The Black Formation – A Dedication To Womxn

“African women in general need to know that it’s OK for them to be the way they are – to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.”

And so today I speak unashamedly, bold and incredibly loud!

Photography by Tony Maake

“To be magic is to be womxn and black.

To be magic is to be me. And I dedicate this womxn’s day to black African and diaspora womxn.
Africa is young, black and womxn. With these very womxn making major contributions to Africa’s economic growth through farming, entrepreneurship, care and technology.

Over the last few years, the continent has seen overall tangible improvements in the gap between men and womxn through Government and civil society-led womxn Empowerment initiatives such as equal access to primary education, and gender mainstreaming in parliaments. However, despite these advances, African Womxn still face many barriers to political, economic, and social rights. These barriers do not only hold African Womxn back, but also the economies that they are contributing towards.

While we face these barriers, black African womxn still prevail.

We still push and we still conquer.

Photography by Tony Maake

To be woman and black is to be magic.

The 2019 black formation series with South African based global creator Tony Maake, aims to show the resilience, and power of black African womxn.

As an African feminist, I was honoured and proud to be featured in this photo and video series where I was able to represent the strength of black African womxn.

Black African Womxn, where do you get your power?

You have consistently led nations to liberation, despite history’s attempt to erase you.

Black African Womxn, where do you get your power?

You are denied decision-making power in corporates, and yet you still fight to lead?

Black African Womxn, where do you get your power?

You are told that professions like engineering and science are a man’s job, and yet you still enter the field, and rise amidst the challenges.

Black African Womxn, where do you get your power?

You carry households, neighbours and friends on your shoulders, and yet you are still committed to making the journey easier for those after you.

Black African Womxn, where do you get your power?

You walk kilometres every day to get water for your community, and yet you still stop to greet passers-by in the spirit of Ubuntu.

Black African Womxn, you are powerful and you are magical. And in this womxn’s month, my wish for you is threefold:

1. May you show yourself compassion. You give so much to everyone else, and there is often little to give to yourself. May you feed your soul with the happiness, love and kindness it deserves.

2. May you show love to other Black African womxn. We need to support each other in every sphere .

3. May the world be kinder to us. We are exhausted of proving our worth every single day. May you know that you are worthy, and may the world recognise that too.

I have only begun showing myself compassion.

I have only begun recognising my power.

And I have only just begun viewing myself as magic.

May this video and photo series be a constant reminder of your power.”

– Farai Mubaiwa

“There is no longer anything I can fear. There is nothing the government has not done to me. There isn’t any pain I haven’t known.”
– Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 1987

Upon burning skies,

Promise lands are set alight in the name of liberation

Open wounds bandaged with scriptures and verses

No man will speak of a revolution where we conquered, but many will preach on how broken we were or have become

Upon burning skies, fire will seep through the cracks of the constitution

Rivers will run dry in the name of oppression

In the new days, we will not be blinded by smoke

Gunfire will no longer deafen our children


In dirt-filled puddles, our hardships will sink

Every heart shall witness a new rise of feminism. . .

Photography by Tony Maake

“I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay.”

Tracee Ellis Ross


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