Editorial Note– Wonderful, wonderful , wonderful . It had been a mesmerizing African Child month as Africa celebrate the Day of the African Child in the month of June annually. In this belated special inspirational journal we feature Murudo Lovejoy Kamhara . She is a younggirl living with albinism and she have defied all odds . She have done wonders despite societal perceptions on her identity. She is a student of medicine , a counsellor , a leader , a budding writer/singer and a public speaker.The featured young leader also has her own words and views about the day of the African Child and African Children.You can send your feedback comments , queries , support and likes to the firstname.lastname@example.org, inspiringpersonalities/facebook.com/group,email@example.com and visit the blog to for likes , comments and views, www.personalitiesofinspiration.wordpress.com
Murodo gave her own say about the Day of the African Child-This day was declared by the Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) in 1991 to be annually celebrated on the 16th of June. The day was chosen in commemoration of the Soweto uprising of 1976 on the same day. In this movement children of Soweto, South Africa, protested for their rights to good education, to be taught in their own language and for their rights at large.. Many of them died and others were injured on this day and the few weeks that followed as the protests continued. This day therefore stands for the rights of the African child. It seeks to give awareness to the entire plight of most, if not all, African children and works toward improvement of their quality of life. On this day people are encouraged to give toward the betterment of the African child and to share with them.
Every year a theme is laid down for the celebration of this day. I think the constant reminder every year to everyone about the African children is a great initiative. This has seen aid coming our way with many scholarships, food aid in times of hunger and generally hands from all over the world stretching towards aiding the children of Africa. However I think more can be done so that the children themselves know of this day and join in on the celebrations. More so, on interacting with fellow age mates I got to realise that few of us, if any, know that they have rights let alone know what their rights are. I think children should be educated more about their rights and what they mean. To add to that I think there should be more of listening to the children to really find out what they are going through and their thoughts too. They may be young but it is surprising how much wisdom some of them harbour in their tiny minds.
Part of the initiative of this commemoration is to end child marriages. These greatly affect the girl child in Africa in the name of tradition. With the advent of certain laws on children’s rights and the rights of the girl child these sorts of marriages seem to be decreasing. However in some parts of Africa and even Zimbabwe these still take place. In some religious sects this seems to be a norm and seemingly nothing is being done as this still continues. This is not only a compromise to the girl child physically. I think more than anything this affects the psychological well-being of the girl child. The most hurtful thing is the child is not really given a choice. The children of today are affected also by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Many a time the girl child ends up taking up the parental role at an early age when parents are no more. Such also sees the girl children selling themselves in the streets of Harare and other towns in a quest to make ends meet. Some have been raped and forced into silence, some are being used by sugar daddies, and some are working in homes for so little. The list is endless, but the bottom line is, the girl child’s cry for help is long overdue. The “women’s rights” movements have also seen girls bearing a burden greater than they should.
Well many interventions have been tried, laws put, organisations (e.g. the girl child network) put in place all to try and protect the girl child. All these are awesome and have played their part, great! However more can be done. I believe the solution is not in establishing all these and tackling the issues from a distance. I believe the problem is in the mind-set of the predators and in some cases even the victims, the problem is on society and how it deals with the cases as they unfold, the problem is on circumstances and the positions they trap the children in. In a nutshell the issue is with ignorance and a complete lack of empathy. If everyone would ask themselves the question “If it were me how would I feel?” then everything would resolve because everyone would observe the golden rule.
Since this is not an ideal world, the above solutions may not completely solve the problem. The perpetual answer to the fight for the girl child is divine intervention. Only a supernatural force can come and completely change the whole situation and make everything right. In the meantime though, we educate the girl child on her rights, we reduce the HIV/AIDS burden by every means possible, and we put in place laws guarding the girl child. The greatest intervention which I believe is in lack is counselling. Many grow with low esteem since they don’t get to let out and they just let life pass them by.
The girl children with disabilities or conditions that make them seemingly different always face a challenge. They are a minority and the rest of the world seems to crumble onto them. Likewise, the solution lies in opening the eyes of those around them so that they realise that they are equals. More so it would help if these children were not isolated and set apart even in schools as this will magnify the differences and make them even less and less confident when they eventually have to face the world. It is not rare to see a male visually impaired or physically challenged individual married to a ‘normal’ wife. However the reverse is rare and the ‘in law’ family in most cases breaks hell lose. Change the way people look at these people and this will change how they see them and make life as beautiful for the disadvantaged girl child as it is for the rest.
I look forward to an Africa where the child’s voice is muffled no more, and more practical interventions
Murudo Lovejoy Kamhara is a 23 year old young lady . She was born in a family of three in Harare She lives in one of the oldest suburbs of Harare ,Dzivaresekwa. She did her primary education at a local school called Gillingham primary school and her high school education at Zimuto high school in Masvingo province.
She has been always an introvert, reserved, quiet and not so much for crowds. She has been writing remarkable essays since the year 2007. Music has also been her passion. Right now she is studying medicine (MBChB) at the University of Zimbabwe. Medicine is her greatest dream career.
1. What is your greatest life, artistic, academic and creative achievements?
The greater part of my existence has been highlighted by academic endeavours. Most of my awards and achievements have been in this area. In primary school I found myself receiving first price almost every term. I managed to be the only one with four units at grade 7 amongst all the local schools in my area. In secondary school well we didn’t have much of the price giving days if any, but yes the flying colours never landed. I managed to score enough points to get me into medical school, my dream. Just after my second year of medical school, I pursued anatomy for a year and managed to attain a BSc. honours degree in human anatomy with honours. To date I am now in my 3rd year of studying medicine and still going. I could go in and on with academic Achievements but apparently there’s more to life than education. I only grew to realise this after so many years of self-seeking. Finally I can safely say I managed to put my life in reasonable order, to find myself and embrace the ‘me’ that I am. I believe this has been my greatest life achievement. Moreover I have managed to give other people hope even when I had no idea I was.
Basically I enjoy music both listening to it and making it. By making it, yes I mean writing and singing. Well the written pieces i have never put out there and some I even lost, so yes it’s sort of my little secret. However I have been into writing poems since 2007. I mean writing and reciting. Back in primary school I would recite poems at books fairs and other functions. When I got to Zimuto high there was no active arts club so me and other students started up a debate and public speaking club which took us places. One of our greatest prides is we managed to have one of us become child MP for Masvingo province after presenting a speech. I mention this here because I was one of the writers. I would say the art of putting inner feelings to words is something I do well.
There is a part of medicine called community medicine. This is where we get to go to different districts and interact with the community. So far I have been to one of these and have about two more coming. In this exercise we got into the community and found out how they live, what their challenges are, what their strengths are. This we wrote a report on. This helped the community in that the report would influence how the community would be assisted and better their lives a bit. In the same lines of academics I take time to go back to anatomy department at the U. Z and help students there with their practicals. It gives me joy to see someone excel.
Outside of school I realised I am a counsellor, encourager and listener. Of course this has inly benefited those around me so far, my friends and family, but I’m pursuing a diploma in that area so that I can take it out there and help even more people considering there are lots of people with so much going on but they have nowhere to offload. Anyway moving forward, I have also managed to impact people through my faith, Christianity especially through music. Lastly I will mention toastmasters. This is basically a public speaking club teaching people communication and leadership skills. I have been a part of it for over a year now as VP and have seen people improving in both regards.
3. What are your future prospects in your career and your life?
My main career is to become a medical doctor . In this regard I wish to later on specialise in pathology. However by the age of 35 or latest 40 I want to have established enough investments to take care of myself for the rest of my life. My career in music and art is another entity altogether. I see myself in years to come being a performer at big events. Letting my art out there and allowing it to touch someone. As for life in general, ultimately, I want to leave a mark if not on the world then at least on the nation. I want to make a name that will live on even after I am gone. More so I want to bring up children that will grow to be better than I would have been. This will bring me more than enough satisfaction.
4. What is your parting shot to fellow women and girls?
To fellow women and girls I have two words ‘ be yourself ‘. Yes other people may seem better, the image you see in the mirror may not be what you hoped for but hey, there is only one you out there and no one will appreciate you if you are not original and if you do not love yourself. In a nutshell, be yourself, appreciate who you are and respect yourself. With these three you can do almost anything, or at least you can dare to.