Saturday 17 April 2021
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Are We the Generation that is free?

This question begs to be asked over and over until We have become intolerant of the struggle.
Are We the Generation that is free?
What does it mean to be a free black woman in post independent Namibia, where the enemy is no longer a visible force of political oppression but rather the shadow of slavery which has soaked and slipped into our consciousness?
Are We the Generation that is free?
I wish I can answer this question in affirmative some twenty-eight years after our political liberation. I hope maybe you can answer this question with a resounding yes.
I, unfortunately am not at liberty to do so. Like so many of my sisters, I too have inherited transgenerational trauma and poverty. I too breastfeed the remnant children of a system socially engineered to keep the black man a beggar.

Are We the Generation that is free?
How do you expect me to be free, when I have spoken to a child orphaned at a tender age and living in a place where running water is a forgotten promise?
I cannot tell an eleven-year-old that her determination will be challenged at every corner and her dreams to become a doctor will be bludgeoned at every chance.
So, I resorted to tell her about the unwavering spirit of Woman of Triumph. Many have died with their names unaccounted for but those that systematic hate could not jail, lynch, kill or break have chiselled crowns of pure hold with their bare hands for each of us to wear.
Therefore, I stand with borrowed authority and confidence on the strength of our grandmothers, who bore the wounds of steel rods on the backs, carried babies to war and an AK-49 on their shoulders. Then you wonder why the black woman is a fighter, the warrior lives within us.
I celebrate Dr. Libertina Amathila. I wonder if this little girl from Fransfontein knew that she would become the first black female doctor of a liberated Namibia? Her life story gives instructions of forgiveness and determination.
Therefore, my consolation hinges on the knowing that it has been done before. We have overcome.
How can I forget the voice of Ma Winnie Mandela? Loud, unafraid and assaulted.
Can you imagine been hunted down by an entire government? Living under the scrutiny of a people fuelled by distrust. What kind of woman does it take to command guerrilla fighters, strategize and establish militants? Well it takes a woman that is fearless.
She said “there is no longer anything to fear, there is not a pain I have not known.” This gives me the reassurance that the black woman, though her pains are numerous and the resistance great, has the capacity to carry herself with dignity and grace despite it all.
I listened to Miriam Makeba sing songs of freedom. Waking her people up to the realities of the times and advancing the African Renaissance, through her gift of musicality. Her softness and gentleness teach that I can be yielding and still get my way.
Are we the Generation that is free?
I realise that my dream of freedom will not come from a government.  It will come from a scared space within each of us. Waiting, quietly, under the waters of our broken spiritual predisposition.
I watched the documentary of Brenda Fassie, she spoke about the struggle so nonchalantly, it seemed almost romantic. The one thing I know to be true about this woman, is that she was true to herself.
Her personality carried her to the homes of kings and queens and her talent seated her at the head of her own table. Brenda knew she would be great someday.
She knew she could sing the hell out of song and if I were permitted to use stronger profanity than I would have done so. She stood firmly on the revelations of herself. I learn that We too cannot be waived and moved within ourselves by the mirages of the eminent challenge and so I choose to see this journey has a gift.
I have read Audre Lorde and Maya Angelou, their leap of faith propelled by something greater than themselves.
They lived to shake ideas and people alike.
They lived to speak for the many who have died in the poverty of Spirit. They spoke in tones and colours that have given me weapons for the emancipation of my mind. I am taught by their work that we will never be free until we speak the language of our individual souls.
The woman are many, the list is endless.  I am reminded of Alice Walker, I promised myself not to cry but the Color Purple left me sobbing and broken open.
I lift up the spirit of Angela Davis and Ellen J. Sirleaf, Rosa Parks and our Mothers who have given birth to us.
Are we the Generation that is free?
Maybe not in so many ways, but I am certain of this one fact. We are walking on a paid road and that gives me hope.

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