Today is the last day of yet another week into the #WinterABC Challenge by Afrobloggers. This week was Advocacy Week. At the beginning of the week, I expressed excitement to hear “Loud, Unapologetic and Unfiltered” voices from bloggers across the continent and beyond. Unbeknownst to me in that moment, advocacy and activism alike have a tendency of opening up wounds as they’re usually platforms upon which people freely bleed with hopes that the injustices mourned for will not reoccur.
Understandably, this week was a cocktail of emotions and perspectives. There was strength, there was information, there was controversy …. but, there was also pain, trauma and gloom. To all the bloggers who shared this week- whichever voice you let out, I would like to remind you that it was not in vain. For those who faced their traumas, I send lots of love and virtual hugs. I pray healing visits y(our) hearts and souls.
Today’s “pat on the back” will be a hug through a song that always sometimes lifts me up (I hope it will have the same or similar effect). My dedication to everyone whose emotions were wrecked as they created and advocated this week:
As I committed on the last day of creatives week, every last day of the week will be a Recap & Highlights moment with sharings from various bloggers and seasoned with some Nsatu-rated Thoughts.
The invisible string that tied most perspectives last week, continued to do so this week. There were some post that were connected in a beautiful manner and where one blogger left off- another picked it up and the harmony was heavenly. I must reiterate that adequately capturing all the various topics or posts that were shared this week would be nearly impossible to do. However, you’re all commended for using your voices bravely.
I begun my week by talking about the difference between Advocacy and Activism https://missnsatu.wordpress.com/2021/06/07/advocacy-week-advocacy-or-activism/, I shared that where as activists are regarded as having lived experiences of the injustice fought for, advocates are mainly people that empathize and occasionally have audience with centers of power and can use their voices to effect change. I then reiterated that the classification or labeling between the two should be secondary as the end goal and primary focus should be the vocalizing and amplifying of voices against injustices.
The importance of Advocacy and the need for everyone to take a stand was succinctly yet accurately captured by Joseyphina’s World (https://joseyphina.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/wbc-advocacy-5-why-you-need-to-take-a-stand/) when she wrote: “We all believe in something; hence there is always something to stand for. Regardless of whether you’re religious or not, we were all created for something. None of us was made just to waltz through the earth with nothing to offer and yet every opportunity to mess it up” .
I later decided to advocate for Digital Advocacy, highlighting the important role it plays and refuting some criticisms and misconceptions that surround this novel form of advocacy (https://missnsatu.wordpress.com/2021/06/08/advocacy-week-the-emergence-of-digital-advocacy-winterabc-day6/ ). This perspective was later buttressed by Wonani as she gave us a dose of her thoughts on the 7 things she has learnt through Digital Advocacy. These include:
- The importance of unlearning
- Question you bias
- Educate yourself
- Check your privilege
- It’s okay not to post on social media
- It doesn’t end on the internet (Read about these insightful lessons here: https://doseofwonani.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/7-things-i-have-learnt-through-digital-advocacy/)
Mental Health was a frequented topic this week and it appeared in different forms. From self care tips as was shared by The Baobab who posted insightful guides in a 3 different blogs which can be accessed here: https://tcndangana.wordpress.com/2021/06/07/winterabc2021-day-5-why-should-we-practice-self-care/
Mental health also appeared in the soul deep sharings by Valentine which he called “Please Come In” . He let us into his real life encounters and left us with life altering perspectives to ponder on. The Please Come In sharings can be read on his site, accessible here: https://valentinewrites.co.zw/visceral/
Rufarocarol added her voice to the very important mental health discussion by writing on Drugs and Mental Health. She importantly and thoughtfully, shared resources available to help anyone struggling, these can be accessed here: https://rufarocarol.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/252/.
In one of his artistic romance tales, Casa tackled an angle of mental health that comes with loving and losing. In a letter he called, “To a woman who broke my heart” (https://casaldotonline.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/winterabc-day-7-to-a-woman-who-broke-my-heart/), Casa showcased the power that comes from harnessing the mental strength to look on the bad things done or said to us as ushering us into our greater good. In his words, he wrote “I may never find true love again, but it doesn’t matter. Because I was forced to learn to love myself. And that’s the most romantic love story of all” – so profound.
Governance, Youth Leadership and Constitutionalism were also tackled this week. I believe these are conversations that need to be had constantly as the leadership and governance trends in Africa have left much to be desired. In tackling this topic, Tee Madzika https://teemadzika.wordpress.com/2021/06/10/chronicles-of-the-youth-and-leadership-winterabc2021/ shared that: Africa’s leadership operates to simply obtain power and hold onto it by any means necessary and later raised an array of thought provoking questions we all need to ponder on: “Why is it that Africa’s best and brightest are lead by the worst? Why is it that there’s no room for the youth in politics on the world’s youngest continent? What is it about retirement that African leaders fear so much?”
Later this week, I wrote about Access to Justice (https://missnsatu.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/advocacy-week-access-to-justice-poverty-reduction-winterabc-day-7/) and the role it would play in reducing poverty if upheld. I highlighted that it was important for the courts of law to to be impartial irregardless of the litigants difference in economic and political power. In reply to my post, Benjamin question the question of capitalism in a post he called the Fallacy of Capitalism (https://musanjufukavubu.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/advocacy-fallacy-of-capitalism/). He asserted that there is need to reform capitalism. He argued in his controversial yet insightful post that, ” The origin of all inequalities and suffering is caused by capitalism. Not defining it but I will say a line about the economic system. It’s one where a tiny fraction of people in the world own and control all resources, products, and their only objective is to maximize profits for themselves. This is outrageous or even sad for a human with as fully functioning mind.“
The African Culture was another topic addressed this week. In her post on the Mother Tongue (https://sanctuaryofgreatness.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/mother-tongue/), Shazzy stated that – as someone who is very Afrocentric, I found this post to be very “on point”. There is need to uphold the African Culture and to stay rooted through language. In here words, Shazzy stated that: “I want to talk about the new generation of children who cannot speak their mother tongue at all. They twang like they were born with oxford dictionary on their mouth. I’d blame the parents on this one. A child is taught good English at school, and even when they come back they still allow them to speak English in the house. Parents should prompt the children to use their home language at home.“
Connie wrote about Death and Wills generally. However, I feel this awareness can be tailor cut to the African culture as it is uncommon for most people to prepare for their deaths. Some deem it as summoning evil spirits or bac luck whilst others have reservations about their dependents feeling entitled. Nonetheless, it can be agreed that the need to leave wills that adequately carter for loved ones is important. Read more on this topic here: https://behindclosedscreens.wordpress.com/2021/06/11/death-and-wills-advocacy/.
As can be noticed from the recap shared, indeed this week was a cocktail of emotions and perspectives. I appreciate that different causes where given the audience they deserve and were talked about with conviction.
To read more on the amazing content that Afrobloggers brought this week, search for the #WinterABC2021 hashtag on Twitter.
Next week, we tackle a very futuristic topic: Business and Technology. I am excited to create content around this and to also see what my fellow bloggers will have in store for us.
Hope you continue to journey along.
Read on & Live long!