I was tired today at work and swore that I would come home and crash right into my bed. Of course, I had a sneaky feeling that things would not play out quite like that - least of all, because I'm a night person.
I was watching Today's Woman with Adesuwa Oyenokwe and felt compelled to write something about her. She's featured regularly in a lot of magazines and newspapers here, so I read about the wonderful work that she's been doing over the years in media and for empowering women (ok, that word is so over-used, I need to dig out my thesaraus and find suitable alternatives).
Her show this evening featured a young woman (I think her name is Bolanle Makanju) who ministers to young prostitutes. While some of the prostitutes are touched by her interest in them, many more regard her with scepticsm and try to take advantage of her kindness. Adesuwa pointed out that as a single 31-year old woman, her work was probably affecting her chances of getting married (sadly in Nigeria this is probably true). Bolanle was unperturbed and expressed a belief that things would happen as ordained by God.
Bolanle is so obviously doing something that matters to her. It might present some inconveniences in her life, but those appear to be nothing compared to the sense of fulfillment that her work gives her. And how many people can say the same? Going to a job that you might be indifferent to or even hate just because it's too hard to get out of that comfort zone is something that so many do.
Adesuwa Oyenokwe is another example of someone doing what she loves. And she has been at it for a long time with the meagre financial security that comes with a job at the National Television Authority (NTA). My sister, who worked with her for a while, talked about the exhorbitant fees independent producers have to pay to the TV stations (NTA is a big example) to buy air-time for their shows. To make things worse, the station reduces the show's advert time making it harder for them to pay for their air-time by selling advertising space. And then even worse, the station charges far less for their own advert spaces than they allow independent producers to charge for theirs. To me, it looks like they are saying that they don't want any shows on their network that aren't made by them, which is crazy. These other (non-NTA produced) shows like Today's Woman and New Dawn add so much diversity to a network that used to be in such stasis.
To persist in the struggle against what are obviously really didfficult working conditions is incredibly laudable. The work and achievements of women like Adesuwa O. and Funmi Iyanda are pretty well-known, but there are so many others like Bolanle Makanju whose work hasn't or will never garner so much attention. Yet they continue to pursue their passions.