• Articles

    Rape: Heightened Sexual Violence During Month of Love

    In 2015, Soladoye Ige (not real name) was reported to have told the Police that he decided to rape his girlfriend as a celebration of Valentine’s Day. Why? Well, because she wouldn’t have sex with him. For him, sex was necessary as a symbol of the day’s significance so of course, why should it matter that she didn’t want any part of it especially since they had an established sexual relationship? Last year, in India, there was the case of a 24 year old man who raped his 18 year old friend on Valentine’s Day. According to the victim, they had only become friends a few months back and so…

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    Tips for the YALI RLC Application

    It is okay if you’ve applied for YALI once before and your application was unsuccessful. That’s the story of my first application, too. The second one, though? That was a home run that gave me an opportunity to not only deepen my knowledge, but also learn from other young Africans. That’s the first thing I’d say to you; don’t disqualify yourself on the basis of a past application. You have likely grown in that time, and I truly hope you’ll allow yourself give it a second shot. Or a third. The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) was launched by the United States government as an effort to invest in the…

  • Thoughts

    DRENCHED IN CONFUSION THIS NEW YEAR?

    Yesterday, I put up a question on my Instagram Story, asking people to share their 2020 ask in one word. My word was ‘Courage’; I am asking the universe for an abundance of it. When the answers came back, I noticed that for a lot of people, ‘Clarity’ is their word for the year. Hours ago, I had a conversation about how dreams become heavier the older we become. How, if we’re not careful, they lose that shine youth possesses in abundance and begin to take on a dull hue that threatens one’s sanity. The price for failure becomes steeper. I studied Microbiology at the University. It was a course…

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    The day after #16daysofActivism

    Just in case you are wondering, the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is an annual campaign that begins on the 25th of November – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – and ends on the 10th of December – Human Rights Day. Fitting, isn’t it? The purpose of this annual campaign is to raise awareness of the numerous ways that women are exposed to violence simply by virtue of being women, share information on how we all as the larger society can be better allies to women, and fuel existing conversations around women safety. The theme for this year is Orange the World: Generation…

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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…