Happy Day

What a wonderful time to be a woman. I am feeling quite fruity, exuberant and full of hope as I write for you wonderfully erudite readers. As a result of this state of mind you can expect this to be reflected in the attitude in this page. We have just celebrated Mother’s  Day which I hope mothered deliciously to you. Today is International Woman’s Day and I like to think the air all about feels feminised and I’m feeling particularly feminine. Subsequently this page will be a cornucopia of delightful women’s poems, music lyrics, vignettes from stories and anything else my fruity state of mind (and my Editor, Bisi) allows me to get away with. I am also doing this in the spirit of the brilliant #My Sister’s Keeper Campaign 2016 being run by Above  It is my hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Before I start I would like to give thanks first and foremost to God Almighty. I also give thanks to the divine Yemoja, mother earth. I want to pay homage to all our female ancestors, to all those who have gone before us and cleared a path way for us. I honour my inimitable mother who always made me feel special, wanted and glorious.

It is customary to honour others on a day like this which I certainly will do, but I am also choosing to humbly include myself. I thank me for embracing my womanhood for making it visible and for playing some small part in enhancing my gender through my being and doing.

I am acutely mindful that all you have to do is blink and you can access all the horrors that continue to be inflicted on the girl child, young women and women across the globe. It is hard not to focus on this aspect of women’s struggle. I am confident my sisters will speak on these matters robustly.

Today my focus will be on what is wonderful, beautiful, fragrant, and powerful about being a woman through my eyes.

From my selection of poetry who can top the magnificent Maya Angelou?

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion models size

But when I start to tell them, they think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms

The span of my hips

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips,

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman

That’s me

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me

A hive of honey bees,

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman

That’s me

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me

They try so much but they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them

They still can’t see, I say

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile

The rise of my breasts

The grace of my style

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman

That’s me

Now you understand

Just why my heads not bowed

 I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels

The bend in my hair,

The palm of my hands,

The need of my care,

‘Because I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me

Today I’m particularly reminded of all the beautiful accomplished amazing women I have had the priviledge to rub shoulders with, engage with, tangle with and thoroughly enjoy.

At this moment I am especially reminded of an encounter with a complete stranger at a communal place. As we sat waiting we both observed the same thing, looked at one another, made comments and we descended into uncontrollable laughter. We laughed and brushed hands, bent over, rolled around in fits of delightful stomach turning laughter till we wept.

In that singular moment two women came together in a moment of unadulterated, exquisite joy. The verbal exchange was less important than the human, internal communication. Our hearts were open to each other and a connection was made. Our worries were abandoned and only the authenticity of the moment was given audience. The moment was brief but real, tender and significant. It is moments like this that when accumulated can serve as powerful forms of healing for other difficult moments, because it is internalised and can be accessed the next day, next  month,  in year or whenever it is needed.

My next offerings are the lyrics to a song that I have always found sexy and energising, by the singer songwriter Helen Reddy:

I am woman

I am woman hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore

And I know too much to go back an’ pretend

‘Cause I’ve heard it all before

And I’ve been down there on the floor

No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes, I am wise

But its wisdom born of pain

Yes I’ve paid the price

But look how much I have gained

If I have to, I can do anything

I am strong

I an invincible

I am woman

You can bend but never break me

‘Cause it only serves to make me more determined to achieve my final goal

And I come back even stronger

Not a novice any longer

‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my sail

Oh yes, I am wise

But its wisdom born of pain

Yes I’ve paid the price

But look how much I gained

If I have to I can do anything

I am strong

I am invincible

I am woman


Finally I salute all those wonderful, courageous women who have blessed me my allowing me to spend a day, a month, or several years in their lives.

I salute my two awesome daughters Tinuola Victoria Ogunbadejo and Andrea, Olufemi Ogunbadejo who have given me an understanding of what love is that resides on a celestial level.

I salute my sister who left this earth far too early but who added to my knowledge of being in touch with my woman hood simply by how she moved, talked, laughed. I salute my nieces, female cousins who remain accessible to me and whose love is felt always. I salute  my female in laws who have been very kind to me and have shown me nothing but unconditional love and acceptance since I pranced into their lives.

On a professional level I salute all the wonderful, determined, fearless and dignified women who allowed me to travel with them on parts of their journeys.

I salute my female clients for trusting me and believing I would not hurt and betray them. I salute my women from war torn countries who took deep breaths and allowed me take them back to relive their pain psychologically because they also trusted that my intentions were to bring relief to them, to bear witness to their testimony, to their hurt and to give them a voice.

I salute you all in love my sisters. Be your sister’s keeper! Happy International Women’s Day!

Gloria Ogunbadejo writes a weekly column for Punch Newspaper. She is a Psychotherapist, a life coach, a spiritual counsellor and an ordained Minister

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