IWD: Honouring African Women – Part 2

Pilgrimage to Self honours the “unheard voices” of African women – the women who maintain our communities but never get the recognition.

This is for the woman who watches as her country is ravaged by war…..This is for the woman who has been sold into marriage for sake of family, faith or tradition…This is for the woman who suffers abuse because of her colour, lifestyle, faith, opinion, background, ethnic group….This is for the woman looked down on because she has chosen to stay at home and look after her kids….This is for all of us who in one way or another are forgotten and maligned because of who we are – Women”

au lait celebrates herself – today is also her birthday –

I share my day today with millions of extraordinary women around the world, and that is a great honour for me…..I cannot forget to celebrate my MUM who continues to amaze and inspire me with her beauty, strength and resilience. Mum, one day, I will be half the woman you are, and I will be glad.”

Soul on Ice honours his mother – “Sweet Mother”

we'd been through rough times growing up and without her I would never have come to a point were I would be responsible and have my own family. My dad was the archetypal business man, taking the risks, hitting and missing. Rocking the boat. My mum was the captain keeping us all on course.

AfroMusings honours all the women in her family especailly her aunt S.

She reminds the younger members of the family that education is a lifelong endeavour. She graduated with a masters degree last year, all the while taking care of 4 children, well they are adults now… She concentrated on research on a little known genetic disease that afflicts a small number of kenyans including our cousin K.

Uaridi honours “her special heroine – the working mother”

A memory that stays with me is one I once saw in my infrequent journeys upcountry. A woman was walking home in the evening, on her back was a basket filled with food; a load of firewood, and her youngest child. Next to her was another child, and as she was walking, she was shelling peas – for supper of course

Adeunke on Adefunke writes of the many women who have touched her and others and chooses to celebrate them all through her mother, Princess.

she has managed to do a good job of raising two children, me and my 20 year old sister who has cerebral palsy. I learned the meaning of forgiveness as I watched her struggle with the hand fate dealt her. I learned the meaning of beauty as I watched her touch people with her kindness. I learned the meaning of perseverance as I watched her lovingly not give up on my sister.

Nyakehu celebrates the women in her family and tells us a story about her grandmother, mum and aunt during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s.

the Kikuyu women were put in concentration camps while the Kikuyu men were detained elsewhere. The women had home guards and one guard had it for Cucu, Mum and Aunty and would whip them without provocation.

For Mshairi there are so many women to celebrate that she would end up with lists and lists of women including her mothers, activists, peacemakers, women bloggers to name a few. This year she chooses to especially honour African women musicians: Angelique Kidjo from Benin, Sibongile Khumalo from South Africa, queen of Taraab’ Zuhura Swaleh from Kenya, Cesaria Evora from Cape Verde and Mama Africa, Miriam Makeba from South Africa.

These musicians have seen me through sad times and brought calmness, joy and contentment in my soul when these were lacking. Their powerful songs can bring tears to the eyes or a smile to my face, depending on the ocassion. This list would also be very long thus, I am concentrating on five.

Harare Diary remembers Zoliswa Nkonyana, a young 19-year-old lesbian who was murdered in Cape Town on the 4th February this year. She wonders

why Nkonyana’s vicious assault took over two weeks to filter from the streets to the media, finally ending up as a page 7 story in a weekly newspaper. Would it have been different if Nkonyana had been middle class, middle aged or a visiting foreigner like Amy Bhiel, instead of just a queer girl from the ghetto?

a mother herself choose to honour those women “who do wonderful and great acts of their feminism but choose not to give birth”. She writes that despite choosing not to have children, this should not be confused with the act of mothering.

I would like to praise and thank these women for showing that mothering is not synonymous with birthing. It’s not something that gets switched on during childbirth but a feeling that comes from a deeply entrenched selfless love and is and always remains absolutely and enduringly unconditional.

Nubian Soul chooses poetry to honour Madam Tinubu, The Iyalode of Egbaland and other warrior women of Nigeria.

Warrior, trader, freedom fighter, History tries to erase you, but we will never forsake you, Your blood runs through our veins, we will never be bowled over in shame, left to be declared a ‘weaker sex’

But respectfully madam, you were not the first and you will not be the last, before you there were more, Queen Bakwa Turunku of Zazzau (now Zaria) gave birth to Amina, You became Queen Amina in the mid 1500's

Nakeel honours her father's girlfriend…

She is a woman with a big heart, kind, caring and very accommodating. She always has an ear for everyone and a place for all. Can put a shelter for those who need one at any time.
I am what I am today for she built me to be. I wear a smile for she told me a good girl is always happy. Am confident because she built it in me. Am a conquer for she taught me how to be one. Am disciplined for she made sure that I be no matter how painful it was to inflict it.

Kenyan Pundit has chosen to honour all the women that ran for and won political office this past year.

Ellen Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia – the first elected female President in Africa; Michelle Bachelet former defense minister and first female President of Chile; Portia Simpson-Miller, a former minister of local government in Jamaica, won the presidency of the ruling People’s National Party and who will take over the premiership from retiring P.J. Patterson in Jamaica; Angela Merkel first female chancellor in Germany.


  • Sokari, This is a beautiful idea, thank you so much for honoring African women this way! This reminds me that you were going to write a piece for the Women Writing Resistance in Africa collection on the Nigerian Delta women who are resisting the oil companies’ exploitation. We would still love to get that piece from you! Please be in touch if you can–
    All best,
    Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

  • learner

    Blessed be the women in our lives if not for them there would be no us.

  • uaridi

    Thank you Sokari for reminding us to do this. I hope that one day we shall have more than just one day to celebrate all women

  • Donna Akuamoah

    For everytime you spared buying necessities for yourself, so we, your children, could have what we wanted for school…….for everytime I woke up deep in the night, to hear you crying in prayer for the lost, the sad, the children of the night…….for everytime I watched you hover over me and wash me with concern because I was sick, burning with fever, unable to eat.
    For all these times and more, you built confidence in me,
    It is for you today I soar, flying high above racism or even inequality,
    Because you taught me that with the Omnipotent One, Onyame, by myside
    impossible is nothing, and you will be always be there,
    in stumbles and in glory,
    To smile proudly saying:” Yes she was raised by me, Mother Africa, the warrior”

    Sokari, I love these writings.Thanks for sharing them with me.

  • […] Kenyan Bloggers celebrated International womens day this past wednesday, with their entries being covered by global voices in Part 1 and part 2. Several gentlemen also joined the women in celebrating this day. Magaidi has a tribute, Ntwiga honors his wife Njeri, his mom and Wangari Maathai; Kenyan Analyst shares a piece about Liberia’s Ellen Sirleaf Johnson. […]

  • […] Kenyan Bloggers celebrated International womens day this past wednesday, with their entries being covered by global voices in Part 1 and part 2. Several gentlemen also joined the women in celebrating this day. Magaidi has a tribute, Ntwiga honors his wife Njeri, his mom and Wangari Maathai; Kenyan Analyst shares a piece about Liberia’s Ellen Sirleaf Johnson. […]

  • I’d like to appreciate Nigerian women in diaspora for their effort in caring for their families. It is tough being a mother in a country where there’s no one to help you. You juggle being a wife, a mother, a career woman, etc. With little or no social life, she goes about with a smile on her face trying to please everyone.

    May God continue to strengthen them. May their labour never be in vain.

  • Oreshade Adewale

    Motherliness I say,
    Is not only pregnancy,

    For prostitutes get pregnant,
    And give birth to fatherless sons.

    Motherliness I say,
    With keen love in her soul.

    Is about climbing mountains,
    So high & spiky,
    That even d dreadful warriors,
    Run cowardly far from.

    Motherliness I say,
    With care in her heart.

    Is about falling in valleys,
    So fierce & deep,
    That all tiara of trust,
    Have fearfully ran from.

    Motherliness I say,
    With peace in her mind.

    Is about swimming oceans,
    So wide & cold,
    That even fish friends,
    Have refused to swim.

    Motherliness I say,
    Is not only to give birth,

    With tiring labour of life,
    For animals also do.

    All around d globe now,
    I look for mothers,
    Like d predators hunting,
    Wildly for a plesant prey.

    Then suddenly I found this mother of love,
    That has attained immortality,
    Let every man hear me loud,
    08.07.08 09.40pm
    I wrote this poem to Mrs. Fatayi-Williams & thought I should reproduce it here,dedicated to Marie & other Mothers like her :-) x x x

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