Fear in the lives of young women
4 Jul 2019 KAYA VOICES
By Kgaogelo Makgoba
Another shooting. Another rape. Another day of shock, and another cascade of insecurities, frustration and fear.
I cannot cease to wonder if South Africans have fully grasped how fear pervades our society and has set an emotional and fearful tone for our lives as young women . We live in communities where fear dictates how much we can explore, how we can live our lives and this is caused by the unfortunate and continuous events that happen in our homes and around us.
We live in an era defined by fear. The era that I think began on the 21st of March 1960, a moment when a nation that once seemed invulnerable suddenly felt tremendously unsafe. Ever since, there has been a series of bloody strikes out of the blue, even though it is not for the same reason as that of 1960, yet the unseen monster known to us as fear is ever-present in our lives.
It’s like we are haunted by this monster because not a day goes by without me thinking of what might happen to me while on my way to school or when I come back and I believe this is not just my reality, it’s probably every young woman’s reality. Yes, that’s the depth of insecurity we experience on a daily basis. For others, they have caged themselves as a result of this monster as a means of protecting themselves but in actual fact they’ve blocked out the need of exploration which enables us to be more knowledgeable, knowledge we can use to prevent disasters, tackle climate change, improve food security, agriculture, health and education as well as meet the needs of vulnerable societies. But we cannot get to the point where we can do all of this because we are haunted by an unseen monster known to us as an emotion given the name ‘ fear’. It is a very sad reality that we wake up to every day.
Just yesterday, my mentor called to tell me that one young lady was raped in her neighbourhood, what was weird is that I wasn’t surprised but hearing this increased my level of fear and frustration. What makes things worse is the fact that such traumatic experiences are regarded as norms in our societies because it is known that nothing will be done.
Perpetrators will always be protected by what we call the ” justice system ”. A system that’s meant to protect us but mostly destroys us, thus I was not surprised. It’s a very sad reality and a depressing way of living life. Something should be done, and it should be done very fast because people die as a result of this unseen monster more than they die from chronic diseases. We are the complete opposite of what we hope to be because this monster has drained every bit of confidence left in our bodies as young women. It’s hard to champion on. This monster has wiped out our credentials as Rico Graham Says. It’s hard to put our heads up with the presence of this monster in our lives, but we hope.
We hope for a better tomorrow, we hope to walk with no fear of being attacked. We hope to one day look up to the beautiful clouds fearlessly. Yes, that’s all we can do…..
Kaya Voices reflects the opinions of the writers featured not Kaya FM.