It has been quite the educational journey learning about these historical women that paved the way for the female leaders of the #EndSars protests. Not only did I not know this much detail about them, but it was surprising that they were not major historical figures in the Nigerian History curriculum.
I recently read a post by someone who was praising the female leaders in the US and the roles they played in the struggle for emancipation and equality while wishing the same could also be said for Nigeria. Well, from my research, it definitely was and is the case. It is just that, because of little historical documentation, it takes a bit more to fish out the information. Nigeria has a great wealth of culture and history that is yet to be made widely known (especially the history of her women), so it is important that we don’t discount the significant role they played in getting us the freedoms we enjoy today.
I learned a lot writing this series but one of the most important things I learned through all this was how one should never underestimate the power of a hardworking, committed Nigerian woman and her network. From Alimotu Pelewura to Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti to Margaret Ekpo to Gambo Sawaba, I believe that all of us can find a bit of ourselves in one or more of them. The role of the market women, however, has to be especially emphasized. All these women were market women, and it is interesting to note, from her Instagram page, that Aisha Yesufu was also a market woman (she sold imported goods as well as chicken feed and distributed fast moving goods for companies). Isn’t that similarity between these women so interesting? The market woman truly appears to be the backbone of Nigeria.
It has been so much fun and really eye-opening doing my research for this series. Not only were the women bold and courageous, but they were also very unique and came from different parts of the country. They spanned generations and can be found in the younger ones that are making their mark today. There are many more Nigerian women who have made a great impact in different parts of our society and I implore each and every one of you to find out more about them.
I hope that this has inspired you to play your part (in any way, shape or form) in the development of our great nation and that you have enjoyed reading about these 4 phenomenal women in this series. After all, to quote Aisha Yesufu:
“No Nigerian is more Nigerian than any Nigerian”.Aisha Yesufu
PS. Please let me know in the comments what stood out to you! ☺