Osonye Tess Onwueme's "Shero"

Onwueme's 'shero' , Tell it to Women, 1997: 65.


"Father, you can't stop the sun rising. Mother, you can't stop the milk teeth from falling when adult teeth press for vision. Husband, you can't stop the young buds shooting out from the chests of females, flowering. How can you? No, you can't!

Father, I will understand. Mother, I will understand. Husband, I will understand. I am not a child anymore. I am a grown woman.

And I want to move with the world. If all else goes, let me go with the world. If all else comes, let me come with the world.

I want to go and come. And not be there standing still while the world around me is in rapid motion. I too want to move... move with my eyes! The principle of life is to give and take! Let me "give"; let me "take" from the world around me. Rarely does the water of life flow in a communal barrel. This is My Own barrel: each one with his or her barrel. This one is mine. If I break it along the path, do not worry. There will always be another water barrel. There will always be another road to life. Why must I be afraid to set out when I know that all there is in life is the journey? I am ready. Let me go! But I love the family and want to remain an integral part of the circle. HOW CAN WE MAKE THE CIRCLE IF WE CANNOT GO AND COME? How? That is the course of life; going and coping until the circle is complete. But I too must chart my own course in the curcle. As faces of husbands, mothers and fathers change in the sun, so does the moon. I want to see from all sides. I have seen the world from Your side. Why can't you see it from my side? I have made my choice. If , when I return, my father tells me there is no place for me in his homestead, I shall understand. If when return and my husband tells me there is no place for me on his bed, I shall understand. But for now, let me go...let me go... I must go! The women have waited enough!

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