18 Jul 2020
It was a humbling opportunity to have featured one of Tanzania's author's campaigns on empowering and inspiring the girl child and what follows is a snippet of my responses to a few thought provoking questions posed by the author. P.S. This was probably the longest WhatsApp text I'd ever had to type especially since I was typing as I wrote:-
Question: What should the girl child do to prepare for leadership?
A: The great thing about being a leader is the fact that you get to choose the sort you become. And, this means a girl child can get to learn from her experiences from childhood where her personal story begins to unfold, to adulthood where she can reflect and relate it to others. My advice is to not miss a beat and skip out on her childhood. There's a time, place and purpose for every stage of her life, so she shouldn't forget to make memories. Time doesn't stand still and so she should try to grab every moment with both hands, savior it and enrich her story for no one can tell it better than she can. Being part of mankind is that we all stumble every now and again but, those times will definitely make her stronger.
Question: What should parents do to prepare the girl child for leadership?
A: Parents can simply be guides, friends, guardians to and love the girl child, investing in not only her intellectual interests but also emotional as well. I reckon that in preparation for her being a leader, it's also important to acknowledge and have regard for the differences in theirs and the girl child's generation (their dreams and aspirations aren't hers & so it'd be unfair to live life through another); this would go a long way in striving to ensure the girl child doesn't stray too far from their grasp. And, if it happens she does, she will know how to find her way back.
Question: What is your advice to the girl child in regards to leadership?
A: My advice to the girl child is, "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant" - Robert Louis Stevenson
Someone else once said, "Even if you can't change everyone's life, change one.." and this follows Gandhi's "Be the change you want to see in the world." Remember, she should have reverence for the Lord, so much so that when she's facing harsh times, she'll have the courage to give the next day another try...and always another try...pause, breathe, re-set, challenge the status quo, she is limitless and no matter how many times she might be forced or tempted to conform to societal pressures, know that the sky is not her limit. It's her beginning. I believe in her.
By Latifa Mkwawa on 23 Jul 2020
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