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Giving up is not an option

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Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Giving up is not an option when all options have not been tried.  In the face of obvious challenges, continue to pursue your goals.

I was twenty-five years old when I started to work as a journalist at the Nigerian Television Authority, Channel 7, Tejuosho, Lagos State.  A few months after, I was faced with a termination threat from work. My boss was determined I  would never come to work again. She would not let me into the premises, only because I was pregnant!

I was six months pregnant, ‘carrying a child’ and this was  sufficient reason for a superior, a woman like me to get me unemployed. I was fortunate to have my mentors, parents and family who supported, advised and guided me on the right path to take. My father advised me to write a letter to her, the General Manager complaining that I was not allowed into the premises and thereafter proceeded to the NTA headquarters, Victoria Island the next day.

I got there very early even before their opening hours. When the Director-General and other directors resumed, they saw this dejected looking pregnant young girl. They received me well and I immediately reported my difficulties to them.

This action was and is my saving grace up till today. Spending 15 years in Journalism, and 12 years in politics; achieving my set goals, especially in serving humanity, providing assistance to the needy and promoting patriotism in the country. Most importantly, having my beautiful family. It makes me wonder, ‘What if I didn’t get that golden advice from my supportive father in that state I was in? Or what if he was not even there to begin with?’

‘’What if I did not have the courage to go to the Headquarters in Victoria Island that beautiful morning?”

‘What if….I agreed with my General Manager and said ‘yeah’. I was pregnant and that meant I wasn’t good enough to work?’

What if I did not believe in myself and my abilities?”

‘Would I be writing this today? Will you be reading this today?’

‘Would I have achieved three decades of success in my career?’

All these questions are rhetorical, but whatever the answers are, I am fulfilled as to where I am today and I know it would not have been possible if I had given up.

The bitter truth is that there are similar problems even today, just like the way they were in the past. Most women are going through so many problems, but cannot just speak up. Ironically, women are the ones who shape the society we are in today, whether directly or indirectly.

Some of them lose empathy towards others after their ordeals. If they lose ‘empathy’, which is a major feature of a leader, how can they possibly give back and be productive in the society?

I am a woman, mother and mentor. I have been there. I have experienced things personally and also learnt from others. Alongside my career and profession, I mentor girls and women. Helping them in every possible way – health wise, legally, emotionally, morally and psychologically and on a confidential basis.

No matter where you are, where you are coming from, or where you think you are going, it is important for you to know that everyone has a story to tell, even the person you might be comparing yourself with, because we as humans all make mistakes and we do fall. But it is not the falling that matters; it is the ability to get back on your feet.

You are not the only one falling and needing a helping hand. You are not the only one who has made mistakes, but it is the experiences that shape you to be who you are going to be tomorrow only if you make the right choices. You are not alone!!!

Abike Dabiri –Erewa is a journalist, politician and philanthropist. She served as a member of the Federal House of Representatives in Nigeria for three consecutive terms.


Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.


6 Responses

  1. Never backing down, never giving up. Right advise at the right time. We keep pushing till we give birth. I’m glad i read this write up. Thank you.

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