Gratitude #1 -United Nations, New York (1) by Mary Ajayi, 2015
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou
March 2016, I was in New York at the UN 60th Session on the Commision on the Status of Women to talk alongside my @moremiinitiative sisters on the work we’re doing and lessons we’re learning along the way.
I faced challenges I didn’t think I could overcome. I had managed to get my visa in time but needed funds for travel, accommodation, and feeding. Icalled everyone I could. I emailed people and organizations. Nothing worked. I prayed. Nothing seemed to be shifting. My sister @adeola_ope took to Facebook to solicit for help. Olisa.tv blogged about it. @dejifan took to Twitter. Friends like Mayowa Okediran and Niyi Onabanjo pitched in personal funds. I began to have hope.
Thomas Paine said and I quote, ‘the mind once enlightened, cannot again become dark’.
I arrived, a tabula rasa, also with a very low self esteem, on the first day of the EAG training organized by the Dawood Global Foundation, in partnership with the Whole Woman Network.
I was too timid to participate in the numerous life changing activities; from the mind-blowing lectures on Journalism, to the deeply inspired biography of Malala Yousafzai, due to a malnourished sense of confidence my home provided me. It was soon very clear to me, that I would have no limit, but myself.
A few months ago, LEGENDARY LEADERSHIP LESSONS (4) CONFERENCE, organized by Dr. Dipo Awojide & BTDT Ltd was held at the Lagos Oriental Hotel.
WWN sponsored 10 participants to attend the conference and each shared the highlights of the event..
Been there? by Nina Mbah
“Kai madam! If you weren’t standing in front of the Imam eh! Hmmmm…..”
Then what will happen? She retorted deep within her.
The above is part of a reminiscence of an encounter shared by Ms. Lola Shoneyin, as the only woman standing in a bus filled with men, during her work as a campaign aide with the Nigerian president, somewhere in Northern Nigeria.
The point here is not just how intolerant men from different parts can be when a woman defies their notion of acceptable behaviour and ‘cultural values.’ Rather, how huge this barrier can be in a society seeking fundamental reforms.