The African woman is a phenomenon in every sense of the word. Last week I had the privilege of observing some African women at work. They were packing sand from a river bed for sale to truckers who in turn sell to builders.
The women stripped to their undergarments would swing metal pans and wade through a stream that came up as high as their waistline all the time walking on smooth slippery stones on the riverbed, trudge up the stream and climb some rocks before descending to the riverbed from where they got the sand before making the precarious journey back. They made several trips within the space of the hour I spent there. Language barrier prevented me from interviewing them about their lives but I also did not feel comfortable interrupting their tasks. I would only have been a distraction but I looked at them with fascination. How and why would a woman carry a basin full of sand on her
head and make a dangerous journey repeatedly? Where were their husbands? What happens when they get home at day’s end? do the men welcome them home with a hot meal and a soothing shower or will they have to get into the kitchen and perform the usual tasks? I’m afraid I know the answer, in African
societies you were first a homemaker and everything else is just added responsibility. You don’t take a break from being a woman performing your duties, you grin and bear it and wait for life to make you a man the next time around..