PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
TheQueenMother
 
Comments: -3
Article views: 143
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all TheQueenMother's badges.
 

Be your own woman

28 February 2014, 12:31

“You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise you will threaten the man,” reads an excerpt from Chimmamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest novel,Americanah. This is a phrase I’m painfully familiar with, a phrase that has robbed many young women of a bright future and still, to this day, leads many astray.

I grew up in a village in the Eastern Cape, where girls were often discouraged from entertaining thoughts of becoming a successful woman. Even though it was not often said to our ears, we knew that we were being groomed to be married off to the man who offered a lot of cows for our innocence. By the time I was 12, two girls I used to walk to school with were abducted (ukuthwalwa) at just 14 and 16. They were considered ready for marriage, simply because they could read and write.

Seeing the closest people to me taken away made me live in constant fear. I knew that one day I would be playing udushe (skop die bal or kick the ball) on the street and the next I would be someone’s young missus. Even so, that fear was not enough to curtail my love for reading and writing. Instead it fueled my passion. I read everything anything I came across. There weren’t any books available to read for leisure in the village. Therefore I read the writing on milk cartons, packets of chips and the odd newspaper I came across.

I hid this hobby from my family, having been paranoid that they too would see monetary value in my abilities and marry me off. Then, by some stroke of luck, Mother sent me to go school in Durban. I will never fathom why because I know for a fact she could not afford it, but I would like to think she wanted to save me from an imminent marriage; after all, I’m her only daughter.

For the first time in my life I could read and write in peace; in fact, I got so comfortable that I read in public when I went back to the village. I felt like such a city slicker, that I was hell-bent on telling off any man that tried to abduct me. I often imagined myself educating them about statutory rape and my right to marry a man of my choice.

Of course, my newly found confidence never stopped adults who constantly reminded me not to be too driven, that my independence will be my downfall. They told my mother to put me on a leash before straying too far from my culture. And when she did not partake in the conversation, they would turn to me again and say, “Don’t you wish to get married one day? No black man will ever marry a woman who is as ambitious as you.” And I still sometimes hear young black women also cautioning their friends not be too ambitious (as if there’s another alternative) and encourage them to find a man with lots of money (like that’s all there is to life).

Obviously I want to get married. But I could never imagine any half decent man wanting to be with an uneducated woman, a woman whose only chance of living a comfortable life solely depends on being saved by a rich man.  When I look at this rather shaky piece of advice, I realize that fulfilling my dreams is more likely to happen than being saved by Mr Money Bags. I want to be my own woman.

Happily, things here in Joburg are different. Young women are driven, they’re not afraid to set goals for themselves and chase them ruthlessly. I am inspired by these people; their passion is the fuel that drives. Here’s to new beginnings.

As for me, I am not yet where I want to be, but I’m constantly working towards that goal. Now ladies, let us aim to be successful, very successful. Let’s be ambitious, extremely ambitious. And we should expect nothing less from our partners. I also blog for: www.joburgstyle.co.za

Twitter: @nwabs88

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
-3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Bernard Matthews Bisse
School kids protesting and lootin...

A large group of school kids came marching vandalizing and looting the street vendor's stock. Read more...

16 comments 697 views
Kids loot Jhb CBD

School children shake JHB CBD on quest for better education. Read more...

3 comments 380 views
Submitted by
Brolloks En Bittergal
The war crimes in Gaza

Israel’s conduct is morally and lawfully indefensible. I especially believe that this current Israeli regime is a law onto itself - a runaway train. They should be hauled before a war crimes tribunal. Read more...

27 comments 408 views
Submitted by
Gerhard Oosthuizen
Breakfast and gravity

We eat in silence. Mostly because some are hungry but also because we cannot understand each other. Read more...

3 comments 53 views
Submitted by
The Last Contrarian
The Tyranny of the 'Cat Hoarders'

I have a serious problem with people who want pets, acquire them, and then cause untold suffering to their animals because of their own addictive tendencies and ignorance about the very creatures they claim to love so dearly! Read more...

15 comments 1487 views
Submitted by
NomfundoMlaba
Convenient co-incidence

 Read more...

8 comments 89 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.