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    That’s the thing; Privilege should come with Responsibility

    Two weeks ago, I was at the University of Lagos for the monthly seminar organized for PEIFFUND mentees, whom I happen to be one of. The topic of concern was “Communication Skills” so you can probably imagine how interactive it got. After the session, in the spirit of that interaction, four of us got into a conversation about feminism; I and 3 young men who I have gotten to know over the past few months. Now, this article is not a run-down of our conversation, but I’d like to highlight a few things that I think we all need to pay attention to in the way that we show up…

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    The Beginning

    As a child, one of my favorite adults was Mummy Tolu. While growing up, she was a neighbor and what you could refer to as a ‘second mummy’. She asked all the important questions like “Is your mum back?” when my mum traveled and “have you eaten?’ when the answer was no. When I got into the boarding house as a student in Junior Secondary School 1, it became a thing that Mummy Tolu would give me rolls of milk, milo, and some detergents at the beginning of every term up until my last year in secondary school. If it didn’t happen, then resumption was incomplete. It always happened. I…

  • Thoughts

    Notes from IdeaCon Enugu

    I absolutely enjoyed Enugu, and my 3 day stint in the city…but I almost didn’t go. IdeaCon is short for Idea Conference, our community of thinkers and talkers, that gives us a platform to engage young people and their ideas, question old truths, examine new ones, and build human capacity in a way that uplifts not only the individual, but also adds up to national development. It was an idea that was birthed through a Facebook question in 2016. Now, IdeaCon has held physical conferences in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu. Next month – September – the IdeaCon train will move along to Kaduna State and later in November, it will…

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    Marriage Is Not For Every Woman

    I know exactly what I typed. Yes, that’s exactly what I meant to type. Now, before you feel a type of way, do note that I did not say “any” woman, because then, that would be another type of baloney. It’s tiring, to say the least, the way we manage to connect even the most casual cords in a woman’s life to marriage and someone she may someday be joined with. What’s even more tiring is the way that has been made the only acceptable reality. If you speak and your voice is a little too clear, you hear things like “is it someone like you that will find a…

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    He Called Me Ashawo

    Two weeks ago, I was called a bedpreneur, or in popular Nigerian parlance, an Ashawo. On Instagram too, for that matter. But how did we get there? Summarily, two teenagers, a boy and a girl, were caught exploring each other in ways that were sexual in nature. The adults present, horrified that something like that was happening with teenagers, reportedly proceeded to punish the girl while admonishing her. All the while, the boy, her partner in exploration, was almost excluded from the conversation, almost as if the words of reproach had nothing to do with him. A man, a witness to this spectacle, became angry and proceeded to give the…

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    The Sword Knows No Face

    “He was such a smart boy. He promised to always look after me and make my life better. He was too good for this world.” – Anne-Marie Uwimana, Rwandan Genocide Survivor, speaking of her son who was one of the 800,000 souls lost in the genocide of 1994. This woman, Anne-Marie, lost four children and her husband during the genocide. Even now, typing this, I can see her face in that BBC interview; the redness of her eyes and the brokenness that can be seen in it. I can see the many tales of time that the skin of her hands have to tell – tales of a pain so…

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    A being, BEing

    Mama Tolu works very hard, the quintessential Nigerian mother. She wakes up at 4am while the world still sleeps and the spirits are prowling to cook and clean. When its 5:30, she wakes up the entire household; children for school, husband for work. She deploys her 3 pairs of hands to dish everyone’s food, while matching mixed socks, doing the dishes as they get piled up in the sink and refereeing fights that break out when the children break out fully from their sleepy state. At 7:30, she’s almost bouncing to get the kids to school and oh yes, there is herself to get ready because she probably has to…

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    Love Yours

    It’s hard, isn’t it, to truly love yourself in a world that is so fixated on your body parts, the way you should look, talk, walk, dress. In a world that is bent on defining you. The beauty industry is worth billions of dollars globally, a lot of it built on our insecurities with one or more parts of our body. They set up a standard and say “look, this is what you should aspire to.” You say “what nonsense! I’m not about that life.” But then these messages don’t stop; they creep up on you until one day, you wake up and everything about your body is exactly everything…

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    Call a thing by its name

    “When you name something, it comes into existence – did you know that? There is strength there, bone-white power injected in a rush, like a trembling drug,” – Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater. Imagine menstruating and being ostracized singularly for that reason. Imagine being banished to a menstrual hut outside your house made from weak materials and barely able to stand against weather conditions. Imagine being so cold because of that and having to create fires to warm yourself up. Then, imagine dying from asphyxiation because you inhaled too much smoke from the fire you prepared to keep warm. This Chhaupadi huts are real in Nepal, and although they have been legally…

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    Silence, and our culpability as a society in the culture of sexual abuse

    BY TAWAKALIT KAREEM   Silence, That magic wand that we wave in the hope that what has been done can be undone. The inaction we exhibit to somehow dull the deafening crash that a certain action has caused. Silence is the tool that we have by ourselves, made a weapon in the hands of the abuser. Some people are of the opinion that the occurrence of abuse seems to have increased in recent times. I disagree. I think the difference in this day and time is; there is social media and the very real reality that a story can go viral in a matter of minutes. My friend, Adebola Aduwo,…