Here’s why: women in their diversity form the bedrock of the continuation of humanity. Women go through untold hardships, yet, they do it with such grace, respect and honour. Can you imagine a world without women? The colour they bring, the emotions, and THE STRENGTH!
The strength of a woman is recognised everywhere in the world. This strength is further amplified in the Nigerian woman, as she has to deal with some of the extra issues that come with being Nigerian, or living in Nigeria.
A double dose of strength is required. It is for this reason, that BellaNaija decided to as YOU, the readers, to tell us what being a Nigerian woman means to you.
We included a twist, though… Without the use of the word ‘STRONG’ , tell us what being a Nigerian woman means to you.
The responses are gathered from different people of different genders, age groups, and from different social media platforms. We hope you learn something, are inspired, and are able to appreciate the Nigerian women in your life.
Damilola: Survivor. Tenacious. In my head, she is a volcano on the edge of eruption. There are so many seething resentments, unexpressed desires and longings and ambitions, frustrations and grievances that have been muted for so long she has almost forgotten they are there. I also see a woman whose capabilities, resourcefulness and sheer doggedness come through when the pressures and demands of the society she lives in tries to mute her voice
Tolu: I think the Nigerian woman is overburdened. The burden of preventing her husband from cheating sef falls on her. She is boxed in.
Ronke: AH. Pressure! That’s what being a Nigerian woman means o. Pressure to learn how to cook, pressure to be “decent “, to bring home a man, to look after the man, to born. To born boy. To born girl. To born one, born two, born three. To be fine, to lose weight. To gain weight, to keep your hair tidy, your nails polished… In short, pressure!
Morenike: Hardworking. Resourceful. Virtuous (Awon redeemed and winners women) Long suffering. Patient. Humble (compared with their North American counterparts)
Dolapo: I’m thinking. Looking for a word that covers willpower. You know when a woman has will… There’s also fierce…resolute..
Dunsin: Subordinated. Ok let me be positive. Hardworking, forging ahead despite all odds.. Religious?
Modupe: What being a “Nigerian woman” means to be is Contradiction… Be strong (sorry I had to) but defer to your husband (and even other buffoonish males around you)… Be hardworking but not ambitious (cos you won’t find a husband)… Be successful but don’t achieve too much and ofcourse don’t talk about your success (cos men will be intimidated)… Be intelligent but don’t its ok to dumb yourself down now and again… Speak up for your self but not too much and not all the time cos you’ll be seen as aggressive or worse still a feminist eeek!… Take care of yourself but don’t buy “flashy” or expensive thing (cos guys will get the wrong impression)… kuku kill us now! ?
Ayodeji: To be a Nigerian woman is to be tolerant. It is to lead a life of balancing acts. It is to be malleable. It is to know how and when to bend, to break, to suffer, to endure. To do it all with a predetermined degree of success. It can also be to choose. It is an act of courage to be born a Nigerian woman and to live here everyday; not to bend or break at will. Not to suffer and endure, come what may.
Arit: Evolving. We don’t accept the things we used to accept before. But we still love fiercely.
Toyosi: Passionate: Won’t take no for an answer
Wahen: Underestimated. Sometimes overlooked. Also made to feel like you shouldn’t show your strength. I am trying to look for the right way to structure this; but u know how when things happen or go wrong the woman typically is blamed. Marriage collapse – it’s her fault. Child falls ill – its her fault. The child for whatever reason does some bad things she is also to blame. A man hits her car she is the one that is insulted. Husband beats her it’s her fault etc I also think sometimes we are more objectified and commoditized as women in Nigeria
Not sure I am using the right words but let me explain: It’s sort of socially acceptable for men to have more than one woman and he will be hailed as a happening guy cos he can manage more than woman at a time like as if women are shares or Tbills or investment portfolios being managed.
Adedeji: I don’t know. I just know they have been taking it from the back since. Because they just allow men to cheat them
Pemi: It means I have to fight for my humanity and choices to be recognised, every day.
Anne: Getting married. *crickets*
Glory: Resilient, multitasked, lover, friend. Being a nigerian woman means many things- layered like an onion- tough like an eclair but sweet in the middle. Fashionable, stylish, crazy, aware. Responsible.
may_bykokoshan: We are fighters of fear, distinct in doings, shield to our home, the takers of tears and pains of our children and husbands… We are not ashamed of our creation, we solicitors and most of all “we are the most priceless creature and good thing any child, husband, parent, brother, sister can have.
ns.nahza: To be a Nigerian woman is to be ambitious, to be steadfast. It is to learn to stand your own ground and carry yourself with prestige else u get crushed..it is to be a leader and a follower at the same time..
cheedra_: To be a Nigerian woman means to be selfless, and always put family first.
ns.nahzaAs a Nigerian woman,u are everything and then some.. comforter,keeper,peace maker,trail blazer, industry builder, backbone,guide,nurse…everything…
ada_oha: The strength of a Nigerian woman is unexplainable. She cries in pain and laughs in joy at any slightest chance even in hardship. She is a pillar that even men rely on for support. Culture sometimes try to trample her voice but she still remains a powerful and influential being in our daily lives.
iamkareenj: Is it a proven fact that the 21st century Nigerian Woman, is “Timeless”. She has successfully demonstrated so eloquently her passion for adventure in stereotyped career paths and a fierce character that is internationally accepted and recognized. However she doesn’t forget what Home represents or signifies. I am a Nigerian Woman and Happy Birthday to Me… ???
tonia_code: To be a Nigerian woman is to be multi tasking and smart.
We’re going to end this short, and apt summation of all that has been listed.
Amina: We are strong, biko!