And, today is my birthday!
This year, I would like to self-reflect on how God’s goodness has been pivotal to the progress I have recorded in my brake-less advocacy journey. My advocacy quest entered a full drive in 2015, and three years later, after participating in MCW, I launched my blog, where I broach all subjects advocacy. My entire adult life has been riddled with gender-equality discussions, of course, but before those two historic mentions, I hadn’t gone full-on gender-equality advocate on the Internet, but I had engaged young individuals on the controversial topic now and then. Then, I was shy, reserved, and, of course, I was worried that people may look upon me with calumny and berate my choice of path in life. Heck, I wasn’t sure that airing my thoughts on the Internet would make a (lasting) difference.
When I took the mantle of advocacy, at first, I wondered if anyone gave a listening ear. It felt weird showing up and speaking about women-centred issues and gender equality. That nearly killed my interest as posts became infrequent on my blog. One day, I got an epiphany; I came across people who put themselves in the thick of their noble causes regardless of an audience. That discovery was sufficient an inspiration to keep going.
In 2019, I committed to posting weekly on the blog, and to date, I haven’t defaulted. Consistently posting novel content on my blog and making posts on Twitter have thrown me in the thick of unending speaking opportunities on what matters to me. But I know that God’s hands have been through it all. People have asked to collaborate and partner with me. Some people have interviewed me. Or asked for my opinions to publish in a renowned newspaper. I know that all these have an evident divine hand; it is nothing short of God’s doing. I’ve been given platforms and opportunities for which I didn’t lobby. For that, I am grateful.
I firmly believe that God places people in our paths for a reason; some are there to help us become the best at what we do. I am grateful to God for my supportive family and a network of friends who continue to help champion my advocacy. Without them, I wouldn’t record the little successes I’ve had today. Even the programmes that I organize to mark the International Day of the girlchild — I’ve never attended a single event because I have never been around — have been successful because of the friends and allies that take my advocacy with a sober mind and dedicated spirit as I do. I am blessed with such supportive friends who are trustworthy and always willing to devote their resources to advance my cause. Does it shock you that I’ve never met some of them, but they treat me like family? I take no credit for this favour and goodness; it is all God’s.
So, this year, I’m giving God all the glory. I’m thanking Him for all the opportunities and people that He has brought my way. I appreciate Him for everyone who has been instrumental to my life and advocacy. I am grateful that despite all the times that I have struggled with my personality was and equality, He has never forsaken me. He perpetually reminds me that He loves me and He has never seen me as less of a child. I am also grateful that through the little I can do, girls and boys in secondary schools and women all across the country are learning to think differently and question stereotypes. I can’t thank Him enough for how He has watched over and kept me all the while. If I had ten thousand tongues, they won’t be enough. Thanks for Your grace, provision, and matchless protection.
It’s a privilege, one I don’t take for granted.
Like I always tell my friends: motive matters a lot to me. Before I started advocating, I questioned myself, wanting to know if I was on the right track and if my heart was in the right place. I prayed about it too. And I realized that I am on the right track because my intention has always been to empower women – not to bring down men. Even though many people are blinded by prejudice and often throw snide remarks, I always clarify my motives and communicate my intentions with them as politely as I can spare.
And, thanks to God’s help, the supposed insignificant that I am doing is making some difference. People have messaged me to thank me for some posts that resonated with them. Some have also reached out for advice. Although I don’t have all the answers, I’m always happy to help. And they may not be thousands rushing into my inbox, but the fact that I’ve helped change a person’s life or reinforce their beliefs about equality means the world to me.
The past year has been overwhelming; Covid-19, having to work from home, lockdown, and the like. Still, I am thankful to God that despite it all, I am still pushing. Still moving forward. And I’m grateful for that. I still haven’t mastered balance and self-care. But I know that I am in a better place than where I was 2 years ago.
I would like to appreciate my parents for bringing me up in the way of the Lord. My parents made sure that I grew up in the fear of God. They also made sure that I was always comfortable – I never worried about money or lacked anything material.
In this new year, I pray that my zeal for advocacy never runs out. I pray that I reach out to more people and impact a larger audience. And, as I step into a new episode, I believe that it will be repleted with a myriad of beautiful stories waiting to be told, waiting to be shared, waiting to be points of references for all and sundry.
Happy Birthday to my twin brother and me!