Jimmy Jean-Louis – Mauritius

Jimmy Jean-Louis – Mauritius

Date: June 16, 2015
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My collaboration with Gender Links

At present, I am a freelance journalist in Mauritius and also a radio announcer. My journey with Gender Links has been absolutely fantastic. One day in 2007/8, when Loga Virahsawmy came to my community-based newspaper to enlighten the journalists on gender issues. A few months later, I was invited to South Africa and from then on, I became a regular Opinion and Commentary Service writer.

But I think that there are going to be years of daunting challenges ahead of us. We are battling for a more equal society. And naturally, I want to continue to be a soldier of this cause. But there comes some points where we miserably fail. We are too often distracted from our real failures and have the tendency to blame the other party. Since I raised some issues at this Fourth GEM Summit, I could be wrong but it seems to me that some GL officials are no more talking to me whereas they used to say “Good morning” before. Anyway that’s life!

Coming to Gender Links is about believing in the cause. So today I am asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real changes in my country and in each country of the SADC. I’m asking you to believe that we are connected as one people. All of us form part of this very important process. We all made this journey for a reason. I came here because I believe in this pledge. It was here we learnt to disagree without being disagreeable – that it is possible to compromise so long as you know those principles that can never be compromised. So long as we’re willing to listen to each other, we can get the best out of people instead of the worst.

Each of us, in our own lives, will have to accept responsibility – for instilling an ethic of achievement, for adapting to a more competitive environment, for strengthening our values, and making some sacrifices. So let us continue this hard work together. Let us transform people’s lives from a gender point of view.

There are concrete examples of what Gender Links has brought to me. Besides contributing to the Opinion and Commentary Service, I see to it that La Voix Kreol publishes the views of Francophone and recently English writers in every weekly edition. These pages are kept alive even in times of economic turmoil. This is why I am disappointed with the restrictions or limits imposed on regular writers like me when I have always served the cause to the best of my ability.

Every day should be a new challenge. We can do this. It will not be easy. It will require struggle and sacrifice. There will be setbacks and we will make mistakes. And that is why we need all the help we can get. So today I want to speak directly to all those of you who still want to see things change: I need you. I need you to stand with us journalists and work with us, and help us prove that together, ordinary people can still do extraordinary things. Together, starting from today, let us finish the work that needs to be done.

The coming years must be the occasion, the vector of your hopes and our dreams. It will take your time, your energy, and your advice to push us forward when we’re doing right and to let us know when we’re off the track.

Thank you for your kind and dedicated attention.

Jimmy Jean Louis is a Mauritian journalist and owner of La Voix Kreol.


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