and empower the African Woman!