Betty Makoni’s new book is an autobiography that echoes the message she has dedicated her life to preach: no more violence against girls and women.
Ms. Makoni is the founder of Girl Child Network Worldwide and a globally recognized girl child rights activist.
The book titled “Never Again: not to any woman or girl again” is a powerful campaign tool urging all to do everything possible to defend girls and women from violence. “I declare never again to abuse of women and girls. We must unite against those who attack defenceless babies and young girls and enslave them sexually,” Ms. Makoni said. “We must feel it within our hearts that we must speak out against rapists and abusers. We must speak to ourselves about ways to protect the most vulnerable.”
The book exposes in a very clever manner, abuse against girls and women while at the same time giving hope to those who have been victims of violence, reminding them that they will heal.
Ms. Makoni has inspired millions around the world to replicate the Girl Child Empowerment Model that she developed. Besides her work with Girl Child Network Worldwide and building many Girl Child Networks in Africa and throughout the world, Ms. Makoni is a mentor, coach, and trainer for women and girls who want to do similar work.
“After going through a life time of pain and trauma as a result of childhood rape, poverty, physical and emotional abuse as well as domestic violence that claimed the life of my mother when I was nine, I triumphed,” Ms. Makoni said explaining why she wrote the book. “It is the vicious cycle of poverty and violence that I broke that gave me courage to go back into my poor neighbourhood and declare victory and not victimization to over 300,000 girls I empowered through Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe.”
The book tells Ms. Makoni’s story of “emerging from zero to hero” and helping thousands of girls to be empowered, with an objective of inspiring many others to do the same.
“Many tragedies befell me and I could not have existed like millions of other women and girls who due to poverty, disease and violence perish in silence and never get accounted for,” Ms. Makoni said.
Her book “Never again: not to any woman or girl again”, unveils a new energy that must take the whole world to action and a new vision of what must be done to save women and girls wherever they are.
She uses the new book to make a personal declaration to end violence against women and girls at personal level and in the home, school, community, country, continent and the whole world.
The book celebrates courage, determination and perseverance amidst adversity.
“Never again: not to any woman or girl again” presents several main characters who have worked, lived, played, danced, argued, quarrelled, cried and walked with Ms. Makoni who is the main character.
It begins with the death of Ms. Makoni’s mother who remains a mystery character who inspires her activism and whatever she does to help women and girls.
“Many times I felt her in spirit urging me to soldier on. She is known to have silenced me from speaking out on violence I saw happening in our home and little did she know she was evoking the spirit of activism in me at early stage,” Ms. Makoni said.
The book is coloured purple, Ms. Makoni said, to make every reader feel royal. “The feeling of being uplifted, empowered, encouraged and appreciated injects the positive energy to many in the world who have otherwise given up or resigned from pursuing their dreams,” she said.
From the very beginning of the book, when Betty Makoni is portrayed as a traumatised child to the end when she is a global hero, she passionately takes the reader through an empowerment process where at every stage she presents victory over victimization.
There is no part of the book where the reader would stop because Ms. Makoni never stops, never resigns and never looks back. She keeps her life momentum consistent, making her positive energy appeal to the reader.
Throughout the book, Ms. Makoni gives an opportunity to the reader to self-empower and take charge of themselves.
The imagery, symbolism, simplified and yet powerful expressions of situations, people, places and even those things we take for granted, bring the ordinary reader to also feel extraordinary.
Asked the relevance of her book in today’s society, Ms. Makoni said: “The world has acknowledged that violence against women and girls is a scourge and pandemic claiming lives of millions. The book launches a new era, a new breed of women and girls and men and boys of quality and equality who will not watch as women and girls perish like what happened in past decades. A one woman and moneyless strategy is hereby presented so that it ignites activists to come out and launch their own strategies. Millions of strategies to combat gender based violence exist and these have not been effective and yet they have galloped millions of dollars.”
In her book, Ms. Makoni presents a one woman strategy that ends up mobilising not only her community but the whole world with each girl being empowered into a woman leader.
She redefines activism in simple actions at personal and family level, something often overlooked as basis of meaningful change.
In a world where many more organisations are being formed, Ms. Makoni urges individuals and families to be strongly founded on principles of self-empowerment.
Ms. Makoni’s book is the first of its own kind by a once poor, invisible and often forgotten African girl child turned global hero.
Asked what she’d like readers to learn from her book, Ms. Makoni said: “I want readers to make any aspects of my story theirs as I know issues I am bringing are universal issues. There are so many stories not yet told to facilitate healing, reconciliation, peace and love in the homes and families. This is an atomic bomb that they can take and throw on family taboos, myths, harmful cultural practices and just anything that makes life get stuck. I want readers to refuel and rejuvenate for activism that brings meaningful change in people`s lives. I want readers to have a new culture of prevention. For young women following my footsteps, I want you to know leadership is within you and so unleash your potential.”
Ms. Makoni’s book is entirely based her real life experiences. She developed her conviction to write the book from the numerous cases of raped girls she assisted. “Each time I fell into a tragedy I told myself I would not let the same pain befall a woman or girl again. From age six I told myself no woman would be reduced to a punching bag by males in the homes like what happened to my mother and many women,” Ms. Makoni said.
She is appealing to all to never again let any girl or woman suffer violence. “Never again will a girl or woman get raped, killed, drop out of school, be harmed by our culture or be sexually enslaved,” this is the world she dreams of and spends each day of her life working for.
Ms. Makoni is CNN Hero 2009 for Protecting the Powerless. She has 28 global awards for innovation, commitment and passion for her work to protect hundreds of thousands of girls worldwide.
Last year Ms. Makoni received the Honorary Decade Child Rights Hero Award, alongside former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.
Partial proceeds from the sale of “Never again: not to any woman or girl again” goes into the Girls Empowerment and Education Fund.
Since the book is written to inspire girls, the author would appreciate the gesture of anyone purchasing her books with the intention of giving them to girls who are not financially able to purchase them.
You can purchase a copy of “Never again: not to any woman or girl again” from http://www.amazon.com/Betty-Makoni/e/B008HKS07U.