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Rediscovering our true essence

As a young woman who was often told off for being too outspoken, I found that over time I had learnt to suppress within me views which may be deemed too liberal (radical) or offensive by my immediate society.

Based on my life experiences, I am someone who truly believes that everyone should be allowed to be themselves and not made to feel like outcasts just because they are different. I tend to speak passionately on issues such as women empowerment, equality and gay rights. However, each time I express my views I am ridiculed for being a feminist or having western ideas that do not tally with African traditions. Much as I would have loved to be a part of movements that fight for the rights of women or other discriminated peoples, I found myself instead muting my voice or bending my views towards what is generally accepted for fear of being ridiculed. I also had to remain silent so as to maintain the persona of a submissive African woman.

However, thanks to World Pulse, I have come to rediscover something that is truly the essence of me- my passion for speaking up and speaking out. I remember my first assignment for the Voices of the Future application process; being used to burying all my passion within me, I treated the subject from a remote point of view. But thanks to the comments I got on that assignment, I was able to learn that there is nothing wrong with speaking passionately about something you believe in and are willing to fight for.

On World Pulse, thanks to the support and encouragement I have received thus far, I have found that I can speak about issues that I really care about without fear of being ridiculed for my “crazy un-African ideas”. I am especially happy that I have found on here, women who have experiences similar to mine and as a result of that, share my views. They too want to speak up without fear or shame. And with the support we provide for each other, we can keep doing that until our voices get so loud that it drowns out the laughter and we are finally taken seriously.

I want to start speaking out again and keep doing so because that is who I am- someone who speaks out. And unless I am true to myself, I will eventually lose myself and then end up not contributing anything meaningful to my society- which is the complete opposite of my personal vision

I no longer want to lend myself to the fight for women empowerment as a mere observer. With the mentoring I would get from Word Pulse, I hope to use my gift of writing actively in this fight. And not just on World Pulse, but also on my blog and in the media in my country where I am a journalist. I no longer want to be afraid to attach my real name to a view or cause that is deemed too liberal for my society. Rather, I want to stand up for what I believe in knowing that if I do so I would inspire, not just women like me, but even men to do the same.

Knowing that there are a lot of young women like me out there who have to struggle between being themselves and being what society wants them to be, I hope to be a mentor too and inspire them to be true to themselves and not deny their God-given talents. When men and women stop seeing women as less-intelligent, helpless or unproductive creatures, the world would truly benefit from the deluge of wisdom, strength and productivity that would be unleashed on it.

Comments

usha kc's picture

Dear Onyinye,, it's so

Dear Onyinye,, it's so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I enjoyed to read your voice . You are strong,determind and corageous in all. I loved it dear.
dont loss your bravery and Zeal. keep it up

warm hug

Onyinye's picture

Thank you Usha

thank you so much, Usha, for your warm compliments. Thanks especially for your encouragement. I do hope to "live the dream" and stop silencing my voice.
Thank you so much. I appreciate your comment.
Onyinye

faridaY's picture

Powerful and well articulated

Powerful and well articulated Onyinye. Many of us as African women struggle between our desire to speak up for what is just and fair and what our societies expect of us as "proper" African women. I am glad that you are re-discovering your true essence and finding the courage to speak your truth. Godspeed.

olutosin's picture

This is Beautiful!

Worldpulse gave us the Microphone and we began to Speak one at a time. It is thrilling, please keep up the good work.......make us proud.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Onyinye's picture

thanks for your kind comments

Thank you so much, Farida and Tosin, for your kind comments.
The encouragement I have received on here is overwhelming and I do appreciate it.

Onyinye

Maggs's picture

i too have been in that

i too have been in that position and to some extent still are - of suppressing to fit in, to conform to my own detriment. Slowly I am starting to come out of it and its good to be in your company.

maggs

Onyinye's picture

Thanks Maggs

Thank you, Maggs, for your comment.
It is great to be in your company too.

Onyinye

Susannah Maria's picture

Thank you!

Thank you for your poetic and articulate message! That last paragraph in particular really struck me. I very much appreciate how your words can speak to all women and to all people everywhere. I love the acknowledgment that we women too need to stop seeing ourselves as somehow lesser, that in order for the true power/beauty of the world to be unleashed, we need to truly empower ourselves and stand up as the strong women we are. Thank you for the inspiration and challenge!

Onyinye's picture

thank you, Susannah

Thank you, Susannah, for the encouragement and kind words.

You all on Word Pulse inspire me.

Onyinye

Bryce-VancouverWA's picture

Dont stop now!!!!!!!!!!

Onyinye,

The world needs women like you. You have so much to offer and I'm sure it's tough always being told you arn't doing it the right way. But we support you and wish you the best. I think it's great that World Pulse provides this forum for you to express yourself and find others in your similar situation. We saw the "Arab Spring" come about due to women and young people using techology to get their message out and find support from around the world. Let's make an "African Spring".

Bryce

Onyinye's picture

No, I won't!

Thanks for your assurances and encouragement.

No, I won't give up. I am going to live my dream and be happy for it.

Onyinye.

Halima Mohamed Abdel rahman's picture

I was in the same position!

I love this nicely written article so much.

I went over and over it many times. It reminded me of my childhood and how I had been too young to fought back or had my voice heard. I was in the same position.
I am envious of my daughter's generation, they are so lucky to be brought up by educated, understanding, and caring parents. Life is so easy and generous for them. They are lucky enough to find platforms, such as this one to blog and make their voices soar high.

You made my day. Love you girl!

Best,

Halima

Onyinye's picture

thanks

It's always great to meet someone who knows what I am talking about. Makes me feel less alone or stupid.

Thanks for the love and encouragement, Halima.

God bless you.

Onyinye.

Sandra Nassali's picture

Dear Onyinye, you article is

Dear Onyinye, you article is very inspiring and what makes it really cool and different are 2 facts - mentorship & your willingness to work with men as well to promote women and human rights. In many cases, we often neglect the young (who are capacle actors of change) and men - who are desicion makers right from the lowest to the highest level in most societies. Your approach as mentioned in your article emcampuses most necessary actors in society and i am sure with that approach, coupled with web 2.0 technologies, you will help create the change you want to see.

All the best.

Sandra

Onyinye's picture

Thank you

Thank you Sandra for your comment.
I hope to live up to the faith you all have placed in me.
Onyi

Kaleidoscope Girl's picture

ONyinE.

Dearest ONyinE,

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us and for traveling all those roads that brought you to this place where you now KNOW your ESSENCE, your UNIQUENESS, and the VALUE and VISION of your VOICE.

I know that standing out, speaking out and shining out often requires risk and can often be a place that is visited by DOUBT. Yet all it takes is ONE brave-heart to lead the way to TRANSFORMATION.

May you continue your journey of speaking, sharing and shining - in ALL of your ESSENCE.

All it takes is ONE, all it takes is ONyinE.

I wish you continued bravery and inner belief, always and in all ways.
- Kaleidoscope Girl.

"Write your life so others may be ILLUMINATED."

Onyinye's picture

One backed by many

Thank you for your comment KG.

In one, we see the strength of us all. One backed by the voice of all. And thank you for being part of that voice.

Onyi

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