Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Movement; hopefully extraordinary me...

My story is not an extraordinary one, but having seen women doing extraordinary things I am inspired to be an agent of positive change. As a child, I always knew I wanted to write so it was no surprise for me to end up studying Drama and Theatre in the University. While learning was fun, I was able to hone my writing skills. I however didn’t discover what I would really love to do with Theatre until my fourth and final year when I took a course called Theatre for Development. There I learnt about Drama and Theatre in Education, Community Theatre, Developmental Communication and Advocacy Theatre.

It was such bliss to discover that attitudes and behaviour types could be transformed simply by using theatre’s educative, entertaining and informative qualities to mirror the lives of a community and their development issues. During my youth service year in North Central Nigeria, I joined the HIV/Aids Community Development Group and was responsible for scripting and staging dramas that the group would use on its awareness and advocacy tours.

Being a transit town, the prevalence rate was pretty high, but was based only on HIV in pregnant women as the men never showed up for tests. Seeing such determination and dedication to living positively in the face of these women was enough inspiration and conviction to prove that the strength of a woman was extraordinary.

From my days as an undergraduate fascinated with Development Communication to the time I worked as a youth counsellor and peer educator and now to my current work as a journalist, I am aware more than ever that women’s voices need to be heard. There is no need to overstretch the saying that ‘train a woman and you train a nation,’ as it is so obviously true considering the role of the woman in the home and in the life of a growing child.

This long-held conviction is what constantly brings me online and which eventually led me to PulseWire’s buzzing global community. I thought I had discovered my voice but I know WorldPulse can make it stronger and louder as it has for many other women before now and as it will for many more women in the future. This is the shared vision which I am sure drew me to the website. I am proud to be part of this transformational movement.

Comments

Adepeju's picture

Hi Derinho

Thank you for this article. The power of drama in teaching cannot be overemphasized. People rarely forget what they watch and take active part in. I'm organizing a drama competition in some schools soon on issues relating to maternal health. I hope you will be a part of it.

Derinho's picture

That's great!

Thanks Adepeju,
Theatre for Development for me is the greatest aspect of Drama, on a local or global scale.
Let me know when you plan to do the competition. I'd definitely love to join up.

Cheers!

MaDube's picture

And you story does not need

And you story does not need to be extraordinary. It just needs to be your story because that is what makes it uniquely an expression of your voice. I am 3 months old on WorldPulse and I will say warm welcome to the place where your voice is your advocate.

Derinho's picture

Thanks!

Thanks, MaDube!
That's really inspiring. Many thanks for the big welcome.
Oh yes! My voice is my advocate!
Cheers!

Frances Faulkner's picture

stronger and louder

Derinho,

You have wonderful passion and conviction in your voice. Have you published or shared your scripts for your HIV plays and your ideas on using theatre and drama exercises to transform attitudes? It would be fascinating to read those things coming from a non-theatre background.

I love your line about WP making your voice stronger and louder. Each day brings something new to celebrate.

Thanks for sharing,
Frances

Derinho's picture

Thanks, Frances! Ironically,

Thanks, Frances!
Ironically, none of the scripts are published. I'm not even sure I kept any of them unfortunately.
Since my service year ended in 2008, I've only helped co-ordinate projects for people who have similar ideas on advocacy theatre.
Really appreciate your comments.
I definitely agree that each day brings something new to celebrate.
Cheers!

ddegarm's picture

Extraordinary you!

Derinho,

What a wonderful way to work with people around the world! Theater is a universal way in which people can connect with each other despite language and cultural differences. I would love to hear more about the kind of dramas you presented to HIV positive women in Nigeria. What were the stories told? What kind of circumstances did you explore? How did the audience respond. We have much to learn from your narrative. I would also like to know how you found World Pulse. Did you just happen to stumble across it or was it something another person pointed you to?

“Women have a special capacity to lead us to a more peaceful world with compassion, affection and kindness. And there is no more important time for that than this moment.” - Dalai Lama

nadinerose's picture

Thank you!

Thank you so much for sharing our experience! Your growth through acting and advocay are unique and insightful. I believe that you have connected many people with this type of outreach. I especially like that you have used it as a tool in your writing to also inspire other people to use this as an avenue in their advocacy.

Derinho's picture

Thanks a lot, Ddegarm. At

Thanks a lot, Ddegarm.
At that time, we had resource persons amongst the People Living Positively (PLPs) and public health practitioners tell us numerous stories about people's experiences. Some men abandoned their wives to die with their non-infected children ending up as orphans, while some men actually lived in denial and went about having unprotected sex with other women to spite their wives. A barber lost his business because the whole neighbourhood had issues with him attending to an HIV-positive man who chose to declare his status.

The stories were numerous and our focus was to look at these situations and try to educate people against the stigma and above all try to empower and counsel women who had gone through terrible experiences after testing positive to the virus.

I can proudly say, all the performances were well-received. I can't recall anyone actually walking out on us or calling us names. Though it's always a very thought-provoking situation we find ourselves creating, above all, it was good to have the PLPs' commendation for aptly capturing their testimonies. Many more people need to realise that testing positive is not a death sentence in any way.

My hunger for development communication tools and learning resources led me to WorldPulse and I'm very glad that I took the bold step of joining the community.

Best wishes and I love your quote from the Dalai Lama!

Derinho's picture

I'm inspired!

Thanks, NadineRose.
Your comments have also inspired me.
I really appreciate it.
Cheers!

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

womenspace's picture

CAMBODIA: Ordinary Women Can Make a Difference

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative