Imagine walking out of war without a parent and still surviving. Imagine being made a mother of your younger siblings and having the audacity to nail it. Isn’t it daring how one can suffer at the hands of sexual assault and still pick themselves up? To be a pillar of monumental strength rising in an era of violence and virtual masculine dominance.
I am “woman”. I have been and forever will be “woman”. A rising voice from the horizon of change, a fierce warrior from the clan of queens. The 11th of October marks the International Day of the Girl Child, a girl child who continues raising a nation and giving birth to sons – who would rather see her killed instead. In honour of every queen that tragically left us at the hands of vile men, we celebrate their lives with courageous spirit ready to take to the streets to demand justice!
More than 30 years after independence, the girl child walks and lives in fear of her life being violated. We have failed the Namibian girl child as a country and as a people. All of us. We have made a mockery of her existence; we have played accomplices to her murder with our silence. But not anymore, enough is enough!
Never has there been a better time to demand laws that safeguard the lives of the girl child walking down the street, living in fear of their fathers and uncles. We need to demand the deployment of all our resources to finding the perpetrators that are still out there. We need to declare a nationwide emergency on gender-based violence against women until we lock up every culprit!
Young Namibian girl we celebrate you today as a deserving soul, spirit and body. We celebrate you as you come and as you go. We celebrate how far you have come despite the collisions; we celebrate the power you illustrate as you live and the legacy you will leave behind. Mostly, we celebrate your significant contribution to the beautiful evolution of youth activism, the rise of a voice of women.
The revolution will not be televised! We will take it to the streets, to every door and demand justice to be served for all the girls out there – known and unknown.