On Thursday 23rd December 2021, I binged watched Maid, a Netflix limited series that was recommended by a friend. Maid is about a young mother (Alex) in an abusive relationship. She runs away from her boyfriend in the middle of the night to save herself and her baby girl. Without a source of income, she faces hardship. She moves into a gender-based violence (GBV) shelter but is in denial about the abuse. It was emotional abuse, which many people don’t qualify as abuse. IT IS ABUSE.
According to UNHCR, Gender-Based violence refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms.
Alex does not think she qualifies as a victim of GBV. However, at the shelter, she is gently informed that emotional abuse is also a form of GBV. Even if the victim does not exhibit physical signs. According to The European Commission, GBV can take on many forms including, such as psychological abusive behaviours, such as controlling, coercion, economic violence and blackmail. Alex`s emotional abuse was psychological in nature. The boyfriend was controlling and manipulative.
As I watched Alex go about her life which was full of hardships, I cried. I am those people! I will cry when watching a movie or reading a book with sad or cruel parts. She walked away from her long-time boyfriend and baby daddy with no money. She did not finish school. She was poor. She got a job as a maid but had to clean numerous houses to make ends meet. She also had to apply for support from the system to cover a few basics. Alex t also needed money for daycare since her mother was all about enjoying life and could not help with the baby long-term.
But here is something that stood out for me; when Alex leaves home and goes to the GBV shelter in the middle of the night, she is taken in. No questions asked. She is indoors for 16 days. All her meals are left outside her door. There is no pressure for her to leave her room. When she is ready, she comes out of her room. She is celebrated for being brave.
Having left her home without clothes for her or her daughter, the shelter has a boutique full of free clothes. One can get whatever they need at no fee. While at the shelter, she is able to find a job as a maid. This begins her journey to stability. She is able to afford a house, a car and groceries plus daycare. The small joys of life.
At that moment, I was reminded of the importance of pursuing one’s God-given purpose. The thing that keeps you awake at night. The thing that you will do and experience an intense sense of fulfillment. It could be singing, dancing, writing, teaching kids at different stages of life, mentoring, coaching, business, and so forth.
Purpose serves other people. Your purpose has people it has to serve. God is not selfish to give you music to enjoy alone. I mean look at Kanye West! His fans enjoy his music. I love Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and her writing speaks to me at all levels. I enjoy Tank`s music. He simply understood the R & B assignment. We live off Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram. The AfroBloggers community is doing the most for us African bloggers. The people I have mentioned are playing their part. They have an innate desire that is propelling them forward.
You too, dear reader, should arise and do all that God has called you to do. Just like the GBV shelter was in existence for Alex to have a safe haven, your purpose will produce a safe haven for the people who need it. Don`t minimize yourself. You are God’s hands and feet. Rise up to the occasion today. In the year 2022, commit to a relentless pursuit of that which God has put on the inside of you.
Remember, you don’t need to have a grand scale to move. Start right where you are. Take baby steps. You will not wake up a Beyonce or Chimamanda. They had their start moments and are now reigning in glory. You need to start today to build your Queendom/Kingdom. Start today. Start now.
Have you watched Maid? What are your thoughts/lessons from the series?