In class April 3rd, we Skyped once more with the lovely Tamarin Simpson, founder of the Tippy Toes Foundation in South Africa. She guided each of us into the direction we needed to be in for our service projects, and we also gave her a bit of good news telling her how much we have raised so far through our fundraising events! Each group spent a little time discussing plans and new strategies that would be effective in terms of executing our service project ideas in South Africa, and if you follow the Varkplaas Community Garden updates, you will be able to see what we have come up with so far!
Next we went on to watch the film Yesterday which was very powerful in my opinion. It really expressed the hardship that women went through and continue to go through in South Africa, as well as across the globe. The plot was based around one woman named Yesterday who had a daughter, and a husband that worked in the city of Johannesburg, which was a bus ride and then some away. They were hardly able to see each other so it was just Yesterday and her daughter Beauty that were the main characters. Yesterday was the husband and wife in her situation, caring for the house, the food and crops, and their daughter by playing all of the roles of both the man and woman. She seeded the farm in the summer so that the crops would grow and she would be able to have food to feed the family with, and she dealt with the agony of her husband being gone for months at a time by working hard each day.
Throughout the film you could see the toll it took on Yesterday that her husband was gone. She was overworked and overtired to the point that she fell ill and needed to see a doctor. Once she found out that what she really had was HIV and was slowly killing her, she had almost broke out into tears. This was the moment that I began to really feel the pain that many women in this world must be feeling.
I felt the sorrow for their struggles, and the heartbreak they feel when all of their efforts seem to have gone to waste. Then when Yesterday went to tell her husband and he immediately beat her, I felt anger. I could not believe that he could senselessly beat her in public without a care in the world. That was his wife and he had no shame in humiliating her and bruising her up. The audacity of a man! How could you call yourself a man in those respects? Furthermore, Yesterday continued to stay faithful to the man who was her husband and who had given her HIV/AIDS through committing adultery.
The strength that Yesterday had was powerful and she showed it all in her hard working manner. None of the problems in her life caused her characteristic to change and she kept a positive attitude no matter what because every time she looked at Beauty, she saw hope. I believe this very feeling, this very glimpse of hope is what aided her perseverance.
At the end of the film when Yesterday’s husband died, and her daughter Beauty finally made it to school, you could see that Yesterday was slowly slipping into a peaceful state where she would soon die, but die knowing that she had conquered something. She had conquered her own fears and battles, whether it was the gossip of the women or her husband beating her – and she had made it through it all.
Never underestimate the strength of a woman, because much like this story, she will dig your own grave.