The power of hope

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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WOMAN WITH A MESSAGE: Ruthie Bolton during her session yesterday.

WOMAN WITH A MESSAGE: Ruthie Bolton during her session yesterday.

Encouragement is like a tip of the spear which cuts through the hearts of nations, communities and any individual.

Ruthie Bolton, a superstar within basketball, is a living testament of the power of hope and she is also on a mission to give hope to all the victims of domestic violence.

“The more I speak out about my journey of being a victim of domestic violence, the more I could empower not only just myself but others too and the more I heal from this experience,” she said.

She added she wanted to be an advocate, to be a voice and to travel around the world to give women hope and to give them joy. 

She also wanted people to know that it is not a pity story, or a story to make you sad but a story of empowerment.

Usually in life when we encounter challenges, it’s only through faith that hope is conceived. 

Being a daughter of a church minister, staying positive and having faith was one of the key principles that her father instilled in her. 

Ruthie’s father would always remind her that in life 10 per cent is what happens to you and 90 per cent is how you response to what happens to you and this has kept her motivated, praying and believing that she could overcome anything if she set her mind to it.

 Being brought up from a family of 20, 11 sisters and eight brothers, Ruthie was always determined to be good at everything she did.

“In family me and my brothers we would use to jump fences as a sport, we used to climb trees as sport and everything that we did I wanted to be good at it. If we threw a rock I wanted to throw a rock the farthest,” she said.

Ruthie Bolton, also known as mighty Ruthie, never gave up regardless of what the coaches say about her height and not being invited to trial for the National Team she paid her own fare and went and never in her wildest dreams from 175 players and only 24 were chosen and she was one of them.

With this great mentality of never giving up and always fight the odds which led her to a successful career in the basketball court but apparently not within her personal life. 

Ruthie, during her presentation yesterday at the UNDP Office, said in basketball being positive, being resilient and being optimistic was an advantage to her basketball career but it became a weakness for her personal life. The harder she fought to save her marriage the harder she fell.

In her personal life at the peak of her basketball career she was going through domestic violence. 

It started on the first three months of being married. And she was not aware of what domestic violence was.

She also mentioned of how she took to the matter into her own hands and tried to fix it. Ruthie did not open up until when she met one of her science tutors and she finally shared with her and eventually her family found out.

Her family was upset and told her to leave her husband but Ruthie refused.

“The more they told to leave my husband the more I wanted to stay. I was thinking how dare you tell me not to fight? I don’t know how to give up. I don’t know to give,” she said.

She said she was seeking help from a counsellor to help save her marriage.

“I told my counsellor I am not paying you $400 dollars for you to leave my husband, I am telling you to tell me how to fix it.”

Ruthie came out victorious from this marriage that almost cost her life, with this terrible experience she is now travelling the world and spreading her journey women everywhere not only those women that are well off but also those that are in prison. 

The 50-year-old added by saying that every person mattered and hope is what kept us alive and sustained us. 

Ruthie believes that you must love yourself enough not to put yourself and your family in danger. 

Ruthie has remarried and she has got two kids.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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