This morning, as everybody was celebrating women, I stopped everything I was doing, I closed my eyes and started smiling. I was smiling because I was dreaming of a green world, where everyone is cautious of the impact of climate change, on women we are celebrating today, on the young lady I am. 

My dream was a kind of journey. It started in Cameroon, my native country. I was seeing women in Campo, free to go to their forest as they want, free to get fish from their water. I saw myself swimming in a river, not a polluted one. It was so nice, being connected to nature, so fresh and relaxing. I also saw Yaounde, my current township, free from plastic bottles. In my dream I saw Coca Cola and Cameroon brasaries stop serving juice in plastic bottles. It was so nice, I felt proud, secured, and safe. My health was guaranteed and everything was put in place for me to breathe clean air. 

My journey then brought me to DRC, my neighboring country. Oh I was in the forest, dancing makossa in the forest. In fact I decided to visit a friend who stays at Kinshasa. While listening to the radio, we learned that the government has decided to cancel the selling of oil blocks. That was so nice that we decided to stand up and celebrate. Other indigenous people joined us and we were so happy that the forest was safe. It was so beautiful…

Our forest is our life

After that, I went to Senegal, my second country. It is one of my favorites in Africa. Each time I have been there, I was so sad seeing women fighting to have fish to cook in their house. In fact, the big companies were taking almost everything  from their ocean that it was so hard for them to have fish even to feed their families, let alone  the possibility of selling it and having some money.

But in my dream everything was different… women were happy. Awa, one of the women I met around the sea said something  in Wolof. I did not have the time to catch it… But was told  that it  means in French “now I can celebrate women’s day. Our fish is back. My family and I are sure of a daily source of protein in our diet.” It was so nice. Journalists, both national and international, were happy to cover the story…  In my dream, I was thinking about watching the news in the evening and to capture all those smiling faces of women and share them on my social media. Yes, the theme of the 2023 celebration is targeting the numeric space as being an important tool for inclusion… for me, digital is a powerful way to denounce climate injustice but when we have some victories, they must be celebrated.

I Have never been to Kenya, but my dreams brought me there. I was amazed by the beauty of the city. On my way from the airport to my hotel room, I saw a movement of women, coming back from the celebration. They had banners with the message “Mbegu zetu, uhai wetu’  translating to “our seeds, our life”. There was a kind of light shining and lightening their faces. I asked the driver what the problem was. He told me that for many years, they have been asking the Kenyan government to amend a punitive seed law that criminalises farmers for selling or sharing uncertified seeds without any response.  As a gift for the International women’s Day celebration, the government decided to accept their request.. He added that for two days  now, the whole country has been celebrating this important decision.  In my dream, I felt honored to have come for the first time in Kenya in such a context. 

My thoughts then brought me to South Africa. Solar panels were installed almost everywhere. 

Green energy is the solution to loadsheding in SA. 

The government decided to turn to renewable energy to stop load shedding. An old classmate is in Cape town. She is doing her PhD. research in a university there. She is one of the rare female researchers of her home country to do research in mechanics. I remember when I often discussed with her one of the difficulties she faced while writing her thesis was due to light. She always had to deal with load shedding. She is now a doctor, and is telling me how studying conditions have changed and are now much suitable for other students in her university. The government finally found a solution to load shedding and gives therefore a chance to african ladies to safely pursue their studies. It is so nice to see those intelligent women studying in South Africa and trained to stand for Africa in the upcoming world.

My dream was about to carry me to another beautiful country when I was suddenly  woken up by my younger brother…  I was so sad to come back to reality. 

My beautiful dream had to stop there but I am still hoping my dream will come true and will continue advocating to see that change in Africa. 

Luchelle Feukeng, the dreamer.