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LOUD WHISPERS: The Week The Girls Came Back Home

LOUD WHISPERS: The Week The Girls Came Back Home

It took 912 days Of tears, prayers, vigils, speeches, marches, songs, Waiting, watching, cries both loud and silent 912 days The girls came back home They left many more behind Yet the girls came back home The week the girls came back home There was a day when the whole world celebrated girls everywhere Girls […]

‘And Then The Women Came’ A Tribute To The African Women’s Development Fund

‘And Then The Women Came’ A Tribute To The African Women’s Development Fund

I have just returned from Accra, Ghana, where I went to attend a panel discussion on African Women and Philanthropy, to mark the 15th anniversary of the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) the first Africa-wide grant making foundation. I co-founded AWDF in 2000 with Joana Foster (Ghana) and Hilda Tadria (Uganda), and we began operations […]

LOUD WHISPERS: A Tray Of Locust Beans

LOUD WHISPERS:  A Tray Of Locust Beans

The person sitting next to Mabel nudged her. Her name was being called. She hadn’t been listening. Her mind was far away. Many years away.  She had been thinking about the pain. She had often wondered how it was possible for any human being to survive that kind of pain. Then her mind wandered even […]

LOUD WHISPERS: Up And Down

LOUD WHISPERS: Up And Down

Last week was a very interesting one for me. I was in a good mood most of the week, starting from the early hours of Tuesday morning when I stayed up all night to watch the US Presidential Debate. I shouted and hooted in support of Hillary Clinton as she took Donald Trump to the […]

LOUD WHISPERS: The ‘Jewel Of Inestimable Value’

LOUD WHISPERS: The  ‘Jewel Of Inestimable Value’

Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo passed away on September 19th2015, just a few weeks shy of being 100 years old. The activities that had been planned for her centenary birthday were turned into a celebration of her glorious life. One of the activities was a Women’s Celebration for Mama, which took place on November […]

LOUD WHISPERS: Feminism 101: Ten Myths About Feminists

LOUD WHISPERS: Feminism 101: Ten Myths About Feminists

I gave a talk at a forum organized recently to address women’s rights issues in Nigeria. After my presentation, a woman walked up to me to thank me for my presentation which she said she enjoyed, and then said, ‘Listening to you, one would think that you are a Feminist’. I stared at her in […]

LOUD WHISPERS: Dress Codes Versus Morality Police

LOUD WHISPERS: Dress Codes Versus Morality Police

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a debate in Nigeria about Dress Codes and the implications for civil liberties. There was an order from the leadership of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that a dress code would be enforced on all employees. They listed a number of dress items which would henceforth be […]

LOUD WHISPERS: Who Is A Witch?

LOUD WHISPERS: Who Is A Witch?

Last week, there were reports and bizarre photographs from Delta State, Nigeria, concerning an alleged witch. The ‘witch’ looked very ill, and was either pregnant or had a massive tumour in her stomach which could indicate any number of serious ailments.  She was lynched by a local mob for ‘stealing someone’s pregnancy’. We all grew […]

LOUD WHISPERS: Clarity In Confusion

LOUD WHISPERS: Clarity In Confusion

In September 1988, I came down with a severe case of malaria fever in London. I had just arrived London from Nigeria and after two weeks of the sharp autumn cold my  body’s defence mechanisms gave way. I was admitted to the London School of Tropical Diseases where I was their guest for a week. […]

LOUD WHISPERS: Lessons From Hannah

LOUD WHISPERS: Lessons From Hannah

I have an older friend who is from Zimbabwe. I will call her Hannah. She fought in the Zimbabwe liberation war in the 1970s. Then she was a young girl, but she experienced things people thrice her age could not even imagine. When the war was over and Zimbabwe became an independent nation State in […]