General or Other

20 MINUTES 19 SECONDS

I was wrong!

I was wrong to think she belonged to the kitchen,

I was wrong to deprive her of an education,

I was wrong to think of her as a beast of burden,

I was wrong to think of her birth as a curse,

I was wrong to choke her with chores,

I was wrong to perceive her as family income,

I was wrong to ever lay my hands on her,

I was wrong to mistake her kindness for weakness,

I was young but I was wrong!

19 years going on 20,

I am still wrong,

I am wrong to regard her as an object of pleasure,

I am wrong to perceive her as less,

I am wrong to think she doesn’t deserve big offices,

I am wrong to think she’s just a feminist,

I am wrong to regard her as a mere wife material,

I am wrong to take her as a bearer of babies.

I am grown up, yet still, I am wrong.

Oh man, Have you seen an educated woman!

The Girl Child deserves an education,

Do not deprive her.

Like the boy child,

She is brave, strong and brilliant.

Only filled with kindness and love.

To raise a girl is to raise a nation,

Oh Uganda, raise thy daughters.

She is not a machine to sentence to labour,

She is not some cow to milk money off,

NO to early child marriage!

Do not rob her of her bright future.

She is not a stump in thy compound,

To be left behind on school days.

My heart aches to see the girl child,

Resort to prostitution instead of a profession.

Each one, educate one.

Ignite flames of hard work not harsh work.

Kindle candles of confidence not con-words,

Stir in her passion not partying,

Awaken dreams not drinks,

Break loose shackles of the African mindset,

Incite better scores not chores,

Sensitize on education not fornication,

Command her future not features.

Mic check 1,2…

Listen pretty girl child,

Embrace your beauty and brain,

Focus on your goal, the golds will come,

Ladies,  books before babies,

Prove your worth not your worst behavior,

You’re a blessing, keep blazing,

A first class chic,

From a third world nation.

I saw one today,

A lawyer who didn’t stoop low,

A doctor who dodged doors,

A hostess who hosted honour,

An activist who acted apt,

An accountant counting her own,

A president who declined pregnancies,

A news anchor who wasn’t hunted,

An entrepreneur who runs an enterprise,

An engineer manning mansions,

A designer dressing Kings and Queens,

 A strong army of women rising in Uganda.

And now,

20 minutes 19 seconds,

To her dreams,

I stand civilized and enlightened,

Purged of my wrongs,

With a clear eye sight,

A vision for the female child,

I AM SOCIETY, I AM YOU AND YOU ARE SOME

Together, a generation awaits,

So I solemnly swear,

To suit her up with book and pen,

Till my dying breath,

So help me God.

                                       ©OKENE IVAN

          

1. 20 MINUTES 19 SECONDS

A poem written for spoken word about the need for the education of the girl child. The title 20 MINUTES 19 SECONDS depicts the year 2019 and how the mindset of the 21st century, cultured and modern folks is still poor towards the education of the girl child. 

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