Tafadzwa Muropa – Zimbabwe

Tafadzwa Muropa – Zimbabwe

Date: June 16, 2015
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My name is Tafadzwa Roberta Muropa, but most people call me “Taffy” or “Faffy”, a nickname for Tafadzwa (which in Shona means we have been pleased or blessed). I was born in 1978 in Harare, Zimbabwe towards the end of the liberation war. My father tells me that curfews during this period were rampant as he used to teach at a Salvation Army Mission, known as Howard Mission, Chiweshe, in Mashonaland Central.

I guess that explains why I am so passionate about history, and increasingly about herstory. I attained my Bachelors Degree in economic history and philosophy at the University of Zimbabwe in 2002, worked in the public sector just after completing my degree programme, and in civil society organisations for the past eight years. I am a single mom with a young daughter, Rutendo Ashleigh, who inspires me to become a better person and strive for gender justice in Zimbabwe, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and beyond.

GL is no stranger to intergenerational exchanges and learning. My first encounter with GL Executive Director Colleen Lowe Morna took place at the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August 2008. I noted that even though she is my mom’s age, Colleen still has the zeal, energy and determination to centre women’s rights in the democratic processes of all our countries. Her command of Shona made me immediately comfortable and at home with her. For any young woman who wants to learn about the story of the women’s movement in the region and beyond, GL is the platform for engaging with women from all walks of life. Believe me: knowing GL you will not be deficient in wisdom or love.

Since I have got to know GL I have written a number of articles on issues related to gender justice in Zimbabwe through the Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service. Even though I have no journalism background, the fact that I have some research background and had some of my stories published online (GL website), boosted my confidence in writing on anything that speaks to gender issues.

I joined the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Zimbabwe chapter in late 2006, and got to be empowered with more writing skills and using ICT in gender justice through the cyber dialogues. Being part of the GEMSA Zimbabwe team has helped me realise that more work needs to be done in ensuring that policymakers in Zimbabwe understand the gender dynamics in the media and the need to promote gender equality in the media sector as part of the democracy agenda!

I have used GL publications in my daily research on gender issues, especially relating to the media and the economy, since these sectors really need transformation, for lack of a better word. My participation as a Gender and Media Zimbabwe (GEMZi) representative at the 4th Gender and Media (GEM) Summit (held from 13-15 October 2010), inspired me to really work with other media organisations in ensuring that the media sector in Zimbabwe commits itself to gender equality as stipulated in the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and other protocols that address media freedoms and gender equality.

GL should be commended for its good work in Southern Arica and the rest of the continent, I must say. The challenge is to ensure that every woman, especially at the local level, gets empowered with the information that GL produces on a daily basis and becomes part of the process. The war is not yet over, but at least through collaboration with grassroots women’s organisations, we can surely kick gender inequality out of SADC. Secondly, if Gender Links can facilitate the participation of more women’s organisations and movements in the SADC region at the African Union level, then our voices will be amplified and our issues as SADC will also be taken abroad and this also gives us an opportunity of networking with our sisters in West, North, Central and East Africa.

I only have two words to describe Gender Links: “perseverance” and “energy”. For any gender activist who would really want to network and get to learn about the daily struggles of gender activists in Southern Africa, Gender Links is the place to be and believe me, you can never go wrong. Gender Links is the home of gender activists in Southern Africa and will continue to be for years to come, through supporting its initiatives, and I must say, I am proud to be associated with Gender Links!


Tafadzwa Roberta Muropa is part of the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) chapter in Zimbabwe.

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