Introducing – The Badilika Congo Blog!

The purpose of the Badilika Congo Blog (Badilika means “change” in Kiswahili) is to feature voices of Congolese youth who have much to say about their lives and country but lack the resources to access the internet. This is the inaugural blog post!  

Meet Murhula Zigabe, a 20-year-old college student studying international relations in Bukavu. Murhula is a soft-spoken intellectual who is wise beyond his years. He is a prolific reader (when he can afford to pay to access the library) and enjoys philosophical  and political discussions. He lives with his mother and 4 sisters, taught himself Spanish, and he has written two books (as yet unpublished): My Favorite Heroine (about his mother), and The Family: The Future of Humanity.  Here is the first of Murhula’s blog posts.


She became a refugee without hospitality.

She hoped to get hospitality, security by men, carriers of guns, wearing military uniforms but these men that have the job of securing people and their possessions, raped her.

She turns her face now toward marriage hoping to get hospitality there, but when her husband saw her, according to him, she is just a machine he bought with his own money and that must be now at his service.

She found herself polygamy, because according to that man, the woman is not a human being equal to him, but a machine of pleasures and when the man has got enough pleasure from her and gets tired of her, he has now to look to another for the same service.

Disappointed by the wedding that made her a slave, she comes toward the church hoping to get hospitality, but she finds herself in some sects that advocate doctrines that reduce a woman to a weak instrument totally dependent and offer her kitchen and motherhood as the only opportunities for her life.

Disappointed by the church that limits her skills, she decides to go to school to be empowered by education and get hospitality but teachers oblige her to exchange sex for grades.

Disappointed by studies that rape, by a school system that rapes, she decides now to work hoping to get independence and hospitality but the boss asks her also sex if she wants to remain working.

This is the Calvary of which the Congolese woman is victim.

She has no choice anymore because everywhere she turns, she is surrounded by violence.

Now we live in a scientific world, a World that is piloted by English and science.

But the education right is not given to all women. Some of them do not go to school.
All of us know that in Congo, a woman is the agriculture peasant; she raises animals for her family to survive.

Today she is victim to several problems and solutions to those problems are written in books, diaries or in internet but most of these women do not know neither reading nor writing.

How will her future be? How will family’s future be? How will the female gender’s future be?

Women around the world protest for these others tired by heavy works for the surviving of families. Think of these others traumatized by polygamy and violence in all its forms. Speak up for these others that are too ashamed to speak because they didn’t get the opportunity of studying. Unfortunately the same opportunity is not offered until now to all African women.

If you are a teacher woman and you have girls in your class, if you are a journalist woman that speaks to girls, if you are a pastor woman that preaches to girls, if you are a family mother that has daughters……… sow in their hearts freedom, independence, pride of being woman, tell them that they are also useful to modern world.

Despite all sufferings of which women are victims, they can laugh because they love, because they have love; love that raised all of us, love that wants to change the world.

Thank you for what you are doing for the world.

Thank you for what you are doing for your families.

About Lee Ann De Reus

Executive Director, DV LEAP; Co-founder, Panzi Foundation USA
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