The alchemy of young African feminist leadership: Love, heartbreak & movement building

We reclaim and assert the long and rich tradition of African women’s resistance to patriarchy in Africa.

‘We acknowledge the historical and significant gains that have been made by the African Women’s Movement over the past forty years, and we make bold to lay claim to these gains as African feminists. They happened because African Feminists led the way, from the grassroots level and up; they strategized, organized, networked, went on strike and marched in protest, and did the research, analysis, lobbying, institution building and all that it took for States, employers and institutions to acknowledge  women’s personhood’ (The African Charter for African feminists, 2006)

The goal

inspires communitiesto realize the power that they already have. As a story teller I want to tell the stories of women that survive,

those that are badass and unapologetic about who they are.

Sise hoa se di Goakhoe,

see Namibian women setting the agenda

women organizing through adversity

Realized self-worth

Sise hoa se di goakhoe

The grandmothers have been providing safe spaces for young women

Each tear a dollar

Economy of discrimination is the injustice

Sise hoa se di goa, rural women

B-R-E-A-K-I-N-G poverty

Young QueerAfrican feminist activists are taking the leadership as storytellers, naming our struggle as co-creators of feminist leadership and knowledge management.

Love

Love at its core is the fundamental value of our leadership. Love as the revolution. Love for our communities and country.

We are seeking collaborative approaches in both formal and informal leadership. With resilience we name the many sides to being a feminist leader. We continue creating opportunities for young feminists to connect with others. It is out of love that the young feminist movement consciously learns the tools and mechanisms for accountability in feminist organising. Because of love we reject traditional leadership models that are governed by a patriarchal narrative, by choosing autonomy of our voices.

We are navigating our queer bodies through the different roles that we occupy as feminist leaders in feminist movement strengthening.

We understand collective care as a revolutionary act of love.

We are unlearning unhealthy expectations of the leadership of young women that is influence by misogyny & sexism

Heartbreak

Heartbreak influences my activism.

The heartbreak of inequalities is oppression, the facets of colonialism that still governs our body, choice & money. My eyes are wide open but still landless, queer & invisible within the margins. My leadership was personal at age 14. The only way I knew at that age was to lead myself through education. The history didn’t bear the name of my feminist ancestors whose dance, tears and prayers guide & protect me. African spirituality connects my heartbreak to myself and how my lived realities connects to the collective power of my queer chosen family. We resist patriarchy by naming the sites of power through consciousness raising to link our personal as political standpoints that shape our feminism and activism. We decolonize the way we are organizing ourselves as African feminist. As queer women we must practice shared leadership and decision making that celebrates our diversity, our voices and representation across the intersectionalities of our issues. We must do this through consciously virtualizing the feminist organisations of the future where power-sharing, non-hierarchal yet innovative organograms and movement building that is rooted in humanity and love and by creating healing spaces to heal from multiple wounds of heartbreaks.

My heartbreak is at the stage of acceptance that the global economic crises will not be solved by a single campaign, but through our collective leadership and movement building we will find holistic approaches to design our feminist organizing.

Our autonomous spaces as African young feminists have always been met with hostility and violence from the institutions that uphold patriarchy, however, we have always found creative ways to organize ourselves and break the isolation and alienation through collaborative action.

Transformative feminist leadership is the result of a resilient heart that got tired of holding back. Reflecting on and documenting our feminist thought gives power to the next generation of feminist leaders. My feminist heartbreak quilt is bright & colourful shapes of failure and imperfections that is the traditional leadership model. We heal from the heartbreak within young feminist movement organizing by resisting patriarchy.

In conclusion, transformative leadership is shaped by our relationship with ourselves, our resilience and collective resistance in choosing love to lead our activism as young feminists.

“Leadership is a means, not an end. We build leadership capacity and skills for something, to do something or change something, and not because leadership is a product or service for consumption.” Batliwala, 2011

The Tools

Influence economy 

Taking back decision making

I see.

 A leader from my authentic self, influence movements.

African Feminist consciousness

-C-R-E-A-T-I-N-G opportunities for the marginalized

 Realize your inner power,

 Collective power to influence change.

 Documenting feminist imagination,

Influence culture

Imagine feminist AfriKa

Holding itself accountable

To its people guided by tools to lead change

Patriarchy the ghost in the daylight thatgets angry when we set boundaries and learn to say no as leaders. 

the inner power to knows which battles to fight,

Sise hoa se di Gao khoe I see you documenting your joy, friendship & love

I see you documenting your struggle

I see you celebrate, affirm& learnwhatisahealthy environment.

She is taking charge of her storytelling

She dance to name her abuser on the internet.

 see young women having access to information.

We can now  see transformation if we organize in solidarity with care, I want to influence institutional care for activist and leaders by creating more safer spaces that are nurturing and supportive

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