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Teni The Entertainer, Toke Makinwa and Adesua Etomi 'Women Leading Nigerian Culture' at BUDX Lagos



all right good evening everyone my name is tools and for this session we're gonna be talking about women leading the next wave of Nigerian culture so first of when it comes to you know gender inequality it's something that is discussed often in this country sometimes positively but mostly negatively but we of course have a group of trailblazers some very very professional very talented ladies that are leading at this movement that are basically showing us that you don't need to be a man to be successful in this world so I'm going to get them to introduce themselves and also to tell us a bit about what they do who they are I'm sure you know what they do but just bear with me so can I start with you hi everyone my name is taka mocking wah I'm a media personality I'm on radio television I am an author entrepreneur as well social media influenza motivational speaker basically the baby girl for life I don't want so far Milan hi everyone my name is a day so I turn me Wellington I'm an actor a performer a businesswoman many things sure yeah okay so let's get straight into it I'm gonna start off with this question I'd actually like all of you to answer this if that's okay so I want to get your views on gender inequality in Nigeria and heartbeat that question is are you a feminist you consider yourself a feminist so I'm gonna get you to stop okay um I think gender inequality is something that is a topic that we've discussed over and over again and I think is a topic that we can never get too tired of talking about until things actually change it's one thing to talk about things and there's another thing to see things being done about it I think things are shifting but not quick enough I think we still have a lot of work to do and and in terms of the word feminist I think it's become this dirty word because people tend to focus on what it's not as opposed to what it actually is feminism is literally the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of the Equality of good sexes of of the sexes rather and there's nothing wrong with that it's about time we allow women to first of all get paid what they should get paid when they're it's just it's just basic right but I think for so long women have been oppressed and I think it's about time that we start talking about it and I like the fact that there's so much that there's so many conversations around feminism and what it is I actually enjoy those conversations even though a lot of times it ends in arguments but I think these sort of conversations are really really necessary so yes I'm a feminist I think everyone should be a feminist Thank You Anasuya all right che come on meet any what do you think I'm definitely finished growing up how I grew up where my father died when we were young and three women had to take care of my siblings and I and you know they thought they would never be able to run the business and so oh you see uncle Amana jenn-air movie story uncle's came I wanted to take over but that's where I got my zeal from you know seeing women you know take over a position and be bosses and and you know and tell men you have to go to that the drivers you have to go do that and they look like who are you tell me but I'm in the position to tell you that you know I'm change so I'm definitely a feminist and you know especially in the music space where people try to tell you what to do and what not to do and this is how you should be and this is what you should be I say be yourself I mean that's the best version of you you can give the world if I was somebody else then I'm rubbing the world of my gift I know I'm supposed to be yeah thank you Tony baby girl took it well I think both of them have talked extensively about what you asked am i feminists yes like I did so I am sick and tired of I think let's even address the females in here because I feel like we females also the ones leading the conversations in that light it's not a war between women and men we don't want to be you as a man you know and I feel like we also need to work on AI emotional intelligence as to playing the victim because you know as I said it's the conversations have started people have talked about this do we see the change maybe not yet maybe not quite do we continue to talk about it yes but as we do maybe we need to also change the way we speak about it I hate when I see things on Twitter on social media so it's almost like you know we victimize ourselves as women already you know everything doesn't have to be a sexist conversation you know do we have a right to earn as much as I mean of course sometimes we even put in twice twice the job you know so I like to encourage women out there to look at yourself focus on your craft work at being better than the best male or female I was raised in a home where there were no quitting's agenda I lost my parents when I was eight so like you my drive came from basically just wanting a better life and there was no gender you know there was just good all human beings been raised so the moment we begin to put ourselves in those boxes we've already lost the battle so as I just said I'm a FEMINIST gender inequality do we keep talking about it yes are we there no unfortunately in this industry we can all attest to the fact as a female you host a show you might be the host automatically when a man is there they think he's the host and yo is closed automatically they go to him to say this is what's coming up on your leg what am I here for chopped liver you know you I worked on the radio for so many years with with a guy and I had to literally fight emotionally for my rights because you find that people walk into the studio and they would talk to him and ignore you and we're doing the show together so this conversations we need to take it from this podium our living rooms social circle churches mosque wherever you can preach the message please keep preaching it thank you – okay I'm gonna get tiny to start this one of the next question do you think being a woman has positively or negatively affected your career both gone yeah positive in the sense that when people see they underestimate you and that's power I like it when you're nice teammate me he gives me a room to show you how good I am because then yeah I mean to me is positive I mean you you already seen me as this is where I can get and so when I saw past that it's like oh wow okay so to me that's positive at least like I take I take the positive from it and I'm Torri the negative the negative side is just people dictated to you at this age you should be married as you gonna have children you know right right just better you know your degree is only good to just you know your degree ascended in America they don't do that in Nigeria you can oh come on be speaking English Bose you understand but through all that madness I've learned to teach people you know for example my my driver he said Oh his wife cannot tell him to wash bleach so I put you aren't I you had to come he said I said no but these more are not teaching to wash kids I said that's your problem because when you feel like as a man you have to go out to hustle and you can't let your wife work yeah yeah putting yourself in trouble you walk walk walk walk walk out so by yourself when if you let the wife work she can assist the woman was born you and II both of you to come together did not see oughta half half come together equality okay at first of all I'd like to start off by saying that personally my superpower is the fact that I'm a woman and there is absolutely nothing I would change about being a woman if I had the chance I come back as a woman again I have never paid attention I don't know the word to use to the struggles of being Ana and I say this very loosely so that I'm not misunderstood my mother raised me and she raised three of us all by herself pretty much so I have always seen women in positions of strength that's just all I have ever known so there is actually no other option for me nobody gets to tell me what I can and can't do nobody gets to tell me what I can and can't achieve and nobody gets to tell me that that there's this limit over what I can do I can do anything I put my mind to and that's what I focus and I keep making jokes that I I'm worried that when I finally do have a daughter that she's just going to be the most she's gonna think everything is amazing and she's gonna be the most self-confident young woman because I think it's really important to realize that as a woman you hold so much power and that's his wife some certain extent people try to suppress you because they know just how much power you hold and when you realize how much power you do hold it's no longer a struggle you're not fighting with anybody else you're trying to be the best version of yourself at any particular given time so in in essence this is all I know and I don't have any other choice than to be a go-getter than to succeed and to be strong than to break barriers and keep doing what everybody is telling me that I can't do so yeah thank you okay [Applause] I would say it's affected me more positively than negative I mean they're the negatives at this one tanning have pointed out we live in a world where you know you literally like Drake said or who said it you have to work with the negatives to get a better picture you know being positive starts with the mind and you know right from when we were kids as females if we're all going to be honest with ourselves here I'm happy that this generation is changing and we're open and learning and also the men are also open and they're listening now when we grew up when our parents generation they loved on their boys and they raised the girls so the girl's life has been hard from when she was little because you're told what to wear how to speak what not to do you know it was almost like life had all these rules and you're just literally trying to find your feet and find out who you are and unfortunately there are no rehearsals it's just one life so I've learned to use the negatives it will always come people will always set limits for you people always think and then you know the funny thing is it's not even the enemies outside or the people that you think are the probably sometimes evil starts from the home families the words to convince about what you want to do because they keep seeing you as the little token the little tiny that's we knew running around here in diapers so you start the struggle of trying to basically stay true to who you want to be the idea of who you think you are and then we have a society where it's almost like the whole world is working against you as a woman you know trying to even get a house as a woman a single woman is a problem landlord you know list to you because they believed I really sink oh man you have plenty boyfriend's you know you start a job you are working on making money there must be a man that is sponsoring your life if they must not sponsor your life you cannot be making and it's sad because sometimes women are the ones that champion these conversations it's almost as if we can't believe it's poverty oh ah you see well it's not it's property of the mind is a bad thing is he said see Mitch I was there and we should be one of those would that when they would talk about setting people be like she must be sleeping with somebody I see which does Celine and then you know things were starting for you in your career and you realize that just by being who you are doors will open and then you go up on your mother and I like that and I was the one I so championed the cause for this person so you know you you literally have to be out way at every point working with the positives but being at work the negative doesn't mean that you let the negatives control you Thank You Sookie so you mentioned one or two instances you know maybe things that have you know happened to you but I actually want to know when which can you give me an example of an instance where a decision was made against you purely because you're a woman and how did you handle it I've had so many of those you know just even in the work space it's and I'm sure even you Tolu you can probably bear witness to this I mentioned hosting shows for instance you know you know when you find out what your co-host is earning and you're trying to fight for the same pay and they literally look at you and say he's a man I've heard that being said to me before he has plenty responsibilities is a family man is a family at this time your head is in this bridge is it family so I say if I want to use all my money to buy shoe hides your business if I want to use all my money to make weaves and wear makeup hides your business I didn't know the same amount of time I've got to stand on these seats thank you so kay what about you at Expo do you remember an instance where a meeting in – yeah like like toca said it also has to do with pay and it's it's almost like the go-to example because the truth is that 90% of women face the same issue there is so much power in being able to walk away from anything that's not going to serve you there's so much power in that you have to be able to you have to be willing to be like if you're not gonna pay me what I think I deserve I'm gonna take if you if you do need the money you find yourself in that situation are you that's fine – there's nothing wrong with that but if you ever do get to the position where you're able to walk away and be like no you can't do that you can't pay me less just because I have tits you know it's not okay so you have to you have to give me what I think I deserve so it has to do with pay as well and I've tried my best I'm not a hundred percent I'm not there yet but we're still pushing the fight so yeah like talk I said well she said when it comes to dealing with the situations it's best to use your emotional intelligence so how do you tackle these situations so if you're you've been I don't know call to do a movie and you know that your male co-star they've offered him more money so let's say you do I'm actually straight to the point I'll tell you that I know I would approach it from the fact that I know what especially if you're in a scenario where you there's this camaraderie with the rest of your cast members and they tell you what they are and if they do you can approach it head-on and be like I know this is what is being offered I think I deserve the same why do you think I deserve less and you address it straight I'm not I'm not very good as a person I'm not very good at dilly-dally and I'm actually quite straight to the point and be like and it's not a fight because I'm just asking for what I think I deserve thank you Lisa teni I'm sure you probably have quite a few experiences well for me it wasn't even really work it was family dispatching music itself when I wanted to start they called family meeting no serious record family meeting because my sister was already doing music and so I'm not Arun like when I do go to Mari do you understand he always attached to the others or TV you are not lawyer you are not doctor what can we say you are artists musician so they call family meeting and one of my auntie's that very educated told me no I can't do it because my sister was doing it and I stood up and I told her and I'm almost ready because she already knew she knew that child so she knows what was going to come next so show that you do this I move ladies I should open a tool my auntie I said I'm very disappointed in you a takeaway yes I told her and by the time it happened for me she's the first person L see don't you call me a Seto Kaiba me or marburo me lorries that sucio kayo me push this machine on Instagram and so it's just me me understand you have to fight for yourself do you understand like doing this to anybody you're sick okay all right um so I'm gonna ask you one more question because I know we've got sir I'm sure you guys have lots of questions so when it comes to the gender equality movement it's always a lot of the conversations are you know men versus women but I actually feel that a lot of women actually hold other women back so for example you know both three of you are in the entertainment industry I'm sure you've had this loads of times where a woman says are you gonna get married the reason you should leave this get married start a family have happen to all of you yeah of course oh yeah of course of course I think I don't should I I think I mean when I started on this panel I did say something and I said you know I was going to also address the women because I feel like we woman I already said it before Suze we we let's just call it what it is we're our biggest problems we work against ourselves the most men don't say these things as hard as we see it's even this family thinking he's a woman now say what does she feel like she's actually like a feminist why be too hard on ourselves and I gets it sometimes when you I listen to Michelle Obama's pick on them and she talks about how someone says why should never go to Harvard should never be graduate people project their face on you I understand do you understand just because where you are we might have grown up together in the same type as Miss America compound and you probably thought that we'll probably have the same end just because I'm trying to aspire to be more it shouldn't threaten you but unfortunately as a woman you know either of them to ask simple question sis how are you doing this show me their cants he says they're not we came to find all that means he said I should maybe she's doing jazz maybe man is pain maybe she's not really for course you know and the men see these things and it breaks my heart the men said the other day I went to it's a VFS office I had to pick up my passports and a woman they behaved so badly and he broke my artery man on the corridor said to me now monotype and I looked and I said as a woman look at what the man is saying about us while we saw we kept to ourselves why would he kill you – told you next sister she looks nice it's not going to demote your lights if you try and light somebody somebody else's lights like it it is so frustrating honestly because we keep preaching I stopped going to speaking semanas all these women and but I thought please don't invites me because you all are Mean Girls the Mean Girls are the ones when it starts and women apartments the most horrible Empire to have you helped who have you put on even if his referral if only buffoon we need to begin to look after ourselves even a wound on move forward man conceded men stick up for themselves or Mahmud if another man spilled a woman would see another woman's pain why a man would say pay become more he deserves this woman goaded I'm missing why do you want to hurt or come a camera they all say why I just don't like she's just not a brand whatever what has she don't they cannot see a nice a woman hey I don't know and maybe Jews all should come on tired because this woman's in a tire me please look at from this let me know let me know Tito step we need to begin to do better we can only tell ourselves the choose your next disguise not your competition come on if she wins us at this was X open a door for you to win it's okay to aspire to be a biblical I'm not tell us when your dad thank you thank you thank you alright oh sorry goin coach so I think I think in general we just need to hold ourselves to a higher standard as as human beings whether you're male or female because I think in in general we have this this thing that we do where we tend to pit women against each other I don't know why we do it because it's like the star we have so many stars in this guy I don't see them fighting for way to shine and it's the same thing it's the same thing why can't two women be successful in the same field why do I have to choose one why can't I appreciate both of them it's the same thing we need to stop we need to do better in general and I keep saying that it really matters about how we bring our sons and daughters up because most of these things start from upbringing you tell your doctor to be home at 6:00 you tell your son see you tomorrow you can't teach them different things because they're going to grow up with these ideologies and based on what you the way you've brought them up so it's really important about the way we bring our children it's really hard to teach an old dog new tricks but when you you you pay attention to how you're bringing your children up it really matters because I think that's the only way we can pretty much turn things around and let's stop pitting women against each other it makes no sense I love seeing many successful women in the same field I like kids because it's such it makes such a huge statement that it's possible that it's possible to also appreciate the next woman when I say that anyone is trying to put me put me against anyone else in the industry that's when I was not showing them extra love I will put love love I I will love the eye I will put stars that would do also because I think it's really important that we start showing support because when they see that they can't come to you next time and be like try to put you pits you against the same person because I said that you guys are showing each other love so it's really important to just appreciate the next woman for the thing list for the things that she's doing and thank you yeah so the last thing I just wanted to quickly says you know women to let stop you know cuz some some people take this feminism thing and turn it around Jaron Stan don't don't don't push him on don't push him on feminism isn't about ya know a man because of feminism Janice tan don't don't don't don't see because I'm a woman then I can't hit a man and get away with it that's that's that's polish on you can't go to jail for that so don't say because of a woman then then you're gone a busy man or chicken man badly so let's let the guy take well I I have one or two more questions but I've been told that can i oh okay sorry I can't ask any more questions do you guys have any questions for you guys a question it's fair enough yes do we have a microfiber companies yes so I just wanted to find out your perspective was you you have a very interesting sort of background you're from realty and there's a lot of belief that the way partially works in a dress because of traditions customs your father is heavily traditional how did that impact you growing up because I wanna believe you're also feminist so how are you able to do I'm definitely a feminist 100 % of feminists I'm however not an angry feminists I believe that women and men should be treated equally but they're not the same when it comes to my family I have to be honest there were I've I've had so many occasions where my dad said you can't do that you're a woman and I just was like who said I'm gonna do it so instead of that suppressing my you know thirst a success it actually made me want to go harder so from a very very young age I kind of felt like this nothing I can't do there's absolutely nothing I can't do thank you all right anybody else hello everyone my name is Genevieve oh you may and I am an actor my question is thank you so much ladies for speaking I've literally been blessed by everything you've said mr. K you said how do you strengthen yourself emotionally we discussed obviously working in your craft supporting your fellow women and letting adversity Drive you I'm 24 right now and obviously I'm working on my craft you know letting I by adversity drive me and I wanted obviously I know you're in your twenties mister what did you do in your twenties and like was your goals and like I don't know I feel like I don't know what's more holes and I'm sure there are a lot of young people in the audience thinking the same thing but that stage in your life what was the plan and like how did you stay grounded tonight yeah there are too many things you asking your question but one thing that kept popping up is and I had this conversation with my cousin just two weeks ago I feel like there's a lot of unrest I missed and among young people give yourself time I made all the mistakes I wanted to make in my twenties and I loved making mistakes don't let anybody rush you you know we we keep looking at other peoples success stories without remembering that it's years and years and years in the making I interviewed sounds all done a long time ago and it lifts me with something that was so profound it probably doesn't even remember this he said to me you know when people start off and they can see you driving your bitsu from bits who you drive your own therefore Monda goodbye your first messages from you know there's a journey there's a struggle there's a process but if you just come on the Sina you start to climb a tree from the top you will crash so a lot of depression is going on out there with young people people are depressed because they keep looking at the now of somebody is somebody else's story and now might happen it's 9 15 years in the making where there was no social media where you could see that so it's okay for you not to know what you want to do at 20 something chose to me some people wake up at 50 and they've done something that they thought they were supposed to be doing and it's a midlife crisis so the fact that you don't know is also working in your advantage as an unrest in your spirit so you just let that guide you to find out what you're good at so don't rush yourself people like depressive I know it's clinically induced as well but I find that sometimes we rush ourselves so much enjoy the process you're only 20 watts I beg and joy leave life if you wake up enjoy your support enjoy too much but you know it's true now enjoy it so that way you don't that's something you can look back and say I did it my way didn't work maybe not but I'm still on the process thank you – okay um just add to what I said you're you said you're an actress okay so this is something that you want to do this is something that you're passionate about so if you already know what you want to do just figure out different ways to better yourself take you know more lessons do courses I think that's something that a lot of people don't do you kind of really you you're in a certain job you kind of think okay that's it but there always ways to better yourself travel the world if if I had if I had realized how much I love traveling I would have probably done way more than that I would probably not even gotten a mortgage when I was in my 20s and I would have just traveled and not backpacking because I don't do that but just you know traveled seeing the world meet people make friends make relationships you know and just see coz when you're like older let's say you're married you can't really do as much you know because you have responsibilities all right can I take this lady with a stripy dress just one more questions okay how you deal with criticism so I've noticed like you know a lot of times we like as women yeah as you said we go through like from other women and as Chuck I said you know the whole like women empowerment thing to be honest I personally think as well that a lot of it is just for social media and it just looks good rather than like people actually meaning it because it's true a lot of girls are mean so I just wanted to find out because all three of you I've noticed are very like positive people how do you actually deal with like criticism because I know like many times you guys don't actually like address it but I'm sure like sometimes some things do get to you so I just want to understand like how you actually deal with that like personally so okay for me if you're gonna thrive like in life in general you have to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff not everything that's been said to you should be taken on board not every criticism is an attack sometimes you also learn from some of the things that are being said to you but you have to know I think it really really starts you have to know who you are when you know exactly who you are someone can't come and tell you who they who who you are when someone say something and if someone comes to me and say you guys snob I can easily throw that away because that couldn't be further from the truth because why I know me and it's really important to know who you are also I think a support system is really important while we're all championing the image I'm strong I'm strong everybody needs somebody to talk to you need that one person that if you see something it's just like how you imagine what this person has said it's really important to be able to get it off your chest nobody is telling you to digest it and you're gonna blow up everybody needs to talk to somebody and that person for me is my husband it's really important that you have somebody – no I'm not it's really important that you have that you have somebody to talk to to offload – because otherwise you're gone you're gonna burst and you need someone that can set you back on the right path when you're starting to go the wrong way because sometimes people are going to say some really hurtful things and most of the time it comes from people that absolutely know nothing about you and they feel like they do so it's really important that you talk about if it did hurt you throw it away if it doesn't bother you address it if you want to because I also think that's really important sometimes it's okay to address certain things don't go about untrustworthy just evil add to what she thinks I didn't want to forget about this um it's it's I like everything I just want said and I agree with it but I also want to be very honest with you know everybody it takes the process to get to where she is right now and to say this so you see this criticism once you accept is the process you are going to have to walk through nobody was born strong let's not lie to you have I cried oh yes have I felt ah God calm down born fire where do you notice yes but then you have to give yourself time emotionally give yourself time to grow again what I said well too hard on ourselves sometimes okay do you dandy what word Joyce okay what's what I was in so it's key somebody tell me what I want to say now that key yes yes okay so I've been told that's it thank you so much ladies ladies a drink please put your hands together for them one more time please it says a lot that we have a full house for an all-women panel ladies and gentlemen you are strong you are beautiful and we are happy to have you

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