Thursday, April 2, 2009

Interview Thursday: "I’m particularly saddened about the state of women right issues in Nigeria" - Parakeet

She is single, she is smart, she lives in London and works as a Compliance Consultant with a degree in Media and Advertising. A lady that grew up in multiple cities in Nigeria namely Benin, Ijebu-ode and Ibadan. She is 26 and from a family of 4 with a deceased father, most wonderful mother and loveliest brother. My lady enjoys surfing the net, writing meaningless nothings and going dancing. And the first time I was on her blog I was like waoh this lady sounds so true... Welcome on Interview Thursday my lady PARAKEET!

I always respect your stand on issues especially when it has to do with the rights of women. Can you share with us your experience with women's human rights issues?
Aww…thanks. I actually never saw myself as a great defender of women’s right but I certainly know that I hate injustice. I don’t see why a man can do something but a woman is prohibited from doing that same thing. I understand that perhaps due to our anatomy it may be wise for women not to do certain things, but where a woman has expressed interest in such things then she should be accommodated and helped to achieve her dreams. I’m particularly saddened about the state of women right issues in Nigeria where women’s growth and independence are continually been stifled by men who feel they are not intelligent, strong or qualified enough. Even in this country I see many of my colleagues who has had to forfeit a promotion or take a pay cut just because they had taken time out to have babies. Even in my former place, I had to take a lesser pay increase than my colleague who happened to be a man. This was someone that joined the company at least 6 months after me and I trained him to do his job. But when it came to the end of the year management somehow felt he deserved a huge pay rise than I did and I knew for sure that the quality of his work wasn’t better than mine. The human right issues that women face are of course not limited to the above, they are enormous and need urgent tackling.

Have you had to advocate for rights issues when it comes to women and what was it all about?
I have actually never been involved directly in any advocacy well other than the odd petitions here and there to No 10. Sometimes you get this circular a going round asking you to sign a petition to grant women longer paid maternity leave. I’m glad one of such ones that was emailed to me and I signed was actually ratified into law last October in the UK.

What does feminism mean to you?
Hmm this is a tough one. For me feminism is broad and it involves those everyday little things that you do as a woman. For instance when it comes to the issue of equality with men, I feel sometimes people maybe misled into believing it is the same thing as rights. All human beings are equal, but we’re all different social animals and whether we like it or not our social roles are different. The family unit is a very important part of any society and when it comes to this women must accept their husbands' leadership. Things just work better when one person captains the ship instead of having two authorities at loggerheads. Accepting your husband's leadership does not make you less equal or less intelligent, as a matter of fact "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" and from experience having a leader at home is always advisable. However when we take this outside of the home it’s is a different ball game. Feminism to me is the ability for me to decide not to shave my legs and I’m taken as me rather than being judged on the basis of my unshaved legs.

Have you had to be viewed in a negative light because you are a feminist?
I guess one of the major draw backs for me when it comes to holding down a relationship is the fact that men are quick to call me a feminist or they say I’m too independent and therefore they find me intimidating. Which is total bollocks if you ask me. I will never challenge your authority but I will challenge your views and opinion while ensuring that I don’t impress mine upon you. I’ll just state my case and leave the rest and if you cant deal with it tough!

Mention 5 reasons you will not marry for.
I will not get married for the sake of getting married, to please anyone, for money, to do what my peers are doing or to feel fulfilled in life.

Mention 5 reasons you will marry for .
I will marry for love most importantly. I will marry if I am convinced the man is good for me and will add value to my life and for procreation. I think those are the only reasons I will get married. I am not going to get married if I don’t love the man or if he’s not good for me. Making do is not my thing as I don’t know anywhere in the bible where it says I MUST marry as a Christian. If I think of anymore reasons I’ll let you know (laughs)

What do sacrifice and compromise mean to you?
Hmm… I think it’s all about filling in the gaps here and there to make sure everyone is happy. Well everyone cant be happy all of the time but you must get to the point where you feel satisfied with the effort you’ve made. You may like tall and slim guys but meat a short guy who ticks most of the other boxes then compromise will work perfectly here because you could never find anyone who ticks all the boxes. You may want to get married next year but your man may want to get a masters to increase his earnings and channel his finances to that first. That is sacrifice. It all makes it worth it in the end if you’re dealing with someone with a good head on their shoulders and with the fear of God in them.

Are these 2 ingredients needed to make a relationship or marriage work?
Oh yea massively important and in other aspects of one’s life too when dealing with family, friends and colleagues. I mean we can't always have things we want when and how we want them so compromise and sacrifice is what is going to see you through at those crucial times.

Does it have to be the woman that makes all the sacrifices like giving up her career or any other thing that matters?
If you are involved with a man who expects you to make all the sacrifices and compromises all of the time run for your dear life! You relationship/marriage is a partnership, just because you come together to plan your life with someone doesn’t mean you have to forfeit your own personal goals and desires. You may tailor them to size and to sync with the other person, but the moment you give them up totally then you do not have a life anymore. Now that’s a rather sad place to be in life and I don’t wish it for my enemy let alone any woman.

Where can we expect to find Parakeet in the next 5 years?
Parakeet doesn’t plan that far ahead. I work with short term goals and what I call loose long term plans. In 5 years I’d say I’d like to have been in the career of my choice, be happy in a relationship or marriage with a gorgeous man, maybe have the pitter patter of feet around the house, have my extended family more united and be an ambassador for God’s kingdom. But these are all loose long term plans which may or may not happen because my experiences before then may have altered the course of my goals and desires.

Thanks for your time and these wonderful Insights into Parakeet's thoughts and life.
You are welcome


Omotee! said...

will go back and read properly

Adaeze said...

I like this woman and I'm glad to be introduced to her! As I've come to understand she's been a part for Blogville for WAY longer than me but now I know a lil more about her. Will go and check out blog. I was reminded about several events in my own life reading this interview. I agree with every thing said. Compromise and sacrifice is so important indeed.

It's sad that even in this "developed" world, women's rights has still a long way to go. The country where I live is known for being one of the most equal, but women STILL don't get the same pay. But they do have rights for 1 year paid maternity leave - they even give paternity leave for 1 month to make sure daddies bond with their kids. I think that's great. Other countries have a much longer road ahead of them but it is important that we all promote and fight for equality.

I agree Parakeet, it's "total bollocks" that men find strong women intimidating. They're so behind for not understanding what a great asset that is. They're just going to have to grow up cuz there will be more and more of us independent, strong women!

Thanks, Standtall for another great interview.

aloted said...

yo parakeet! dakudaji (seems I am becoming more like u these days o)...

i enjoyed reading this...and i particularly liked your answer to the feminist question....

standy!!!! as usual well done ;-) brilliant questions

tobenna said...

Feminist extraordinaire...
Good to see that in the family unit, you think its a different ball game.

Writefreak said...

great interview...and yes parakeet is a dakudaji blogger! Well i like her style jare, you should only blog when you have something to say

i like what you said about feminism and accepting husband's leadership...way to go!

Great one...and well done standtall!

Tigeress said...

Standtall, again you have done a great interview. I really like these interviews you do. nice concept. Keep up the good works.

Parakeet- u good my dear sis?

Afrobabe said...

wow...I can actually hear ur voice saying this things in my

Kafo said...

i like
espcially the questions you asked on relationships and marriage

will visit her blug

NigerianDramaQueen said...

Parakeet is one of the most intelligent female bloggers out there-no doubt. What I love about her blog is how she doesn't try too hard to sound smart-it's effortless.

Loved the questions asked. As always, Standtall you managed to come up with different and interesting questions.

Parakeet said...

@Adaeze...many thanks for the vote of confidence. Indeed we must give kudos to the effort the UK govt make in giving mums times to spend with their family. However I am worried about the recent suggestion by a group of researchers to shorten that time to 9 months while fathers can have more time off. I mean why cant women still have their long periods off and men can have more paternity leave? seriously trying not to be dakudaji no more. All thanks to standtall for the answer on feminism because she did a good editing.
@Tobenna...thanks darling. Home is home o. Must not be tampered with. All we ask for is to be loved and respected and the rest is easy peasy.
@Writefreak...thanks for your support sis. Much appreciated. good o my sis. give me more credit than I deserve
@Kafo...thanks. am humbled. Thanks a lot sis.

Standtall I have done my bit o and thanks for honoring me with your post.

Ms. SpicyTee said...

@StandTall...I've been meaning to check out this young woman's blog cos I've heard so much about her here and there..Thanks for bringing her out to my doorstep..

@Parakeet.. I love your angle on sacrifice,compromise as well as five reason you will not marry for. Whats the point when out of desperacy,one marry a wrong person..I'm off to your blog.

Vera Ezimora said...

Awwww! Nice to meet Parakeet. LOL @ only having short term goals. I no blame am sha... :-)

Grahamn Kracker said...

The only place that we see parakeets around here is trapped in cages.

Are they wild and free in Nigeria?

This Nigerian Parakeet appears to be wild and free, wherever she may go.

Doja said...

@ Graham Kracker: This Nigerian Parakeet appears to be wild and free, wherever she may go.

This one is out of control!!!!!! I love my Parakeet!

Afronuts said...


Parakeet...I never knew she was so insightful.
Interesting. She's really way more intelligent than I thought.

A lady with her head on her shoulders.

Nice job standtall

Original Mgbeke said...

I like how your interviews highlight different bloggers. Ms. Parakeet sounds very intelligent. Thanks for presenting these bloggers to us, Standtall.

Buttercup said...

I really enjoyed reading this. Parakeet is one blogger I really admire. She just oozes intelligence, maturity, and confidence..

seamstress said...

wonderful interview..parakeet is such a force, you can feel it in her answers.

bumight said...

I love parakeet's 5 reasons she will and will not marry for. i esp like her take on sacrifice, cos i dont believe women should be the ones doing all the sacrificing!

StandTall-The Activist said...

thanks everyone. I do give the success of this interview to Ms. Parakeet who was more than willing to share with us

Nice Anon said...

I'm with you buttercup on this one. She is so smart! I enjoyed reading it.

LovePaprika said...

fIRST OFF YOU HAVE TO HEAR ME OUT!!! I feel really ashamed to write what I am about to but I will...
I didn't read the post I just jumped straight to the comments because for yearssssss I have to dying to comment on your blog!!! but I could not because of a phobia!!!!!! I cannot stand the sight of loads of cats... I wish I was joking...first time I came across your blog I quickly closed my pc cos there was a pic of loadssssss of cats I actually started crying... I know you think its crazy (and so do my friends on my phobia) but its the truth... It is absolutely not a 'superstitious' thing!! I get angry when people say that but It is simply a phobia...dont know what type but yeah it is... :)

However I am thrilleddddddddd to finally be able to comment whoohooooo now back to read :) xx

LovePaprika said...

kitta is cute... :) oh Pakareet is just a hot stuff!!!

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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