Though marriage, relationship and its expectations defer from culture to culture and some people feel respect is when you feel subservient to your spouse, do you agree with this and if not, what is respect to you?The way I interpret the word subservient my answer is no, I do not think subservience is equivalent to respect. To me subservience is abject obedience. My husband will never benefit from me lying to myself about my own opinions only to “agree” with his. Respect is a lot of things. There are many fine nuances. In marriage, respect is accepting that your spouse may not agree with you on absolutely everything. Respect is allowing your spouse to be themselves and do things they need to do for themselves even if you do not understand. All with sense of course. Respect is restraining and controlling yourself if you’re about to lose control out of frustration or anger. Respect is making something important to you just because it’s important to your spouse. Respect for your spouse is also respect for yourself.In my marriage I’ve found out that it has to do with standing my ground on things that are extremely important to me. If I didn’t do that, my husband would lose me. By losing me I mean, the woman he knows as his wife would no longer exist. He fell in love with my originality and individuality. I can’t bargain on my principles. However, this does not mean I will never let him “win”. If something is very important to him and I disagree, I’ll bail, as long as it doesn’t go against my core principles. I expect him to do the same. If not – my flexibility would be reduced. Luckily that’s never happened with me. If my man had opinions against my core principles we’d never get married in the first place, no be so? Respect is also about talking in a nice manner to one another even in the heat of an argument. True respect to me is also when you are willing to set your own views aside and honestly consider the other persons point of view.
Domestic violence is a big issue world over, though it's more prevalent in some countries than the other, what is your view about domestic violence?
You are passionate about women's human rights, what steps are you taking to contribute your qoutas?So far I have not been able to do as much as I want to, but I am a young woman. I have plans for the future. When I finish my education and grow older I would like to start up a centre in Nigeria for abused women and their families. But I’d also like to work on disclosure as mentioned earlier. Work on a tactic to get men more involved. I think that will be harder because Nigeria as a whole is still such a male-dominated country. But we have to start from somewhere. My mother’s best friend has worked with violent men and rehabilitation for many years – I think I am going to ask her for advice! Another way I keep working on contributing with my quotas is motivating all women around me to know their rights and their worth. All of this can not be stressed enough.
What does culture mean to you?
In any cuture, do you think there are necessary things to keep or expunge, can you identify them?I think language is incredibly important to keep. . Language is important because language is the link to your culture and your forefathers. There are certain things that could only best be said in your own language. If we allow English language to completely dominate the entire world, their culture would take completely over (which it already has) and people lose part of their roots. When people lose their roots, they sometimes lose meaning as well. Imagine this; an Igbo family moves abroad – they don’t teach their kids Igbo and their kids don’t feel as strongly connected to their homeland as they should. When they in turn get kids – how connected will their kids be to the land of their grand-parents? Language is crucial when it comes to understanding.Any practice that doesn’t hurt anyone, I think should be kept. But old, traditional nonsensical ideas based on ignorance should of course be expunged. I think the challenge lies in combining renewal while at the same time maintaining culture. Examples of things that should be expunged is circumcision on women, marriage based on ethnicity/kinship, superstitious beliefs and practices (example ogbanje) etc etc. But there’s nothing wrong with masquerades and ancient tales being told to future generations, traditional marriage celebrations or other harmless traditions.
You recently posted a touching story of how you were raped at 14, did anyone try to help you get through the bitter experience?No one tried to help me. I tried to reach out to my best friend at the time but she completely backed off. But in everyone’s defence, there’s no how I could have gotten help because I was afraid to tell anyone. My mother, once she found out 2 years later, wanted to help but I was in so much distress at the time that I did not let her.