(I’m currently double-majoing in Journalism and Creative Writing at The American University of Paris, France).
I was raised in northern Nigeria, surrounded by patriarchy and misogyny and women who, for centuries, have been taught to silence themselves so that their male counterparts can be heard. These women have no one to speak for them and share their stories and so, tend to suffer in silence. By being a journalist, I can share their stories and give them a medium through which they can speak for themselves. I also want to start a magazine that focuses on achieving the same goal and also to encourage young girls from northern Nigeria to start writing.
To me, journalism is framing. Journalists can make their readers care about a certain thing, or defile the thing altogether. They can tell the reader which upcoming artists to look out for and whose side of the celebrity divorce to take. In many ways, journalists are not just writers or storytellers. They also create stereotypes and form certain cultures and societal norms, by telling their readers what to accept and/or celebrate and what to reject. For me, it’d be an honor to have northern Nigerians read stories about themselves that make them reflect back on their community and see its flaws.
I have written for several publications including the African Leadership Magazine, Mail and Guardian’s Voices of Africa and The Peacock (AUP student magazine). In my free time, I write Afrocentric poetry and short stories that seek to not only relate to local (African) readers, but also to educate foreign readers. I also enjoy reading poetry, fictional books and feminist theories by a variety of authors, some of my favorites include: “Questions for Ada” by Ijeoma Umebinyuo; “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy; and “The Master’s Tool Will Never Dismantle the Mater’s House” by Audre Lorde.