My mother never had the opportunity to have a secular education. Her dad did not believe in Zango female secular education. Being the eldest daughter meant supporting the mother in taking care of her younger siblings.
Like most men from his days, my grandfather believed that , “the only place a woman deserves to be is the kitchen”. The sure way women could be useful to their husbands and In-laws.
Interestingly, most girls/ women from the Zango community are well pursuing their dream careers today. This can be credited to 20th/21st century parents defying negative beliefs and giving all children equal access to education.
Zango is widely viewed as a slum community with poor people and violence. This representation can be credited to the media portrayals and stereotyping by certain groups.
As a result, many people experience micro aggressions and tend to disregard individuals who are from the Zango community. Similarly, there is also a wide misconception that people from Zango community are illiterate. Also poor and cannot afford to educate their children.
However, today there are many schools within the various Zango communities, enabling all children have access to secular education.
While most of our parents from the Zango community have never sat in a classroom, they now believe in educating their wards. This will help them become better persons in the future.
My parents are an example, my dad was not rich but he made sure he helped me throughout my education.
Out of 7 siblings, my dad pushed, supported, and paid my fees from primary through college. Being female, it’s interesting to note that he believes in girl child education.
A growing phenomenon is a rise of females in the Zango community, changing the narratives of being just a housewife. Many are striving to become career women. Medical Doctors, Lawyers Journalists, Police officers, Soldiers, engineers, fashion designers, Politicians, diplomats, lecturers, academicians, bankers, nurses, midwives, entrepreneurs and more. Remarkably, the current second lady of the Republic of Ghana is from the Zango.
That is to say, education of women boosts the socio-economic development of a country. Studies have found that, women mostly choose to give back to the community they find themselves in.
Importantly, men in the community are also working to see females empowered. These men support females to pursue education to the highest level. This support comes in the form of helping them pay their fees, especially, when parents cannot afford .
Additionally, creating organizations to help support and mentor girls through education, technology and skills development.
For instance, Acheivers Ghana, ZongoVation, Zongo Inspirational Team, Young Women Leaders Network, Jadore Foundation to mention a few, have been leading the charge in this regard. This is to further transform Zango through women empowerment.
Consequently, in the next decade, the narratives will completely change.
And it will prove that, indeed, Zango women don’t only belong in the kitchen. They rule the world in any field they choose.
Author: Inna Hajar Dicko