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Uru Eke: The Power of Women

Uru Eke

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Uru Eke BNI’ve read a lot of posts, comments, and Instagram handles where generally women have sent in their complaints and concerns seeking advice about various situations. I guess that’s why most articles written or sent in to BellaNaija are focused on women. Personally I’ve always written my articles with women as the objective, and I hope that one way or the other someone takes something away from it. I pride myself in being a feminist and I’m pro-women for most things. I absolutely love seeing women in power, holding positions, being captains of industries, calling the shots as CEOs of organisations etc

The British Novelist, Playwright and Poet William Golding said “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!” This statement by itself is very empowering; as I believe women are all of these and so much more.

Let’s use Cleopatra for instance; scholars say it wasn’t so much her beauty that was appealing but her intelligence and conversation. She wasn’t the ravishing, sensual beauty portrayed in films starring Claudette Colbert or Elizabeth Taylor. She was a great orator, outspoken, intellectual and controlled her country’s economy, its fleet, its agricultural output. She was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean, a powerful force, incomparable to any modern ruler or celebrity. Her silken presence and her powers of persuasion, unearthing the mysteries of Cleopatra reveals a woman who could be a modern day feminist. To some, she was a debauched temptress who manipulated both Caesar and Mark Antony to further her insatiable thirst for power; to others she was a great scholar and stateswoman who did her best to protect the country she loved from the powerful Roman State. Wikipedia states ~ she was the last active Pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, briefly survived as Pharaoh by her son Caesarian. After her reign, Egypt became a province of the recently established Roman Empire

Cleopatra was all of this in an era where there wasn’t social media, formal education, internet, training schools, training academies, degrees, masters programs, PHDs, open universities or online training portals. Her achievement was based on the sheer desire to succeed and be regarded as someone equally as powerful as her male counterparts. So tell me, what’s your excuse? I believe woman have so much more to give other than being just wives and mothers. Don’t get me wrong, getting married and having kids is beautiful and equally fulfilling but is that just it to being a woman? Do you not want to teach your kids how to be confident, goal oriented, self reliant, go out there and get it achievers?

Women have a huge role to play in the home, as William Golding stated “whatever you give a woman she makes greater” and to be greater you have to have it in you in order to pass it on. I visit a certain blog and when some people write in for advice a lot of the complaints centre around the boyfriend or husband not providing for them, we can argue this from the angle that men should be the sole providers and the woman stay home and look after the kids but to be honest, in this day and age, if your husband isn’t earning a heck of a lot in whatever it is he does, being the sole provider is a lot of pressure. You also have women who have remained in emotional, mental and physically abusive relationships out of love or due to the fact they’ve lost their sense of worth and feel no one else will find them desirable. I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave over people like that and trigger a brain reset so they realise how magnificently powerful they are and their happiness and fulfilment in life lies in their own hands.

Scholars also say that the Roman emperor, Augustus founded his reign on the death of Cleopatra. When he had a chance to name a month in his own honour, instead of choosing September his birth month he chose August the month in which Cleopatra died, to create a yearly reminder of her death. If that doesn’t indicate how much of a threat she was when she was alive I don’t know what will.

The power of women dates back to Biblical days, Adam was mislead by Eve. Samson, who was very powerful, surrendered to Delilah. David felled a nine-foot Goliath yet fell under the spell of Bathsheba. Solomon, who ruled over the golden years of Israel, surrendered to women; he had a record number of 700 wives and 300 concubines! Femi Fani Kayode wrote” Women are more discerning than men, more calculating, more thoughtful, more spiritual, more loyal, and more disciplined and they can handle emotional pain and psychological torture far better than men. A woman can suffer trauma, deprivation, shame, sheer cruelty and beatings from a man and still stay with him simply for the sake of the children. A woman can do anything and take anything for, or from, a man that she truly loves. A woman can be the most vicious and dangerous of all God’s creatures when she is hurt and scorned and when her love is not returned”

So women, why aren’t you doing more with your power? Channelling all this energy into being the powerhouses that you naturally are? I’m constantly celebrating women and a few people have inspired my journey in the film industry, who have taken advantage of this supremacy. People such as Emem Isong, who carved a niche for herself as one of the first female producers in a dogged male dominated industry; Omoni Oboli and Mo Abudu, some of the first female film producers who films broke Nigerian cinema box office. Chimamanda Adichie who is a MacArthur genius grant recipient and has been called “the most prominent” of a procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors. The genius grant is a prize awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to between 20 and 30 individuals, working in any field, who have shown “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction”.
Finally, my own mother who raised three young women single handedly, without our dad – and till date it doesn’t feel like I didn’t have him around because she filled that void in everyday possible. We travelled the world went to the best schools and were constantly encouraged that we could be whatever we wanted to be as far as we applied our minds to it.

I’ll end with these words also from Femi Fani-Kayode “A woman will make you feel that you are in charge yet with sweet words and with guile and cunning she silently controls everything and everyone around you. Women are the shield, the defender and the foundation of the home. Even as the man is the head, the woman is the neck without which it would fall. The greatest mistake that any man could ever make is to underestimate or treat with levity the power of a woman. For it is only a dullard or a fool that could honestly believe that he can confine a woman to having babies and to simply cooking in the kitchen. A woman is irrepressible, unbeatable, unfathomable, irresistible and unknowable

44 Comments

  1. Eby

    August 20, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Powerful write up! Love it love it love it. A zillion likes!

    • Damilola

      August 20, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Beautiful and powerful piece. I love you, Uru Eke. You are a true feminist. This is the type of article I love to read that celebrates feminism. I ask myself the same question, why are we not(myself included) channeling more of these great attributes? A woman is a force to reckon with. Women are so powerful, their abilities are innumerable. Women’s resilience, high level of strength, multitasking skills, brilliance, intuition is unbeatable. In the untainted deepest part of their heart lies the power of love that is so pure and unconditional. As delicate as butterflies but strategic as an Eagle and adaptive as a chameleon when needs be. I love being a woman.

    • Wendy

      August 20, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      Soooo, while this is a surprisingly sensible comment coming from you, I have a quick recommendation. Replying to a top comment with a ‘non-response’ is padding. Be faithful even with the irrelevant things.
      ???? ??trolololololo lolo lolo

    • Damilola

      August 21, 2016 at 4:45 am

      @wendy
      That’s the beauty of living in a free world, I can do whatever I want as long as I’m not committing a crime. Clearly, your whole life existence must be a padding one to think I’m about that life. It’s hysterical, how bellanaijarians determine who is a feminist and who’s not when majority of them are clueless what “real” feminism is about. So bcos I don’t bark about being a feminist, be bitter on here bashing men, didn’t insult Adesua and other women, you are surprised. No need to be surprise here, I’m more of a real feminist than your brain is capable of understanding. Go to sleep now.

    • Wendy

      August 21, 2016 at 5:20 am

      Ah ah! I knew you’ll be back with your hot body! ?⚓️? Sweetheart so you even know the reference for your unimpressive comments? Lol. They said bring your vegetable, you said your veggies are not from the incinerator ?? guilty conscience niyen na. Pele dear.
      But sister you didn’t say anything about my main observation o. Madam specially tailored feminist that is jumping queue in common comment section. I’m sure that’s how you are in real life.

      ??????trolololololo lolo lolo

    • Damilola

      August 21, 2016 at 7:57 am

      Unimpressive to you which you are entitled to. I am impressed with my comment because it’s my opinion. I don’t live my life to please anybody. You don’t agree with me? Cool. Life still goes on. I actually like it when people disagree with me but be sensible not petty and type rubbish.
      I made reference to it bcos it’s obvious your criticism of my feminism stand is based on my previous comment. Guilty conscience? You should know what a word means before using it. I didn’t retract any of my statement, I stand 100% by it. Your whole line about vegetables doesn’t make any sense at all but at least you are able to laugh at yourself bcos you know, you are a joke. Jumping queue, are we in line? Since what I do is affecting your life that bad. Pele o.
      And I didn’t know you know me in real life to use a small fraction to judge my whole life.

    • Wendy

      August 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Trying to make sense of your rants like ??? but it’s aiite! Cool story bro. I feel like I now know you on a deeper emotional level since you’ve decided to write all these essays about yourself…only that idgaf! ?? You talk too much! Dammnnn Dami ( rhymes ?) See now you have used all your junk mail to block people trying to get to normal comments….and all this started because you decided your original comment was so important people had to read it first…

      ???? trolololololo lolo lolo

    • Damilola

      August 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      And you are nosy, a pot calling kettle black. Ms idgaf, you should face your business then instead of desperately seeking for attention. You could have passed over my comment, but you are affected by what Damilola chooses to do on BN. What else will I do with my mouth, it’s to talk right. You know nothing about me dear, don’t get gassed.

    • Wendy

      August 22, 2016 at 5:27 am

      Nosy? Gurlll I’m all nose! No eyes, no lips, just nose! So it has to be in everybody’s business…especially when I see social injustices like when a little know-it-all decides to double park her comment…we’re not here for that!
      ?????? trolololololo lolo lolo

  2. lea Valley

    August 20, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Please leave FFK out of this.

    • TeeCee

      August 20, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      And you didn’t say same for William Golding, why? Let me guess. Cos he’s white and probably should know more or maybe he’s a saint? You people just deceive yourselves in this country!

  3. Eric

    August 20, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Lea valley, c’mon will you read the message and forget about the messenger. I don’t know why you people can’t use your sense!

  4. De Duchess

    August 20, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    If only more women will feel free about empowering others, the problem is not men but how women treat each other.

    Women are indeed powerful. There are more examples of women thriving in Nigerian than there are of men.
    I love this article! Great!

  5. Nahum

    August 20, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    @Uru, don’t waste your time on trying to get Nigerian women to stand up for themselves. Our women like being victims, we like people to feel sorry for us, that is why we attack feminists. They represent the strength that we have refused to accept in ourselves. The only time Naija women exhibit strength is in assaulting small children as house helps or fighting side chicks. Other than that, we like being weak. Fight for a better cause.

    • iyke

      August 20, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      @Nahum, Men have been and are still in positions of power, culturally and traditionally in Nigeria. How a father sees a daughter is very key to how she develops that power in her own life. So, for naija women to still attack feminism, it is because their fathers had not taught them how to actually believe in their own voice and make their way in the world, and to come into their own power.
      How many fathers today love to sit down at the dinner table, start an argument and engage their daughters in a dialogue. You gain power and find your voice when you engage and confront your father and how he welcomes that goes a long way to shape how you see the world tomorrow.

  6. Xoxo

    August 20, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    You are one heck of a writer Uru Eke. Very lovely piece. Who knew FFK could speak such good words

  7. Valentina

    August 20, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Bless you Uru, very sensible article without all the baseless marriage talk.

  8. Chief

    August 20, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Here we go again.This is another example of the feminist revolution’s systematic historical male female dynamic.I see nothing but trouble ahead for any woman to embrace feminism or challenge men’s superiority.It’s sad the way things have gone regarding this whole issue and i blame it squarely on the women’s movement.The unforeseen consequences of the Pro-women movement and feminism have devastated our patriarchy society and African culture.Men need to demonstrate more of the men leadership they were made to show and women need to spend a lot more time looking up to and respecting us as men.Dear writer, stop deceiving yourself because you women don’t like each other,you love to hate each other,jealous of each other and always in competitive mode with each other.Men are providers and conqueror,always have been,always will be and that is the way it should be, period!!.Pro-Women and feminism are the biggest threat to our patriarchy system.

    • Debutante

      August 20, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      Lol… The thing wey woman don do you for this life strong oo. . Pele sir

    • eby

      August 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Bia chief, mechiee onugi dia…ukpara.

    • Irritated by your comment

      August 20, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Lol @ to challenge men’s superiority. Being a man does not equal being a leader. Most men are not leaders they are dictators only a few know what being a leader entails and you sir are definitely not even close to being a leader. So please leave the Internet alone and any post talking about this type of stuff. You really do not have to comment. Superiority my left foot.

    • Anonymous

      August 20, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      You are very crazy tho. You need Uselu contact?

    • Just my 1 Cents

      August 21, 2016 at 4:33 am

      The only question is, how has this “patriarchy system” been working BEFORE feminism?

      The same system that allowed foreigners to invade our lands, rape your women, and export our people to foreign lands?

      The system that still allows and tolerate corruption?

      The same system that breeds greed and poverty?

      And who are the LEADERS of this system?

      Ok. I have said it before and I will say it again. Nigerian Men will rather be lead my Men and suffer, than to give Women a chance of power to thrive.

      May you continue to suffer in the name of patriarchy.

    • Azazelle

      August 22, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      @Chief, I love you so damn much, particularly for this comment. Maybe it’s cos I’ve always been drawn to the pathologically insane and the mentally retarded. I’d love to just sit with you in conversation for an hour…if only to look into your eyes and see if I can identify your particular strain of mental illness. Please consider me. Thank you sir.

  9. Akosua

    August 20, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    This is why I so love and respect Uru (and she knows this) . One of the smartest in the industry. The whole article is very on point and I think most of us don’t give ourselves enough credit. Kudos

  10. iyke

    August 20, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Good article. Would have been intellectually stimulating if the author had delved more into the root cause of the power dilemma that today’s woman goes through.
    Women, both alphas and betas are on a personality continuum and to understand this, you have to look at her family. That’s why I tell my female friends, it’s not enough to shout inequality, for to know YOURSELF, you have to first know your FATHER! Yes, because until recently, men have been the ones who have been in positions of power, culturally and traditionally. So how YOUR FATHER sees YOU, (his daughter) is very key to how you develop that power in your own life.
    In other words, know thy father, know thyself! (I could write more on this but have to save it for another day)
    I respect and admire naija women – damn, they are virtually like martyrs as they still give too much, suffer too much, live for their children, their men, and their parents. Not only do they burden themselves unduly, when things go wrong they blame themselves. Weighed down by the needs and desires of others, they suffer a silent death or explode. Such is the plight of our women and to be honest, my heart bleeds for them. I can only encourage my beautiful naija women to find insight into the why, what, and when they sabotage vital parts of their selves and not stifle their growth by splitting off both their maleness and femaleness as they need both.
    Expand yourselves so that you can thrive and find fulfillment.
    #knowthyfatherknowthyself

  11. Las

    August 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Great write up.

    Sorry to nit-pick, but I believe the only part of the William Golding quote that can be attributed to him is “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior and always have been.” The rest of the quote is actually by Erick S. Gray.

  12. Naijatalk

    August 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Uru I loved this article and agree with you. I do think the example of Bathsheba was misplaced here because she never set out to spellbind King David. He was the one who invaded her private moment remember? I also believe as a newly wed whose husband was absent, she was initimidated and fearful of the King.

    For a group of people who were silenced for the greater part of humanity’s existence, women have come very far indeed and deserve every worthy mention. I also think that part of our responsibility as feminists (promoting the cause of all humans)involves celebrating good men, regular or high achieving, because they are out there. Perhaps this will serve to reinforce the kind of society we would like to see.

    • Mr. Egghead

      August 20, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Beht why Bathsheba go dey baff for roof?

  13. Darius

    August 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Nobody is superior to anybody. How is a woman superior to a man? Can someone explain that to me? I don’t believe a man is superior to a woman either. Can’t we just live and get along and drop this debate about who is superior and who is inferior?

    • Mtchewww

      August 21, 2016 at 4:38 am

      If a guy had written that article above, I’m sure Bella wouldn’t approve and if she approves….well we would get like 200 hate comments but then this goes on to show 95% of feminist are actually troublemakers. I think this article is nonsense sha.

      Can’t you just talk about how you can do things as females rather than stress the point of being superior blah blah blah. One woman (ONE WOMAN) becomes president and everyone says she’s strong like she’ll get a chance if the male folks are not liberal enough to think she’s equal so why stress it!

      Richest person is a man as well as so many innovators and inventors. Women don’t fill up those places in history anyhow for only God knows why but it’s definitely not cus of inequality. Linda Ikeji is this big and we give her proper credit, no one ever suggests she slept her way there. Same with Oprah and handful others.

      I’m sorry to say but this if you have to feel superior to male folks just to prove a point in an article then it’s totally useless.

    • Tosin

      August 21, 2016 at 11:39 am

      some women really truly revel in womanhood and their views are important. imagine if every woman was like me (basically a dude) the world would lose out on that flavour.

      that’s what i’m learning sha. people are different.
      men too, some are more stereotypically testosterone-driven and some really carry the man-this man-that for head, n’est-ce pas?

  14. Great Lady

    August 20, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    I love this,its so powerful. I’d love to share it on my blog

  15. bebe

    August 20, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I loved this article! Great job Uru!! The power women have is unfathomable, we aren’t weak, we aren’t the lesser vessels.

  16. Aisha

    August 21, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Men and Women are equal: Quran 3:195 .

  17. Gorgeous

    August 21, 2016 at 12:23 am

    Nice article. Not one to nit pick but Wikipedia is not a credible source. That being said, I got the message. I think women being bold comes from the home. I had a father that treated my like one of his son’s and would push me to be the best I could be. He built up my endurance and confidence like mad. And girl, no one can tell me nothing! Same way your mother must have built you up.

    Sadly, a lot of women come from homes where they are constantly beaten down, and told that all their life’s work and struggle should only amount to a man’s approval. So that is why we are where we are today. But you know, those teachings do not reflect today’s reality anymore. Reason why there are so many divorces. The man is not able to be the man these women were raised to look up to.

    Life these days is 5 times harder that our parents time, and many women are now the definition of the men, by Nigerian standards, in their households. This is a clash of teachings and expectations vs reality. They are all a confused mess. So they revert back to childhood insecurities to make everyone have a non Nigerian opinion of who they are. Women need to face realities and raise better sons and daughters.

    Please stop teaching your daughter’s fairy tale life of princes and such. It’s not realistic and life will get hard for them one day. They will need the confidence to know that they can do as much as men, and be who they want to be. Let them work hard and aim for some achievement in their lives to give financial stability before pushing them into marriage! Otherwise the world will eat up a woman that cannot struggle to survive. Men will take advantage in a very bad way of a weak and vulnerable woman.

    Life is fast becoming every man and woman for themselves. A lot of men now run away and leave women to bear burdens they can no longer carry. Don’t set your daughters up, by giving them a false sense of reality.

  18. Don't generalize

    August 21, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Very hasty generalisation! !!!!

  19. Md

    August 21, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Delusional article written by a delusional woman, anything to make you sleep better as a feminist.

  20. Eric

    August 21, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Delusional conment, equally from a delusional man. If you like don’t train you children to grow up and be self sufficient and thrive to be achievers so they won’t have depend on a man for survival. Don’t build them up to be strong women who can offer support to their husbands and contributors or maybe you can feed them with bile that they should sit back and Expect everything to be handed to them. Maybe you think this is 1946

  21. Tosin

    August 21, 2016 at 11:31 am

    iz ok, mythologize woman. it’s allowed.
    sha don’t let tits stop you from being a man.
    be a woman when you feel like it too. if you feel like it.
    that’s how many fugs i give about being female.
    Advert: maternal mortality aka dying in childbirth still too high

  22. Nnomsie

    August 22, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Powerful Motivation to start the week. Thanks for the message

  23. Yummychickcummummy

    August 22, 2016 at 11:14 am

    M inspired.. What a great piece for a Monday morning.. God bless u. M so sharing this on my page …

  24. mia

    August 23, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    My role model in life is Deborah in the bible. The bible referred to her as a Prophetess, a wife and a Judge. Gideon had to rely on her to successfully lead the Israelites to battle. It shows that a woman can be strong and have several caps she wears perfectly.

  25. B..M...

    August 24, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I still struggle with this issues about women being suppressed and all. Anybody that tries to suppress will be totally shocked. Where I come from, you treat fuckups o. cant go home to dad or mum to say someone cheated me when I was growing up o. she will ask you what else that person has that you don’t? when I got married, I’m Yoruba but grow up in wafi, mum in law started wife-slave things and hubby seem not to be able to curtail her, I begged hubby to or else I would. he though it was a joke o when I decided to handle all them issues. Today, I enjoy world-record piece and any living soul, male or female , that decides not to respect boundaries and comes up with ‘ you are a woman-victim’ , Yepa! Na one chance be that o.

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