In Africa, a woman writer is a revolutionary. In writing, the woman writer abdicates the role of being the silent spectator and dares to speak.
In patriarchal Africa, a woman speaking up or speaking at all is a revolutionary, going against the grain, intruding into the space otherwise reserved for her male counterparts – the space to define reality, to critique what is, to celebrate or to denigrate, to demand an audience where one would otherwise be denied.
For every woman who writes, presumes that she has an audience and that in itself – is a radical idea. A woman writer presumes that what she has to say is important, that her view and her voice matters and in writing she claims this space – the space to both speak and to be heard.
So when I write, who is going to shut me up?
The act of writing requires audacity, tenacity and above all, a commitment to one’s work, passion and destination.
To many; writing is an end in itself but to me, writing is a tool, a weapon I wield in a world that does not ordinarily afford women a voice.
So of necessity, my writing is mostly protest.
In fact, I believe that my work is more political than it is artistic. It is political in the sense that it challenges the status quo. It is political in the sense that it interrogates social stratification.
It is political in the sense that it examines the power relations that obtain within society – relations that are largely determined by who has resources and who lacks them.
It is political in the sense that it scrutinizes who has choices and who has none, who has options and who has none, who has a voice and who is denied one.
So I write to protest. I write to disagree.
I write to simply state that I think otherwise. I write to flip to the other side of the coin.
In my writing I identify myself as a feminist. I do not make apologies for it. Because feminism is an ideological position reaffirming what I identify with – the pursuit for social justice for women in a world where patriarchy legitimizes the conditions of our subjugation.
When I write, who can shut me up? When I reject patriarchy as an ideology that enables and legitimizes the structuring of every aspect of our lives by establishing the framework within which society defines and views men and women and constructs male supremacy. The ideological task as a writer and as a feminist is to understand this system and my political task is to contribute to ending it.