19th November was marked as International Men’s Day and I want to use this platform and opportunity to specially thank and appreciate all the men in my life. From time immemorial, I have had men who have contributed positively to my growth, progress and my success. My father, my twin brother, my uncles, my primary and secondary school teachers, my lecturers, my pastors, my project supervisors, my friends, my colleagues, my co-workers, my mentors, my bosses and my role models. These have at one point or another contributed to my success by inspiring me to work hard, dream and be the best that I can be in all my endeavors. Some of them still keep spurring me on to greater heights and I am grateful for their presence in my life.
Being a man is sometimes not fully appreciated because most of the things they do are what is expected of them. They work for others more than they work for themselves. They give even when they don’t have enough. They encourage others even when they’re feeling down. They bear others’ burdens even when their shoulders are not strong enough to carry theirs. They stand and protect even when they are afraid. They stay strong and are the pillar others lean on. They are expected to show no fear. They are also expected to think of everyone’s needs first.
As a woman who advocates for gender equality, I have often been accused of wanting to compete with men or overthrow men in the society but that is far from the truth. In all these years, advocacy has helped me appreciate the role of men in the society and I know that the best way we can make progress is when men and women put hands together and work together to achieve common goals in the home front, the workplace and in the society at large.
You men make our world a better place with the way you teach us sacrifice and determination. You are the pillar for many families. You cater for our well-being and you do your best to make sure we are protected from harm and the elements. Most times you do these things without being told. Most times you do these things even when it’s not convenient or palatable. Often times, you work behind the scenes and no one gets to sing your praises or write your names on billboards heralding your greatness but you are there showing up every day and helping to make our lives better. So this is me acknowledging your importance in our lives. A day or two would never be enough to appreciate all you have been doing for humanity.
To every man out there making a difference, this is me saying I see you. I appreciate you. I love how you work hard to cater for those who depend on you. I love how you keep going on even when it feels like you want to give up. I love how you shoulder responsibilities with pride. We adore you. You are our hero and your honest work is inspiring boys to be like you. Thanks for all you do. We, women are proud to coexist and share the world and our lives with men like you.