Words of Wisdom from a 21st Century Afrikan Queen

One of the brilliant people I know, Inés Giramata, from Rwanda, writes a blog titled Journey of a 21st Century Afrikan Queen. (If you’re wondering why Afrika is spelled with a K, read this article of hers. As Giramata states: “Spelling Afrika with a “K” is acknowledging the existence of Afrika and its narrators before colonization.”)  One of my favorite blogs of hers is her A-Z of influential Afrikan women activists. In it, she exemplifies some incredible women who have been, and currently are, positively transforming societies around them. Giramata also states,

“It is important for the young Afrikan people (especially ladies and womyn) to know that there are womyn fighting for them, putting Afrika on the map and many who fight colonial mentality, unlike the common ideology that Afrikan womyn need western womyn to save them.”

This last statement rings especially true to me. As I am someone who has worked at a girls high school in Rwanda, the fact that Afrikan women don’t need westerners to save them is an important part of creating a better world through feminism. We white feminists need to work as a team with our fellow women of color, and be active listeners, allies, and sisters to our sisters in Afrika, and not act as “saviors.”

Giramata also wrote a great article, titled, Growing Up as XX Chromosome. Inés Giramata offers a crucial perspective in feminism and writes with a wonderful, first person prose in this article.

I’d like to share some quotes from Growing Up as XX Chromosome:

“Now that I am home [in Rwanda] for the summer, there is not a day that goes by that someone does not tell me how I have to remember my culture and respect it. Honestly, I love my culture. In my opinion, it is probably one of the most beautiful cultures in the world. This opinion, however, is not an excuse for me to ignore the things that need to be changed in the culture…

I am a girl. I am not your property. I am not your blame wall. I am not your prey. I am not your sexual object. I am mine before I am anyone else’s. And we refuse to apologize for simply being born with XX chromosomes and just being beautiful and awesome…

Lastly, I am not uncultured just because I wrote this post. In fact, if this post makes you uncomfortable then this was meant specifically for you.”

Check out the full article here.


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