I’m incredibly excited because it’s International Women’s Day tomorrow. International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to honouring the achievements of women throughout history. It is typically a day for women from all different backgrounds and cultures to band together to fight for gender parity and women’s rights.
A few weeks ago, I reached out to you all to share stories about the amazing women in your lives in celebration of #IWD2020. I received some heartwarming entries and will be sharing these over the next few days.
It doesn’t surprise me that the first three entries celebrate the woman who gave them life – their mother.
My Mother, My Hero – by Ekoe
Growing up, I never really understood why she was the way she was. We would always butt heads; we still do, but now, I am a bit more understanding, and she is too.
Her life was literally altered because of family, financial constraints and society. She wanted to go to school and be somebody.
She still went to school up until university, but she never felt fulfilled. Once, she told me a story about when she first married my dad. She had gotten a letter commending and nominating her for a big job in the city. At the time, she was new to the state, so she didn’t know anyone except my dad. She gave him the letter, trusting he would help her submit it. He never did. I guess the patriarchy card was played and imaginations ran through his head. Still, she didn’t deter. She started a business and made sure it succeeded. Looking back now, I think that’s where I got my fighting spirit from; one that has influenced my own business positively.
She gave up a lot for us, the children. Till this day, I tell her she shouldn’t have. She should have soared, whether we understood or not. Because now as adults, we would have. So I nominate my mother – Lady Tonia Okoduwa, the lioness. I celebrate her on this special day, and I want her to know that she will reap the fruits of her labour. I want her to know that I love her immensely and that she should keep shining as the ‘show them’ queen that she is.
My Superhero – by Maria
My story is about my one and only superhero
Mrs Mobolanle Oyegunle, my mother.
My mum works for the Lagos State government as a Principal.
When she first got transferred to this school, she heard the story of a girl who would get very violent unprovoked and hit her classmates. My mum wanted to get to the root of the matter, and so she had a talk with the girl and found out that she was staying with an aunt whose husband raped her daily.
She was also physically abused by her aunt, and from the description of how she was being treated – she was practically a slave.
She said she had talked about the abuse with her aunt who didn’t believe her and starved her for days for even saying anything in the first place.
My mum reported the case, got the man arrested, and the girl was reunited with her family.
This is just one of the many times that my mum has fought on behalf of the helpless and voiceless.
She believes in justice for all. She continually teaches me to stand up for what is right and speak my truth without fear.
To be kind.
To never settle for less.
My mum is a depiction of strength, resilience, patience and love.
I’ve learnt prayer, hard work and determination from her.
I love her so much, and I’m so honoured to be her child.
An Ode to My Mother – Amanda
A woman who has stood the test of time, who has conquered in the face of adversity, who has spoken life into any circumstance we faced as a family, and who is the glue that holds us together.
From sacrificing food, your own happiness, your sleep, your well-being to make sure my siblings and I got the very best in life, it would be an injustice if I chose to write about someone else this #IWD2020.
Since I was a child, I have recognised the vital role that you, as a mother, have played and continue to play in my life. I have seen what love really means, and whenever I think that no one is capable of loving anyone that much, you continue to show the true meaning of unconditional love. A love that needs no praise, no money, no gratitude. Genuine love.
Some memories fade, but I remember a lot from my childhood. From when there wasn’t enough food, and you would watch us eat because that is what you did. The times you executed contracts, and they did not pay you, and you would use all you had to make sure we still went to school and received the best education. I remember how you gave us all we needed and made us live like princesses and a prince, but you would stay up at night crying when you thought we could not hear you.
The hard work, your hard work to make yourself known, your business is known so that we were comfortable; you wanted so badly to give us the best in life. All that I am today, and how far I have gotten, I credit absolutely to you because you taught me what resilience is, what hard work is, and what makes me unique. You taught me that I can achieve anything and that no one is entitled to make me feel inferior.
You made the tough decision to work even harder to provide for us, your children. Despite being mocked for having us all, despite not having any support from those around you, you still showed kindness to those who were not kind to you and supported so many people in more ways than one.
When I think the walls are closing in, that no one gets it, that I would not make it or want to give up, you are always at the other end of the phone telling me everything will be okay. Praying for me and with me. The times you would stay up when I was studying for an exam to when you would make me food and bring to my halls of residence. The times you woke up at 4am to walk me to the train station because I was desperate for a job and took one at Basingstoke, not realising how far it was from our home – I can never forget. No one champions me like you do.
You would stand your ground amidst a storm if anyone touches any of your children. Like a lioness, you protect your cubs. I am ever so grateful for who you are and the role you have played in my life. Even though it has never been all rosy, we bicker, and we move on.
For being that figure of hope and resilience, for being my dad’s right hand and for raising queens and a king, you will always be my heroin. To understand what makes me me, how I behave with others, and why I am keen on supporting others, look no further than the woman who gave me life.
I hope you enjoy reading the entries 🙂
Which woman in your life will you be celebrating tomorrow?