In Sisterhood I Trust


Sometime ago, everyone was all up in Kelly Rowland’s Dirty Laundry . Surprisingly not because she opened up about being in an abusive relationship in the past, but because she admitted that at some point, she felt “enraged” by Beyonce’s success. The “news” of this song spread like wildfire online as bloggers tried to sensationalise its lyrics even though the reality is her rage was probably to do with the fact that she was going through her personal turmoil and Beyonce’s shoulder was too busy touring and unavailable for her to cry on. I doubt that she was actually being upset and jealous about Bey’s success.

Having said that, I really don’t know any young woman who at some point hasn’t looked at another young woman they know and thought; oh how I wish. Could be anything from something as simple as physical appearance — though I love the skin I’m in, I often wish I could be like a particular friend who can eat a whole fridge full of calories and remain stick thin.  Or luxurious belongings like a fancy car — the closest I’ve got to learning how to drive is picking up the Theory Complete set of books and CD from my local BSM. So anyone with a car, luxurious or not, is living a fabulous life right now in comparison to me.

This I believe is human and healthy. However things get odd when you start to feel worthless and you begin to obsess about it; when you begin to hate the other person for who they are or what they have instead of  being appreciative and learning whatever you can from them. Looking at that other person’s achievements, without knowing what their story is or how long they were sweating and slaving behind the scenes before they made it big enough for you to know about their success, you want to be like them instantly.

You get caught up in self pity; wondering what is wrong with me? ♫insert violin interlude♫ Why can’t I? Why am I always down on my luck? How come she can but I can’t? After all I am much better than them. After all I am more qualified. After all I look better blah blah blah.  In the process you lose sight of what really matters. Of course you are not going to achieve anything when you spend more time looking at the next person’s work, than you do working on yourself! If you have ever felt this way allow me to share with you the following beautiful and deeply meaningful words on girl-power, solidarity and sisterhood from Ann Friedman;

When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her. Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better.

I found these words so liberating because they instruct us to do the opposite to what is expected. Us women tend to be very competitive. There is always one female-dog trying to eat — outdo, outclass, outsmart, outwit, outshine — the next female-dog! Having evolved with the stigma of being the “weaker” sex, historically we are expected to resort to more  covert or manipulative ways to attain success. I’ve never subscribed to that false notion. I believe in Sisterhood. Don’t get me twisted, I have my catty moments. I’m not immune. That I believe is wired into the XX chromosome. But I don’t see why one woman’s success should make me insecure. Much to the contrary it should be a cause for celebration.

To that end, I try as best as possible to surround myself with strong positively progressive females who can elevate my existence rather than break me down. So if you happen to be a Kelly with a Beyonce in your life, embrace her, love her, uplift her, watch, learn and see how much you’ll soar, shine and rule.

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GoWoman is the reawakening of the 21st Century African Woman - a bi-annual magazine sharing the complete stories of the African Woman who finds a way or makes one. We do this for self-love, for womankind and for the continent.

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