It hurts to walk every day on the streets, holding your head up high, trying to be normal every day in the society. Only to find that the people you socialize with everyday have different views when it comes to you. Some identify you as a reserved, proud, jealous, weird, short-tempered girl with an attitude, but what hurts the most is knowing that they are right. I am that person, I am a product of my mother’s actions. I am reserved because I don’t know who to confide in, jealous because I envy those who have friends, weird because I find the world and the society weird. In fact, one will never get me as long as they don’t know my past. So here is my story.
My name is Nompumelelo Mpofu. I am 18 years old and I am an orphan. I stay at Emakhandeni and I live in a family of five (5) children, one boy and four girls. I was delivered to earth by a drunkard. My father passed on, on the 20th of May 1997, a month before I came to existence. I became a burden to my mother, who was a 16-year-old drunkard. My father’s family wanted nothing to do with me. She had nowhere to go except the sheen. So she would go there, get some beer and share it with me so that I don’t go to bed on an empty stomach. Time passed and I got sick, now her friends vanished into thin air. She had no one to turn to, no shoulder to lean on. So she dumped me at my uncles door.
My uncle took me into his home, but not for long because his wife wanted nothing to do with me, so all he did was take me to a hospital and leave me there. After I recovered, I was taken to a children’s home, and that was where Mr and Mrs Mhlophe took me in to be their daughter. We live a happy and healthy life-style. I am well taken care of. I did my schooling and got support in every stage. Mrs Mhlophe is my aunt, but I call her mum.
I had told myself that after writing my O’ levels I will go and become a housewife and make Nokuzola regret leaving me that night, but in 2014 I received a call from a friend inviting me to a Gender Change Catalyst training by the Young Men’s Christian Association. There I saw a reason enough for me to further my studies, let go of the anger I had inside of me. I have learnt to love, to be strong and trust God at all times.
I can testify that I have transformed because all that am focusing on is scoring good grades, and still be that humble girl next door. So that when Mr and Mrs Mhlophe (my parents) see me tomorrow, they will be able to say, “she is who, what and how we raised her to be. Our Daughter”.
My Life JourneyNompumelelo Mpofu
A gathering on the 3rd of March 2015 was a life changing one as we students shared our lives and ideas with adults in issues relating to boyhood and fatherhood.
I have come up to realise that man should indeed change the way they treat women and also involve woman in decision making so that the family can be united and strong. Moreover, men should have principles, laws and standards according to the bible. From a definition which was brought forward, men often define themselves by what they do, what they know and what they own, and also men think they own the world and they rule everything including women. From the action points of what has contributed to the problems of masculinity, I have realised that boys should not be neglected when more focus is on a girl child and they should be more organisations involved in empowerment of boys and man.
As a boy child and according to our culture, men make all decisions and have the final say but during the training, I learnt that women should also be treated with dignity and men should value, respect and love them. I never took it seriously that we boys are the future fathers but after the training, I changed my thinking. I live towards being a good father who lives responsible, who takes initiative, loves faithfully and aims to leave a legacy for the future generation. I was very much shocked to hear that some fathers do not spend more than ten minutes with their family and I challenged myself never to emulate that kind of behaviour and be a good changed person who will love and care for his family.
Attending this training with pastors, teachers, leaders and many other adults who are aware of the current status quo gave us students even more challenge to be focused and responsible.
My Change StoryShepherd Phiri – 18-year-old male - Entumbane High School
I am Daniel Moyo a twenty-year-old young men who is part of an R-Club in Bulawayo. This is one thing adults tend to forget, that their actions and words will affect their off-spring. There is no justifiable reason for anyone to beat up a women or child. This is just wrong and in my book it can never be right. We as man like to prove our power by being forceful when things do not go the way we want them to. It is just sickening. Why can’t men just love without having to extend their physical force or power of any sort.
No woman or child should have to live under abusive circumstances at any given time.
How do you expect a child raised in an abusive home to function normally? They might appear to be normal on the outside but they will be affected by the situation at home. This is one thing adults tend to forget that their actions and words will affect their off-spring. The worst is that some parents do not even want to be held accountable for how their children turn out later in life. Yet their actions cause a dent in their children’s hearts that remains there forever.
I have learnt through interaction in the club that society should take responsibility for what happens around them. We can’t sit in our nice houses and watch the neighbour beating his wife and children and do nothing. I REFUSE.
Violence perpetrators should not be toleratedDaniel Moyo, 20 years
My name is Lungile Sibanda, a girl aged 18 from Entumbane Y-Club. I am who I am because of the YMCA Club. This club transformed me to be a better person and today I am proud to share the story of my change.
Before I was introduced into this club, I was a very bad person in the community, not even a single parent ever wanted to see me hanging around with his/her child. I was given all the bad names at school and even in the community where I stay. Alcohol was my best thing. I never spent a week without drinking alcohol, I even went to the extent that I tampered with dangerous drugs like cocaine. Whenever I took these substances I felt very great and so high. Clubbing was part of me especially on Fridays. I knew every corner of clubs in Bulawayo where I hanged out with all different types of people.
At school my best friends were the big boys and girls who were the bullies. We would enter the school premises drunk or sometimes with alcohol in our bags. I lived a miserable life where I could hardly take any instruction from anyone including prefects, parents and teachers at school.
Before I knew about the YMCA club I was a person with no dedication and no values as well as low-self-esteem. I had no goals in life. Whenever I encountered a problem I would solve it with another problem such as fighting not realising that I was creating more problems. Above all I never cared about my dignity. I believed that fighting, bullying and drinking alcohol was going to make me famous at school and in the society. I would go to school just for the fun of it. I never attended more than four lessons within a week because I was always absconding lessons.
One day, everything changed. The YMCA facilitators came to our school, they taught us many things about life. The key things that I learnt were to protect and value my dignity, ways of solving problems, setting goals, believing in myself and to stay away from violence.
I am now a new person, I have done away with all bad life, I am now living an alcohol free life. I appreciate this club which changed my life
The Story of My ChangeLungile Sibanda
Natty is a God fearing, phenominal, extra ordinary multi-talented young girl with vest for life, born full name Narallie Dhlamini. One day during my primary level at St Patrick Primary, I was called from my class and told that my mother had passed away. Tears rolled down my cheeks one after the other meaningless because I was only a child. A few years down the line when I had just began my secondary level at Eveline Girls High my grandmother also passed on.
At that point I was paralysed, my mouth was dry not a word was uttered, my eyes pepping out of my eyeballs my whole world had collapsed within a second. I sat and asked myself, what I would become without my grandmother, for she was my pillar ever since my childhood. A lot of questions ran through my mind but still could not be answered. She had left me in a dark cold world with no one to turn to and without a sign or a bye-bye.
Life began to treat me with its cruel face that took away the little smile that was left on my face. I went to live with my aunt who was supposed to shelter me, protect me and be a mother to me but instead she made me work for her and enslaved me for I was in her custody. I cried and prayed day and night hoping that somewhere, somehow, someplace and sometime I would be free and given an opportunity to continue with my education, but no one could convince her to take me to school.
One day I said enough is enough, I packed my clothes and told her I was leaving, she gladly accepted what I wished for. Finally, I was free but with nowhere to go to, no one to turn to. I prayed to God and he answered me by sending my great-grand mother to look after me. She took me into her home, looked after me, took me to school and most of all loved me. The first day when I set my feet into that classroom at Mzilikazi High School, I made a promise to myself to strive hard and pass so I could at least make my greatest granny proud. Whenever I took a sit in class I gave it all I had. My aim and motives were to be the best I could. Just because I knew where I was from and also where I was heading, I had goals to reach, dreams to turn into reality, faith was the only thing that kept me going.
During this period, I also realised that I had some talent in me that I never thought of, it all happened so fast that I was on a stage modelling at my school and the next thing I was crowned queen. I then concentrated on both my school work and my career, little did I know that, that was my wakening call. From that day I was on television and the next thing on newspaper, before I knew it I was signing a modelling contract with one of the big agencies.
When I let go off the agency door handle, I told myself goodbye to the big dark cloud that over-shadowed my childhood. I was a big girl now able to stand my ground and walk with my head up right and true. Wherever I walked I knew my life was a testimony and I know that someday someone will be helped because of this testimony I am sharing. If I could do it then, anybody else willing to take the risk can surely do so. But firstly, you have to believe in yourself, for success begins with you to all allow people to share and embrace your capabilities. Though I faced many difficulties and challenges, I never backed down, when I fell I would rise, shake off the dust and move on. For I believe I was in these situations not to die but to get prepared for my future position. Therefore, I will hope to convince my readers that life is a journey where only you are to determine your destination. Always give the world your best and make a difference.
What defines me? Being able to create a life without the world setting boundaries of what I can do. It goes with personality that essential sport, the elusive quality that makes the difference between something good and something great. The fire inside me that sets me apart from the rest, I am my own person and never try to copy or imitate someone else, I embrace the uniqueness in me. I want to carve my name in people’s hearts and leave a piece of myself through my Godly given talent. I want a legacy to etch in their minds, withstand the test of time and be passed on the generations. I am a girl that is driven by different people with different attitudes which make a mark on my mind like a little girl who chooses to sell freezits for income instead of begging on the streets. I am also inspired by my mistakes and failure for they encourage me to move on and press on till I reach my success.
The gem cannot be perfected without frictions and I cannot be perfected without trials. If you hear a voice saying you cannot point from within you, point so that voice can be silenced by all means. Embrace your unique being, you are who you are.
The Story of My ChangeNatalie Lorrancia Masiah Dhlamini – Mzilikazi High Y-Club Member
As a participant on the Charama Celebrate Life outreach held by YMCA Kadoma Branch, starting on the fifth of December and ended on the 7th, I had a lot of experiences and aspirations on Transformative Masculinity.
To commence with, as a young lady I learnt how to slaughter a goat with the aid of other girls. According to cultural values and perspective, girls were believed to be the ones cooking while boys would be doing the heavy tasks but that was proven to be a misrepresentation of cultural norms and values as boys initiated in cooking and serving the food. Thus what man can do women can also do
Furthermore, more learnt that communication is very important and team working. We worked as a team and managed to slaughter a goat. More so, we learnt about different disaster, hazards and risks faced by youths in Kadoma, Zimbabwe as well as the whole world at large. We were also taught that whenever one need to raise an idea in a meeting or any other gathering should speak through the chair.
More so, we managed to meet with different people with different characters and how to approach and socialize with them. Respecting others opinions were considered to be of great importance especially in meeting or any other platforms. As a gender activist I was inspired to go into the community and educate them on Transformative Masculinity.
Moreover, Mr. Lembani shaded more light on subject to citizen S2C thus moving from being a subject to a citizen. As a citizen one should be able to say out hisher views without fear. Addition to that, we took part in different activities such as mountain climbing and boat cruising. This enabled us to learn that as leaders we should be brave enough to handle any situation which we might face in life.
In conclusion, it can be deduced that we had a lot of experiences and aspirations as said priory.
TRANSFORMATIVE MASCULINITY: A WON BATTLEYOLANDA SUKUTA, 19 YRS BRIGHT FUTURE COLLEGE Y CLUB KADOMA
Gone are the days when those imparted with knowledge could selfishly use it for their own good. In that era those vulnerable in raising their voices were condemned. Various stakeholders came and imparted knowledge on how the subjected could cope with the trauma, without success.
Victorious is the mind which seeks loopholes and addresses them; such is the best character of YMCA. Training sessions have been facilitated by YMCA be it on gender issues health to mention but a few and agendas raised have been forwarded to responsible personal for clarity. That act of soliciting the minority to speak for the majority is what we term ADVOCACY.
Truly speaking an unexpected revelation (YMCA) has finally came to end the great man’s career the youths are finally on the verge of conquering every abuse perpetrated on them, gender issues are being addressed at an alarming rate. To YMCA be the glory.
Conclusively the war that was being waged on the vulnerable whose vulnerability lied in being devoid of the power to speak for themselves is being fought by individuals heavily armed with the armaments of advocacy.
ADVOCACY IS THE ULTIMATE WEAPON!!!!!!
ADVOCACY THE ULTIMATE WEAPONTAFADZWA MAROVA GCC 24 YEARS KADOMA