We are the African Girls, Strong and Brave.

Hello and happy fall!

I wanted to share with you guys a poem that I wrote last spring in school in honor of my friends at the “Girls Time” club in Victoria Falls. The poem is called a sonnet, which has a specific rhyming and syllabus pattern. Here is the poem:

We are the African Girls, Strong and Brave

With life in havoc, falls thunder nearby

I desire a safe and quiet place

Trudging along in the sun from the sky

Sometimes it feels as if we have no space

Pencils scratch and papers shuffle at school

Mama and Daddy are never around

A life so overwhelming is not cool

Depth of my world seems extremely profound

She looks at me with promise and intrigue

Offers me a new opportunity

Now I am part of a girls only league

The “Club” gives me a place of unity

Female energy brightens up the room

“Auntie” believes in me and helps me bloom

I would like to share with you a bit more about Victoria Falls. Some of y’all may have been there to visit and many others have not. Before we visited I knew that there was poverty in the areas surrounding where the girls lived, but I pictured it as more of a resort place with gorgeous falls inside of it. Yes, the falls are stunning. However the town is in extreme poverty, and several of the girls who live 10 minutes away have never even had the opportunity to visit. On one side of the town is an area with the falls. Entering is not dissimilar to entering a zoo. You buy a pass and then are able to walk in. Outside there are many markets with people trying to sell paintings, animal carvings, bracelets, etc. Just less than a few miles away are the girls. They still live in the same town, but there is widespread poverty all around.

Even though the girls live in such a difficult area, they embrace it and are incredibly proud of their homes and families. Since being in a club, they have gained so much more self confidence and are able to stay in school more easily than they were before because they are kept accountable. Auntie Procedure, the aunt who runs “Girls Time”, has become like an older sister or mother to the girls in the club.

I sent a copy of the poem I wrote to Smokey, who works on the ground in Victoria Falls with the girls, and he shared it with the girls. One of the girls, Ratzi, performed my poem as a rap. It is so amazing to see the increase in the confidence among the girls even since we visited a year ago. I can really tell that the clubs are making an enormous impact. I am going to share the video with you below because it is truly remarkable.

I challenge everyone reading this to watch this video and keep in mind the situations that many of the girls deal with at home and within their community. Consider the confidence and drive that Ratzi shows in this video and apply it in at least one thing you do this week. Whether it is going up to someone new and making them feel welcome, or going the extra mile for someone in your community, or pushing pushing yourself do so something outside your confidence. It could be anything. And while you are doing this, keep in mind these incredible girls who are giving it their best every single day because their future depends on it.

Here is the video.

I hope that the video was as inspirational to you as it was to me!


Emily Bronstein