9jafeminista in October

9jafeminista has had a pretty busy Octorber, originally meant to be a bi-monthly publication, we have, so far, featured 9 stories, an average of two stories per week.

Ugo Chime
Ugo Chime

Our very first contributor was Ugo Chime, a public health practitioner who is passionate about being independent, her first story was ‘Forgiveness or Gini?’, during which she challenged the gender stereotype that women are the ‘softer sex’, she talked about how she learned forgiveness from her husband, who is supposed to be the ‘harder sex’.

The piece was followed by ‘An interview with Ugo Chime’ during which Ugo talked about her relationship with her dad, Maternal, Child and Neo-natal Health (MCNH) and the problem with Nigerian NGO’s and their funders.

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Ikhide R. Ikheloa

It was not long after our interview with Ugo that the scandal involving one of Nigeria’s foremost bloggers, Linda Ikeji, broke. In which she was accused of plagiarism, and her blog was taken down for a while by Google. 9jafeminista noticed that out of the many voices baying for her blood, the men’s were more dominant, but a few people came to her defence, including the indefatigable trouble maker, Ikhide R Ikheloa, who pointed out that almost all the dailies online do the same and asked why the people who went after Linda Ikeji didn’t go after them, since they have been around for much longer. We then conducted an interview with Ikhide, ‘In Conversation with Ikhide: Lindagate Love and Feminism.’

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Ayomikun

Following our Lindagate post was an interview conducted with a domestic abuse victim, Ayomikun. The interview was conducted in two parts, both are up on YouTube, the transcription of the interview was put up on the blog. Ayomikun took us through a harrowing tale of 12years spent in an abusive relationship. She talked about her many miscarriages, marital rape, and psychological abuse from a controlling man. Her story was titled ‘Yes to domestic violence: Why we should give up and give in (1)’ (and the video can be found here) and ‘Yes to domestic violence: Whe we should give up and give in (II)’ (the video of the full interview can be watched here).

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Temie Giwa-Tubosun

Our next post was about Temie Giwa-Tubosun, one of BBC’s 100 Women of 2014, simply titled ‘Temie Giwa-Tubosun’ we put up her bio in order to provide our readers with a background to this amazing feminist. Following this was her non-fiction piece titled ‘Is this what a feminist looks like?’ She talked about becoming a feminist at the age of 10, maternal mortality and the right of a woman to do what she likes with her body, especially when it comes to their health.

In our usual fashion we had ‘An interview with Temie Giwa-Tubosun’, during which we talked about her One Percent blood donation project, reconciling feminism, God and lipstick, we briefly touched upon her adulation of Beyonce, and oturmapokpor – aka – love potion.

Briefly a member of falconets
Briefly a member of falconets

Our last post was an editorial ‘Editorial: Who gives a damn about female footballers?’, which was an opening to the terrible conditions under which Nigerian female football players are made to play. We had an interview with Omolayo Adebiyi, whose career was brought to an abrupt end when she injured her knee. Her full interview can be watched here.

Phew!

Thank you all for visiting our blog regularly.

Forgiveness or Gini?

Editor’s note : Ugo Chime is a public health practitioner and policy maker. Aside from this she also enjoys writing in her spare time. In spite of being a self-confessed feminist (or maybe because of it) she is married (surprised eh?) to a Nigerian man (aren’t all feminists supposed to be bitter single women, or divorcees, …or widows?)

Anyway here’s her creative non-fiction piece on learning about forgiveness.

She talks about the way women are raised to believe that they are the ‘softer’ sex and had to learn to ‘forgive’ over and again,     especially when you’re married because men are ‘hard and heartless’ and there’s nothing you or anybody can do about it because they are … ‘men’.

Read Ugo’s piece, she might be able to teach you a thing or two about forgiveness.

Forgiveness or Gini?

One of the ways women are prepared for married life is the coaching on forgiveness.

You know, you would have a load of shit thrown at you by ‘dear husband’ and his ‘adorable family’. But a good woman keeps her 1home. You know … at all cost.

So, you need to forgive, forgive, forgive, and you could never start early enough in learning this needful skill. Whether you are fighting with your siblings, your classmates, your parents, hell… even strangers, your skill at letting go of anger, forgiving and forgetting… even if the offenders isn’t in the least remorseful… is expected [because you’re a ‘soft woman’].

Be sure someone will offer up a “ah ah, are you not a woman again? How can you be so hard-hearted?” if you go against ‘nature’ and let that your ‘soft, ever-forgiving heart’ linger on the hurt just one second longer than it was built for.

I suppose many a-woman has profited from this training. They have gone ahead to have wonderful marriages, with husbands who proclaim – ever so effusively- how their wives are the very embodiment of the woman in Proverbs 31.

I’m just not that woman, unfortunately. I don’t see the Association of Well Behaved Married Women ever having me.3

I have, however, learnt forgiveness … from my husband. The man knows a thing or two about letting things go.

[My marriage] is not a perfect union. Last year, in fact, I considered leaving. Marriage felt restrictive, a tight noose around my neck and I desperately wanted to be rid of it. Then came to a decision that I couldn’t envisage a life without my man in it, hence I sat put. As with everything, I opened up to him about wanting out. He did not hold it against me – just like other countless failings of mine. I’m not going to list them – well they are not pretty at all. But he remains committed to me. He takes everything in his stride.

I believe there is nothing I could do that he would not forgive. I mean, even if I cheated… I know for a certainty that he would forgive it. It is going to hurt him, but he isn’t going to throw me out of the house (you know how they do it in Nollywood, right), or file for divorce or 2hold it over my head for the rest of our years together.

This is completely different from what I had been made to expect in marriage.

I am getting better at forgiving, at letting go. Well, because I have to share my pet peeves with hubby, and I know he’s going to say I should not bear things in mind so much. And I am going to get annoyed with him for telling me how to conduct my affairs. I’m probably not to going to him for a while. Then I remember how easily I can get forgiven, so perhaps I should not be so hard on others. And with some luck, my son is going to grow up to be like this father, then some woman would have a little bit an easier time in marriage as a result.