So we see-sawed on whether to write a blog or a poem on International Women’s Day. It was a creaky seesaw and that in itself posed its own problems. We felt inspired to do both. Write a blog and write a poem. What a dilemma. We felt compelled to celebrate women. So we decided to do what no one has done before. We decided to write a Bloem - a blog and poem fused together. Our ode to women. Our salute.
Writing about International Women’s Day was an awkward thing for us to do. I’ll tell you why. The thought of limiting one’s identity simply to gender. People are so much more than that aren’t they? If people ask you to introduce yourself, you would not say, “Hi, I am so and so and I am a woman,” would you? Forgive our ignorance, but aren’t we diverse, multi-faceted, multi-layered, nuanced human beings?
Are we comfortable with just distilling things to one aspect? The female aspect? I suppose society has forced us into celebrating these days because not enough respect or acknowledgement has been given to women in the first place. The celebration has also been a reaction to marginalisation and discrimination. If you are not being heard, you have to raise your voice. You have to raise your glass and salute. Just as men are also wonderful creations. All human beings are, so long as they are contributing positively to the world and working towards peaceful and progressive co-existence. But back to honouring our She-Roes. Who are they and how do we honour them?
I feel a poem coming on
It’s not a note, its not a song
It’s just a lyrical piece to say
How my first She-Roe came my way
I met her in the early 70s
Apollo 13 had unsuccessfully launched to the moon
I was launching to earth not too soon
My She-Roe had an Ankara cape
Once strapped on her back, there was no escape
Some were bopping to the Jackson 5
Eba and Ewedu kept me alive
Sunny Ade was our sound track
As well as ‘ABC’ and ‘I want you back’.
The programme M*A*S*H was on TV
But the acronym never meant much to me
She had a fearless, brave She-Roes stance
And taught me that you have to dance your dance
To your own tune
And not those of others
So as we celebrate International Women’s Day
Am glad she launched me on my way
Am glad I had a She-Roe from day one
And that was and is my one and only Mum
Stay tuned to our website for interesting podcasts and blogs on women’s programs all through the month of March.