Who is an African Woman?
By Beyang Verdell
A very popular and noticeable definition of An African woman is, a woman with an African heritage, a woman who comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Make good spouses, make good mothers, and well known to hold the household together even with the absence of the father. (seehttp://www.msafropolitan.com/2012/09/who-is-an-african-woman.html).
But from my own experience, I have deduced that, an African woman is that black woman who has rights, believes in herself. Deeply entrenched to her foot holes, comes in when everyone steps out, takes her mantle and fight the battles when no one else could, will give up her life fighting for a particular course. That is an African woman for you.
How can an African woman build an African Nation?
An African woman is the backbone of every family. What do I mean by backbone? She is the one, 99% responsible for the upbringing of a home and the children. She is that woman who practices multitasking single handedly.
She is highly responsible in inculcating into the children values that she believes are good for them to become future adults. That is why here in Africa you will always hear the expression, the “mother tongue”. Reasons being that, due to the attachment of the child to the mother he or she is bound to learn how to communicate first like the mother before the father.
To build a strong African nation, we need to build strong children. But who builds up the child? I will elucidate on this with an African proverbs. “If you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate a family and a nation”.
An educated woman takes her time to teach and bring up her children with values she wants them to utilize as grown-ups. Children easily learn from their mothers than father. If these values are Afrocentric or Pan African, is another issue.
Therefore, imagine a nation, with conscious African women; it will produce conscious children, and a conscious nation. We won’t have to bare the stress of sensitizing strong men who might as well be adamant to change.
To build a nation deeply en rooted in African beliefs, customs and traditions we need the help of a conscious and Afrocentric-woman. Women are the live bloods in building an African state. They have so much to give yet they are unrecognized.
Women are responsible in controlling the minds of their children at a very tender age and redirecting them to believe what they have to believe, paving the way for a fix mindset on what she wants her children to believe, in line with what she believes in.
Whatever she hates, and reject, that is what her children will hate, whatever she accepts, and embrace, that, the children will accept and embrace. And so it passes on from one generation to another. That is the power of the woman/mother.
A woman is a role model nation-building.
I will like to buttress my point by mentioning some great African women who did a lot towards building some great African Nations although we are still not one Nation.
Yaa Asantewaa was a queen mother of the Ashanti Empire now known as modern day Ghana Empire. I will cite quote one of her famous words. “Now, I see that some of you fear to go forward to fight for our king. If it were in the brave days of Osei Tutu,Okomfo Anokye and Opoku Ware 1, chiefs would not sit down to see their king to be taken away without firing a shot.
No European could have dared speak to chiefs of Asante in the way the governor spoke to you this morning. Is it true that the bravery of Asante is no more? I cannot believe it. It cannot be! I must say this: if you, the men of Asante, will not go forward, then we will. We, the women, will. I shall call upon my fellow women. We will fight! We will fight till the last of us falls in the battlefield African history has proven that,Asantewaaa was a brave, courageous and fearless woman who was ready to fight for her rights as an African woman. She didn’t want someone else to come take over her empire and indoctrinate different values and beliefs. She knew her worth and knew that what she stands for was ultimate. Asantewaa was ready to fight for her land thereby she took upon herself to lead and fight till the last of them falls down.
That is the spirit of a true African conscious woman. Firstly, she was aware of what she stands for,she respected what she stand for and was ready to fight and die for what she believes in.
Another good example is Queen Nzinga of Ndongo. She hailed from present day Angola.Nzinga was a woman well known for her political, diplomatic and military tactics. Skills, most people accustomed with men. But Queen Nzinga prove herself different. . She is well known for her effort in resettling former slaves and allowing women to bear children. A famous story says that in her meeting with the Portuguese governor, João Correia de Sousa did not offer her a chair to sit on during the negotiations, and, instead, had placed a floor mat for her to sit, which in Mbundu custom was appropriate only for subordinates. Not willing to accept this degradation she ordered one of her servants to get down on the ground and sat on the servant’s back during negotiations [ see http://www Nzinga the warrior queen. A play written by Elizabeth Maziui and published by Jomo Kenyatta foundation 2006].
Now the question stems up: How many of such caliber of African women do we have presently in our midst that can stand up and fight for the liberation and rights of the African man or woman and toward build a strong African Nation?
We don’t get to see much of them because we have not been Africa – conscious. We need more women of such qualities who can take on powers when everyone fails and who can build and train children to enhance a better future. And that future is Africa.
Harambee for a conscious Africa.
More power to the African woman.
Fire guts “YaaAsantewaaMuseum” Ghana web,25 July 2004
DadsonPajohn .YaaAsantewaa has landed AllAfrica, 18May 2001
Black History Heroes.Ana Sousa NzingaMbande of Ndongo [Angola]