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Baba Buntu is an Activist Scholar and Founding Director of eBukhosini Solutions; a community-based company in Johannesburg, specializing in Afrikan-Centered Education. As a Pan-Afrikan educator, writer, mentor and practitioner, Baba Buntu has more than 30 years of experience in conceptualizing and contributing to programs on social development, innovative entrepreneurship and cultural empowerment. He has founded a number of community interventions based on practical approaches to Black Consciousness and decolonial methods. With experience from working engagements in Afrika, the Caribbean and Europe, Buntu’s passion lies within people-centred development for practical empowerment of Afrikan youth, families and communities. He holds a Doctoral and a Master Degree in Philosophy of Education from UNISA.

The Weaker Sex

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Some Black Men are scared senseless when they meet Strong Black Women (I’m talking grounded strength, not the stereotyped finger-snapping attitude-up-in-ya-face type-o-Sistah) and will call them all kinds of name to mask the panic-state of their own ego. Some of us were never taught how to position ourselves in relation to an Afrikan Queen with opinions, merits, intelligence, political clout – who is secure within herself and has some expectations to me before even considering me as a relevant partner! God forbid, all we know is that we supposed to be the Head of the House, that a woman submits to a man and that if she doesn’t, the household will run out of control.

“Control your woman”. “Show her who’s the boss”. “Don’t share everything with a woman”. It seems clear that a strong part of our colonized indoctrination has been to draw directly from the patri-centric Master-Servant relation, as the only template for power. So, as an Afrikan Man, I develop this understanding that a woman must be UNDER me, serve me, answer to me and be reminded that she is not that much of a human being. The loss of my strength, it appears, is proportional to “my woman’s” gain of it. How sick – isn’t this the EXCACT paraphrasing of the White Master’s Voice (“Black people must be kept UNDER us, serve us, answer to us and be reminded that they are not that much of human beings”)?

So, what is the solution, then, because “we all know” that a 50/50-relationship “will never work” – at least not for us Black People. Perhaps we need a completely new dialogue. Forget the 50/50 notion presented in magazines that were never written for your empowerment in the first place. Focus away from the male-bashing-feminist revolution against patriarchy for a minute. Let’s be real. We clearly have issues – be it gender, family, community, governance, economy or Self. Deep issues which we never asked for, and yet it is up to us to resolve them. Our sense of being has become fiercely competitive – and rooted in a worldview where the only way I can achieve SOME power is to force someone else to lose theirs. We become active participants in our own, collective genocide. This can NOT be the power definitions Pan-Afrika needs right now.

Sisters and Brothers – there must be a space for mutual empowerment, strength and decoloniality. Where it doesn’t exist, we must build it. Can we start by acknowledging the pain that affect us both? The many layers of colonial disqualification that has rendered us BOTH unworthy, useless and marginalised? Brothers, looking at what we are facing today as a people, it is completely ridiculous to seek weakness in our counter-parts. We need collective strength.

You cannot afford to be afraid of a Strong Black Woman. In fact, your sense of comfort should elevate in the presence of one. A real, strong Sister is not out to GET you, trick you, or “take over”. She is your most important ally, partner and confident in your intertwined project of Afrikan liberation. When you protect her, it is not because of her weakness, but to support her in containing her powers. When you defend her, it is not due to her helplessness, but to honor the royal leader you see in her. When you put a word of complaint to her, it is not because you want to bring her down, but because you want to remind her that she can rise so much higher, and you are willing to grow with her.

To hell with the weaker sex. There can be no space in the revolution for weakness expected.

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