Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Celebrated Nigerian Women in Development

Following Nawahala's (interesting name choice there, eh?...if you're confused, see 6th comment on "Stop Trying to Save Africa" post)comments, we thought we'd share the link to what seems like a great book celebrating the efforts of some Nigerian heroines in the development arena (thanks for the link Olamide!). Celebrated Nigerian Women in Development is authored by Ayona Aguele-Trimnell, a brand marketing manager in Lagos, and it features women such as author, Buchi Emechetta, sculptor & cultural activist, Ndidi Dike, and model, Oluchi Onweagba, to name a few. An initial scan of the women featured on the website showcases the who's who of Lagos, but a closer look would reveal some truly great women doing their thing and making a difference in their respective fields.

According to Professor Sophie Oluwole (ED, Centre for African Culture & Development):

"The profiles of the 25 women celebrated in this well thought-out and ably presented volume can be multiplied several times over if the limelight is directed at women in the business of traditional herbal medicine, women who produce garri, pepper, vegetable oil, garden eggs and women who sell them; and women who are dress makers, hair dressers, nurses, primary and secondary school teachers, religious and community leaders.

This book provides an immediate answer to the question, 'Where are the women?' by giving a tentative answer 'Here are some of them.'

My message is that we need more books such as this to give us much needed documentation on Nigerian women who have arrived. The challenge to every female reader of this book is to celebrate the proud, resilient and forever hopeful Nigerian women. We need to celebrate ourselves."

44 comments:

Kome said...

I think this is a wonderful start to what I hope will be a push for nationalism.

What we often lack is encouragement to do what we believe in or step out of the boundaries and push ourselves.

Having a strong and successful role models, fathers, mothers...and in this case Nigerian women is a very positive and powerful thing which should not be taken for granted.

I definitely think this is a step in the right direction and the ball should not be dropped i.e. get the books out to those who need it most, those who don't think education is powerful, those who are struggling to find a reason to live and those who didn't even know that there are many more options available to them.

We should still not forget other ways in which people have tried to these...i believe 'ThisDay Newspaper' used (and perhaps still does) to have a saturday spotlight on successful and professional Nigerians with a detailed interview of how they made it to the top

Misan said...

Yes, a lot of magazines do that, but it's unfortunate that Nigerians don't have a reading culture, partly due to poverty and all the problems that accompany it, and partly due to our inadequate education system which places more emphasis on reading (cramming) to pass rather than to just LEARN.

Even with acclaimed books like Chimamanda's Half of a Yellow Sun selling for less than N1000 (while they go for >$20 here in the States), most Nigerians really couldn't be bothered to pick up a copy to read because they're too busy hustling to put 3 meals on the table, while the younger ones are busy trying to decipher George Orwell (Animal Farm) in order to ace their WAEC/JAMB/NECO and whatnot.

Changing this mindset would be tough, but the process could start by reviewing exam curricula such as WAEC, JAMB and revamping them completely to reflect an emphasis on reading to cultivate one's own ideas and NOT to churn out fixed perspectives from past question papers, etc (I'll end here, as you can see, i have BIG issues with our education system).

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

I am really excited to hear about this! It is hightime that Nigerian women be recognized on a grand scale for their hardwork and accomplishments.

This is definitely a step in the right diretion and like everything else, it involves individuals, not the government, taking the initiative.

I am hoping to hear about a second volume in the future....

Derin said...

Studying for my African Government and Politics exam I discovered that contrary to my beliefs, women played very important political and economic roles in pre-colonial Africa. It was the Victorian values of colonialists that led to the political and economic marginalization of women. I did a bit of research and found this website http://www.swagga.com/queen.htm.

I personally think that if you have a country with all the problems Nigeria has, we need to need to draw on all available resources to dig ourselves out of this situation. My mother has refused to play the docile role of a housewife and has emerged the breadwinner for my household and a notable patriot. I cannot and will not discourage the invaluable contribution of the women of Nigeria to the future of our great nation

Ps; listen to this song African Woman-Weird MC www.duduradio.com

Misan said...

WOW! thanks Derin! very informative website there (i had some difficulty with the link so went to www.swagga.com and then clicked on the "African Queens" link to get there). To think that women ruled some Hausa city-states way back when!! we've certainly come a long way...now why don't we learn such in our schools?

African Woman said...

Thanks Alot for the great post

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