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STAFF PICK: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adapted from her recent TED Talk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s We Should All Be Feminists discusses her self-discovery as a Nigerian feminist and the stigma associated with the controversial topic. Faced with a unique form of gender discrimination having grown up in Nigeria, Chimamanda’s lecture touches on the internalized sexism faced day-to-day, and the method in which it becomes ingrained in society. Her perspective and observations first-hand in how she is addressed, ignored, and disrespected offers much insight for those new to feminism, or unfamiliar with its intersectionality.

–Cristina

Women and children who were being held by Boko Haram extremists have said some of their group were stoned to death as the Nigerian army came to rescue them.

They were speaking a day after nearly 300 hostages were rescued from the Sambisa forest and taken to a government camp in Adamawa State.

Will Ross, reports from Adamawa State where the freed civilians are being housed and given help before they can be resettled back home.

My favourite British-African Celebs

Models, singers and actresses I grew up with and like now

Malaika Firth (British-Kenyan)

Sophie Okonedo (British-Nigerian/Ashkenazi Jew)

Thandie Newton (British- Zimbabwean/English)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (British South-African/English)

Wunmi Mosaku (British-Nigerian)

Ashley Madekwe (British-Nigerian/English)

Freema Agyeman (British-Ghanaian/Iranian)

Laila Abdesselam (British-Moroccan/Indian)

June Brown (British-Algerian/ Irish, Scottish, Italian)

Dame Shirley Bassey (British-Nigerian/Welsh)

Betty Adewole (British-Nigerian)

Apparently a good number of the Nigerian girls rescued are pregnant, but I’m unable to find any charity organizations who will take in donations to help cover prenatal costs, or how to spread the word if some of the girls express a want to adopt their baby to someone else.  

If anyone knows something that can help them, please let me know.

Series: Uprooted by Boko Haram - Rose Zeeharrah (right)

Rose Zeeharrah watched while members of Boko Haram attacked her village and began killing the men who lived there — including her husband. As she fled into the bush with her nine children, the last sight she saw was her home being set ablaze. “We didn’t bring anything with us. We just ran,” she said. Her 2-year-old son passed away while they were in hiding. “He died from the stress,” Rose explained. Now she and her children are living in a camp for internally displaced people in Yola, Adamawa State. Even though she knows she has lost her home and cattle, Rose longs to go home. “I want to go home and harvest so we can eat,” she said.

The latest rescue of additional 234 women and children by the Nigerian Army from the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, indicated, yesterday, that a sizeable number of the rescued girls were visibly pregnant, even as unofficial reports put the latest number of pregnant girls in one of the camps in Borno as at last Saturday at 214.

Giving this indication in Lagos, Executive Director, UNFPA, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, also disclosed that in the last one year, the organization had taken deliveries of over 16,000 pregnancies in the troubled North East part of the country.

Osotimehin, while giving update of the response to the rehabilitation of the rescued women and children,  said the organization, in anticipation of the magnitude of the problem on hand, had put in place a formidable team in collaboration with the Federal and state governments, to first restore the dignity of the girls, who, he said, are facing severe psychosocial trauma.

On the state of the girls, he explained that most of them, due to the long period spent in captivity, required a special set of services that would facilitate their integration into society.

“What we found is that some of the women and girls that have come back actually have much more in terms of the stress they have faced, so the counselling has to be more intense and working with them one-on-one.

“I’m glad the communities are not excommunicating them and are taking them back. That is an important therapy too. We anticipate this is going to escalate because the military intervention is continuing, we find that more people are now needing our services and we will continue,” he stated.

Further, he explained that the UNFPA had earlier collaborated with the Federal and state governments to train 60 counsellors to offer psychosocial services to the affected women and children. He noted that those trained were people from the communities, who understand the context and sociology of the people.

“UNFPA is providing dignity for women. In conflict and disasters, most people would only think of water and sanitation, provision of tents and housing, and food, which are all important. But women and girls have specific needs that nobody else looks after; it is only UNFPA that is doing this. We are giving psychosocial counselling.

“Beyond that, in the growing young people, we will always have pregnant women, but nobody segregates the needs of the pregnant women which are very important and different from the needs of the average community. We look after them, and ensure they get antenatal care and that they deliver properly and that they even get Caesarean Section when necessary.

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LAURYN HILL performs acoustic version of ‘That Thing’ speaking directly to Nigerian fans 

Ms. Hill was scheduled to perform in Lagos, Nigeria on May day but missed her flight due to scheduling issues on the part of the organizers. She however promises to make it there soon.