One Match Can Light up the Entire Forest

Dedication: I dedicate this story to my mum and all girls and women around the globe who feel weak and speechless.

I have always been very quiet, even when others hurt me or treat me unfairly, I would simply die quietly with the pain…shed some tears or stay away in isolation. (Actually my culture encourages people especially girls to respond like that to situations. Especially if it is an adult who is involved in the ill-treatment).

But that changed in 2014 when my beloved Dad passed on… His suffered a stroke after he had returned from work and we rushed him to hospital, he went into comma for 8 hours and died a few minutes into the 9th hour. One of the people who came to visit him in hospital was my uncle (one of his brothers); he kept saying; “Charles (my dad) will not recover from that stroke, even when he does, he will be like a cabbage…” My dad’s friends present at that time rebuked him. And when my dad breathed his last; during and after the funeral, that same uncle said some hurtful things to my mum, all she did was to cry…

So in 2016 when we received our late dad’s savings from the National savings scheme, that same uncle wanted us to spend it in a way that he wanted us to spend it. Now, I am a first born with siblings and we all had different needs… And here he was telling us how we should spend our dad’s money.

I got so angry at him and stood up for my mum and siblings; I told him to back off and leave us alone, I mentioned lots of things to him and until today he has never been rude again to me, my mum or my siblings.

I really felt so empowered after that, I strongly advocate for girls to stand up and speak up when they are not being treated well. It really feels so nice to defend oneself from such people. I encourage girls out there to be bold… Just because we are girls, it doesn’t mean that we can’t speak up. Change starts with you.

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Catherine Amia

I am a 26 years old self motivated female who enjoys reading, learning, networking and traveling.I am a Librarian by profession and I believe that one of the best ways for one to be empowered is to be informed.