“Because I am a female, I am expected to aspire to get married. I am expected to make my choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important event. Marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support.
“But why do we teach girls to aspire to marry and we don’t teach boys the same?
“We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. If we have sons, we don’t mind knowing about our sons’ girlfriends, but our daughters’ boyfriends? God forbid.
“But of course when the time is right we expect those girls to bring back the perfect man to be their husband,” wrote famous award winner Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
US pop diva Beyonce used the lines in her song “Flawless” in a bid to continue promoting and empowering the girl child.
“We say to girls, you should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man.”
In line with this preparations are at advanced stage for the Chipawo Girl Power festival to be held in Gaborone, for a week.
The festival dubbed, “Chipawo Girl Power – Possibilities Festival”, will run from August 25 to September 1 2015 with local girls set to perform at CHIPABO Arts Festival.
Some of the countries taking part include Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa and Zambia.
The traveling group consists of 15 girls who have been selected from various CHIPAWO centres as a way of uplifting the participation of the girl child in the arts.
The girls will present a play entitled “Who is a Child?”.
In an interview with CLS, Chipawo manager Chipo Basopo said preparations are at advanced stage and today they stage a farewell concert.
“Before the girls leave we have planned a show where everyone is welcome to see what they are going to perform.
“The farewell concert is being held at Mt Pleasant, Scout Hall our Chipawo Centre and it’s free of charge,” she said.
She said the play is based on giving opportunity to girls.
“The story is based on a group of girls who were billed to provide entertainment for delegates at a summit conference and took advantage of the leaders present to present a thought provoking theatre production.
“The production brings out real life experiences that most girl children face in their day-to-day live. These challenges provoked the girls to ask, WHO Is a Child.
“This came as a result of the nature of abuses they face and the kind of treatment they get from their various societies which do not regard them as children through depriving them their basic rights such as education and forced early marriages,” she explained.
The team will perform on August 29 at Little Theatre in Botswana.
“Apart from the festival presentation, the girls will also have the opportunity to have an exchange workshop with girls from CHIPABO. Girl Power is a programme established in 2003 that enable girls affiliated to CHIPAWO get to meet and discuss various issues affecting them.
“Since then Girl Power has participated in numerous empowering programmes, including participatory theatre communication on gender and HIV/AIDS with young women in partnership with UNICEF, the National Aids Council and the European Union.
“Children Association of Performing Arts Botswana (CHIPABO) is a non-governmental organisation established in September 2012 which run the same programme as CHIPAWO Zimbabwe and is under CHIPAWO World,” she said.