Essays of Africa
Evenly Yoked Progressive Women...
Women’s Day in South Africa is marked by women’s breakfasts, networking sessions, church gatherings and even charitable outreaches that empower women nationally. It is a time to gather and celebrate the beauty of womanhood and all this means for us, as South African women.
Yet, over the years many have lost touch with the essence of Women’s Day; the reason it is celebrated is not questioned. Young women do not learn about the foundation of a nation that was carried like a young child on the back of its mother. On 9 August 1956, an army of 20 000 women of different races arose under the leadership of four brave women, Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams De Bruyn.
These leaders, armed with courage and dignity, led 20 000 of their compatriots to the steps of the Union buildings in Pretoria. They handed over thousands of petitions to the South African prime minister, each petition signed by the women of the four provinces of South Africa. Each signature was a voice, a feminine voice, and a loud voice for the marginalised. I have no doubt that these four women were evenly yoked hence they executed this march strategically. Read the News Report by Ndoni Khanyile on page 54.
It is relevant for our journeys with other women and significant when applied in a family space, business fraternity, personal relations, romantic endeavours, religious ties and social platforms. The moment you journey with women with whom you are unevenly yoked, the journey becomes tough. You are out of sync and when there is imbalance, things start to tumble out of place. The journey becomes uneven.
Don’t follow the leader
People believe a leader should ideally always lead from the front or the back. Narratives have been written about this and the pros highlighted. However, if you lead from the front or back, the load is unevenly yoked and you find that those you thoughts were with you are actually being dragged along. Others get left behind.
When things break down, no one takes ownership; rather, you will find that blame shifting occurs because there was never ownership or equal opportunities from the get go. The leader should be with the people in the centre, evenly yoked and pulling everyone together.
The magic of alignment...
I am saying that the leader needs to be with the people. That is one thing I love about our Creator because He leads with you or from within you. When you lead, lead with the people so that you hear the people’s constant footsteps. When you are with the people, you lead together. Your footsteps are in sync and hit the ground at the same time. You can hear the people and address matters instantly. It is not a matter of them, but we. That helps with being evenly yoked. The strategy is aligned and executed in the same way when people are truly connected.
Be in it...
Be in it. Keep your balance. Focus. Walk. Together. Do not be unevenly yoked. One misstep and both parties can get hurt. Walk with evenly yoked people. Can two walk together, unless they agree, the Great Book asks.
Women don’t know the importance of being in it together. Be part of it. Be it. Be in the decision-making. Be yoked and move evenly with progressive woman like our own Nunu Ntshingila, Africa’s queen of Facebook. It was a blessing connecting and conversing with such a forward-thinking woman, who cares so much for women in Africa. Read more on page 38.
The four progressive women of the 9 August march passed on the baton to the progressive women like Nunu to transform the continent and 20 years from now our children will lead. Women have always been involved in all facets of the struggle in the continent and in South Africa. We need to teach our young people not only about their personal history, but also about the history of their country and of our beautiful Africa.
When you are in something, make it your business to want to know and learn all the time. It is your responsibility to know because you are in it. When you are evenly yoked, you have connected. You cannot be in it without any conversations. There is power in being in it. Do not be unequally yoked.
Nawaal M and EOA