For Women’s Month, let us get to celebrate those who have the confidence to break barriers

As a man, a father, brother, uncle, friend and mentor, I aspire to impart the confidence to those around me

By Royce Mapaike

CONFIDENCE is a characteristic often mistaken for arrogance. While it looks like there is a thin line between the two, there is more than meets the eye.

Confidence is having the ability to overcome fears and uncertainty, to be a positive and optimistic visionary. Arrogance on the other hand is the exhibition of superiority, the ability to make another feel senseless so that you come out smart.
It is my belief that to be confident, one must be trusting, be self-assured as well as be a positive believer. It is the ability to know where one stands and be comfortable regardless of the competition at hand.
It is my understanding that a confident person still exudes trust while they are vulnerable, they feel competent from within and use their talents to try to be a success in their endeavours.
It is no surprise therefore, that the women of the 21st century have openly embraced this virtue, which has become mistaken for arrogance. Where women have always been tolerant and remained in the periphery, women’s voices are now sounding with confidence by the day.
It is in this vein that women are taking action and commanding a presence. Our voices emanate from the likes of Mariama Ba, the Senegalese novelist who knew that there was more to being a vulnerable woman and were confident yet humble.
It is women like Morala Ogundipe, a Nigerian scholar and activist who gave rise to the Social Transformation in Africa Including Women (Stiwa), a feminist theory that argues the relevance of feminism in Africa without it being a foreign notion. It is against this background that I am more appreciative of why we celebrate International Women’s Day.
As women around the globe celebrated International Women’s month, I was curious what the hullabaloo is all about.

International Women’s month was set aside to commemorate the movement of women’s rights, the celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political feats of women. This phenomenon has been in existence since the early 1900s and spread to a global scale.

Gloria Steinem, a feminist activist opines that the women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor organisation, rather it belongs to a collective of all who care about human rights.
International Women’s Day is solely to honour  womenfolks for their struggles. Of great note is Maud Chifamba, the whizz kid who passed Advanced Level and was the youngest, first female student to enrol at the University of Zimbabwe and graduate with flying colours in her Accounting degree at the age of 18.
In 2012, Maud was listed by Forbes Magazines as one of the youngest Power Women in Africa. We have the likes of Captain Chipo Matimba and Captain Elizabeth Simbi-Petros of Air Zimbabwe who flew the first all-female flight deck crew from Harare to Victoria Falls in November 2015. Our very own Zimbabwean sisters raising the confidence bar higher and higher.
I stand in awe when I look at how these women have maintained their confidence yet humble. As a man, a father, brother, uncle, friend and mentor, I can aspire to impart the confidence to those around me, like a contagious yet positive asset.
If it doesn’t challenge you, why do it? The mentors in my life have encouraged me to take the leap of faith because they have the confidence in my capabilities. I don’t know it all, never claimed to, yet I am confident that I can make it as I give it the best shot.
We have our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, girlfriends and mentors that we celebrate on this Women’s month. Thank you for the confidence you carry and continue to instil upon us.

Until next time, may your confidence be celebrated.

Mapaike is with Exquisite Entertainment

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