The Struggles of African Women
by Alex Bliss
Every time I find myself on a bus next to a woman with bunches of unripe bananas and a basket of cereal in Nairobi, I remember my mama. Indeed I remember all women back in Kangaita, the village where I was raised. I recall their persistence and how they go out of their way to put their children through school and college, most of them without the benefit of a partner.
You will see them in the streets selling groceries, jewelry, banana…virtually everything, with kids strapped on their backs. They don’t give a hoot about the insanity of cars honking, the occasional threats or discrimination from the city council even though some of them have been arrested or knocked about in the past.
Nairobi is a seventeen hour flight from New York. It is located just below the equator in sub-Saharan Africa – and the sun is directly overhead here, close enough so that at 4:00 p.m it burns hot only on sunny days. ( It is raining now) — Even as hot as it is, it is still the green city in the sun with an altitude approaching 6000 feet, higher than Denver.
Sadly, while women make up most of the population and perform more work (paid or just house chores), they own less — like in every country in the world. In my 25-years of life, I have come to acknowledge that achieving excellence in academics, politics, finance, or other endeavors – as well as developing a genuine concern for the human well-being and striving towards the full realization of a just and egalitarian society is the ultimate achievement.
And I believe it.
That’s why I am every woman, every child, every man.