It is not me that I want people to remember. It is my voice. I once failed to address sextortion, I don’t want that mistake to ever repeat again. My voice, the voice that can stop a cat from catching a mouse. The voice that can stop a child from crying, I want to use this voice to stop that shameful man who is about to deploy my sister for his own advantage but yet pretends it is just a favor for her.
I mean, how I couldn’t know the effects of sextortion during my university education, If only I knew how this word with 12 characters ruined most of girls lives, I would dustbin the shame and speak about it confidently. It is funny how shame can influence people to back out from good causes that can be helpful to someone. How can speaking of men who abuse girls because of their positions be a shame! I have been asking this question for so many times and still, no one had a clear explanations.
The point of no return.
3 years of my silence about sextortion were disgusting and not something anyone should confidently write or speak. Years wasted to amplify my voice on this sensitive agenda, will heavily be repaid till the day of my last breath. I will never stop. I won’t stop. I won’t let anyone stop me on this cause.
The evening that changed my life.
My beautiful voice, the voice that can shake the unshakeable, and break the unbreakable was once again given an opportunity to contend and amplify the sexual corruption agenda. A second chance that I live to testify.
I remember, there was this one dull evening I was with my elder sister outside of our house in Dar Es Salaam Tanzania, chatting and watching the sunset, I love taking pictures of the sun during its set, it is a reminder to me that if a sun can set then even problems we face are temporal. As I was taking this astonishing shot with my phone, My elder sister grabbed my shoulder, I knew she wanted to share something. I pulled the plug on of my phone and looked at her cautiously.
“We Sakina, angalia fursa hii.(Hey Sakina, checkout this opportunity)” My sister spoke very fast while stretching the phone to my end.
And that is how the journey started. I saw an advertisement that had a purple and yellow color. It was a call for sextortion champion volunteers posted by Her Initiative Instagram page, a non governmental organization.
It is over.
Sakina was a name given to me by my parents. I am a journalist by profession and an activist by choice, with a passion to empower the community. Despite various projects implemented, never have I ever spoke about sextortion, and I sometimes blame myself for this. The fact that I have witnessed so many sextortion but preferred the silence button due to society negative norms is still puzzling and heart breaking. During my university education at the University of Dar Es Salaam I saw how my female colleagues were manipulated. Their innocence and dignity were taken away, and not even a soul said something about it, including me.
“Don’t speak about sexual corruption you will be suspended. Don’t say a thing about it for it is a shame. Don’t try to be a freedom fighter as you will regret it for the whole 3 years of your life.” That is what I used to heard.
Regardless of the matter, this was my second chance to use my voice, and meet other fellows like me who are committed to end sexual corruption.
Why I joined the panda movement sextortion program.
I was very aware of the stiff competition, but yet I wanted to end this epidemic. I wanted my voice to be used in preventing my sisters from unashamed manipulators disguised as saviors.
“Trust me, this campaign did not only increase my understanding but it helped me increase my confidence to speak against Sextortion, I did not advocate on my social media pages alone but I started sharing the knowledge I received during the campaign to my friends on Campus.”
Breaking the record.
During the campaign, I felt this relief feeling, and an excitement that can’t be expressed with only words. I saw how my voice healed, and changed people. As I was reading people’s comments, my head was about to bust with joy, because people were not only ready to speak about sextortion but also they were pressing the issue to higher authorities for immediate action. The whole 1025 people on social media and those on campus develop a huge understanding about sextortion. Words that came out my mouth saved a number of people from abusers. Through hosting different dialogues on Instagram live, sharing Tweets and Instagram posts and heating up conversation on how to respond to sextortion, people took actions and shared results right in front of my eyes. This was and still is something I will always share with anyone. People, especially girls at the front should always remember,
“Sexual corruption is just another challenge that comes along on our journey to success. You have to know yourself, take a stand and fight sextortion so that you may continue with your journey.”