My name is Ashel Dube and I am a young woman aged 19. I live in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and I am a proud young African woman.
Failure, disappointment and defeat are three potent words, different in meaning but united in effect. I overcome their destructive power by realizing that as a young African woman it is my duty to be at war with myself and to achieve success in what I do. I have come to understand that I should never give up because no one else can fulfill my destiny for me.
I believe the biggest threat to my success is if I accept defeat in the face of failure and disappointment. I know I have failed a test at school once, twice, three times or more. I have failed to be there for someone when they needed me the most. In short I have experienced failure one too many times to know what it is and what it feels like. In a similar way, I have felt disappointment and the sadness that comes when something has not happened or something does not occur as I expect.
However, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I had allowed failure and disappointment to make me believe that I couldn’t achieve success, that I should stop trying and just give up. You see, defeat will come into my life if I allow it; if I let my hope die down, if I make myself believe I am a disgrace to mankind and if I tell myself it is impossible. Instead, I have chosen to see the blessing in disguise in my failure and understand that the Living God allowed this to happen for a reason.
How I’ve overcome failure and disappointment has also been through understanding that I have to go through failure and be disappointed in life. After experiencing disappointment, I am in a position to identify the next step to take and what I need to change so that I don’t go through the same disappointment again. I appreciate the learning value of failure and disappointment but I do not let it defeat me. I pick myself up, remember the reason behind my attempt in the first place then change what I feel led me to the process and try again.
You can take this process as the same process you go through when you lose a loved one. You accept that they are gone, once you do that you are able to grieve and after grieving you try to avoid falling apart emotionally and then try to move on.
The future of women in the world is currently in danger simply because as young women, when we fail and get disappointed, we accept defeat. Don’t get me wrong, disappointment and failure are to be expected in everyone’s life but the problem comes when we accept defeat and vow to leave what we wanted to do for the next person. We cannot leave our destiny in the hands of the next generation, the success we desire should be ours to live and experience.
So I say to all the young African women and girls: appreciate the learning value of failure and allow yourself to go through the normal feeling of disappointment. Acceptance of defeat is what I do not want for you, so deny defeat and instead continue to try to make a success out of your first failure. So let’s rise up as women and not let defeat deprive us from achieving success.