For far too long I have failed to recognise my own hypocrisy,
I have ignored my own cowardice,
Hiding behind social imbalances.
My aunties and grannies perished in the social disclaimer.
I listened to the plight of the African woman and I panted!
I listened to the conceited chants of patriarchs and I huffed!
I questioned existence and felt no one is better than me!
Yes, Virgin Mary bore the saviour!
Thus girls can too!
The ruthless and ferocious patriarchal traditions triumphed over
The daughters of Africa.
They thought they are better than us,
They saw betterment in them and planted bitterness in us,
Our tears were barren, our fears were arid,
Our intelligence was thwarted,
Our creativity was sterile,
Our knowledge was austere.
But Nehanda showed us the way.
Joyce Mujuru, Stembiso Nyoni, Joyce Banda, Oppah Muchinguri
All followed the path.
Yes, girls can too.
What you need is efficiency not redundancy,
What you need is productivity not indolence.
How long will your ‘womeness’ suffer this anxiety?
How long shall you long for equality and equity?
How long will it take for you and him?
To see an equal counterpart in me?
But remember, Mbuya maDhuwe did it!
Mai Charamba, Chioniso, Mercy Mutsvene,
Bethany, Shingisai, Sandra Ndebele, Beverley,
Tsitsi Dangarembwa, Valerie Tagwira,
NoViolet Bulawayo, Kirsty Coventry,
Oh yes, girls can too!
In the streets are full of women graduates today,
Offices flooded with women,
In the military, there are female comrades,
The police staffed with female officers,
Female teachers, female doctors,
Bus drivers, even truck drivers.
Listen, you girl!
Stand up tall.
You were emancipated from the triumph of patriarchal domination,
Hold to your breasts the tool of equity and equality,
Never to lose it to the wild untamed.
Oh, yes! Girls, you can too!