Since it started to be celebrated somewhat widely in Nigeria, every International Women's Day I know that deep down I want to do something. I want to contribute, not just on twitter or any social media platform. But, I want to be out there doing something. Maybe not all the way out there but not from my most comfortable zone either.
Problem is, every year that this day is being celebrated; I never seem to accomplish this.
My closest attempt was in 2016:
“Mrs Gladys, I am sorry your application has been rejected.” She announced to me.
“Why?”, I asked.
“Our director did not approve of it.”
“I really don't know.”
“Maybe it is because there are other engagements for that same day, as there would be need for staff from the department to also be at your own event too.”
“Okay” (Me thinking one or two staff is just fine! But my mouth could not say this).
Instead I went on, “but ma, that's why I proposed that my event at the school should hold at the date and time that is most suitable for the department?”
“Mrs Gladys.....hmm, so what is it that you want to do at Government Girls Science Secondary School Kuje?”
I took a deep breath myself. But, quickly reasoned this could be my final chance to convince this madam sitting in front of me. Then I began to speak. This time as eloquently persuasive as I possibly could; trying my hardest to hide my irritation, disappointment, annoyance and all other sort of emotions -all of them not good- burning inside of me.
“I wish to mark the International Women's Day with the school girls with an event which I put together especially for them. The event is designed to enhance the girls' awareness, to inspire and also to introduce this young girls to…….Madam, this event that I am putting together will be educative, interactive and uniquely targeted to address…..The event will have the following components…..I have already contacted so and so and so (I mentioned their names or organisations), to work with me and they have agreed. I will provide all the resources and materials that will be used at the event, including refreshments. Everything about the event I have stated in my letter of request for approval which I addressed to the director, *Mrs E. R*. I stated the objectives of the event, the expected outcome from the event, also I stated the benefits that are in the event for the girls schooling at Government Girls Science Secondary School, Kuje. There is also a draft programme which is included in my letter of request; madam, see! (I showed her a copy). I have put the time slot, it is not a long event. The event would last for about 45 minutes. Madam, I….
“Mrs Gladys,” she cut in but not rudely. Then hesitated for like 10 seconds before speaking. She said, “I don't know. I don't know why our director did not give an approval for your event. Mrs Gladys, I really wish I knew.”
And was I surprise? No, I was not. I was not surprise that she said she didn’t know why I was not given an approval. Being one of the senior staff at the gender section of the Federal Capital Territory FCT department of science and technology, it is only “normal” she does not know the reason I was not given approval by their director. And it is only “absolutely normal” that she cannot tell me the reason, even if she wanted to!
Anyways, that fateful Wednesday (I think) in the month of February was the last day I was at the premises of the FCT department of science and technology. I had been on the matter since January and had been to the premises many times.
My letter was rejection twice. Well, you know….the first was because I didn’t address my letter like write this: The Director, Department of Science and Technology, No. 4, Okonjo Iweala Way, Utako Abuja; VERBATIM! And the second rejection was because I was not elaborate enough in my letter. So that when I went back to rewrite my letter, I made it a 'how-they-like-it-very-long' letter. Not to mention that I went to Government Girls Science Secondary School. I had never been to Kuje ever, not for anything before, but I went to Government Girls Science Secondary School in Kuje two times.
Okay. All that was in 2016.
This year, I have decided I will try again.
But like this:
I will not make every effort by myself
Yes, its true. I will not. And, that's why I am calling on you. All of you, who like me have been musing the idea of doing something to mark the International Women's Day. What if you and I can, all of us, can work together? What if we can actualize our ideas, our own way? I am sure that when there are a number of us involved it would be better. Don't you think?
I will allow myself to be free and passionate
It is more fun being FREE and PASSIONATE. The end result is not all there is! what about the effort?, it too has worth. I have seen myself being quite mad when my shot didn’t hit my exact target. But thank God, that was in 2016.
I will not pretend I cannot execute an event for International Women's Day
What is the point pretending? I can do this if I get the opportunity. I have the know-how. Many times, I have drafted programmes for many events. Planning and executing events is my thing. If you like call it show off, Hahaha!. But at this point, I am telling you to hire me to work with you on your event or your organisation’s. Or consider recommending me to other people.
And yes, should I say this one?
Okay. fine. I will just say it.
Please, on this my ‘let-us-work-together-put-together-an-event’ thing, I cannot come and start managing indiscipline, inconsistencies, wastage and their many many big brothers, sisters, cousins and all. Pity me, I have my own children. And, it is their right to behave like children. They are, after all, children.
If you have ideas, talents or have the connection, or you are resourceful, or you are a resource, or you simply have the mind to do something good, whatever you have or you can provide. Where are you oh!!!!!!? Reach out to me please. The fire burns for me to do something this year but I know that I am also reluctant to carry it through, -not lazy, but reluctant.
Now then, should you be interested; here is how to reach me for all the other relevant juicy details that I am not sharing here. Via email is firstname.lastname@example.org and via twitter is @gladysdurojaiye.
I am hoping that we can together make this happen for ourselves and especially for some young girls somewhere.
You never know how far reaching an impact you make can go.
Let's meet here again,
*I prefer not to mention the full names of the director. Her initials used in this blog post are from her real names though.
P.s: IWD is celebrated every 8th of March.
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