About Dr Bev Sithole
I am the EU Apex Association lead and have also been a technical adviser to ZDNBI’s Diaspora Policy Review Working Group. In addition, I am the Women’s Working Group inaugural chairperson, in what is a rotational position.
My great grandmother, Mbuya Muchagurenyi, ran away from her brothers from a forced marriage to some old chief she had never met across the border in Mozambique. She was running away from an entrenched system of patriarchy that was taking her rights to choose. She was banished from her family but found her voice. Her daughter, Mbuya Mwadhana, nicknamed Mbuya Bhechi (ndabheja), for her rebelliousness and irrepressible passion to voice discomfort at societal injustices and defy prevailing norms, is subject of many colourful tales in Chimanimani.
My Mother Mbuya Mwasiireni, was equally strong and passionate, standing up against prejudice, advancing the rights of widowed women, fighting for inclusion of women suffering from AIDS and as leader of Mubatanidzwa in Manicaland sought to bring people together. Today, I find myself reflecting on these three strong and defiant women and looking at my own life understanding that like those before me I have tried in my own little ways, sometimes in hidden spaces and other times publicly to push for what’s right.
Most of my small acts/efforts started with stories directly connected to me, mental health, incest, domestic violence, disasters and period poverty. I am in these spaces not because of a carefully thought out plan, but because of some form of spontaneous realization that I must do something more.
Bev can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org