What comes to your mind when you hear of the African Woman?
A hard-working trader? A hardworking farmer? A hardworking Homemaker or Housewife like it’s popularly called? A scraggy looking old woman with wrinkles? These and more are the most common faces of the African woman but they are more than what we have seen.
She is an embodiment of hope, patience, focus, and love. She is a multiplier, give her anything and she would double it. The African woman is a resilient daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.
We see in our world today, the fruits /dividends of our women’s hard work manifested in our daughters. They have taken the focus, doggedness, patience, love, and hopefulness of our mothers to compete and thrive in the patriarchal system of the world not based on their beauty or bodies but intellect, competence, efficiency, and prowess. The truth remains that many African women have done and are still doing all they can and could to make their families great. They labor so hard to support and provide for their families. Without the women, there is no Africa and there is no world. They make the world indeed a better place.
As we celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day’, we should remember why we mark this day. It is a global day of celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women like Josephine I. Etaluku, Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI) of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Edo State Command who is meritoriously
serving her nation at the Nigerian Immigration. She is the current head of a team that fights against irregular migration and human trafficking at Edo State command of NIS with a mantra; be focused, be patient, and trust God at all times.
We celebrate women standing against Discrimination against their folks.
Today we appreciate women like Tolu Adeyemi an international fashion stylist, trained at Istituto di Moda Burgo, Milan, Italy who is helping women gain full and equal participation in global fashion space. She has a first degree in Geophysics from the University of Lagos.
She grew up loving to draw/sketch outfits from her mother’s fashion magazines. After her first degree, she pursued financial independence by working with a leading financial institution here in Nigeria but not for long. The passion for fashion pulled her to resign and apply to the study of fashion design in Italy. Tolu on her return from Europe worked with celebrity fashion designer, Toju Foyeh before opening her eponymous fashion house, Tolu Adeyemi.
She has worked on projects with local and international fashion designers and exhibited a ready to wear collection at the Niger Delta Fashion week. She has also worked backstage in various design capacities at local and international fashion shows.
The Tolu Adeyemi dream is to make available high-quality styles and designs that will obviate our yearning after global brands and ensure the label “Made in Nigeria” is synonymous with quality, class, and creative foresight.
TellThatStory is celebrating the strength of the woman like Mrs. Mabel Omonmene Omoba an early school teacher per excellence who began this journey of passing knowledge to kids in 1987 at Okai Primary School, Benin city. Mrs.
Omoba has a degree in fine and applied art (with a special interest in ceramics and textile designs). She has taught at various primary schools in Benin City. She loves to teach and finds joy in tutoring young and growing children into becoming better versions of themselves in society.
We choose to emphasize her innovativeness for change, her ability to build smart, and ensure equality while also making a call to action for accelerating gender equality.
S.I. Ohumu, a storyteller and community youth organizer is using her platform Ubini.org, and #SpaceBenin to promote climate action, self-expression, mental wellness, gender equity amongst young people. She recently served as an
assistant producer on the BBC documentary ‘Sex for Grades’ which exposed university lecturers who have and are harassing their female student for grade and has led to the reintroduction of the anti-sexual harassment bill in the Nigerian senate.
To us, it means having a strong sense of identity like Adegboyega Toyin Rose(MRS.) an Assistant Chief Geologist at the Edo State Ministry of Water Resources. She aspires to run a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that will provide water for women and children in the Rural Communities and promote Hygiene Education and Open Defecation Free
(ODF) the environment to curb the high mortality rate of children within the age of five (5).
It means accepting your body as one that adapts and changes over time, being confident, and building up the people in your life like Osareniye Francisca Umejiaku, a Baker, an event planner, a graduate with BSc and MSc in Geology who
is the lead Baker at S. Sparkling Cakes and events.
It means to have the wisdom of being grateful for what you have while still being hungry enough for growth like Esiri Elsie Iyonu is a pharmacist per excellence who is creating an environment where sickness and diseases do not have to be the cause for sudden death. Who is fascinated by the human body and how it can heal it and thus her seeking ways in
this process of self-healing can be facilitated through the use of drugs that possess very minimal side effects.
Therefore, to all our women No matter from which angle we look at you, you are an angel and we are so lucky to have you in our lives. We at TellThatStory wish you a day, week, and month filled with goodness, warmth, and happiness.
Images were made by Edgar Imafidon, Babawale Obayanju, and David Asemota. Text: Babawale Obayanju. You can read more about the women featured in this story on @iTellthatstory