“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”―J.K. Rowling
Christian Cito: What has been your hardest struggle and how did you get over it?
Juleus Ghunta: Garnering the courage to speak about my adverse childhood experiences has been my hardest struggle. To do this, a few years ago I decided to cut all toxic people from my life. I ended relationships with family/friends who urged me to supress my trauma–induced pain and move on or told me my dreams were too lofty. I felt I had enough self–doubt and didn’t need people within my circle constantly reminding me of what I wasn’t good enough to do. Letting them go was one of the most courageous things I’ve ever done. Every aspect of my life has improved, including my physical health.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”―E.E. Cummings
CC: What words of encouragement would you give to women, children, minorities, and other disempowered groups who are facing rejection because of prevailing cultural norms?
JG: Do not subscribe to any narrative that attempts to convince you that you are innately inferior to other human beings. It doesn’t matter where or from whom this narrative comes. If you look carefully, you’ll find counter–narratives that’ll show you that your marginalisation is contrived and calculated. Try to understand how these narratives apply to your lives and confront the constructs and structures they fuel to ‘keep you in your place’. While resisting, keep reminding yourself that this world belongs to all of us. You belong, your children, gender, sexuality belong, your tribe, race, country belong.
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
Christian Cito Cirhigiri is the founder of Peacemaker360. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Christian is a youth advocate and peace entrepreneur with six years’ experience leading youth empowerment projects in post conflict contexts. He holds a bachelor’s in Integrated Community Development from Daystar University, Kenya, and master’s in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, US.