Thursday, May 7, 2009

Interview Thursday: The Mysterious Guest!

"Our flaws and weaknesses can be worked on and turned into strengths" so says the lady you are about to meet. You can perceive her determination and dedication, you have read of her exploits in bettering the life for females, and you may know of her love for cats. But there is much more to this great lady. Join me here on this enthralling journey of knowing Standtall - The Activist- RITA

Rita: Tell us about Standtall, who is behind” the Activist”?
Standtall: Just an ordinary female member of Nigeria that is passionate about positive changes especially in women’s rights and gender equality issues. She used to be blindly trusting well, with friends; she was highly carefree, and she is ambidextrous and extroverted. She has reached a face in life where she knows that “our flaws and weaknesses can be worked on and turned into strength”.
I am just an every day woman that faces traffic; queue to get into a bus, thinking of how to manage her finances and so on and so forth. I am just like every other average Nigerian but with a passion for change and development.
Rita: What drives you towards this passion for seeing the betterment in women and what’s in it for you?
Standtall: First, I was a girl child that went through a lot of challenges of fitting in the world, avoiding being raped by a step brother, a guy trusted by my mum, wondering why my gender is going through abuse and all.
Second, I was a girl child that didn’t find answers to all maltreatment of women and girls around her when she was growing up.
Third, I was the woman that was often challenged and told she couldn’t occupy leadership position because she was just a woman.
Fourth, I am now that citizen of Nigeria that believes in equality, that believes a lot in women and girls and their latent abilities to make a lasting change in their society.
Fifth, I am now that woman and citizen of Nigeria that believes in individuality and the fact that both women and men should be left without hindrance to reach their potentials and contribute to the world.
What is in it for me is just to see a world where every individual regardless of gender is treated equally because to me any woman’s problem anywhere is every woman’s problem. I have seen that as a child.
Rita: Please share with us some key projects you have been involved with and how they impacted in you as a person:
Standtall: There have being so many online and off-line collaborations. I used to be a students’ leader and with all my leadership involvement, I was able to prove that women, like men can achieve greatness. All we need is determination, commitment and to be armed with the right information.
I was involved in a radio and TV program with the Development Information Network. The program was about Information and Communication Technologies development in Nigeria. I co-hosted the Radio program in 2006 and it was fun and educating to be a part of that project. I like the fact that a lot of emphases were laid on women and ICT development.
I am a volunteer of Baobab for Women’s Human Rights and I like the fact that I am able to contribute to women and girls training as well as rights issues.
At my new place of work, we do a lot of ICT trainings for women and girls and the fact that I am involved in mentoring, information and knowledge’s sharing is a lot of achievement for me.
I have being involved in so many other activities that I cannot list here in other not to bore my readers, But one thing is certain with all my involvements with development and leadership work, I am learning daily that this is my career, this is the path for me and I should be ready to be a better person, get focused and keep contributing my quotas.
Rita: Has your belief in feminism been a cause of concern in your marriage?
Standtall: No, it has never been. I have Poeticallytinted that is a friend of my family to testify to this. Well, Standtall Husband is a regular reader of my blog and he believes in my vision for change. We both practice what we preach. He is more or less a feminist. He doesn’t believe he has to stay at home and let me struggle through traffic to come and cook if he is at home. He does the cooking, we both share domestic chores. At times he tells me to sit and he brings me food and pampers me with massage and all.
When he sees issues of concern about women and girls rights, he discusses it with me and together we share ideas. He doesn’t see it has a big deal for both of us to add our finances to the upkeep of our family. I saw in him a gender sensitive individual before I said I do. So, there has never being a time that feminism is seeing as a threat to our marriage. We both embrace feminism principles and values.
Rita: Please share with us 5 things you like about Nigeria and 5 things you would like to change:
Standtall: The likes: our different dynamic dishes, our survival spirits, our very own attires, our sense of analysis {lol}, our fantastic indigenous music and dances.
Would like to change: Lack of respect for young people, our leaders’ lack of sincerity of purpose, incessant power failure, religion intolerance/doctrinal issues, child abuse and violence against women.
Rita: The slave trade was an important event in history. What do you think about it and how do you think this impacted African and Nigeria?
Standtall: Slave trade was horrible! I often pretended it didn’t happen. Though at the end of all the sacrifice of our slave fighters or revolutionaries, the likes of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi , we were all free! America would have being a white country but Obama an African-American is now a president of the United States. South Africa is developed and getting stronger. But for Nigeria, it seems our leaders are now the slave traders, because they are worse than the colonial masters. At least if you feel someone has done something terrible to you, the only way to right the wrong is to do what is right! With Nigeria, we still have a long way to go to stop being slaves in our own countries, to see the benefit of our natural resources in our lives and the lives of the coming generations.
Rita: You started this Interview Thursday and it has evolved into something we al look forward to, what was your inspiration for this and how do you choose your guest?
Standtall: The idea came from not wanting to be a lone voice talking about change and development. I saw a lot of potentials on blogsphere/blogsville, when I read people blogs and the comments they drop on other peoples blogs, I do get an idea of the persons belief and personality, then I choose my guest. But I choose Thursday because I was born on a Thursday.
Rita: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Standtall: Finishing my Law degree and becoming the best female women rights lawyer ever seen in Nigeria.
Rita: What does religion mean to you?
Standtall: To me religion is about having a personal relationship with God, finding him and understanding why you are created by God. Religion to me is being liberal and open-minded.
Rita: Iist 5 bloggers you admire.
Standtall: Permit me to have this done in categories because this is a trap. I love so many bloggers but I will just list a few categories that came to mind.
  1. The Witty: Temite, Afrobabe, LG, Vera, Doug, Baroque and Geebee
  2. The Friends and cat lovers: Gattina, Poeticallytinted, Chari, Abbie, Graham Gracker and Ezra Olubi
  3. The God’s lovers: Rita, Writefreak, No Limit, Jaycee and Aloted
  4. The Thatchers: SolomonSydelle, Nigerian Drama Queen, Parakeet, Rev. Lisa and Tigeress
  5. The Lovely ones: FFF, O’ Dee, Buttercup, Archiwiz, Wordmerchant and Adaeze
Rita: Can you please drop a line about your love for cats?
Standtall Husband is thinking I might wake up one day and choose my cats over him. Don’t blame him or I, we both can’t help our different feelings. I have got an admission to study MA in Gender and Development at the University of Sussex and the fear now is how on earth can I leave my cats behind for one year? Just translate the feeling.
Rita: Any other comment you will like to make?
Standtall: It’s just to appreciate this community and to thank everyone that believe in my blog and its contents. Together we can make a lasting change in the world.
Thank dear Rita for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this. Love you all.
Rita: You're welcome Standtall. You won't blame me for having a smile on my face all through this interview. Learning this much about you has been an enthralling and interesting journey of discovery.


Adaeze said...

Yes! Finally our very own Standtall. I have been wondering who was to do that. The woman behind the whole interview thursdays.
There is so much I want to comment on. I love the sentence "our flaws and weaknesses can be worked on and turned into strength".
And I can relate so much to your reasons for your passion for women's rights. I have the exact same reasons.
It was also lovely to see the reason behind the development of interview Thursdays - spreading the passion in Blogville.
I am flattered to be mentioned as well - Standtall your blog was the first blog I discovered in Blogville and started following.

Lastly, I have faith you WILL become the best female rights lawyer in Nigeria. I love a woman with ambitions! I am so looking forward to hear about you and maybe even cooperate one day, hehe.
Anyway, lots of love and thanks for being a fighter for all of us.

LusciousRon said...

Wow! Give it up for StanTall herself. You have achieved so much. Thank you for standing up for women's rights.

Good luck with your law degree. You will definitely be a force. Waiting to see you at the bar.


Wonderful getting to know about you. I applaud your courage and determination to change the world, starting with the lives of women and girls in Nigeria.

We women can change the world. We might not run countries and banks and companies, but the fact that we are constantly underappreciated, means we will always have the element of surprise. Once we begin to truly coordinate our efforts, alongside like-minded men (of course), we can overcome the barriers and effect change.

Anyway, let me end by saying I am glad you married a feminist. It is crucial for someone like you to be partnered with a man that "gets it". You know? But, please, do not pick the cats over him, lol!!!! If you do, me sef I go fight you, lol!

Stay strong my sista. I can't speak for anyone else, but for me you are an inspiration.

aloted said...

yes! this is the interview i have been waiting for... thanks Rita!

Good to know Mr Standtall is in full support of your vision. He is a GOOD man.

Kafo said...

this is beautiful
i always thought that i missed the interview on yourself before i started following the blog

i have been inspired
may God continue to use u amd bless u and Mr. Standtall

LG said...

mi oni gba o' swerri na who interview you???? ehn??? na CMN or BYC????? e suppose be mi o' :-)

but again, the story is not complete without the pix of
*Mr Standy n ur harem of lil tigers :-)

Giagerry said...

y did i think standtall was a guy?
anyways now i kno...
good gettin to kno u girl!

Afrobabe said...

Awwww you called me witty…

Here is how I would describe you..

A strong woman, a woman of integrity, someone trustworthy, someone any body would be proud to call friend….an activist, she does it not because she can but because she truly believes in it…

Vera Ezimora said...

Come oh, who interviewed you? I'm sitting here imagining you being interviewed by yourself. Is that what happened? LOL. If so, I'm not the craziest person anymore ooo!

Babe, it's nice to meet you sha. I've been wondering how that would happen. We've met so many other people (especially Madam Interviewee Vera, lol), and now we finally get 2 meet you.

So I'm witty ehn? Go Vera!!! But why did you put me in the same line as Afro? You know she's bad and I'm good. I don't like it ooo! Even Baroque sef is there. How can! LOL

Thanks, baby. You're doing a fantabulous job. I know I've told you already, and I know several people have told you, but if you're like me, you'll never get tired of hearing it over and over.

Way to go, Standtall!

Black Cat said...

That was great! I love knowing more about you and your aims in life! When do you come to Sussex Uni? :) xxx

downtheaisle said...

strong woman!!!!!!!!! I have always enjoyed ur thursday..thursday... interview dose.

Thumbs Up!!!

Jay said...

Yay!! finally the tables are turned, fantastic interview :)

I love your passion and drive for women empowerment, it is a beacon of hope.

Mr Standall a.k.a the feminist is a force to be reakoned with, he sounds so supportive. We thank gof for him.

We as women need to do the change we want to see because its not going to happen all by itself.

Love your blog not only because of the positive message you translate but you practice what you preach.

O'Dee said...

A closer look at standtall.
Its 4nee you picked thursdays 4 the interviews, cos you were born on a thursday.

So glad you mentioned me as one of ur fav bloggers.

pamela said...

I love the way your stand on making sure core values were aligned with your husbands b4 saying i do.

Most women dont feel thier values are worth losing the chance of being a Mrs.

Writefreak said...

Oh great initiative! You know i wondered when we'd get to read about Standtall..
All i can say is lady, i'm proud of you and what you're doing and also that i know you from way back! lol
So you think i'm a Godlover, wow, i'm flattered...i actually love the Lord!
Well done Rita!

Flourishing Florida said...

dis will be d 5th time am trying to leave a comment on ur page! ah ah. which kain wahala b dis na

The Activist said...

@ Adaeze: awww, thank you very much. I never known that statements like these can change ones complexion. Shd have seen me. I am sure we will have so much to do together since we share the same passion for women's rights. Nice having you on blogsphere/ville my lady!

@LusciousRon: Thanks, I will surely have a snr colleague in you. Someone to look up to for advice and collaborations.

SSD: you are an inspiration to us all, you are coping with 3 kids, managing 2 powerful blogs and all. Thank you for everything.

@ Aloted: Thanks dearie. Rita got me {lol)

@ Kafo: you didnt miss it as Rita felt I shd be interviewed too recently. I have to read it again to be sure I didnt blab. Thanks hon. Hope you are on top of the world now.

@ LG: Rita did, sorry we ommitted her name b4. I have added it. Standtall hubby no one show face for here o and awon lil tigers don appear so much already {lol}

@ Gee: Seriously? For real. Why wld you think am a guy? You must explain o. Thanks for taking time out to read the interview.

@ Afrobabe: Thanks dear mi, I am trying to keep my head from bursting. It is sweling out of control o.

@ Vera: who can be like you, no one but you. I am feeling shy already. Rita interviewed me, we have edited the contents to reveal her name. Afrobabe is bad ke, on whose definition is that? Yours abi? {lol}

The Activist said...

@Black Cat: Thanks, I will be in Sussex next yr if I get scholarship. I don’t have the kind of money to do this on my own

@ Downtheaisle: Thanks you sis. I am flattered. I will be a regular visitor at your blog…

@ Wordmerchant: Thank you so much. I am coming to bother you soon because I believe together we can change the world.

@ O’Dee: My OluwaDee, you are o for all time. Pls don’t close your blog cuz your attention is forever needed on blogsphere/ville. Thanks

@ Pam: Thank you for stopping by, it’s of no use losing ones core values for anything. It’s like being stripped naked…

@ Writefreak: You are very welcome my lady. I love you for loving God.

@ FFF: don’t be annoyed, let’s blame it n blogger

Buttercup said...

I really enjoyed learning more about you. You are very strong, intelligent and open-minded..qualities I admire :)

All the best with your goals and thanks for thinking that I'm's so cool to see my name up there..hehe :D

Well done Rita!

Gattina said...

This was very interesting for me to read ! I have always been a fighter for women's right and I was the first one to dare to work instead of staying home and raising babies ! You can combine very well both. I knew not very much about Nigeria, but since I know you I read about it in Wikipedia. Compared to other African countries like the ancient belgian Congo,Nigeria seems to be quite modern. Continue your fights it's thanks to fighting women that we have some rights today ! Imagine even in European countries women were not allowed to vote until 1960 or in some countries even later !
Thank you very much to have thought of me. I am very touched;

Tigeress said...

Standtall i am glad somone took the initiative to interview you. Good job Rita. And not to sound biased, but this is by faaaaaaaar my favourite interview. I really like. Hopefully when you come to Chicago you'll let me know so i'll see if i can fly down. Alternatively when i come to Naija next- we'll be able to meet up.

lol@ calling me Thatcher. That sure describes me.

Robyn.K.Y said...

1st:i have never abandoned this blog
i was goin thru somestuff but i have alwasy been here.
nice interview
very positive minded,
Activist you are my person.

The Activist said...

@ Buttercup, yes you are so lovely! And thanks for thinking highly of me. Hope I wont let you down.

@ Tigeress: I got the impression that you are a "Thatcher" frm some of your write up. Glad am right! I will be glad to see you when I am in the state. It will be awesome!

@ Robyn: I am sorry to know this. Hope all is well... Keep your head up brova

Anonymous said...

...the hunter finally hunted down.

The Activist said...

@ Rethots: where are thou? You stopped blogging?

poeticallytinted said...

I love you Standy! That's all I've got to say. ...well and that if you weren't married to him, I would've been! lol! Ehn! your own personal masseuse?! (mock wide eyes) ;) ;)

The Activist said...

@ PoeticallyTinted: Thanks sis, you know I love you too. Massuses?

NoLimit said...

Awwww..thanks soo I'm speechless!!!I'm loving your hair by the way!!!
Your interview sheds more light on the amazon called standtall...awesome!

Jennifer A. said...

It's really nice getting to know the cat lover more...your mission to change a lot of things is inspiring.

The Activist said...

@ No Limit: Thanks sis and thanks again.

@Jaycee: You have being MIA for a while. Hope no P. And thanks for the wonderful comment. I am sure we are all changing lives. See with your blog and all...

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

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