In the foreseeable future, there is a story that I would like to tell my children. The story is not yet complete as my characters will determine the ending. It is a story of women who refused to settle for the world as it is and worked for the world as it should be. Their power lay in their voices and they dared to be powerful. The digital world then created social media platforms as an amplifier to their voices.
Through hashtags and posts they pushed for gender reforms, for the protection of their sisters from harmful cultural practices, for those among them who had been violently robbed of their bodies and so on and so forth. The list is endless. With a single post like a single flame, they would start a fire. A beautiful raging fire that left positive change in its wake. The kind of fire that forges diamonds, rubies and other gemstones.
Then came the cyber bullies and the trolls, who saw this fire for what it was, it was simply a gathering of little flames. Through unwanted sexual remarks, doxing, threats and other forms of online harassment, their sole purpose became to trample these little flames and consequently put out the women’s fire. When called out they went as far as stating that these remarks were ‘just posts’ and unharmful. However, like the women, their comments were also little flames and a manifestation of violence offline. If not contained, these little flames would start a dangerous fire. The kind of fire that burns bridges and leaves nothing but scourge and ashes in its wake.
“At the end, which fire continued to burn?” my children will ask. The ending of my story will depend on the choices of certain characters. It will depend on the collaboration of the government, internet intermediaries and other stakeholders. Together they have the power to put out any fire started, but which fire will they choose to extinguish? It will depend on the people around the women, including the gentlemen who support them and the young ones. Whether they will choose to stand by and sweep these injustices under the carpet or equally use their voices to bring about change.
Finally, it will depend on the women, whether they will continue to use their voices. Whether they will realize that the more they use their voices in the service of the vision they have for the world, it will become less and less important that they are afraid. That
despite the challenges they face, if they stick together, then like the single candle that refuses to die out, all the darkness of the night is no match for them. All in all, the moral of the story will be that It only takes One Flame to start a Fire. Dear reader, which fire are you fanning?

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