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KNOWLEDGE...THE KEY TO FREEDOM!

As I write this story, I dash in and out turning my generating set off and on because of the epileptic power supply, at the back of my mind, this story must go. I come from a country that calls herself the giant of Africa, Nigeria turns 51 on October 1, 2011 and I still see her crawling like before she started to walk. It is a litany of woes from lack of security, lack of power supply, unemployment and an education and health sector that its citizens have lost faith in, to mention a few.

My passion has always been Education and Financial freedom, vis-à-vis empowerment for the women folk in my community and I have battled with the issues of apathy, negligence, illiteracy and the culture of silence in getting the message across. The patrichal nature of Nigeria has made it difficult for women to make efforts at getting informed about issues that affect them.

I had the opportunity of attending a seminar where the issue of prostate cancer was discussed and it made a lot of sense to me and spurred me to dig for information because I have 4 brothers, 1 over 40 and the other 3 in their early 30s, I didn’t know I was being prepared for what fate was going to thrust on me. Sometime last year my father was faced with this challenge and had to undergo a major operation, it was a trying time for me and my family and we had heard stories of what people went through and how most people do not survive the operation but we just kept faith. The operation was successful and I talked with him about what I had learnt via the internet as regards prostate cancer. When I got back from that trip I tried sharing my experience but I got mixed reactions because people didn’t understand what it was about and the women felt it was not in their place to tell their men to go have their prostate checked and I wondered what ignorance was capable of doing to a people.

I have resolved to continue educating the masses through constant programmes on radio and television geared towards providing information and helping to proffer solutions. I’m also going into intensive one to one discussion and health seminars to tackle this issue by sharing my father’s experience.

Pulsewire is helping to carry my message and also give me the opportunity to connect with the stories of other women around the world! I have also taken advantage of my blog and my facebook page to share information and bring people together to talk issues. In the few weeks I have been on Pulsewire, a lot has happened, my perspective has changed, my drive has been re-ignited and I’m better equipped with information to do my job well so I think this is the place for me to give and take information and most of all Connect!

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Comments

Stella Paul's picture

Connection

Huh! As I started to read this, the power went off and my LAN stopped working! Talk about being connected :)

I hope your father is in good health now. And I am so happy there was this knowledge source called internet that came to help you at the right time!
I cannot agree with you more on this vast potential of web as a news and information resource. Though I subscribe to a daily newspaper, several magazines and then there is TV with all those channels, its the net button that I reach out for every time I need to know something.

I wish you a lot of success in future, especially when you go empowering other women.

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Ify Onyegbule's picture

Thanks a lot

Being and staying connected is the main stay of information sharing. My father is well now and really resting. The information chain will never stop! Thanks for going through this!

Angela Kintu's picture

I hear you!

Ify,

thank you for posting such a personal and pertinent experience and I hope women are learning from it. Glad to know your father is doing well. My sister, I feel you on the maddeningly slow progress of African countries that could be doing much better by now and I applaud you for doing your bit to get the stories of women out.

Keep striving and keep being an inspiration. It has been a great experience reading your article.

Angela

Ify Onyegbule's picture

Angela, Thanks for your

Angela,

Thanks for your comments, it really baffles me why women will still hold themselves back because of what culture, tradition or whatever says. The culture of silence is a major issue in most countries in africa and i believe women have to stand up and take hold of their lives.

Have a great day!

usha kc's picture

Dear sis, thank you so much

Dear sis, thank you so much for sharing your experience here.

My best wishes to your father's good health and your great success.

Ify Onyegbule's picture

changing the world

Usha Dear,

I love to share my experience with people, its the only way i know people can relate with you and open up also on what they face on a daily basis. I just hope and pray that someday the women on PW will meet and see eye to eye cos i really will love to see and interview some of them...including you!

Regards,

ify

YAOtieno's picture

Close

Hi Angela,

Thank you for sharing the story. It is particularly close to my heart because my grandpa passed away from prostrate cancer. I am glad you are taking your expertience to enlighten other people pf the same.

Kudos to you for the great job you are doing in the Giant of Africa.

Cheers,

Y

A candle looses nothing my lighting another

Ify Onyegbule's picture

Information is key!

Dear Sister,

The enlightenment must continue, im actually organizing a seminar where health officials will provide more information and consultation so that people can be aware!

Thanks for your comment!

Ify

One of Many's picture

your well rounded perspective

Dear Ify:

I sure like your writing -- including the overview and the good example -- that shows your perspective is about learning and health and empowerment for your community -- as well as the goal of education and empowerment of women. It shows you maintain a strong community ethic and that you are connected with your family and other loved ones.

I am so impressed that you are using a radio program to connect with your community and educate people...and now you are connecting with WP and will use all that new insight and information with your community, too!

The patriarchal culture is what has been holding the world back for almost five thousand years...all during which time the propaganda was that society was advancing. Sure, technology is advancing, and lifestyle options are getting more sophisticated, but if people are still fighting wars and starving and abusing each other...how can we call anything progress?

It sounds like you are a lifelong learner and you are going to use your brains and your excellent skill with words to make a big difference for Nigeria. Maybe with you there, Nigeria can become a giant -- a giant of awareness !

Anna

Speaking my Peace

Ify Onyegbule's picture

the challenges in our face!

Dear Anna,

Im glad my piece made sense. I have come to realize that the girls and women i come in contact with in the course of my job have a major issue when it comes to health because they are either afraid, ignorant or illiterate and this has been a hindrance of some sort to them so im taking up task to help educate the ones i can penetrate through my radio and TV programmes, my health seminars and of course the "yes i can" forum where i get to talk with young girls in secondary schools. Health is something i hold most dear to my heart, my mum is hypertensive and suffered a stroke some years back. She is doing well now and takes her health very seriously. So it is easier for me to share my experiences because people will only relate with you when you have a true story to share. it has helped me and im just going to continue what i am doing in my small corner of the world. Im happy to be on PW!

Ify Onyegbule's picture

the challenges in our face!

Dear Anna,

Im glad my piece made sense. I have come to realize that the girls and women i come in contact with in the course of my job have a major issue when it comes to health because they are either afraid, ignorant or illiterate and this has been a hindrance of some sort to them so im taking up task to help educate the ones i can penetrate through my radio and TV programmes, my health seminars and of course the "yes i can" forum where i get to talk with young girls in secondary schools. Health is something i hold most dear to my heart, my mum is hypertensive and suffered a stroke some years back. She is doing well now and takes her health very seriously. So it is easier for me to share my experiences because people will only relate with you when you have a true story to share. it has helped me and im just going to continue what i am doing in my small corner of the world. Im happy to be on PW!

meena-megha's picture

the power of personal experience

so many of us world wide face some sort of personal crisis sooner or later in our lives, not everybody however has the strength or will or ability to transform that into action for change. you are doing a marvelous job.

Ify Onyegbule's picture

Reality

Dear Meena,

Very true not all of us can work on transforming these into actions for change. It has really helped me on the job because when im on air or speaking at a group meeting or mentoring young girls, i speak from experience and it helps me tell my stories better and also connect with the people. Nothing can reach the sole of a person than an experience shared from the heart.Thanks for the compliment.

Ify

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