AW Gist: The Change Agents

By Onozasi

This is about picturing the realities in our society.

Just before you begin : This is a discussion between three social agents, three women involved in different social innovations who’ve been brought together to discuss the different issues they’ve solved, the different stories they’ve heard and how we all can become good influencers, good change agents. I hope this stirs a thing up as you read.

                             Meet the Change Agents:

My name is Jadesola Olumide, I Work with women in rural and urban Nigeria. My organization teaches them to work with their hands to make money, well that’s what some people call skills acquisition. I have worked with over 5,000 women and I am still working daily with women and girls.

I am Tomi Nelson, I am an advocate against rape and sexual assault in the society. I was working in the UK before coming to stay in Nigeria, and I must say I have seen much more than I expected to see. It’s no news that we have a lot to do but it is news that we need hands to make this happen.

My name is Lilian Ukachi. I am a media personality, social media influencer and trainee. I work with women and girls on a daily basis, I listen to them, motivate them to thirst for more and go beyond their boundaries. We have a lot of women and girls out there whose zest for life has been destroyed. It is imperative that we join hands to make their dreams come true.

 

shoes for women

 

 

                                                           Topic: I Have Nowhere to Go! (Domestic Violence)

 

Tomi Nelson: You have nowhere to go right, there is a graveyard somewhere.  I know someone would say, that’s harsh but it is not. We need to say it as it is so that women can know that there’s no excuse at all. ‘I am staying because of my kids, I am staying because I have nowhere to go, I am staying because people would abuse me’ these excuses are lame! Woman, you are being battered every day and you are giving excuses for staying alive? Why not leave the house, even if it’s your friend’s place, your church, we have a lot of human rights centres and shelters in Nigeria, you can go there and stay alive for yourself and for your kids. Learn a trade and move on with your life. Marriage isn’t supposed to be a death sentence. It is supposed to be bliss to forever.

 

Jadesola Olumide: You see, I don’t expect that we have women who are still lackadaisical in this day and age. Women who are still very dependent. No! You shouldn’t marry without options. Oh, someone would say what is she saying? I mean, marry with a good business in your hands, marry with options. We all plan to have it all together in marriage but then if it doesn’t work well, you shouldn’t be stranded. It is important that you have something worth it in your hands. No woman should be at the mercy of a man when you have what you can do, you will know when to move, you will know when to leave, report the man, leave the man and let him face the wrath of the law. But you see women pitying their husbands, which is good because we are very emotional beings but sister, you don’t need it. When a man raises his hands against you, he has lost his love, he has absolutely no respect for you anymore, so why stay? You hear women give reasons such as ‘ I don’t want the father of my kids to go to jail, people will call me wicked’ Oh? but it would be better for the father of your kids to kill you and send you to an early grave? is that the 411? These reasons are lame reasons as Tomi said has brought death to a lot of women. You see kids that are motherless not because their mother died sick but she died in the hands of their father and you know what family members do, they cover the act. They don’t come out to speak that their son-in-law killed their daughter and since there is no justice for that?  You see men killing women and going scot-free. If we want this chain to be broken, we need to speak up, hold these men to ransom. Let the kids see that their father was far from being good this will help the kids make better choices.  Marriage is not a do or die affair. When you die and leave your kids behind and they discover you had options you never took, they would blame you for being stupid.

 

Lilian Ukachi : You know what pisses me off the most? those unlicensed counsellors who ask bloody questions like ‘what did you do to trigger him’ like? what stupid question is that? See, even if you are married to the devil, there is no right, absolutely none to have you lay your hands on her. Listen, if your wife is ‘tormenting’ you, leave the house for her but to make her a punching bag every time is ridiculous and wicked. A man who beats a woman is far from sane. 

 

          Moderator: There is also another type of Violence, Emotional Violence…

Jadesola Olumide: I will keep telling women, a man doesn’t just change out of the blue in marriage, you just never saw the signs. You didn’t see the signals. Madam, when you are dating a man, check how he treats you not just what he buys you. Check how he speaks to you, how he addresses you and this can only function well if you are a woman with self-respect. If you are not waiting for a man to tell you that you are beautiful then it can work for you. But if you are there waiting for a man to treat you like a queen, then you won’t get it when he starts using words to haunt you before marriage which later becomes worse after marriage. It is pertinent that you love yourself, know who you are, fall in love with yourself wholeheartedly before marriage. Courtship is a serious time, a time to put everything under check, the most peculiar time to apply wisdom but how would you apply wisdom if you don’t have wisdom yourself?

 

 Lilian Ukachi : We need to keep buttressing to women that no relationship is worth sweating for. I tell you. If you’ve invested morning, day and night into it but as it is, it is not going in your favour, sister girl, that is not the only man in this world. Leave and be open. Domestic violence begins with spoken words. Before he hits you, he must have been saying some things to you, he must have been making you less of a person through his words so why are you disturbing yourself? why are you making yourself go through an unhealthy journey? I am not even going to repeat it if you want to give the man a second chance, give him outside that environment. Make sure your life is safe. 

 

Injured woman leaning sadly on wooden wall, concept for domestic violence

Tomi Nelson : Woman, know what you want. Woman, know what you carry. You see a lot of women doing amazingly well but have to lower their guard because they want one man to feel comfortable. I understand that relationships come with compromises but not at the expense of living below your weight. If the man likes you the way you are, good. If he doesn’t like you the way you are, move away to someone who would take you for you. You see a woman who rides a car, has a good apartment and then they tell her that if she wants a man to get married to her, she needs to behave like a regular girl, excuse, who’s a regular girl? This woman has worked her life out to get this and then all of a sudden she is told she has outdone herself just for marriage? Sister! Peradventure we have a successful single girl reading this, you shouldn’t live a lowlife to get a man. You should live just the way you are and the man who wants you would want you. Don’t listen to the lies out there, lies from people with low self -esteem, lies from people who don’t know what they want out of life or relationships. Babe, be You! Do You! and if you are in a relationship right now, please scrutinise, don’t be swayed by the social media clicks of perfect couple goals. Don’t marry a fine beater. Marry a man who’s mature enough to make a good husband and father. 

 

Lilian Ukachi : Let me add this if your husband is maltreating you, leave him now. Get a skill, move out, take care of your children, Be open to love when it comes your way again. Don’t die under the roof of a man. Don’t die as an ignorant woman. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Above Whispers

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