“I am the legacy of the matriarchs before me. I am them and my words echo their vision, their dream. For as long as I can write, I will write for them. That’s what feminism means to me.”
“Writing is a right. And it should be respected. Not only as an art form, but making the personal political.
That is my legacy. The legacy of all that I have inspired, and all those that have inspired me. I am because of them, that I am a writer today. Writing takes me to a place that hurts; it penetrates deep, it touches my soul. Sometimes to a place I don’t want to go.
I remember the first poem I wrote at the age of nine. It was not perfect, but it was good. My cousin was thrilled, told me that my words are my weapon, it’s my legacy, it’s my history, my future, and my present. He told me that writing heals. But it scares me going to that place. Sometimes it’s daunting to be the wheel of the car that I’m driving, the captain of my ship, the matriarch of my clan, the voice of my story. That’s when I remembered the lonely days of childhood, confusion, the urge for information. I wanted to taste the words, my peers, my sisters, my grandmother. I wanted to feel their words and find comfort in their history. That is when I felt a sense of victory. A calling. My destiny. I became insane in a magical way. It gets me crazy in an imaginative way.
When I get deeper in my writing, it doesn’t hurt anymore. I don’t even care anymore. I release the beast inside of me. The one that doesn’t stop once she starts writing. I release the child within me. Oh, she comes out to play, words going viral in my head, faster and faster than that I’m writing.
Writing has saved me so many times. Saved me from getting caught up with this crazy insane world becoming childlike; where imagination comes to play, happiness. “Tell her story!” my inner child screams. Words disappearing in thoughts, never to be heard echoing again. Now that’s the saddest part.
My voice is needed. I think about the legacy of my grandmother. My siblings tell me her stories, how she could capture her grandchildren around the fire with her words, her poetry was so magical; like with each word, with great anticipation, you could hear your heart beating. Her words remain with her children, guiding them long after she’s gone. Her legacy being told today. Her story needs a voice. To be documented.
I write for the legacy of tribes of women, whose wisdom we search in western academic world. Our stories are missing. The legacy of the women before us. Those ones that are here today, who touched my soul and continue to shape my future. I am the legacy of the matriarchs before me. I am them and my words echo their vision, their dream. For as long as I can write, I will write for them. That’s what feminism means to me.”
Florence is a member of Y-Fem, FRIDA’s grantee partner in Namibia. Y-Fem was founded in 2010 to create awareness on women’s human rights with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, LGBTQ rights and sexuality.