“WATER IS LIFE,” THE WOMEN SING.
At 4:30 a.m., it is pitch black in the village of Mzira in Malawi. In the early morning sky, the Southern Cross and the Big Dipper look bright enough to walk on. Dogs howl and scurrying animals rustle through the maize fields.
Most men and children are asleep but the women are stirring. African women gather under the shadows of trees, buckets swinging, ready to embark on the first of many journeys they will make during the day to fetch water for their families.
As they gather, they chat, laugh and count heads. Making their way through maize fields, creek and riverbeds, over slick rocks and through other rough terrain, the women sing to encourage each other and to scare away anything or anyone that might be lurking in the dark — including “bad men who may be rapists.”
“Water is life, let us go and draw water, water is life, our children should go to school,” the women sing.
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