Today being 8 March 2017, I woke up to so many buzz on Facebook about International women’s day. In my mind I didn’t get what it was. So the inquisitive me had to ask one of my best friends who happens to be google what ‘International women’s day(IWD)’ was and why its been largely talked about.
Most times when a topic or happenings around you occur, your mind indirectly flashes to a particular occurrence that you or someone close to you might have encountered in the past or better still stories you’ve had in the past you feel might be related to what is being talked about or celebrated.
With the buzz and fuss, my mind quickly flashed back to ‘Aba women’s riot’ in Nigeria which happened in 1929. My mind also did go to the movie ‘Hidden Figures’ that was released in December 2016. It also flashed to our own Nigerian Novelist Chimamanda Adichie and her most talked about topic ‘Feminism.”
I couldn’t immediately pare or marry these three incidence above to one to make a meaning of the IWD celebrated in most countries in the world today. But however, I did a small research and from what I have gathered so far from Google, IWD simply is ‘a global day celebrating the social,economic,cultural, and political achievements of women.’ How do these three relate?
The Aba women’s riot of 1929 is been marked as historic because these women of different profession especially the traders(Market women) prompted the colonial masters to drop their plans to impose a tax on market women and to curb the powers of the warrant chiefs who were increasingly oppressive. Very bold steps from women of those days and time in Nigeria, I commend them for their achievements and history made.
Secondly the movie ‘Hidden Figures’, this movie made me thank God a lot, for not bringing me into the world at that time. Can you imagine having, ‘Colored waiting room’ ‘Colored rest room’ , colored library, colored this and that. I was so mad, I nearly shade a tear or two, lol. And the segregation went on and on. For this particular movie which was a true life story, I kind of related because directly or indirectly we tend to tilt to what appeals to us or what we are used to.
Good example; when you walk into a room filled with few of your friends and other strangers, who would you feel most comfortable talking to, or staying close to at first? Please think about it. But that not withstanding these ‘colored’ women of same profession ought to have been given same chances and opportunities to show how very competent they were in their field of work or I would say they should have been given same opportunities as the non- colored to shine, well eventually they did. But my quarter cent to the movie is ‘what a shame to the world then’.
To our very own Novelist Chimamanda Adichie, she strikes me as a no nonsense woman, and I love that about her. She is quite controversial with her feminism talk which most people like and do not like. Feminism is just letting our women contribute, establish and achieve not just culturally but politically, economically and personally to the good of the society. Of course we women were born with brains right.
I remember while growing up, whenever we traveled to the village all the kinsmen including my dads many brothers would assemble to the OBI(our convening house for celebrations) to have discussions both meaningful and non meaningful to push the progress of the family, while the head of women(my dad’s elder brother’s wife) gathered her co-wives to the kitchen to cook for these men while they discussed.
These women enjoyed being back stage(the kitchen) cooking for their husbands while the men discussed God knows what. They say ‘society begins at home’ and i would add the progress of the society begins at home with your wife and children. These women including my mum stayed in the kitchen from morning to evening just cooking. Yes most of them were happy with it but I feel the meeting was still incomplete without the women by their husbands side airing their quarter cent to each matter.
I am not saying it was bad cooking for the men, but staying in the kitchen making breakfast, dinner and lunch with or without rest haba nah!. But the good thing was, these men who are my Uncles married professionals ranging from lawyers, to medical doctors, bankers etc, so kudos to them and to my mum who is a super woman. This reminds me of my last conversation with my dad few days ago and he called my mum a ‘go getter’ that made me happy because, i think it dawned on him that he married a bold, energetic and sophisticated woman who knows whats right and goes for what is right both for her and her family.
Also this post won’t be complete without mentioning great minds and women in Nigeria in the likes of Late Mrs Dora Akunyili (then Director general of National Agency for food and drug administration and control NAFDAC of Nigeria, a pharmacist and a government administrator) May her soul continue to rest with God. Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala( two term finance minister in Nigeria and a former managing director of the world bank), Onyeka onwenu( a Nigerian singer, songwriter, actress, journalist etc who makes impact with her music) Abike Dabiri-Erewa(Making impact in Nigerian politics) Mo Abudu a Nigerian talk show host, TV producer etc making impacts in the media industry) etc.
Finally, I would like to celebrate the women close to me starting with my mum, Mrs Felicia Okoye who I know have made direct and indirect impact to her society, she’s my hero and a super mum, a ‘go getter’ like my dad called her. And also my sister Barrister Ijeoma Okoye, who is bold too and sophisticated making impacts in her profession, a soon to be SAN keep it up dear, Mrs Chinwe Igwe Kalu, soon to be(Mrs) but still Miss Kelechi Ihekweazu, Miss Linda iroegbu my lovely food scientist, Mrs Chinwendu Nwankwo my nurse, Miss Maureen Akomas (who in my mind I call smally ***laughs), Miss Sally Okoye my micro biologist, my humble self your best blogger and media personality and the rest of the women all over the world. Your voices are tools and instrument and your achievements and impacts are what drives the world, please make impacts each day of your life ladies. Remember ladies ‘the world is our oyster’.
I would say Well done Ladies!!!