One Saturday afternoon, I sat down on my couch enjoying local programs on TV. As I was flipping through tv channels, I came across a famous Kenyan female artist who was being interviewed in one of the stations. When I found out the reason for the interview, I became interested.
Apparently, she was launching a new video titled ‘Superwoman.’ I became excited because finally, someone was doing a video to highlight the great accomplishments that women have achieved albeit against the many odds set on their way. As I sat there watching the video, my heart became really heavy and a feeling of disappointment started to settle in.
The video starts with a lady who is smoking a cigar. She goes ahead to depict the “superwoman” as a glove wearing, ready to fight, motorcycle riding and one who can shake it. I got disappointed not because this lady is not talented, she is very talented but she chose not to really highlight and bring out the idea of the superwoman.
With that title I was hoping that she was going to highlight women like Mother Teresa, who gave up her entire life to serving the poor people in Calcutta and has become a force of good and service that is emulated the world over. Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win a Nobel peace prize and a woman who gave up everything including her blood to save the environment. Winnie Mandela, whom after her husband being locked up in prison, she became the loudest and strongest voice against apartheid and whose actions pushed the apartheid regime to give ear to the freedom cause of South Africans. Miriam Makeba also known as Mama Africa. She used her voice as a musician to become the unofficial South African ambassador to the world, who went all the way to the UN to call for sanctions against the apartheid regime. Even though he was banned from ever entering her home country of South Africa, her voice was very instrumental for the denial of support to that regime.
Closer home, The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta who through putting herself in physical pain has gone ahead to reduce the mortality rate of children and mothers during birth by her beyond zero campaign. Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch who recently was elected by the Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the First Vice-President of the court. Tabitha Karanja who dared to take on the giant EABL (East African Breweries Ltd), and it is testament to her fortitude that she is still standing after a battle for the local market that left more illustrious competitors such as South Africa’s SAB Miller with bloodied noses. Her Keroche Breweries is now a billion-shilling investment. Ida Odinga who became the rock of the Odinga family when her husband got arrested and served time in detention during the second liberation of our country. My own mother, Teresia Wambui Ng’ethe who just like other single mothers raised seven children single-handedly is a good example of a super woman.
These are just a few examples, and as you can see, we do not lack examples of superwomen. But this artist seems to have not fully grasped the meaning of a super woman. The other day we saw our media take a few seconds to mention the election of Justice Aluoch yet they went ahead to give almost thirty minutes of prime time interview to a socialite who is a divorcee with three children. Oh, and she is expecting a fourth kid with a guy who is younger than her.
We made a celebrity out of a lady whose only claim to fame was accumulating a huge bill and being taken to court for not paying the bill. What are we teaching our young girls? That hard work and doing things that change the lives of others don’t matter anymore and that if you want to become a superwoman in this day and age you just need to be involved in superficiality and triviality. Let all of us appreciate the super women in our lives and our country and elevate them as shining examples that our daughters can emulate today. Are you a superwoman? I support and celebrate you.
Follow the writer @PatmaichBMF