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And she held my hand

‘Hello Toyin, how are you? It is me Ngozi, there is an opening for a front desk officer at Baobab and I think you might be interested’

It was not far from the very trying period of my life when my mother died from Myasthenia Gravis and when I didn’t feel the support of my family and my extended family. I had being tagged a rebel and a rude girl because I spoke up to my step brother who sent me to school but who had got a lot of things wrong. Through him, I know how to be disappointed and angry because of his incessant complaint, the insult directed at my mother through me and his non-stop talk about how many other people he was helping.

This was a brother that I saw as a father and when this disappointment set in and I could not take it any more, I spoke up and the family saw it as an insult especially from the very younger girl in the family! With all these headache faced, my mother died. I did not feel the sympathy of any family around me but that of my friends which I was grateful for. In their roles, they held my hand, they made me feel comforted and they listened as I let out my anger! It was a joy to behold when a few Months later, I discovered Baobab for Women’s Human Rights an organisation working to protect and defend women’s rights.

Ngozi had met me at one of their trainings where I had mentioned that I needed a job. Ngozi called me as soon as they had an opening. Yes, she held my hand by making this opportunity available. I joined this family and thorough my work at Baobab, I discovered what it meant to have a confidant, what it meant to have someone to lean on, someone and many others in the same organisation who encouraged and brought the best out in you. Who never doubted the importance of empowerment, who never gave up on women making their own mark in the world.

Meeting Ngozi, working at Baobab had propelled me forward. It has enabled me to see that all discriminations against women that I disagreed with within are a good course. This has made me grown and this has given me more energy that I can contribute to the world.


Carri Pence's picture

I am so happy that you have

I am so happy that you have grown from such a negative situation. You placed light where it should have been dark, showing not only your new found confidence but your integrity. Your story also placed importance on your friends, realizing that the strength of a bond between two women can be more faithful than that of even a relative.

Oluwatoyin Ajao's picture

Thank you Carripence!

Thanks you Carripence, it is being a long journey but am happy to have these people in my life

Toyin Ajao

Rebecca Snavely's picture

A confidant

As women, all over the world, we are not encouraged to voice our anger. I'm so glad you found a place, a job, and a friend where you can be true to your self, your feelings, and help to empower other women to speak their stories!

Thank you for sharing this part of your story with us.



Oluwatoyin Ajao's picture

re: A confidant

Dear Rebecca,
thanks for finding my story relevant. I am happy to be a part of the movement that is changing lives especially that of women as many has contributed to shaping and changing mine too.

Toyin Ajao

jadefrank's picture

Speaking out

Dearest Oluwatoyin,

I am so glad that you shared your story with us, as now I feel closer to you and have a more clear understanding of your journey in working for women's empowerment and rights.

I am sorry to hear about your mother and your brother's ill actions towards you. But I am glad that your voice is strong and loud and that you're not afraid to speak up for your rights and what you believe in. While your family may not appreciate it now, many women for generations to come will be affected by your will to speak out as gender equality is impacted by your work.

In friendship,

Oluwatoyin Ajao's picture

re: Speaking out

Thanks Jade. This is even a brother out of many yet to tell. I am happy there are women all over the world working in organisations like yours where lives are touched; hope given and spirit lifted. Thanks for being here

Toyin Ajao

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