The Activist Becomes The Victim

By Ruth Butaumocho and Grace Shaibu

There are so many cases in the world that we fight for especially when it comes to Women. There are different activists in the field to help women through their battles. But, what happens when the table turns? What happens when the activist is being battered and doesn’t have the courage to speak up?


What happens when that same thing you are removing from others neck has become the thing in your neck? How would an activist be courageous, courageous against earsay, against the media which is the bone of contention usually. Here is a story that would blow your mind.

Gender Editor Gillian Mukombe (not her name) staggered from heavy blows from her husband and landed on the passage door, after failing to maintain her balance. Even screams from their 16-year-old daughter, did not to deter her enraged husband from further pummelling her, while she lay hopelessly in the passage.

Gillian must have passed out, because when she woke up, she was being nursed by her elderly maid, under the watchful eye of her husband, who looked remorseful and melancholic, while hunched in a corner.

In a hushed tone, the elderly maid pleaded with her to go to the doctor and seek medical attention for her swollen face, a request Gillian flatly turned down. Understandably so, was Gillian’s decision not to seek medical attention or report to the police. She is a well-known gender activist working for a local non-Governmental organisation, instrumental in advocating for legislation to protect women from all forms of gender based violence.

“I have had to endure this tumultuous relationship for close to 20 years. It will be just embarrassing if the media gets hold of the story,” she revealed to this reporter at the sidelines of a workshop held in Harare on child marriages early this year.

Sometimes the one who is fighting needs help to fight Within.


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