Is it still appropriate to extend New Year’s compliments? I feel there should be a benchmark for such well-wishes.
Nevertheless, greetings to the New Year, Mavutus. Now, I know last year I might not have explained why the segment is named Mavutu Conversations. Before I explain myself, I would like to acknowledge that, yes, I know it’s not a term many of us appreciate and attach acceptable connotations to. But please hear me out.
Initially, when I began this blog, I aimed to create a space where women could freely discuss women-related issues, and men could engage in learning and unlearning. As time passed, I realised that claiming space as a woman goes beyond organising seminars on Mother’s Day or Women’s Day. It also involves reclaiming power over certain names used to diminish us. This includes words like “slut” and now, “mavutu”.
Throughout my life, labelling a woman as Mavutu carried a sense of diminishing value. It was an alternative term used when addressing women, suggesting that using the proper term implied respect. Respect for who you are, regardless of your actions.
Choosing the name “Mavutu” was a deliberate act of taking ownership of a term which was often wielded against women, myself included. It signifies creating a space where this name can no longer be weaponised against you.
It is about reclaiming control over a term that once held power over us.
That said, may this be a fruitful year for all of us. With more engagement, a better space for women, and an even greater platform to learn and unlearn.
As we step into the New Year, I hope we can embrace the opportunity for growth and empowerment, and that the Mavutu Conversations’ platform will continue to evolve into a thriving community where open dialogue and shared experiences foster understanding and solidarity amongst ourselves.
I envision more inclusivity, diversity and collaboration within our discussions. I hope this year will still be the year we continue to amplify the voices of women, and challenge societal norms by dismantling stereotypes and promoting mutual respect.
The Mavutu Conversations’ community is a space for growth for everyone dedicated to breaking barriers and fostering positive change.
Again, allow me to extend my heartfelt gratitude to each of you for being a part of this journey. Your contributions, whether big or small, through asking questions and telling me how this segment has assisted you, have shaped the essence of Mavutu Conversations. May this year bring forth renewed energy, understandin, and empowerment to all Mavutus and allies alike.
* Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section concentrates on women-related issues and parenting every Friday in the New Era newspaper. She also specialises in editing research proposals, proofreading as well as content-creation. -email@example.com