Tuesday, 20 April 2010

10 things African WOMEN must CHANGE by Mubita C. Nawa

Talking about an African woman in the context of change is as taboo as asking the Chinese to adjust the measurements of the Great Wall of China. The very notion of women changing is nerve wrecking because women in Africa, like women the world over, have contributed immensely to civilization as we know it today.

The African woman built the economies of the world. While her men were shipped to far lands in chains and yokes, she tended her land and cared for her own. As her men were deep in the gold and copper mines, she prepared warm baths and warm meals for them to return to. She cradled the harshness of colonial masters and calmed her man to avert the break out of war all the while absorbing the cultural shock that civility imposed.

She discerned the insincerity of the missionary and alerted her man to be careful in his dealings with the bible and riffle brandishing missionary. While men schemed ways to fight and chase colonialists, the woman sung spirited songs that soothed the mind of the freedom fighter. It was her, who liberated Africa.

Occasionally, the African woman picked up arms to fight in the natural and artificial battles that man entangled himself. In those rare moments, that tamed beast in all of us became visible. It brought to the fore a woman’s ability to summon great resolve when her back is pinned against the wall. In war, she has been a victim of rape, in peace she has been a victim of ignorance. In triumph she has been used to sing jubilant praise for her leaders and in defeat, the African woman has been used to mop the blood stained streets of Africa while deep in her heart she nursed her own wounds of insecurities.

The African woman is dark and lovely, distinguished, curvy and sometimes canning. But she is a noble woman. She is a mother, a sister, and a wife to all of us. Her accolades bounce through medieval times, to Mesopotamian times, and to modernity.

However, in order for this woman to continue in her vibe, she needs to modify her psychological posture, and in some cases her physical demeanor, so that her relevance is guaranteed. Change is inevitable. When change begins with a woman, that change is unstoppable no matter who stands in its way.

Here are the 10 things an African Woman must Change. Some items on this list are representative of deeper seated African cultures while others are forward-thinking ways to increase a woman’s sphere of influence.

1. Answer Your Phone: The number one complaint from a lot of men regarding women is not infidelity or clumsiness; it is the inability by women to answer their phones. Cell phones in particular. And the excuse from women is, “It was in my bag. I did not hear it ring.” Your inability to answer your phone will cost you three things:

a. Opportunities will pass you by and go to someone who answers their phone.

b. You will loose your respect because people will consider you a scatter brain.

c. Your relationships will be spoilt as you always have to fight and explain why you did not hear your phone.

More than any thing, not answering your phone means you are disorganized and you lack concern and care for what is important to others first and to you last of all. So get organized and carry your phone with you. There is a reason it is called a mobile phone; coz it is mobile. In short point number one could have easily read, get organized.

Know where your stuff is; find your birth certificate, your marriage certificate if you have one. Know where your title deeds are and when you find them keep them safe. Often what worries men about your disorganization is really one thing; “Will this woman manage when I am dead and gone?” A man can only be assured by your level of personal organization now.

This is not only about getting organized for the sake of men. It is also about getting organized for your sake. So that you can compete in any country, any culture in this world.

2. Leave Your Skin Alone: There is a reason you have that dark pigment called Melanin. It is a good thing and not a bad thing. Instead of the African woman looking for books to read and looking for investment and growth opportunities, she is looking for chemicals that will bleach her skin the deepest. She will alter her outside to look like a Barbie. But her inside will still be riddled with deep seated self esteem scars. And guess who is laughing the most? The men. Enlightened men have no appreciation of any short circuit to Gods wondrous creation.

Please we beg you as your men and your children, we want you natural. Just the way God gave you to us. You can use other augmentations and make up, but leave your skin alone.

3. Go Back to the Basics: The basics defer from person to person and from subculture to subculture. But find out what drove you before and go back to it. Some basics are bad and must be disdained. But others, most of them, are powerful and make an African woman who she is. For example, an African woman has respect. She gives and commands respect. A woman who will kneel down or at the very least do the knee-bend when serving is a woman with respect. A sexy woman but one who is still descent enough not to parade her assets in the streets to all and sundry is a woman of respect. Those are basics. Even the bible in Proverbs 31 speaks about these basics. We must watch E- Channel but we must not embrace everything we see on E-Channel. Some African women are swept off their feet by The Playboy Mansion, Kendra, and all these celebrities whose morals are questionable.

4. Shut UP: Don’t talk too much. Learn to mind your words. Men hate two the most: words and questions. Not snakes and needles. But words. You can’t be talking all the time. When do you think? A great woman is one who speaks when it is the right time to speak. And when she does speak, everyone listens to her. If you talk too much, you will give up respect.

5. Close Your Womb: Having children is a wonderful gift. But having too many children is a wonderful problem. Some African women still think like yesterday; the more children the happier. How many children can you have? At some point you must stop. One of the reasons China is a powerful country I believe is because of the one child policy. With fewer children, you liberate yourself to do other things and you raise better children (exceptions do apply). God gave you a mind, hands, feet and not just you back to lie on. And if your man wants more children, tell him you can adopt. By the way, family planning is primarily a woman’s business. When a woman says no, it is no. Can I get an Amen?

6. Raise Great Children: Preferably children whose fathers are there in your life and the life of your children. Be careful not to emulate some cultures where women mother children for economic reasons. Children are a gift from God. Raise them well. Spend time with them and tell them how great they are. Read great books to them. Introduce them to great mentors. Protect their innocence. And the day your daughter tells you someone has raped her or touched her inappropriately, for goodness sake believe her and do something about it. Too many women are sacrificing their own children over useless men they have allowed to come into their lives. Some of these men are only after a woman’s purse, pelvic and power. In raising great children, discretion must be exercised about your own indiscretions and idiosyncrasies. Many years ago, we never saw our mothers flirting, kissing or even demonstrate the wrongs they did. We never even saw them have sex. We only saw pregnancies. But today’s woman will do any and everything to please a man without realizing she is damaging children who are tomorrow’s leaders. All along mirroring and modeling a life that will damage her own children; born or unborn.

7. Trust your Man: Trust is a better weapon than suspicion. Browsing through someone’s phone is not cool. You will find whatever you are looking for and your heart will be broken. By the same token to all the men who check their wives phones that is the most un-rocking gesture you can ever give a woman. It is the highest form of mistrust. People are innocent until proven guilty not the other way round. In fact, trust makes a person in your life change their behavior. They will say, “I can’t do this because she trusts me.” If you don’t trust, they say; “I will do it after all she does not even trust me.” When you trust people, you show them that you yourself are trust worthy and you free them towards loyalty not scandal.

8. Choose Your Fights Carefully: You can not fight in every fight. Today it is in-laws tomorrow siblings the next day work. Men have a higher tolerance of conflict than do women (In part because men start those conflicts anyway). When a woman fights, she does not rest until she sees blood. You must chill. Fight sparingly. Some battles are better left in the hands of God. He will vindicate you. Don’t go to that workplace of so and so to fight. Leave it alone. One of the great ways to fight is walking away. That way you conserve your energy and prepare for better things in your life.

9. Leave Another Woman’s Man alone: This is a hot topic. I am not even sure I am qualified to tackle it. But many African women have no faith in themselves. They would rather harvest a fruit another woman has toiled to plant and cultivate. There are even women who do nothing but destabilize homes. There are women who have never gone out with a single man. All their men have been married. What in the name of shrimp is wrong with you? Lets face it, some marriages are dead anyway and your presence or absence does not make a difference in that home. But it is still wrong. I also know that there are fewer and fewer single men who are serious these days. A lot of single men are themselves caught up with multiple partners because they still want to play. This leaves the serious minded woman to settle for married men because married men are more stable and mature. Whatever the case, decide which path you will take as an African woman and take it with dignity and sobriety. Someone has to break this vicious circle and I am counting on you.

10. Get a Life: Women in Africa (our mothers at least) got into marriage and forgot about themselves. They dedicated everything they had to the family. They stayed home while the husband went to work; they cooked and ironed the children’s clothes. They did it all. One day these mothers realized the children were grown and gone, the men had multiple degrees and the women had nothing. And I mean nothing. What led to that? These women had no life. They gave up everything for an institution. They gave up everything in the name of family and in the name of raising children.

This modern woman must change. She must change her ways if she is going to win on the byways of life. Some of you women tell your men everything but your men tell you nothing. You tell them where your money is, how much you make, you have even given him an ATM card to your account but you don’t have one to his account. You have let men put all the title deeds in their names while none are in yours. Your men drive all the cars but you have no license to drive even a bike. Your men can go out for dinner and you have to stay home all the time. Get a life. You are a woman first, a wife second and a mother last. In that order you were created and you must take care of yourself. Go shopping every now and then. Go and party with descent friends. Attend weddings, schools, seminars and dress well. I am not talking about rebellious infidel women who want to rule the world with scorn, malice and fierce corrupt competition with men. I am referring to shrewd women who allow the world to underestimate them only because the world does not know what is up their sleeves. I am talking about women who don’t sponsor men’s lifestyles that are scandalous at best and mischievous at worst. I am talking about women who allow men to be hunters. Today’s African woman buys talk time for her man (all the time) and sponsors him to his drinking sprees while she languishes in worry.

She has weakened the resolve of man to provide because she wants to provide everything in the name of fearing to lose everything. And that man like a tamed and domesticated lion has nothing but dull teeth that can’t kill a single mosquito.

I know there are men out there who are intimidated by women who are more educated, who earn more money, or just look good. But let me tell you the truth; a real man is a real man and he will share power, he will support, he will celebrate a great woman no matter how much or how little she makes.

Don’t be one of those women who suddenly because they have money and power want to drive like a man, look like a man, drink like a man and smoke like a man. There are certain things women must never do. Not because it is right for men to do them. But because it is women are noble and kingly in their feminine way. And when women go ‘bad’, they really go bad.

Get a life and let your life shine like that of Mother Theresa. Get a life and let it shine like Oprah who fought in mans world not through manipulation but by gently grabbing power from men. Let your life shine like that of Wangari Matai who the Kenyan government tried to silence but her trees spoke for herself. She went out there and did well. Her deeds won her respect and even recognition for the Nobel Loriets. Get a life and rule your man like Michel Obama who gently guides her man to be moderate. If you ask me who the ‘president’ of America is, I will say it is that powerful woman who has found her place in life, has defined herself without the world defining her, and has liberated her man to be a great man.

Great men, real men, don’t want a woman who has no vision. Great men, want and deserve great women. Just as do great women; they too deserve great men.


Our continent is yearning for development. It is crying daily for men and women across this continent to take their rightful places. The best place in my view is not for men to suppress women and view them as sex slaves or any other slave for that matter. It is not for women to crave power so much that they lose it. I would even caution you, never fight a man head to head, you may not win. The best way to fight men is through power play. It is doing it like the way the German Preside does it. It begins with individual women finding their place in God, in society and in this continent.

Will women use their female prowess to manipulate and compromise their way to the top? Or will they anchor themselves in dogmatic resolves that unites all women around Africa and the world and then fight the greatest oppression of all; the compromise of who a true African woman is.

To label this article chauvinist would be as cheap as labeling the article ‘10 Reasons Why AFRICAN MEN DON’T ROCK’ sexist. Rather, both pieces of work must be devoured with noble intentions while sifting through nuggets of truth that apply.

All in all, women are the foundations of all society. They are the pivot of homes, schools, academia, and society. Men may be better at initiating, but women are better completers and finishers. We need the African woman to arise and bring real change to Africa. She can rule this continent if only she can rule herself, her emotions and her peers. That in essence is what true leadership is all about. Mwaaaaaaaaaaaah.

The author Mubita C. Nawa admits that he is a product of great women including his late mother Mrs. Patricia Mukumbuta Nawa. Yet as coiled up as his love is for women, he humbly submits this text to the women of Africa and beyond as a catalyst of change.


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