Monday, April 25, 2011

Fela, water and Women

I have never understood Fela's music, revolution and life style the way I did after seeing the Fela's show at Eko Hotel, Lagos. I was glad to make Fela's show today and it has transformed me in a greater way. I have more respect for Fela, his ideology and music. I commended the effort of the cast crew. They were awesome! And just one or two are Nigerians! Jayzee, Will Smith and Jada Pinket idea of show-casing Fela goes beyond a business idea for me, it is a remembrance of a change maker, a believer of human rights and a thorn in the flesh of corrupt Nigerian leaders!

I was transformed beyond what I ever thought possible within a short period of seeing Fela's show. The immaculate appearance of his strong feminist mother (Funmilayo Anikulapo Kuti) and her contribution to the tangible changes in Nigeria, her unfair and cruel death in the hands of the Nigerian military and the torture and rape of many women at Fela's Kalakuta's home during the military unlawful raid in 1978, all sent different messages to my soul. I had mixed feelings and eventually a very clear vision.


I thought more about a particular song of Fela 'Water no enemy' ( water has no enemy) and I started reflecting on this. Water! Trully, water can be seeing as a simple and natural product, that should be free and readily available most importantly in a clean and safe manner. I realised how this notion has changed over the years. Water, a natural resource yet scarce in many places in Africa has caused dispute between people, and countries and has also countributed to health hazards. There is now conflict over water, women especially suffer more over water scarcity in some countries, my visit to Kenya in 2009 helped me understood to some extend the danger of water scarcity.I remembered so well, how I had to struggle to get water for my family from a far distance and as early as 6am before I could get ready for school; those moments that were never pleasant.

Water is essential and without immediate and effective access to clean and safe water women, children, and men willl be further affected in many places espcially in Africa. It will lead to widespread of diseases and can further fuel violent conflict. Many organisations through humanitarian efforts are providing water for people in places that we do not even imagine exist or where we never have an inkling of how people are suffering on a daily basis to get water for their use, their business or for their family. Water, its link to safety of women, health of women and efforts of different organisations world wide, will be my focus in the subsequent posts. How can we strategise and develop innovative ideas to make clean water accessible to all? We need to asnwer this question!

10 comments:

sokari said...

Your post reminded me of a recent interview with Vandana Shiva discussing Earth Day. The issue really goes beyond water to mother earth and the rights of nature. Today everything is about humans as if we do not live with other creatures of the plant and animal world. We no longer live in harmony with our environment instead it is abused, exploited and commodified and it is being destroyed by greed.

I am wary of many water based projects that seek to provide clean safe water but then the water is privatized and I cannot see how this helps lift people out of poverty. On the one hand you find a company providing a community with water facilities but then they are forced to pay for water. The question is why is water which is a right, free from mother earth like the air we breathe being commodified? In some urban areas in the global south water is so expensive people still cannot afford it. Even in Europe there are many households which cannot afford water to bathe and wash and drink due to the high cost. At the same time water companies are raking in huge profits. What is left of mother earth - only the air we breath and even that has in many places been so polluted that it has become a killer.

blazing said...

Great write up.The importance of water can never be over stressed.The conflicts,the diseases,epidemic and high mortality rate due to the lack of it stares us bare in the face and yet i have spent my 30-ish life paying absurdly high amount of money to get a portable water on daily bases.Recycling used water to flush the toilets and washing my cloths-yet this is suppose to be an aboundant natural resource.What is our Government doing about this?!But what can one do,water no get enemy...

tolla said...

Good work and well done how can we underestimate the importance of water. Water is LIFE i think the whole universe leaves on water women and children is just a part of this existence its high time we all look inward to collectively work together to make our environment a better place to be for man and animal

pamela said...

I like the linkage from Fela to the issue. Sokari nailed it for me. Is it a right or not? If so why provide water at high costs? We have a lot to learn about establishing our relationship with nature like our ancestors. Interestingly Fela called on Yemoja, the goddess of fertility and the Ogun River. Great write up.

Parakeet said...

I guess one will have to start a water charity in areas of extreme scarcity. I have an American friend who has a water charity and relies on some aids from the CDC and UNICEF. He has successfully dug wells and installed boreholes in parts of Sudan, Nigeria and Ghana where he now resides with his family. However, he told me stories of the beaureacracy involved in securing funds and waiting months on end for funds even after been agreed by these bodies.

What I'll advise is if you feel the need to start a charity like this then you may need to carry out some fundraising on your own. You may do a charity run and have people sponsor you, or open a link online for your friends and family to donate to your cause and then tell their friends as well. You can arrange fundraising events such as bazaars and games. I don't know how much sinking a well and installing boreholes cost but little strides will get you there. I'm not able to pledge physical support at this minute but I certainly will like to come in financially or if there's any other way you think I might be able to come in on this project should you wish to embark on it then please holla.

Lolade Adewuyi said...

I'm impressed by the angle from which you've tackled this issue. I saw the show and my perspective is definitely different. You can read my view here http://tellng.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=200%3Afela-this-%E2%80%98beast%E2%80%99-on-broadway

On your point about water, did you know that the way we are tapping underground water via privately owned boreholes everywhere in Lagos might soon see us run short of the resource? Think on this.

Parakeet said...

Lolade Adewuyi, please explain how sinking private boreholes is depleting water levels in Lagos.

Temitayo said...

I love the FELA angle to it! Water is essential to life. How can we make clean water more accessible is the question! I am still thinking...

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

no way! I just wrote the longest comment and it disappeared.

=(

I'm sorry Toyin, but I swear I can't rewrite it, babe. And it was all about a slick technique used by my friend's granny to get men to buy a village bicycle that was used to bring nurses from a neighboring village when a woman was about to deliver. My basic point was that we women have ingenious ways of getting things done and the only way to push ahead with what we need is to work together.

So sorry, but I can't rewrite my comment.

poeticallytinted said...

Didnt see the show! I am so HEARTBROKEN (note the caps).

Water is as essential to life as air. Sadly, we (Nigerians) are not inclined to going through the rigour of finding ways to work with nature to make our lives better. Our environmental issues are "legion". For example, how can people who live in a state like Lagos sitting on top of various acquiferous zones lack water? Simple answer, lack of planning and lack of foresight. I guess necessity is the mother of invention and hindsight is such a great teacher. Unfortunately it might be too difficult to right the wrongs of the past when we realise that we should've devoted a little more time to planning. We cannot even blame nature for this one for nature has been ridiculously generous.
Another school of thought has it that most of the seemingly impossible to solve issues faced by our country (power, food shortages and water for example) are that way because there are powerful people benefiting from our lack of development and will do anything to keep it that way. Imagine if my business was importing generators or importing garri from Cote D'Voire. Do you think I'll be very pleased when these things are made available to everyone at little cost?

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

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