As I write to you from beyond the grave, I remember an encounter I had with a dear friend that taught me important lessons about societal expectations and the assumptions we make about each other. Allow me to share this story, as it holds a powerful message that I believe can inspire change and growth within each of you.

My friend, a young man, had bought two chickens but did not know how to cut them into pieces. When I visited him, he confided in me, and I sympathised with him, saying that not every man is taught how to do this. But when he asked if I knew how to cut a chicken and I replied in the negative, his expression changed from sadness to surprise, and then to anger. He questioned how I would manage once married, but I challenged him with the same question.

The truth is, we are not born with the genes to cut chickens, change light bulbs or fix cars. These are skills that we learn over time, and they should not be assigned to specific genders. Our assumptions about what people can or cannot do based on their gender are unfounded and can lead to disappointment and anger.

In my lifetime, I always sought to challenge societal expectations and encourage others to break free from gender stereotypes. I urge you, young women and men, to keep advancing this cause and to strive for a society where individuals are not confined by baseless assumptions about their abilities.

Learn from my story and reflect on the assumptions you hold about yourself and others. Embrace the opportunity to learn new skills, not because society expects it of you, but because it empowers you as an individual. Challenge the status quo and work towards a world where everyone can thrive, unshackled by arbitrary societal expectations.

With love and hope for a better society,

Hazel Jojo


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