Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

25 January 2013

Namibia: This Week in the Khuta - the Curse of the Black Woman

column

As a black woman there is a lot of baggage that come with just that label "black woman". Speaking of which, whoever decided that us brown people are black and the others white? I am sure that at that very moment that it was decided, all things evil were associated with us. Then comes "woman", well do I need to spell out all the disadvantages that come with being a woman? Maybe another day.

One day as I was preparing dinner, (that was after work, and yes I work and am a full time housewife, - one of the blessings of being black and a woman), my daughter came to me and told me that I must stop eating because I'm already fat and that my tummy is wiggly. Yes I could have been angry at her for pointing out the obvious, and normally I am, but I found myself explaining to her that somebody was sitting and growing in this wiggly tummy of mine.

Thank God I was talking to a 6 year old because had it been an older person, the question to be asked was: Why don't you visit a gym? Oh I would have been appalled. A gym! What foreign language is that? My day is so full that I don't even have time to catch my breath, so if you see a black woman so fat, know that it's all from the tasty but unhealthy meals that we have to prepare everyday.

My daughter is so full of things she observes like the grrr mwi mwi sound that she says I make when I am sleeping, though I suspect these sounds are actually from her cartoons. She is a blessing. To have one child in our black circles is unheard of, because believe me, despite all the contraceptives offered for free, it's still very rare to find a 20 something old lady without a child. Mostly these women are single. It's like an unspoken rule. It's actually surprising to find a woman without a child. And don't think having and suffering with that child will stop a black woman from having fun, no the opposite is true and before they know it baby number 2 is on the way.

Oh yes, we have a thing or two that we can do better than our "white" counterparts, not that it's a competition. I am sure you can agree with me when I say a black lady can dance, oh yes the dance floor is our turf and why the hell can't whites dance? I had hoped that my list would go on but it seems dancing, giving birth and making foolish decisions are the only things that we do better than "whites". And not forgetting relying completely on the boyfriend or husband's pocket.

Bottoms up to those black ladies who are sitting in top positions and making it, and to those who are getting an education and uplifting themselves. To those sisters who don't sit and wait for opportunities to come to them, those that are making even the smallest of businesses, I say, keep it up. Not forgetting the single mothers, (that is the responsible ones) who are raising and taking care of the children alone. It's not an easy task, even for me with one naughty and too observant child and a husband.

It's high time we change the face of the black woman. This year I have decided to go to the gym. I actually want to see this wiggly stomach flatten. I know you are asking yourself if I will actually do it so I will go ahead and say Yes. I've formed a group of fat ladies, like myself of course, to encourage one another and exercise together and we are doing it. I know it's unblacklike but Yes I've decided to leave the curse behind. After all black is just a colour and being a woman is not an excuse. Enjoy being black and celebrate being a woman! Cheers.

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