LOUD WHISPERS: We Are Still Here

 (In commemoration of International Women’s Day, March 8th)

Please don’t look for us, we are not lost

We have not been stolen away

We are still here

Even when they came for so many of us

And shoved us into the deep belly of the devil

There are still enough of us left

We are still here

Our mothers and fathers wail and gnash their teeth

Hoping, praying, fasting, beseeching for our return

We are still here

We are here in the eyes of the little girl

whose innocence was bloodied by the hands of her favourite uncle

We are here in the pain of the once vibrant Jenny

who has become a shadow of herself because some boys wanted to ‘teach her a lesson’

We exist in the fear of the widow who has been left with four mouths to feed

with no money, a temporary roof and vultures circling her home

We can be found in the sheer agony of poor Simon

Clinging to his wife Stella as she dies trying to bring their child into the world

Simon has no wife or child to comfort him

One day every year, we are remembered

There are a lot of speeches, rallies and marches

We sing, dance and clap

And our big men and women come out to tell us a lot of nice things

Then we all go away till the next year comes

We are still here

Waiting for the day when the pain will stop

When we will not have to see the desperate hunger in the eyes of our children

We never want to see the day when the thought will cross our minds

to sell one to feed five

Or the day when we will finally have to trade with the only thing we have

so that our children can go to school

We die a thousand deaths

As we see our children, men and women tied down like goats for sale in foreign lands

We are waiting for the time when we will have enough value to be considered as human beings

As people who do not get stolen away from their homes or schools

Or bartered, battered and disposed of

Cars, bicycles, phones or chickens, goats and cows get stolen

We are no different from all these things

The next time you hear we have been stolen away

remember the real reason

There are those who think we do not matter

we will always be lesser beings in their eyes

They don’t care, don’t give a damn and know they will get away with it

So, they steal us away

Not just from Chibok and Dapchi, but from so many other places

Yet no matter how many of us they take away

We are still here

In the bodies, minds and spirits

of all the millions who come together one day every year

Those who remain present but are actually absent

Those who are not missing but are well and truly lost

We will always be here

We will no longer be silent while they steal us away night and day

We will no longer speak in whispers

We know there are enough of us to make a difference

With solidarity, perseverance, courage and determination

We will make sure that everyone knows

We are still here.

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com




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11 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: We Are Still Here

  1. Olakunle Olajide March 8, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Tears rolled down from my eyes reading this..I really hope things get better in all sincerity and will keep campaigning fo le the women.

  2. Olakunle Olajide March 8, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Tears rolled down from my eyes reading this..I really hope things get better in all sincerity and will keep campaigning fo le the women.
    Happy International Women’s day

  3. Femi Diipo March 9, 2020 at 11:59 am

    We all need to do more, man or woman, young or old, we need to do more in making a better and safer society for our women. Because until they are safe and comfortable, able to grow and achieve their potentials fully in our societies none of us will or can be safe. Happy international women’s day.

  4. Veronica Imaseun March 9, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    We are still here ooooo.

  5. Oluwatoyin Adams March 9, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    We are still where we are, still in a circle. We are far behind but we will not give up on the fight. we will not stop bearing the torch till the change is done.

  6. Tundun Phillips March 9, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Hmmph. God assist us women and girls in this world. we have always been that collateral damage. I hope to see a world where women and girls will not be used as damages of war and conflict. I hope.

  7. Olujimi Femi March 10, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    God help our women

  8. Victor Udoh March 10, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for giving us a reminder. You constantly remind us to actively engage in what would favour our women and girls.

  9. Kiki Odewunmi March 10, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    May we get to that point where we would move forward.

  10. Bisi Alawode March 10, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    May we find peace as women, may we find the hope we look for.

  11. DSEED March 13, 2020 at 9:46 am

    May God grant us the strength needed. We are still here.


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