Blog – I Am My Bodyguard


By Yvonne E. Mwende

Happy New Year 2020!

Frohes Neues Jahr 2020!

Yep, it’s a new year. Time flies. To begin this New Year, I thought to pen a reflective piece about my agency in the space of advocacy, especially on women’s advancement. Sounds off beat uh? “I thought I Am My Bodyguard was about equipping women and children with self-defense skills?” You ask. Well… yes and more… You see for the longest time I have been aware of the injustices and inequalities that plague the world, especially  women and I have faced as a girl/woman, some form of assault or the other which has consciously or unconsciously informed my work prior to I Am My Bodyguard and currently.

When I was nine years old, in class four, Mr. Wangiah was my class teacher. Among other subjects, he taught English, although I cannot remember his lessons, I remember his character. Every so often, Mr. Wangiah would dismiss the class for break and call in a girl who he would successful grope or attempt to grope, save for two girls in the class of 25 pupils; one with spina bifida and the other whose parents died of HIV/Aids related complications.

That period informed my first ever attempt at organising. The girls in my class began to meet in the field after he unbuttoned one of the girls’ dresses. In our nine-year-old minds we came up with the perfect plan, right there in the field. Each time he called any of us girls during break, we would all count to ten then storm in opening desks, opening books, causing a fracas, pretending to look for one thing or the other. One day, I think he sniffed us and told us to all leave save for the girl who he pretended to be tutoring. I had us all refuse to leave. We stood put. We had the numbers. That was my first lesson which I would later relearn during the I Am My Bodyguard training — that when confronted, a perpetrator loses his/her grip.

We later learnt he had upped and left. We told the Deputy Principal what he had been up to and she said we had an overactive imagination. To this day, I sometimes hope she rots in hell. Lesson two, there will always be those who aggravate abuse by their ignorance. Something else that was unfortunate is that prior to informing the Deputy Principal none of us told anyone about Mr. Wangiah, we all lulled in to silence.

Other ‘injustices’ have occurred as well. The male passenger who pretended to be scratching his leg only to ran his hand up and down my leg. I almost bit off his head. Or the one who attempted to dry hump me in a matatu. I remember reading an article about a girl who had gone to watch a movie with her elder sister. She was seated next to a man who ended up groping her for the entire movie. She was too scared to alert her sister who was sitting just next to her. Sadly, women and girls continue to suffer in silence paralyzed by fear. Lesson three, always defend yourself and call out for help. Perpetrators fear aggression, they hope that their prey will cower in silence.

These experiences have informed my zeal and tenacity to speak up for myself and for those around me who are yet to find their voices. Every so often I encounter people who will ask me how we expect an 11 year old to fend off an adult aggressor and my answer has always been in the words of author Alice Walker, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

207 thoughts on “Reflections”

  1. Hi there I amm so glad I found your web site, I really found you
    by error, while I was looking on Yahoo for something else,
    Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks a loot for a incredible post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have tome to
    go through it all at thee minute but I have bookmarked it and alsso added your
    RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read mucch more,
    Please do keep up the excellent work.

  2. With havinn so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either ritten mysself or outsourced but it looks like a
    lot of it is popping it up alll over the webb without my agreement.

    Do yyou know any wqys to hellp prevent content from beong ripped
    off? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  3. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the wway of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve goot ann awful lot of text for only having 1
    or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  4. Please let me khow if you’re looking for a author for your site.
    You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset.

    If you ever want to take some off the load off, I’d love to write some content ffor
    your blog iin exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me aan emai if interested.

  5. Hey there would you mind statingg which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m haviong a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  6. Unquestionably imagine that that you said. Your favourite justification appeared to
    bee on the web the simplest factor to be aware
    of. I say to you, I certainly get irked whilst folks consider issues that they just do
    not understand about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest annd aldo defined out the whole thig
    without having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  7. Hey I am so thrilled I found your web site, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Askjeeve for
    something else, Regardless I amm here now andd would just llike
    to say thanks a lot for a tremendokus post and a all round enjoyable blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have book-marked
    it aand also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back too read
    more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

  8. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if yyou
    get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any
    assiostance is very much appreciated.

  9. Unquestionably imagine that thaqt you said. Your favourite justification appeared to
    be on the web the easiest factor to take into accout of.

    I say to you, I definitely get anmoyed at the same time as folks think
    about worries that they just do not know about. You controlled to hit
    the nail upon the highest as neatly as outlined out the whole
    ting without having side-effects , other folks could take
    a signal. Will probably be again to get more.

  10. First off I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask
    if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself annd
    clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had a diifficult time clearing my thoughts inn getting my thoughts out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are
    generally lkst simply just trying to figure out hoow to begin. Anyy ideas or tips?

  11. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of
    house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site.
    Studying this information So i am happpy to convey that I’ve a very excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just
    what I needed. I so much certainly will make certain to do not disregard this web site and
    give it a look regularly.

  12. I don’t create a leave a response, however aftedr reading a few
    of the comments on Reflections – Bllog – I Am My Bodyguard.
    I actually do have some questions for youu if you tend
    not to mind. Could it be simply me or does
    it look like some of the remarks look like they are left by brain deaqd people?
    😛 And, if you are posting at other online sites, I wouod like to keep
    up with you. Would you make a list of the complete urls of
    all your social communoty pages likke your Facebook page, twitter feed, orr linkedin profile?

  13. I hardly drop responses, but i did a few searching and wound up here Reflectijons – Blog –
    I Am My Bodyguard. And I do have a couple of questions
    for you if it’s allright. Is it only mee or
    des it appear like some oof the remarks appear like they
    are written bby brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting onn
    additional sites, I’d like to follow everything new you have to post.
    Woulkd you list of the complete urls of aall your community sites like your twitter feed, Facebook
    page or linkedin profile?

  14. I do not leave a geat deal of comments, but after looking at through a few of tthe responses on this
    page Reflections – Blog – I Am My Bodyguard.
    I actually do have some questions for you if you tend not to mind.
    Could iit be just me or do a few of the remarks come across like they are
    coming from brain dead people? 😛 And, if you aree posting at other online sites, Iwould like to follow everything
    new you have to post. Would you post a list of the complete urls of your social pages like
    your linkedin profile, Facebook page orr twitter

  15. Yoou really make it seem so easy together with your
    presentation however I to find this matter to be really one thing that I believe I would by
    no means understand. It seems too complex and extremely vast for me.

    I’m taking a look forward to your subsequent post, I wikll attempt to get the dangle of it!

  16. Hey I know this iss off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any
    widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest tqitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience wth something like
    this. Please let me know if youu run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog aand I lpok forward to your new updates.

  17. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and
    I’m inspired! Very useful info specifically the remaining section 🙂 I deal with such information a lot.
    I used to be looking for this particular info for a very long time.
    Thanks and good luck.

  18. Somebody essentially assist to make seriously articles I
    would state. This is the very first time I frequented your
    website page and to this point? I surprised with the analysis you made to
    make this actual publish amazing. Fantastic activity!

  19. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you
    could be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark
    your blog and may come back later in life. I want to encourage you to ultimately
    continue your great posts, have a nice day!

  20. I really like what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work
    and coverage! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve included you guys to
    my blogroll.

  21. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to
    my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her
    ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely
    off topic but I had to tell someone!

  22. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established
    blog. Is it very hard to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out
    pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m
    not sure where to start. Do you have any tips
    or suggestions? Cheers

  23. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you
    aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *