IWD 2017: UN Ambassador Unveils NGO for Women and Girls

For many of the participants at this event, it was an occasion when they came face-to-face with the reality of the current mass suffering in the country, especially among women and girls in impoverished communities. It was a time to be inspired for action.

Many were moved to tears when Betty Abah, executive director of the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE), an NGO, gave an impassioned presentation about the plight of children and girls in slums and underserved communities. She cited the example of Makoko, a slum in Lagos, where most school children pay daily school fees ranging between N30 to N50, stressing that many children are out of school because their parents cannot afford that amount. Read more…

 

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti: Bold for Change

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti is often mostly remembered as the first woman (allegedly) to drive a car in Nigeria, or as the mother of Afrobeat maestro Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

However, what she truly lived for, was seeing women break free. She breathed women’s rights, and she worked tirelessly to uplift women in every way she could. Many have fought relentlessly for the emancipation of women from every form of oppression, but the Lioness of Lisabi is in a class of her own.

On International Women’s Day 2017, we remembered FRK:

1. For teaching women.

Even while she was yet a student at Abeokuta Grammar School, she taught the younger girls. She was a strong believer in the power of education, not as a cure-all, but as a way to be empowered. Her eagerness to share all she knew led her to start a social club where young ladies could learn social graces, etiquette and handicrafts. She had a friend who “read” her hymnbook upside down, and another who kept buying newspapers, looking forward to the day when she would learn how to read. In 1944, FRK started teaching both of them to read. Before long, more illiterate women wanted in, and FRK’s Abeokuta Ladies Club started offering literacy classes. She studied abroad and was part of the city’s elite, but she did not sit and cross her arms. She may not have showered them with money, but she gave them a more powerful gift. She empowered them to educate themselves, by teaching them how to read. What can we learn from Funmilayo’s spirit? How can you lift up and empower one woman today? Can we claim to have women’s rights at heart if we do nothing with what we have?

2. For standing up to oppressors.

She was not called a lioness for nothing. Read more… 

5 Minutes with Crystal Chigbu, Executive Director, Irede Foundation

The Irede Foundation, which provides prosthetic limbs and other assistance to poor child amputees aged 0 to 18, also hosts Out on a Limb, a walk to raise awareness about limb loss in children. Executive Director Crystal Chigbu talked to me about Irede Foundation’s mission to give hope to child amputees in this interview.

10 Interesting Facts About Nkem Owoh

It is the rare Nigerian who doesn’t enjoy Nkem Owoh’s work. Not many Nigerian actors have made us laugh as hard as he has; his brand of funny is uniquely his!

Most of us were introduced to him as an actor; little did we know that he had been working in the film industry long before that! Here are 10 interesting facts about the actor fondly called “Osuofia”.

Making a Difference: Free Coding Lessons for Teens at Sparkplug

Sparkplug, a social enterprise designed to fix education with software, is now offering free coding lessons to Nigerian teenagers, which includes free access to laptops. I had a few questions for Olumide Adewumi who is also the Editor-in-Chief and Chief Web Developer at Gidilounge. Read more about this life-changing initiative HERE.

Will You Invest in Your Greatest Asset in 2017?

Your greatest asset is not any of the material things you’ve acquired; your greatest asset is you. That’s why it’s such a waste to try to live someone else’s life. And that’s why you need to invest the most in you this year.

There’s only one you. Nobody can do “you” like you can. When you let that sink in, you have to decide what you’re going to do with it.

We’re facing challenging times as a nation, and the best thing you can do is fortify yourself. Read more…

10 Lessons I Learnt From The Greatest Salesman in the World

My review of The Greatest Salesman in the World was published here in July, and I remember noting that it is not the kind of book you read only once.

I’ve had reason to go over it again and again, distilling the rich goodness from each scroll. See just 10 little thoughts I’m rolling over in my mind from each scroll HERE.