UNITED KINGDOM-BASED Zimbabwean author Catheline Mahuto says she was inspired to pen her debut book titled The Super Power Of The Girl Child by the desire to raise awareness on the plight of the girl child and offer readers some insights on how to recognise, and overcome issues of gender bias.
The 72-year-old author told NewsDay Life & Style that the 141-page book has two versions, the first being the paperback, which is the book itself, and the second is the kindle that can be downloaded straight for a read.
“The book The Super Power Of The Girl Child illustrates how the girl child has been marginalised, particularly in the African setting of raising children where communities have witnessed unfair distribution of resources, lack of support and guidance in building the lives of young women,” she noted.
“In addition, teens have and continue to be forced into arranged marriages with older men, widespread abuse of young women, and eventually hopeless destitution of families as a result of divorces.”
Mahuto said she was inspired to write the book by her life story.
“This book is not fiction, but a true reflection of the life I lived as a girl child. I only find myself getting a pen and a paper to write my book as a real story to inspire someone to get out of any situation they might get into,” she said.
“What we have not seen enough of is families being educated to think beyond cultural lines and break old beliefs to learn to appreciate the power of raising a child with a mindset of building strong future generations.”
She continued: “The themes of the book include power, family oriented, identity, loneliness when things are not working right, friendship, freewill versus fate, hope, and love. This is the part of my book that I stressed my point to the girl child.”
- Mahuto’s book spotlights on plight of girl child
The author said the book also explores how many girls were pillars of their homes, but when it came to the end of their lives, people did not recognise or respect them as they were vulnerable most of the time.
“Girls can take care of the family and that is the superpower of the girl child. Many times, there are things that are not spoken, especially when it comes to families or friends, but when shared, it heals,” she noted.
“Most of the families still discourage girls to go to school, selling them to older men maybe because of poverty or ignorance. The book is to let everyone know that a woman is not like a chair that you can sit on and when tired, just push it away, but the girl child needs protection.”
In scripting the book, Mahuto noted that the hardest part was writing about how she failed in her marriage as she thought her husband would be inspired by their children to look after and support them.
Mahuto said writing and publishing the book changed the way she saw herself because it put awareness on her to pay attention to what happens around her.
The author said she was looking forward to publishing another book soon to inspire the future generation.