by Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen
Lots and lots of events have happened during my childhood. Until recently, I did not see any lessons or meanings in them.
Now I have just discovered that these events laid a foundation in my life: one that would help me understand the processes of societal integration and civilization, and of course, my somewhat small role in achieving them.
I recall one significant event.
About 8 years ago, during my last year in primary school, my form teacher, Mr Jones – a lanky man who burdened himself, during our leisure time, with the responsibility of telling us about our country’s politics, military, history, and other societal issues – accused me of being gender biased in the presence of my form mates. At that time, his words stared blank at my young face, while my mind was thinking about the reason for this accusation.
Mr Jones was not a man that would comment on people’s actions without justification. He gave his justification and I realized my error. I saw truth in it. It was only a week before he had told us about gender discrimination in society. What had I done?
At the start of our form year, some of my mates came together and decided it would be great if we had a small party before our final exam where we could appreciate our teachers and ‘break bread’ together. For this purpose, others and I faithfully donated part of our money for snacks to this ‘working committee’. I found it interesting that though I was not part of this committee, I was always called to write invitations, letters of permission or support, announcements etcetera because of my grades in writing assignments.
My final task was to write and make copies of an announcement that listed out the names of committee members. The day after, I submitted copies of the announcement. This is where Mr Jones had intercepted. The announcement ignored the names of key members – female names.
Towards the end of 2015, I enrolled in a Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and Intercultural Dialogue Course run by UNESCO and Athabasca University. Here is where I got to know about Astute Radio. In one of his books, Chinua Achebe writes, ‘People from different parts of the world can respond to the same story if it says something to them about their own history and their own experience.’. This is my testimony. This is what happened to me when I encountered Astute Radio. I responded to conversations that go beyond stereotypes, as I realized that giving women and girls equal access to education, and representation in decision-making processes will benefit societies and humanity at large.
Blogging for Astute Radio is my way of helping minority women and girls find their voice. I will share inspiring experiences and stories that relates to women and girls in my community..
I believe in empowering women and girls and gender equality – a foundation for a sustainable world.
Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen is a B.Tech student of Meteorology and Climate Science (FUTA), is a ready volunteer and writer. He is 2013 Citizenship and Leadership Certified by CLTC, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Youth and Development, a 2015 UNESCO & Athabasca University student on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, and a Commonwealth Correspondent at yourcommonwealth.org. His growing passions lie within the circle of Media and Information, IT, Youth Education, Women Empowerment, and Leadership. Oghenekewvwe will be getting getting the conversation started about how women and girls in Nigeria are positively influencing society. Oghenekevwe loves to connect with people. Invite him for a healthy conversation via firstname.lastname@example.org
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