e grow up learning that family and motherhood are what give a woman her worth. Motherhood in Congo is something that is sacred. A woman who has no children is like a tree that does not produce fruits. This is what stays in our head. Because of that, in some families you suffer prejudice for not being able to have children.
I suffered from this prejudice because I was studying, and those who study do not have time to have children. Those who study need to focus on the study. The whole family supported me in order for me to able to finish school, but they were always saying, ‘What does she think she is doing? Where will she go with this diploma?’ But for me a diploma was my right, a real achievement. But the prejudice was too strong – a woman had to get married and go through motherhood.
So I went through motherhood, and to be honest it changed me a lot. My vision about it has changed. Motherhood initiates family, it’s where we come from. It is why families and societies exist. But it doesn’t have to be as they say.
I kept studying and working. I studied to be able to work in the future. But what I had achieved in Congo, because political problems, they were taken from me. After arriving in Brazil my life changed a lot – everything I had planned changed. I tried to fight to get back everything I had lost, but I haven’t gotten everything yet. In the beginning it was very difficult. You leave a country that speaks French and arrive in a place where the language is Portuguese. Communication is difficult for us here, but it gets better. There is a book here that mentions me. It says ‘she was a lawyer in Congo and became a maid in Brazil’, which means I started from scratch. I started knocking on doors asking for a job, cleaning from house to house. I’ve managed to stabilise myself in the job market now and am improving my situation, step by step.
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