It is Sunday. I am in Douala. The heat is sweltering. The walk from the hotel I am staying at and the venue of the conference I am here to attend nearly melts me. By the time I get there, the conference venue, my Africa’s Talking t-shirt is stuck to my sweaty back. I stand by an air conditioner, my back to it, to cool off.
From the 25th of October to the 1st of November, 2017, I attended “Les Universités d’Afrique et de la Diaspora (UAD)”, which in English translates to Universities of Africa and the Diaspora. The UAD is an international forum that gives professionals from diverse horizons the opportunity to meet and discuss current issues. This forum also offers a training space on advanced methods and technologies. After the 3rd edition held in Paris in 2016, UAD 2017 was held in Douala, Cameroon.
I am 22 years old. Naturally this is the average age of my closest friends, the people I have grown up and gone to school with. The early twenties. I went to a girls school for most of my life and even after school I have found that among my close circle of friends, there are more girls than boys.
Let’s talk about the biological clock now. Is it something that women actually feel? Or is it a social construct that tells a woman it is about time she took up her role as wife and possibly mother because looking around all her peers seem to be doing it? Or is it a manifestation of the advanced neurological development characteristic of girls? Or is the fact that women have so much pressure put upon them to be in control of everything and take care of everyone while the men kinda just need to show up?