My eventful week. Part 1.
The past few days have been a bit hectic. Friday March 11 to Friday March 18 was packed with fulfilling days concerning my work with domestic violence victims. My NGO, GREENLANDS ASSISTANCE HAVEN was given and award by Dr Ama Onyeama’s Live Abundantly foundation in recognition of our work women and children. Let me even jist you how that day went.
I was one of the guest speakers and when I got there, the programme had not started yet. There was one other guest speaker so, I sat down next to him, hoping to pass the time chatting with him. He was however, busy on his phone. Not making calls o. Just on it sha. I think sending emails and stuff like that. We did not get to talk much, as I did not want him to inwardly groan ‘please just shut up woman!’ Anyway, after a while, another speaker arrived, this time, a woman. I jisted a bit with the woman. Then an Oba arrived with all the fanfare of an Oba arriving. I can’t remember where he is an Oba in. After a while, the program started and the Oba gave the opening speech. He talked about how he knew that Founder and organiser of the event, Dr Ama. He regaled us with anecdotes of Dr Ama’s father. Then, he went on to talk about serious business of the day. And then, he dropped the clanger – he does not believe in gender equality.
OOOOOKAY! Awkward! I said to myself ‘kabiyesi, you do know that this event is about respect for women and children?’ Abi Kabiyesi did not get the memo ni? Anyway, I can’t say that I am disappointed or surprised. He IS afterall, a traditional ruler and is bound to be traditional in his views. So, no surprises there. So, after Kabiyesi, the next speaker was called to speak and the auditorium erupted in applause! Ah I thought, so I have been sitting next to a famous person all these while? I quickly Googled him as he went on the stage to give his speech. Lanre Olusola AKA The Catalyst. Nice one. The Lagos State Commissioner of Police was also one of the speakers and I was pleasantly surprised by his very modern and pro female views. He talked about the need for parents to not insist on their daughters staying with violent husbands. He challenged traditional practices that put women at a disadvantage. I was meant to speak after him but I asked the MC to move my slot back so that I could have a short meeting with the commissioner. He was quite approachable when I approached him. We discussed and I complained about how The Police handles cases of domestic violence against women, treating it as a trivial and a family matter between the man and woman, sending the woman back whereas in other countries, it is treated as a criminal matter. He advised me that I register my NGO with the Ministry of Justice and that when we come across situations like this, I may let him know the particular station as The Police Force was doing its best to sensitise the rank and file of the need for proper handling of domestic violence.
Later that day, The Live ABUNDANTLY Foundation had a gala night and I was one of the two recipients of awards given in recognition of our works. GREENLANDS was given an award in recognition of our work with women and children and the other NGO was given an award in recognition of their works with children with special needs. In all, it was a very eventful and fulfilling day.