We all know what’s going on with the Naira as against the US Dollar. As an economist, it’d make for an interesting conversation, but since I can’t quite remember the exact graphs with which I’d illustrate my arguments, I’d spare you the time, and take this from another dimension.
For starters, the Naira is ours; and even if its value drops faster and in a heavier manner than the tears of a widow, it would never lose its identity as ours. It will not matter than ₦16,000 cannot buy the $100 bag it used to. It’ll matter that the ₦500 bill in your hand can buy a meat pie and pack of juice, which of course is less than you would have been able to buy with the same denomination just a few months ago.
A while ago, I was feeling like our currency; strained and not just enough. Perhaps a lot of women out there can find adjectives for themselves that will fit well in the Naira’s reality. Many people can no longer go where they used to, have a depreciated sense of self, are experiencing rejection, and have people swarming over them, perhaps, not for their sake but for what they can gain… And the list goes on.
So I sit here, on a morning when I should be dissecting financial information, thinking of reasons that can make us trust ourselves enough to heal and BOOM! It hit me; a spectrum of logic opening me up to the possibilities of who we – Nigerian women – are. Truth can be told in many ways but today, I can see it in the vivid character of a wad of Nigerian notes.
• We are colourful.
Both as a metaphor and in the literal sense. Every wrinkle, proud smile, strand of nappy hair, husky voice, sweaty brow, rolling hip, is a tone of colour splashed across each other that creates an unintended harmony of character that we all carry.
• We are ours.
There is beauty in knowing that we are vital in every sense of the word to a people, a nation, a history, a future. No matter how each woman is, she’ll always have this identity to own and in my books, that means something. It means a ticket to never being forgotten. There is sovereignty in our freedom, in our being so much that ultimately what we are as a nation is up to us. The sooner we realize that we are ours, the more we can accelerate knowing that we do not have to conform to foreign opinions of people and situations who have no right over us. We are entitled to desire, perhaps the reality comes in different degrees, but whoever doesn’t see that has no sense of value.
• We are enough for what we know we are enough for.
Difference is never a flaw and until we can glory in our uniqueness, we’ll never have enough of ourselves to be extraordinary. You are enough for what you are becoming. If you heard that a box of cereal cost N550, you do not hand over the N550 at the check-out point, jittery about whether it would be enough to pay for what you want. Our not being enough usually stems from a lack of conviction that we are sufficient. And the beauty of it is that you can raise the bar, strengthen your belief, and always meet that expectation.
• We are stronger with each other.
Imagine for a second that half of all the women in Nigeria woke up one morning believing that they deserves better and could give more to the society, and so begin to work constructively and in collaboration using diverse platforms. Would it have a mind-blowing effect on the nation as a whole? The more notes, no matter the denomination, you add to a wad, the more you can buy of the said commodity. That’s how I see it. We need to begin to appreciate each other as women and become change agents our society needs much if.
Most of the limitations we encounter are sustained because we have not taken up the initiative to re-train our minds otherwise. Most of the principles and strategies we need to redefine ourselves lie in the stories of others and in drawing inspiration from even the most mundane things. I am of the school of thought that when you realise that what happened to you wasn’t your fault, it then becomes your fault that it recurs.
The emotions you feel from your experiences as an individual are not for your consumption, the lessons you learn are. So please tell us in the comment section, what lessons you’ve learnt as a woman from your most turbulent problems. They could be personal or as generic as the value of the naira. Let us trigger in us women, a healing process that can raise change agents.
Photo Credit: Kadettmann | Dreamstime.com