When I first heard strong woman by Raiza Biza feat Mukuka (Produced By Villette), it was in my brother's room. The two of them (Raiza and Nash) were putting the finishing touches to the track, well to be honest as a non-producer I can't tell you exactly what it was they were doing but I digress. As I listened to the melodic and soothing sound of the track I felt a lump in my chest, I was covered in goosebumps and full of gratitude.
I looked at Raiza and all I could say was wow that was so beautiful; I was in awe of the healing vibrations and Mukuka's heavenly voice. This was a song sung by our brother and sister for us. This was a song were our existence wasn't over-sexualised. This was song we weren't referred to as bitches, whores and told of endless triumphs of getting us naked. This was a song that wasn't guided by a misogynistic representation of what a woman should be/should act like. This was a song not about our looks. This was a song about us, us as who we are with no questions.
Let's be real, I have read endless articles about how black men don't stand up for black women when we are at the frontline of our struggle as a people (black lives matter, fees must fall, etc). To a certain degree I agree with this and I have at times been in conversations were black men were the ones to quickly slander black women. I have also had friends who weren't of colour confide in me about the things their black partners say about black women. While my response is usually a combination of waste man and other profanities, I won't lie it hurts. It hurts a lot.
It literally stings you not because I am upset that a brother is dating a woman of a different colour, nah that doesn't bother me, love knows no colour, essentially we are connected by our souls and vibrations. It stings because how can a man birthed by a black woman even say such, how can a black man who knows what it's like to live in a system and world that was built by us but not for us say that, especially because by extension we have it worse than our brothers because of the female element (hello patriarchy!). Then at times it isn't what is being said, it is what isn't being said.
I have found myself in situations where you have bystanders who are brothers of colour who allow another man of colour to either spit slanderous venom regarding one's character and not say anything. I have heard of it and I have also witnessed it. Part of me blames colonialisation, slavery, global warming and everything I can for some of the continuos disrespect. Then a bigger part of me says if I can protest for the lives of black men lost, if I can conduct research regarding how media representations impact their lives, if endless women can be at the front of protests of issues that affect us, if countless women can start organisations for the lives of our men then why can't they do the same for us?
At the same time you meet brothers who stand for you whether you are there or not. You have brothers who treat you like an equal and when you are in spaces with them your voice is heard and acknowledged. You have brothers that respect, love and honour the feminine energy in its entirety, those brothers include Raiza.
In this song Raiza comes together with Mukuka to celebrate us, whether we are short, tall, dark, light skinned or have different perceptions on what freedom and liberation is. For that I say thank you, thank you for seeing us as we are. Thank you for acknowledging our everyday struggles. Thank you for acknowledging our strength to rise above those struggles and thrive. Thank you for understanding the trials and tribulations of a woman in a world that don't accommodate her (that line is my favourite by the way). Thank you for stating that this shit ain't quite as simple as the freedom that we speak of. Thank you for this healing ode.