Imagine sneaking away from your parents home to run off with a man you love, only to be beaten and treated no better than a dog in your own home. With no one to protect you, you flee back to your parents and are rejected. Heavy with the weight of the world you wonder where do you belong. Now close your eyes and imagine being a young girl abandoned by family, so you run into the arms of the first man that professes love for you. Only to find out at his death that you are now infected with “the slim” HIV.
These are just a few examples of the heart wrenching stories in I Dare to Say: African Women Share Their Stories of Hope and Survival.
“I Dare to say” a FEMRITE activist project provides a safe space that allows African women to share their stories of injustices often seen but never discussed in a male dominated society. Through the horrors of rape, betrayal and abuse, the women lean on religion and their children to make it through and live. These stories are often times heart breaking and even hard to stomach at times but they are necessary. “I Dare to say” does what no other books I have read has been able to do, give life to the plagues on Africa and its’ women while offering a glimpse of hope for change.
Though these tales of struggle, womanhood and courage are intended to strengthen the minds of young African women, they are powerful enough to cross all cultures and serve to as a guide to make us all stronger.
Hilda Twongyeirwe is an author, a poet, an editor, and the recipient of the Certificate of Recognition from the National Book Trust of Uganda for her book Fina the Dancer. She is the coordinator of FEMRITE and lives in Kampala, Uganda. FEMRITE, the Uganda Women Writers’ Association was founded in 1995 to empower women through writing and sisterhood.
Please note: A complimentary copy of I Dare to Say: African Women Share Their Stories of Hope and Survival was provided by the PR/Marketing agency for review.