DYGL Africa

How will you be free?

Welcome back to our blog!

In today’s post, our amazing blogger of the month Fadzai Nova takes us through a deep thinking process with her piece ‘How will you be free?

I remember the day. 

It was a warm summer evening and I was at a dinner party with a few new friends. After hours of laughter, delicious food and flowing wine, I was encouraged to perform a poem.

Up until then, I hadn’t shared “The edge of Morality and Grace (I drank wine last night)” with anyone even though the poem was already about 2 years old by that time.

I hadn’t shared the poem because I didn’t want to be seen as “just another feminist, man-hating poet.” I hadn’t shared it because I thought it was 2015 and the topic of “blaming men ” had been overdone. I hadn’t shared it because I was embarrassed. “Your legs look like they belong to a whore”…“take advice from your male organ…” ― Do respectable African females say such things?

So maybe it was the wine, no …it was definitely the wine lol that gave me fool’s courage to stand up and perform this poem to people I barely knew and I am glad I did. I am so glad that I did because the look in their eyes when I was done …told me…that this poem…explores something that still needs to be heard.

Fast-forward to 2021, the memory of a woman being aggressively handled by 4 men still haunts me. I remember my voice & hers being the only things breaking the silent night. Why didn’t I call the police, you ask? 

Those 4 men were the police.

Two months ago, I was woken up by the echoing cries of another woman being dragged down the street by a man, in the middle of the night. I could see people’s lights come on in the buildings around mine, their dark silhouettes motionless as they just watched ― people seldom want to interfere.

Earlier this month, I received a call from a woman in her 20s, newly married with two children.  She was crying. She said her husband beat her up. The saddest part is that I know if I try to help her, she will go back to her husband in a day or so.  It’s happened before. It’s the only kind of ‘love’ some women know. 

Wish i couldn’t say that the abuse of women is still very present in our African society and around the world. It’s layered and very complicated. We all carry stories. We all have experienced criticisms about how we dress, behave, what we say, our life choices, etc.

We all carry fear about what could be around the corner should we attempt to live our lives with a sense of freedom. This fear holds us in bondage so deeply ingrained in our psyche, that it makes reaching our fullest potential, an Mt. Kilimanjaro to climb.

I hope this poem inspires you to let every breath you take be a FIERCE act of preservation, even when your voice shakes. Live proudly for yourself and for your sisters. The world will try to teach us to hate each other, it will point out our differences and use it as fuel to ignite jealousy, competition & judgment in us.

We need to realise that the only way we can break these cycles is to stand together, because if one of us isn’t safe, trust me, none of us are. It is time that we break these cycles. Enough is truly Enough. 

Otherwise …How will you be free?

Love, Peace and Happiness, Fadzai Nova


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