Here's to the women.

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9 August 2019

Here's to every unsure 22-year old, just starting to navigate their way through this big world. Here's to them remaining brave as they pursue what they love, whilst learning more and more every day about what's truly important. Here's to their mamas who raised them to be strong, believing they could do or be anything they wanted, never needing anyone’s permission or reassurance to make their own decisions. But then again, here's to that same mama coming over at 9 PM to help hang curtains (because we never learned that in school). Here's to the generation before her for sharing her history, showing her granddaughter where her ancestors came from, giving her anything she was able to live a life different to that. And buying lunch when she sees I'm grumpy from not eating all day because I throw myself into my work.

Here’s to the women who run businesses and who focus on their careers, because they WANT to. To the women who show up at workshops in rural communities, babies strapped to their backs, to learn new ways of making an extra income for their household. And here’s to the working mamas forced to leave their babies in another’s arms as she goes out into the world to make an income for that little one to have the best life she can give. But then again, here’s to the women who stay at home, because god knows running a household is a job in itself.

Here’s to every woman who ever put anyone before herself and did so with gritted teeth, tired eyes and a smile on her face. To the woman supporting other women, their businesses and their well-being. Here's to the caregivers, the advice-givers, the hug-givers. The CEO’s, the mom’s, the lawyers, the restaurant owners, the daughters, nurses, policewomen, and school girls.

Here’s to all of us.

And here’s to the girls who will grow up to one day become these women. May we raise our daughters to be anything they want to be (or everything or nothing at all) and let them know that whatever they choose is okay. May we raise them to love every bit of themselves, both inside and out. Goddesses and queens who know it. And may we teach them about the women who came before them, who in their own, often seemingly insignificant way blazed through this world to create the life they get to live today.

Images shot during a beekeeping workshop in Livingstone, Zambia. On assignment for environmental NGO, Greenpop.