Agenda 2063: Two Children recite a Poem to send Key Messages using the symbol of the Key to the AU Commission during Gender Pre-Summit

January 20, 2016

Agenda 2063: Two Children recite a Poem to send Key Messages using the symbol of the Key to the AU Commission during Gender Pre-Summit

Addis Ababa, 21 January 2016 - Two young children SEBASTIÃO NHUMBWAVALI and WALIYAT TAJUDEEN aroused the conscience of participants during the 8th Gender Pre-Summit held on 20 January 2016 at the AU Headquarters as they recite a poem with strong messages to the AU Commission, calling on the women leaders and policy makers to help them fully contribute to the realization of Agenda 2063. The two children were coached in this exercise by Mr. Lukman Olawale Jaji and Mr. Emmanuel Shimbid, both staff working with the AUC. The poem which was delivered at the end of the presentation of the final communiqué of the Gender Pre-Summit was applauded with a standing ovation as the two children handed over a symbolic key to the representative of H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AUC, Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the AU Commission.

Initiated by the Directorate of Information and Communication (DIC) in collaboration with the Directorate of Women, Gender and Development of the AUC, the poem and the key formula was intended to render the final session of the Gender Pre-Summit more interesting and binding, so that the participants commit to take their responsibilities in committing their respective governments to ensure the effective implementation of the outcome document of the Pre-Summit.

The poem goes as follows:

One day my teacher asked me to spell COURAGE

I said, ..W.O.M.A.N.....

She looked at me with so much astonishment...

She said again, spell LOVE

I said I said..W.O.M.A.N......that's it..

Then again she said...spell the word AFRICA

I said..W.O.M.A.N...

Then she asked me to spell TEARS, SMILE, PARADISE and more and more words

I gave the same answer...

She said you can't be serious...

The answer to every question can't be ..W.O.M.A.N...

Then I said..listen dear teacher...

Let's switch roles for a moment

And I wil tell you why

If you asked me a thousand questions

The answer will be same...

Then I heard a big bang of silence

Like the day our universe divorced herself

From a forced marriage to unknown platenory bodies

I said

Dear teacher..

Dear every being under the sound of my voice

What could be more courageous than

being a midwife..and

Delivering the earth of an overripe pregnancy with bear hands?

Bruised hands...

Spike torn feet...

Not deterred by the angry sun rays

Or the crying skies...

I ask...

Am I not right when I say love is a woman...

Love has a womb and ten fingers doing a million things

Love is me...I am Love

AFRICA is a woman...

Big and Strong...

But called WEAK by her cultures

AFRICA is my PARADISE but sometimes hell for the woman

Vast lands...beautiful landscape but can't own any because I'm a WOMAN

God created day and night for me...

But I cant work and walk freely in one of them...

Female Genital Mutilation? Let's not even go there...

Denied jobs sometimes because I'm told..

It's a man's world...

Listen audience...

It's 2016...

And my rights are tabled for discussions once again

A new dawn in my existence...

Let your discussions return my smiles

Let it take note of the memories of those who have burnt

And a solution to those still aflame...

In the name of



I say to men and women in the room.....

I am a girl

On the tough journey to womanhood

I am the solution you seek

The hope you’re looking for

I implore you to see the future

Through my eyes

Because I am the key…








Media Contact:

Esther Azaa Tankou, Ag. Director of Information and Communication, African Union Commission (AUC)/ Tel: +251(0) 911361185 / E-mail:

For further information:

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: I Website: I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

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