My name is Tafadzwa Machingura. I’m Zimbabwean and 18 years old. I am more of an introvert than an extrovert that loves to play sports such as hockey, soccer and athletics and also help my community. I grew up in Bulawayo where I learnt to speak English and a bit of Ndebele because my family is Shona.
I am a very free person, a bit shy at first but kind. I have also realised that my kindness shouldn’t be taken for granted. I believe I’m not perfect but I try to be the best person I can be for myself, family and community. I’m still discovering myself as a person and I’m loving it as I take it day by day.
Outspoken for me means believing that I matter, it is standing up for what I believe in. At the same time, it not only benefits me but my community. It is accepting that I am different from everyone else in a special way so that I can fulfil my purpose and that’s definitely to pave way for the future generations to come.
I choose to be outspoken because the world we live in has set labels and stereotypes to limit people of colour and even women to achieve their goals. If I keep quiet my children and their children will feel the pain that we are feeling right now. Yes, they should work but not 10 times harder than someone just because of their skin colour but because of a more valid reason.
There is a quote that says “I am that song you skipped only to realize it’s fire”. When growing up I had a light-skinned best friend and my older sister is also light-skinned. Boys would talk to me to ask for their numbers and it caused insecurities such as I’m not pretty because I’m not light-skinned and there is one time it was said to my face. I hated myself for a while. I love these women in my life but I realized I have a dope personality and if you can’t see that through this melanin then that’s your fault, I know I’m lit.
I love being black because I don’t have to pretend that I’m black. I’ve read and I’m still learning more about the struggle our ancestors have gone through and to see people like Lizzo break stereotypes, Tyler perry being the first black man to ever have a studio, my friends and peers being aware of mental illness that is not talked about within the black community and wanting to change that. That’s dope !! Yes, our struggle isn’t over because we still have issues like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and even from my home country, Zimbabwe. Paul Munakopa being killed for absurd reasons. It instils me to fight for my people and never to stop telling the people in my contact list and also the people who view my stories that black lives matter every moment. You don’t need to have many followers to tell facts. I have something to fight for and remind the world that my skin colour is not a weapon.
I love being black because I can represent the culture and show that this culture exists because I exist. For centuries we, black people, have been underestimated just because of our skin but time and time again we’ve embarrassed racists by showing how dope we are.
To a black woman reading this, do not underestimate yourself. Work on yourself for you each day. Break the barriers that stop every black woman from achieving their goals and at the same time, while you’re helping yourself, help more Queens.
Make sure you don’t force yourself to sit at a table that you’re not wanted or being used, build your own table. The world is changing and we need to keep on fighting for what is right. Remember not to quit just rest because this journey is tough and a long one but the end will be amazing, have faith.
But most importantly your skin is beautiful, your hair is your crown and don’t let anyone tell you other wise