OCHOLA KOMUONO: On Feminism and Africa

Who is Komuono?
Komuono is a young, energetic and aggresive young man. A student at Maseno university, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Education Science. Besides being a student, Komuono is a public speaker, writer, poet, Pan-Afrikan, feminist and a lover of leadership and governance issues.

You are a gentleman and practise Feminism.. How do you do it?
Yes, it always raises concern anytime I introduce myself as a feminist yet I am a gentleman. My definition of feminism is centred on the basis of equality and equity. I have grown up convinced that no gender is superior to the other, but the society seems to exalt a man more than a woman. Hence my conviction of feminism.

So, how do you promote empowerment of the girl child?
I do this by penning down articles and poems that are more of feminism centred. Also anytime I get a chance to speak to a gathering, I must always say a word on feminism.

I basically champion for equity and equality of all genders but base my efforts on women because most of the time they have been left out. Much of this is done through my social media accounts and physical presence in events. I basically speak and act feminism anywhere anytime.

Why are you a Pan Africanist?
Pan Afrikanism to me is the strong but personal conviction that Afrika and its culture is the best to have happened to Afrika. It happens through shunning of toxic westernisation that aims at demeaning Afrika and its culture. I believe in Afrika, its strength and potential in becoming the best of them all.

Who are the people you look up to?
The first person I always look up to is the younger me. I love how he dealt with so much to be the person I am today, how he was silly at times, how he messed up but the biggest is how he picked up himself to be who he is today.

The second inspiration is the older me. The me of tommorow, why? He inspires me to be the best I can. He keeps me on toes to be the best of today and gives me the urge to wake up tommorow a better person.

The third person is Dr Ben Carson. I am a close subscriber to his ideologies, his journey #ToGreatness is always a story of impossibility being possible to us who share same roots as him.

Last week the world was celebrating the international day of the girl child..What role do men have to play in promoting female advancement?
Men play the role of championing for equity and equality. This starts by how they treat their girlfriends, sisters, aunties, mothers etc. It is about men recognising that all genders are equal.

Are you affiliated to any organisation?
I am affiliated to so many organisations among them Intercen Kenya, Chapo Fest, Greenleaf Youth Group among others. In these groups, we mainly tackle issues of protecting the girl child.

How do the men respond to your campaigns?
Feminism is not yet accepted amongst many men. So i have faced so much rejection and mockery on the same.

Can you be successful and poor?

My thought on this is that majority of us are successful. We have the ideas to change the world and are basically well equipped to counter the challenges this world is posing on our way. But, on the other hand, majority of us are poor, why? In as much as we are successful in ideas, we dont have the correct resources of materialising our ideas to concepts of use to many. So we end up successful at a personal level, but poor in the eyes of people.

What matters most to you? Your eyes or other people’s eyes?
Both of them matter. Because if I say that only my eyes matter, I will be biased on this world. The world needs me, I don’t need the world as much as it does. So I observe what the world needs of me and what I have to offer.

Where do you see yourself 10 years to come?
In 10 years time, I want to be an opinion shaper of this great continent, I see myself as a thought leader in Afrika in matters of leadership and governance, feminism and pan afrikanism.

For Afrika, I think we are at a much more risk than ever before. We are at a time of economic slavery which is worse than the slavery we were all in earlier. So I dream of Afrika that is liberated and free of any form of modern slavery. A free Afrika.

What is your parting shot?
I would like to encourage you to be who you believe you should be, because pretending to be who you are not, will be punishing the person that you should have been. Hence, keep doing that which inspires you.

Whatever you have identified as your purpose in life, kindly give it your best. You never know who is watching or who is concerned. So just give it your best shot.

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Andréas Otieno

I would like to thank my good friend Komuono Hillary for the great thoughts he’s shared. However, his approach of feminism is a bit skeptical. For once, we want people to jointly stand up and tell us what feminism is, without making it bend more towards the female gender. From the outlook, they say it’s all about
gender equity and equality.

Most men tend to distance themselves from feminist talks or declaring that they subscribe to the thoughts of feminism because, it has got more to do with the Women, unlike its definition. We need to come out clearly and defend that, and try be genuine feminists.


The article is dope

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