During the commemoration of the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), WILD conducted a three-day screening of a Nigerian TV Drama, “The Governor” at the John Knight Cinema, located at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe – Bulawayo. The film targeted a total of 73 women drawn from political, business and public service with others who were featured throughout the three-day period. The audience present for the screening included beneficiaries of the Women Empowered for Leadership (WE4L) Mentorship Programme.
The Governor is an intriguing Nigerian production depicting the story of Angela Ochello, the Deputy Governor of Savannah State, who with no governorship ambitions finds herself suddenly wrapped in a web of political drama following the sudden death of the incumbent Governor. As the story unfolds, Ochello gets to experience firsthand, the ills of patriarchy and the undermining of women in public office. She also has to balance the demands of political office with those of marriage.
Participants at the screening said they identified with the themes teased by the series. They said women in public leadership are excluded from decision making by their male counterparts and at times, subordinates. This was attributed to the low numbers of female leaders in public administration and the contemptuous attitude of some men who believe women can only lead at their behest. According to women present, the film was a depiction of their varied journeys as there is a silent notion that states that female political leaders are indebted to male leaders so as stand a chance to be in leadership positions. Such trends have an effect on women as they are unable to exercise their power and authority considering the continued sabotage, they encounter in situations here they toe in line.
Other women cited that despite some of the challenges that they encounter in their pursuit of leadership, they make an effort in fighting against patronage posed by their male counterparts. Breaking the glass ceiling is never easy for women as there are stereotypes that deter them from having a fair chance to contest in similar competitive spaces as their male counterparts. Female leaders present offered words of encouragement to each other, stating that women should remain vigilant in their leadership pursuit.
Women at the film screening of The Governor TV Drama cited that key lessons from the film are that family has a crucial role in supporting women who decide to take up positions of leadership.
Young women said the production prepares women in politics for the tumultuous political terrain which is not as rosy as most people think.
“The series prepares a woman who wants to lead for what lies ahead. A female leader always has to go an extra mile and always has to face the machinations of unofficial power bases. This is a must-watch for all women with ambitions to lead.”
The 2020 edition of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV continues with the use of the arts as a facilitative tool for social change. Since 2012, WILD has existed to help break barriers inhibiting women from occupying spaces in various realms of leadership.
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