#ThisIsNigeria: Caged Creatures


#1

My sister is regarded as a colossal failure.
She can’t sweep neither can she cook like a real Yoruba woman.

Elders around have conveniently tagged her a failed product of the Yoruba culture.
My sister possesses an unbridled confidence no Yoruba elder likes. They mistake her strong will for rudeness and question our parent’s training methods. At first they whispered it quietly in their dome of gossip, but as time brought no difference to my sister’s attitude, they spewed their archaic thoughts confidently in public.

They speak about how free she is among guys; “She has no grace”, " She has surely made some of those innocent boys her sex partner", “I’m sure she has gotten numerous abortions”. " She is shameless “. " She thinks herself a boy”.

I come from a society where the male seed is highly exalted than the female. I come from a society where it is consciously and unconsciously programmed to every girl’s thoughts that the standard is a good man to cuddle and love her; even at religious programmes, the ‘glory’ of a woman is often referred to as a good husband, good children, and submissive nature that enhances the peace of her home.

I come from a society where the needs of the woman is expected to be sacrificed whenever a man is involved. She is expected to curtsy a little bit more; never look a man in the eye; always consider herself second.

Nigeria is a place where the word feminism is treated as the infamous “F” word. Feminist are considered as Lucifer’s advocates- the end time prophets the Bible warns about- You can ask Chimamanda of the vile words hurled at her on social media and traditional press because of her gender equality stance.
Many will argue that we raise girls on an equal plane but do we? Don’t we set limitations to their dreams?

Don’t we quietly nudge them to construct their fantasies around the theme of marriage? “Yes you can dream of owning a big car but your good husband will be the one to buy it for you.”

Isn’t society constantly mocking unmarried women who are above 35? Don’t we enjoy constructing stories on the shortcomings of the unmarried oldies? “She is not married yet because she is too proud. Bro Taju asked her out but she said no. She wears skimpy blah…blah…blah…”

Can they run wild like their male counterparts without being called Jezebels, Prostitutes and Trash? Can they be free because they deserve it and not because they have no man to put a leash around their necks?
Can we appreciate them for the contents of their brains rather than the curves of their body?

My sister isn’t free and no matter the policies signed by government, she can never be free. Tradition holds too much sway in this country; and by tradition, my sister is beneath me


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#2

This is fantastic, very well written and very relevant. Gender equality is a slow process but I’m sure that eventually women will get their due recognition and be allowed to be all they can be.


#3

@Mira @NaijaLander @Patrickudo2004 @Oluwarufus @lifeofesse


#4

I beg to differ, Yoruba culture has never been particularly demeaning towards women. Yoruba history is full of stories about ancient feminists. One Alaafin Iyayun was a made Regent because her son Kori was still an infant when his father died. I dare say this is a single story.


#5

You are right about traditional institutions but your sister is indeed free. Whether or not she behaves motherly, society will still find something else to tag her as, it’s just society being society.

Speaking from an historical perspective, I think your write up is a bit subjective. Perhaps speak for your family alone…


#6

Hello @Banjii, you write so well. Keep it up.

You can share this link to your WhatsApp contact, Instagram, Facebook, twitter and other social media platforms you’re on to get as many likes as you can. Good luck.


#7

This is beautiful!!!


#8

Gender Equality is still a lifetime behind in our society, especially amongst my beloved Yoruba people. I have a brother who grew up loving the feel, heat and skills of the kitchen, he wanted to be a chef. But trust my typical Yòrubá parents who were from 'Ilu Òkè", they flogged the little curse out of him because they believed cooking is a lowly job that’s exclusively for females. How about a female neighbor, Hadiza, who enjoys playing and watching football. I remember how many bottles of ‘Ọ́ntu’ - Islamic herbal concoction, she was forced to gulp down everyday to normalize her “abnormality”. She was then forcefully shipped off to some polygamous Alhaji in the north to be his 7th wife. She was denied her right of becoming the next Asisat Oshoala and was made another weeping face in a bitter harem because of our terrible social stereotyping.


#9

Woahh


#10

This is such a brilliant piece. I feel the title doesnt do enough justice to it.

I believe women should be nurtured and supported to chase their dreams. Things will change over time but it starts with how you see your sister, how you stand by her regardless of what the men of old have said or thought.


#11

Wow this is one of the best entries in all honesty.


#12

Appropriately concluded. :+1:t4: