Meet The Women In My Life – Part 23 – Claire

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with another one of my musical female friends like Lauren. We also met at Musicamp when we were younger. Meet musician mom, Claire…

Men and women think differently, and can have different expectations. Assumptions are dangerous, so take the time to explain and to listen.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Claire Bradnum

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Claire Bradnum

Current location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Claire Bradnum - 33 - Music Teacher
Claire Bradnum – 33 – Music Teacher

Hiya Claire, what makes you a woman?

Well, I have two X chromosomes. And I have gone through puberty, and become an adult.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

Clare Griffiths – A truly amazing, unsung hero, who works behind the scenes to help so many people in so many ways. Clare has an incredible ability to feel the pain she sees and to heal it where she can. She is hugely creative, hugely talented, and Christ shines through her.

Abby Johnson – She is able to tell the truth when people don’t want to hear the truth. She has gone through so much and met with such resistance to her message but it doesn’t stop her.

Kechi Okwuchi – I can’t even begin to think what that woman has been through, but she shares her gifts with the world. Her music, her heart, her inner fighter and survivor, and ability and willingness to reach out and touch people.

Saint Hildegaard – I wish I could have been a fly on the wall 800 years ago when this incredible woman was putting together her recipes. She didn’t take nonsense from anyone, and knew she had something beneficial to give the world.

My family is full of strong and courageous women that I respect and admire, who give/gave selflessly, tirelessly and passionately. A few worth mentioning would be:

Newborn
Newborn

My sisters – Pillars of strength, thoroughly capable, caring women, fighting their own battles but always looking out for others. Intuitive, intelligent, strong.

Granny Eileen – She was a fascinating woman, who told it like it is. She bore huge pain, but was still a passionate and compassionate person. I wish I could have gotten to have a few conversations with her as an adult.

Aunty Stella – She is one of the bravest women I know whose heart burns for her country. She has been through so much. She has such a generous and selfless spirit.

And last but not least, my beautiful mom – Graceful, gracious, determined, dedicated, gentle. Passionate, supportive, humble, appreciative. Careful, considerate, generous, long-suffering, committed, joyful, observant. Protective, intelligent. Close to God. Disciplined. Invaluable.

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

It’s hard to say. I probably would have pursued things differently, I would have received different education, as I attended an all girls school, and I probably would have had different opportunities open to me, so I’m sure I would be living a very different life.

Catching up with Claire in Harare Zimbabwe
Catching up with Claire in Harare Zimbabwe

Personally, though, I don’t think being a woman has worked against me in my career, unless it was too subtle to notice and I wasn’t aware. I have not felt discriminated against.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

With myself – I struggle with never living up to my own expectations. I am my biggest critic, and never quite measure up to what I know I am capable of.

Claire Bradnum
Claire Bradnum

With others, I struggle to come to terms with the fact that the world’s purse strings are controlled by people, all over the world, who care so little about the planet, and their fellow human compatriots of this world. I struggle with selfishness.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Creativity and the opportunities I have to be creative. Spending time with people who love and appreciate me, and who I love and appreciate. Especially my children.

Claire and her kids
Claire and her kids

Composing. Playing my instruments, probably the recorder the most, and piano. Helping my students achieve something that started off challenging.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Trust your intuition, Exercise it. The more you use it, the stronger it will get. You can rely on it.

Keep asking yourself, is this really important? Will it matter in 5 years time? 10 years?

Prioritise your life.

Jim Rohn says, in the end you must choose one of two pains: the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret.

 Claire and the Harare International School parent choir
Claire and the Harare International School parent choir

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Communication is key. Men and women think differently, and can have different expectations. Assumptions are dangerous, so take the time to explain and to listen.

What is your dream?

To bring Zimbabweans together through music. To provide music education and music opportunities to as many Zimbabweans as I can.

A music centre, a series of camps for musicians – including piano camps – which involves owning enough pianos.

Claire hanging out with some students
Claire hanging out with some students

Recorder Orchestra. Workshops. School festivals. I would love to see the choir and orchestra I began to bring the community of Harare together, really and truly take off.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am very glad that women are being appreciated and acknowledged, supported and protected more, and I also realise that in some societies we still have further to go, but I would like to say still we must be careful not to attempt to replace the role of the man with the woman.

I don’t wish to see women valued at the expense of men, just as I do not wish to see men valued at the expense of women.

Women cannot fill the role of men. Only men can do that. Men cannot fill the role of women. Only women can do that. We must not seek to be the same, because we are not.

Claire in action accompanying school choirs
Claire in action accompanying school choirs

Personally I am not interested in women trying to do everything men can do. I am interested in women being given the chance, the space, the opportunity, the support, funding, and encouragement, to do and be everything that women can do and be.

Women are important. But so are men. Our differences must be acknowledged and celebrated.

Thanks Claire xo

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