Visible and Feasible Visions of the Future
Growing up in Nigeria with little or no extra benefits has shaped my vision for what I hope to achieve in life. As someone who grew up in a relatively peaceful and loving family despite not having everything I wanted, I would like to see such love, peace, mutual respect and contentment reflected in the rest of the society: no ethnic or religious bigotry, no financial or moral corruption, equal access to education for all, strong individual and familial financial bases and shelter for all.
Above all, I would like to see a society where women and girls are not treated as less important than our brothers and fathers and our male colleagues in any profession we choose to work in. I would like to see more responsible and loving young men, fathers and husbands in my community.
Because considering the numerous opportunities thrown on the laps of men, they almost always misuse and abuse these opportunities and then become liabilities on their wives, mothers and daughters who are expected to take up the care of any such male relative -despite the women being the rejected stone to whom less chances have been given than the men.
As a journalist and writer, I am fulfilling part of my vision for my life and I look forward to working full-time in development communication and in academics. I hope many more women will have such a chance to live their dreams as they please. I would like to see more economically-independent women, who do not have to sell themselves for money and bear fatherless and guideless daughters who take up where their mothers left off, or sons who grow up to become tools for religious, ethnic and political violence.
I was born when my country was under military rule; most of my life as a young Nigerian has been spent under such leadership. Years after the ‘change’ to civilian rule, little has changed in the country. Many people still react to issues like they did when the country was run by brute force.
What am I getting at? I strongly feel that there is something wrong with our general psyche as Nigerians and it’ll take a lot of work from everyone for positive change to happen. And such takes more than mouthing slogans or memorising propaganda-driven pamphlets.
Having taken part in the PulseWire project for the past three weeks now, I am encouraged to re-start my community development efforts and begin to work once more to see change happen for me, my society and for future generations. I look forward to being a part of the five-month training and enjoying the perks of having a mentor to “champion, nurture, catalyze, challenge and support” me during this mutually-beneficial journey.
Even if this doesn’t happen, reading the Gail Straub excerpts and the Vision Mentor Framework has also perfected an awakening in me on the need to consciously and effectively, and in a clear voice maintain and proclaim my femininity at all times and to talk about issues as they affect us as women. More than ever, this message on a clear and powerful voice hits home harder than most.
Especially as a busy professional with plans for further academic pursuit and motherhood closely on the radar, there is a necessity for me to make time and create personal, peaceful space out of all the crowding noises and busyness to find and use my voice for the progress of women issues.
I am however hopeful, that as a Voices of Our Future Correspondent, I will have good reason to no longer procrastinate and will easily train my journalistic skills to such advocacy and development communication that can only positively affect us as women. This will no doubt have an even bigger ripple effect from me as an individual to my family, my immediate community and the greater globe.