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CBA Foundation Calls Out In-Laws Over Dehumanisation Of Widows

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CBA Foundation Calls Out In-Laws Over Dehumanisation Of Widows

AUTHOR: Ony Kachi

After Mrs kumbaya (name changed to protect her identity) lost her husband at work in 2005, she was accused of killing him. The accusation did not come from her husband’s brothers but from his sister, who had earlier lost her own husband.

It took the combined hard work of the brothers to get their sister off the back of her fellow widow. They told their sister pointedly that she too could face the same accusation she was leveling against their sister-in-law since her husband was deceased too.

This real incident underlines one of the greatest puzzles of the twenty-first century: How people who themselves or their mothers or children or relatives are victims or could be victims of the dehumanizing treatment of widows condone, live with, encourage and perpetuate the horrendous denigration inflicted on widows by their in-laws. The continued existence of this kind of situation of dog-eat-dog, or rather man’s inhumanity to man, makes one wonder if Aristotle also considered (Nigerian) in-laws when he asserted that man is a rational animal. There is absolutely nothing rational about the dehumanization widows are subjected to by their in-laws in this clime.

A man, who through marriage has become one with the woman he marries, dies, leaving behind his wife and five children (three boys and two girls – this fact is only being added to show that the gender of the children may not even be a factor in how the widow is treated). Almost immediately his siblings and other blood relatives swoop on whatever assets of his they can lay their hands on. If a family meeting is convened, it is not to discuss the welfare of their late brother’s wife and children, who all bear the family name as part of their extended family. No, that is an agenda item for meetings convened by angels, not in-laws of widows. What in-laws of widows convene family meetings for is to make sure they have not missed out on any of the assets their late brother could have had. That is how kind in-laws are to a widow.

If Mrs. Kumbaya thought her case was going to be different because her brothers-in-law defended and protected her from their sister, then she apparently may have ascribed angelic virtues to her husband’s brothers. For, as it turned out, that act of defense and protection from their sister was the only kindness the brothers of Mrs. Kumbaya’s late husband extended to her. They never helped or asked about her and her children’s welfare after that. Not even when things became so difficult that she could no longer pay her house rent and ended up on the street.

Maybe Mrs. Kumbaya should even count herself lucky. Stories abound of widows who had been abused, molested, raped, or “shared” by in-laws as part of the property left behind by their late brother. There are stories of widows, falsely accused of killing their husbands, being locked up by in-laws in police cells, and the keys thrown into the sea, as it were. What about widows forced to drink the water used to wash the corpse of their husband as proof that they had no hand in their husband’s death. Or the ones forced to spend days and nights in the same room with the corpse of their husband.

Nigeria is not exactly a safe haven for women. What with the prevalence of harmful cultural orientations and practices against the female gender, such as the preference of the male child for the female child, female circumcision, FGM (female genital mutilation), forced marriage and denial of inheritance, succession, and other rights the male gender takes for granted.

Generally, Nigeria is not a friendly environment for women, least of all widows considered to be a highly vulnerable group. In fact, Nigeria is said to be one of the least safe places for women in the world with a survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation conducted in 2018 ranking Nigeria as the ninth most dangerous country in the world for women.

The dehumanizing treatment of widows is part of what the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, passed in 2015, was intended to stop. The Act, more commonly referred to as the VAPP Act or law, categorizes emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse as offenses and is considered by many legal experts and advocacy groups to be a comprehensive tool for addressing all forms of violence and abuse against all persons. The law seeks to do so by providing maximum protection from the violence of various forms against all persons irrespective of tribe, socioeconomic class, religion, and gender and offering effective remedies (financial compensation) for victims of violence and appropriate punishment (globally acceptable deterrents) for offenders.

It is not known how much of the general population, including in-laws who routinely dehumanize widows, is aware of the VAPP law. While ignorance of the law offers no excuse in a court of law, it is imperative that more enlightenment be created on the existence of the VAPP Act and all its provisions against many of the inimical practices that in-laws perpetrate against widows in the name of culture. Maybe, just maybe, some in-laws, who are themselves uncomfortable with those practices but take part because of family and community pressure, could be emboldened by knowledge of the Act to become advocates and campaigners against such practices.

Back to Mrs. Kumbaya, for those concerned about her and what must have happened to her after she ended up on the street. They can heave a sigh of relief that the good Lord sent his angel in the form of the Chinwe Bode-Akinwande Foundation (CBA Foundation) and they took her off the street. Mrs. Kumbaya now lives in an apartment rented for her by the Foundation, which also supplied her with a mattress, other household items, and foodstuff.

The CBA Foundation, founded in 2015, the same year the VAPP Act was enacted, is a strong advocate for the enforcement of the Act. Along with other civil society groups, it is pushing for the domestication of the Act in states of the federation that are yet to enact a similar act. Rigorous enforcement of the VAPP law across the federation will undoubtedly accelerate the mission of the Foundation, which is to promote “(the protection of underprivileged) widows and their vulnerable children in Nigeria, to promote immediate and lasting hope, confidence, and courage in their lives.” The Foundation pursues its mission under its 5-point agenda of women empowerment/capacity building, health intervention, nutrition, quality basic education, and a self-employment scheme.

This piece is not intended to demonize in-laws. The writer is himself an in-law by multiples. It is to call for a change of heart and attitude in society, particularly among in-laws, towards widows, knowing that we, our mothers, daughters, neighbors, and friends are or could become widows. In-laws should join public-spirited people across the country in supporting the CBA Foundation in its advocacy for enforcement of the VAPP law and in providing succor for underprivileged widows and their vulnerable children.

There are many Mrs. Kumbayas out there but the resources and reach of angels such as the CBA Foundation are limited. Men and women of goodwill, including in-laws who have now seen the light, can extend the Foundation’s resources and reach by supporting it in its mission.

Contact the Foundation today by sending an email to them at: cbafoundationng@gmail.com.

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CMS Girls’ Alumnae Tasks Females On Building Purposeful Future

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CMS Girls' Alumnae Tasks Females On Building Purposeful Future

CMS Girls’ Alumnae Tasks Females On Building Purposeful Future

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Young girls in secondary schools and females in general – in the academic environment – have been challenged to remain focused and ensure that they build and maintain a purposeful future that will allow them to stand out as leaders of tomorrow.

The admonition was given at the 42nd Anniversary Celebration of the CMS Girl’s Grammar School Akoka, Bariga, Lagos, with the theme: ‘Strengthening The Bond: Past, Present, And Future’.

The event, which was held on Saturday, May 21, 2022, brought together all past graduate students of the school from 1985 to 2020, and equally served as a platform to reunite the former students with their old principals and teachers; both serving and retired.

Speaking at the event, the National President, CMS Girl’s Grammar School Akoka Alumnae Association, Mrs. Adeola Adetugbobo, explained that education is the passport to the future and every necessary arrangement must be made to get prepared for the tasks ahead.

Adetugbobo said that a conducive learning atmosphere is one of the key ingredients to improving quality education and such provision is sacrosanct within the academic environment.

“Because we know the benefits of providing a good atmosphere of learning and augmenting the existing infrastructure of the school, today, as part of our mission, we will be donating 100 chairs and desks for the classrooms, as part of our gift to our beloved Alma Mater.

“To the young, charming, brilliant, focused girls and ladies out there, I urge you to devote all your time and energy to your studies, to sustain the academic excellence for which CMS Girls is known. Remember to always keep your face towards the sunshine, and with time, shadows will face behind you.

“You must always be of good character, both at school and at home, even as you uphold the legendary high moral values of our school, as good ambassadors. Remember, you are the future of this school, and will in the course of time, take the baton of leadership. Therefore, follow your dream and pursue your vision with purpose and tenacity. A positive mindset brings positive things.” she said

High Standard; Adetugbobo stressed that the school has always set very high standards and goals for itself, by involving in various competitions and extra-curricular activities; stressing that this boosted their morale and confidence to give back to the school.

She added that the wide range of work done by different sets of Alumnae, rekindled their sense of responsibility to the school and the society at large, promising to continue to walk on that path of greatness.

Appreciating Gestures; The principal of the school, Mrs. Florence Bolodeoku, appreciated the members for their consistent gestures to the school and for the donation of the chairs and desks to the pupils.

Bolodeoku described the donation as cogent, stating that it will further boost learning within the school; while adding that the students will have more chairs at their disposal to seat and get impacted.

The principal, who stated that the school had functional toilets and other facilities provided by the state government to ease learning for everyone, however, appealed to the former students to assist with the completion of the abandoned school hall in the school.

According to her: “The hall would complement the existing hall and provide alternative facility for students to write the examination and other co-curriculum activities. We will also urge that the ex-students assist with giving the laboratories a face-lift- with adequate equipment that could aid students’ ability to become great scientists.”

Morale Booster; A final year student of the school Ms. Ifeoluwa Modebeodero, who was visibly elated to witness the occasion, stated that the gathering of the past students of the school since it was founded in 1980, had boosted the morale of the present students and would make them follow that same path of giving back to the school and society.

Besides the donation of chairs and desks, the Association also promised a cash reward of N100,000 for the best student in the ongoing West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), examinations, as well as the donation of the first-aid box, jerseys for sporting activities, among others.

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Nigerian University Of Technology And Management, NUTM Opens Application For Scholars Program

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Nigerian University Of Technology And Management, NUTM Opens Application For Scholars Program

Applications Now Open for the Nigerian University of Technology and Management Scholars Program (NSP) Class of 2022 – 2023

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The proposed Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM) is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the NUTM Scholars Program Class of 2022 – 2023.

The NSP – Flagship Program of NUTM – is a one-year, full-time interdisciplinary postgraduate program in Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Design. The program exposes Scholars to an immersive education experience delivered by world-class faculty from Ivy League and Russel Group Universities, and accomplished industry professionals.

Nigerian University Of Technology And Management, NUTM Opens Application For Scholars Program

As the nation’s pioneering higher education institution focused on nurturing leaders for Nigeria and Africa, the institution plans to offer academic and research offerings in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), and Management at the undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels.

Through NUTM and the NSP, young Africans learn and explore principles in leadership, design thinking, business, and mindset. “Our students will be the center of NUTM’s focus. Equipping them with globally competitive skills and orientation is at the heart of NUTM’s vision. We will continue to attract brilliant students and world-class faculty and provide cutting-edge learning facilities, environments, and opportunities. Thus, enabling our students to excel and become entrepreneurs, and the go-to-pool for high-performing employees.“ said Founding President, NUTM – Dr. Babs Omotowa.

Nigerian University Of Technology And Management, NUTM Opens Application For Scholars Program

The NSP courses are built on six foundational tracks, geared toward preparing Scholars with the necessary tools to solve real-world challenges. These six tracks are Technology, Entrepreneurship and Design, Management, Leadership, Perspectives, and Critical Thinking and Communication. The program includes experiential learning components such as ‘TEDLab’ and ‘Shadow-a-Leader’, where Scholars are directly mentored by top executives in Africa and beyond.

NSP provides its scholars with ample opportunities to enhance their professional networks, develop analytical and logical reasoning skills as well as expand their depth in various domains of study. 84% of NSP alumni are engaged across various industries including Africa’s leading tech firms such as Paystack, Mono, and Future Africa. The average annual salary of NUTM Alumni also saw a whopping 230% increment. NSP graduates are making an impact and thriving in entrepreneurial careers. Five ventures created through NSP’s TEDLab have already launched products and have collectively raised about $225,000 in funding in less than one year. MyStash, one of the ventures, has accumulated over 12,000+ users.

The NSP is open to applicants who have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, who are proficient in written and spoken English, and are no more than 35 years of age as of the date of application.

In addition, applicants must display a high level of intellectual curiosity, leadership capabilities, and a strong passion for becoming a change agent in Africa, for Africa.

Applications opened on May 4, 2022, and offers will roll out between June 20 & September 15, 2022.

For further information, please contact nsp.admissions@nutmng.org

Click here to apply.

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MultiChoice Invites Applications For Talent Factory

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MultiChoice is once again searching for 20 aspiring film and TV content creators to be part of the Class of 2023.

Think you’re made for film and TV? Then apply to join the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy Class of 2023!

Olushola Okunlade Writes

MultiChoice is once again searching for 20 aspiring film and TV content creators to be part of the Class of 2023.

Now approaching its fifth year, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy is excited to once again call for applications for its world-class film and TV training programme which kicks off in October this year! 

The call is open to all emerging filmmakers with either some industry experience or a relevant post-school qualification, to apply for this exciting opportunity to hone their television and film production skills. Our curriculum combines film studies such as directing, sound design, and the business of the film to name a few, with workplace experience in Africa Magic and SuperSport’s top productions.

The 12-month fully-funded program is open to candidates from Nigeria and Ghana for the West Africa Academy which is based in Lagos, Nigeria.

MultiChoice is once again searching for 20 aspiring film and TV content creators to be part of the Class of 2023.

“This couldn’t be a more exciting opportunity for African film and TV content creators,” says West Africa hub Academy Director, Atinuke Babatunde. “There are so many stories on our continent that need to be told and documented with a sense of skill and passion that only a programme such as the MTF Academy can train young people to do. I can’t wait to be a part of this journey,” she adds. Alongside her expert track record with M-Net through Africa Magic since 2014, Babatunde will lead the Class of 2023 with her over 20 years of experience.

In addition to the hands-on training that all students will receive as part of the programme, they will also get enhanced training experience from the Academy’s partnerships, which include the New York Film Academy (NYFA), the Henley Business School, Dolby and Canon, among others. Previous cohorts have also worked on United Nations’ Verified campaign, and pitched projects to Partners Against Piracy (PAP) and Creative Development on a climate change campaign. 

Think you’ve got what it takes? Then visit https://multichoicetalentfactory.com/ to find out more! Applications will be open from Monday, 9th May and close on Friday, 3rd June 2022, and have to be completed on https://cte.multichoicetalentfactory.com/ 

Applications made outside of this website will not be considered. 

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