Dear Africana Woman,
I have been trying to write a fluffy inspirational end of year message but I can’t because I FEEL ANGRY.
Yesterday, I got home around 10pm after an awfully long day out of town: on the road, in back to back appointments. I was ready to jump in bed as the onset of a migraine kicked in and just get some proper rest. I decided to glance at Instagram for the first time that day. The first post that popped up was of my mentor, Patrice Washington in distress. I continued to listen and shock took over. To be honest I didn’t finish listening to her. I went straight to my browser search bar and typed in the name Sophia Giraldo.
There was the confirmation. Article after article, they all spoke of the woman whose name is Sophia Giraldo.
As reported, what transpired is as follows: Sophia’s estranged husband Stephen (they were not living in the same house), drove up to her home. He had their three sons in the car with him. He called Sophia to come outside. Stephen then told the boys, “Everyone keep your seatbelts on.” Sophia came out of the house. Thereafter, he proceed to drive the car at full speed into her body. The car flipped on its side. Stephen crawled out and stabbed her 3 times. Then he called 911 and said, “I think I killed my wife.” When the police arrived at the scene, Stephen said, “I hit my wife - arrest me.”
Currently, Sophia is fighting for her life in critical condition, with broken bones, a punctured liver, brain and neurological damage.
I met Sophia through a mutual friend, a Purpose Chaser from Patrice Washington’s community. We were connected because she wanted to start a podcast. My goal is to help women set up mission driven podcasts. She told me her Survival story and how she was on a mission to help women thrive after betrayal and abuse. This was a no brainer, of course I was going to help her. She already had the content. All she needed help with was the technical know how. So I edited her podcast and helped her set it up.
Let me explain why I feel angry. I have been reading a lot of the articles reporting about the incident. I have watched the CCTV footage. The media keep using the word ALLEGED. ‘The husband allegedly hit the victim with his car.’ Then they have statements from his workmates and brother who say that he was a very ‘gentle man’ going through a difficult divorce. Her podcast is an inaccurate depiction of him.
Side Note: listen, when pressure is applied on any object what is within them oozes out. Gentleness????
Be clear The Unfiltered and Free podcast with Sophia Giraldo talks about how to get through the aftermath of abuse — keeping in mind that there are all sorts of abuse. Sophia explains, how from her own personal experience she saw a gap. There is plenty of content and support around helping women get out of toxic relationships but what happens afterwards. Sure you got out but your confidence level is at zero. You don’t believe you are beautiful after years of being treated as less than. You are unsure of your next step. There is a part of you that hesitates with every decision you make. You don’t have to live that way. That is why Sophia passionately helps women Redefine B.E.A.U.T.Y and shares her framework:
Believe what God has already spoken over you
Exchange the enemy’s lies for the truth
Accept your limitations
Your Uniqueness is a a Gift
Trust your Pain has purpose
Say YES to the Best
So the question is why is the media trying to garner sympathy for the man who confessed to his crime and whose actions can be seen on camera?
We are at war.
Black female bodies have been thrown in the front line.
Yet, We will not be SILENCED.
This year I read Trevor Noah’s book, Born a Crime. SPOILER ALERT. I know most people read it as an autobiography of the popular comedian. I read it as an accurate depiction of the war on black female bodies. Aunty Patricia, Trevor’s mother, married an abusive man with whom she had two more children. Every time he beat her, she would go to the police station, children in tow, bruises in full view BUT but the police would refuse to file her complaints because it was a ‘family matter’ that she need to sort out with her husband in private. Her husband would show up at the police station and have chummy conversations with the police who would hand his family back to him. After many years, Aunty Patricia finally left him. She moved on, found love again, started a new life and was thriving.
One day, after church, the family walked home only to find her ex husband waiting for them at the house. He told her, she ruined his life. She stole his life. He then proceeded to shoot her in the bum, her leg and and in the head. All in front of their children. By a miracle, Aunty Patricia survived with no lasting damage. Hear this, the courts said that her ex husband had no prior charges and this was a once off event, therefore, gave him a slap on the wrists and at this very moment, that man is walking free on the streets of South Africa.
You cannot make this shit up.
Aunty Patricia and Sophia are worlds apart and yet their story is so similar.
Sis how do we protect ourselves from this onslaught of violence?
Movies like Wakanda Forever and the Woman King would have us believe that we must become STRONG BLACK WOMEN.
No thank you.
I AM a SOFT BROWN SKINNED WOMAN as God designed me to be.
As a collective it is our duty to raise better men. The fragility of the male ego is costing us our lives. Their inability to take radical ownership for the state of their own lives is killing us. As parents you must be guided by the question, ‘Am I raising a son who will be an amazing partner to someone else’s daughter?’ Let us halt unleashing mayhem on our women.
As for you, Sis, you have seen the red flags, walk away honey. You are not God, who is the only Being that can transform a man from the inside out. If that man still has work to do, let him. You do not have to be a martyr. The sacrifice has already been made and it was never meant to be you. Do you hear me?
Now, when you hear stories like this it is easy to be silenced because of FEAR. Fear to call some one out for an injustice. Fear for no justice being served and living with the repercussions. Even Fear for your life. But let me tell you something.
Do not ever be silenced.
Keep speaking up and out.
Say your truth
The truth is we may never see justice nor change in our lifetime. But we must continue to speak about it, for our children, for our daughters and grand babies to live a life that we can only dream of today. If we do not shed light on darkness it will continue to spread. You my darling are a Light Bringer on this earth and light always pierces through darkness.
Like I mentioned, Sophia is in critical condition. You can help her by doing a couple of things:
Say a prayer for her healing and restoration
Send her love and light wherever you are
Make sure her message is not silenced by listening to and sharing her podcast The Unfiltered and Free podcast with Sophia Giraldo.
Bless someone else today by sharing Sophia’s framework Redefining B.E.A.U.T.Y
Spread her light around the world. Let her pain have purpose.
I am heartbroken. I keep breaking down.
A couple of things before I sign off. Remember to always call Sophia a SURVIVOR and never a victim. There is power in words.
As you step into 2023, I want you to remember that the breath flowing through you is never guaranteed. That is why you should make 2023 count. My prayer for you is that no one will ever remember you with the words, “she had great potential.” Instead go out and pour out everything that God placed in you. You are destined for greatness, the world is waiting to see the light in you shine so brightly. In 2023, ensure that you live to the fullest, love to your hearts content and make a difference in the world.
I love you so dearly. My deepest prayer is that you learn to love yourself flaws n all and live a life that you truly desire. I cannot wait to see you soar. See you next year.