“I believe the Chibok Girls will return” -Bukky Shonibare, Team Strategist #BBOG
She is a management consultant and the CEO of 555 consulting Limited; the founder of Adopt-A-Camp and the school of human resource management. She also lectures at the Pan Atlantic University, Abuja. She is a member of the working group on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) resolution 1325 with the United Nations office for west Africa and is affiliated with ECOWAS, UNOWA, AU and the world Bank Group. She is also a member of the strategic team of the #BringBackOurGirls movement.
Who is this woman, you might ask? She is Bukky Shonibare, and WeldoneAfrica was readily available to drive a conversation around Women’s Relentlessness on its third episode of the WeldoneAfrica Tweetchat. This also served as a commemoration of the International Women’s Day 2016.
Having joined the chat from Ethiopia, Bukky Shonibare addressed intricate issues about the abducted girls which she is also a key driver in the campaign for their return, and when Weldoneafrica asked her if she thinks the Chibok Girls are victims of the abductors or of a nation that failed them, she responded by saying that the girls are victims of a country that gives room for such acts of abduction.
She further expanded by quoting the constitutional provision of protection of lives being primary by the government and the nation failed the girls in that aspect.
WeldoneAfrica proceeded to ask about the motivation behind her undying passion to keep the #BringBackOurGirls movement going and she spoke about being driven by four main factors: first, she spoke about her humanity, and she said and I quote “Injury to one is injury to all”, basing this on her belief in the SouthAfrican maxim, ‘Ubuntu’.
Second, she based her drive on her personal experiences on the basis of abuse – emotional, psychological and sexual; third, she described herself as a mother of two girls (one biological and the other adopted) and fourth, she hammered on her quest to ensure that her children, and all Nigerian children live in a society devoid of fear and not having to choose between seeking education and staying alive.
Bukky Shonibare daily uploads images of herself on social media carrying placards that has the accurate writings of the number days these young Chibok schoolgirls has been missing. WeldoneAfrica then asked about her opinion on the military and their effectiveness on curbing insurgency in northern Nigeria. Her response was quite positive.
Juggling being a mother, a CEO, a consultant to tens of organizations, a lecturer, a businessperson and an activist, WeldoneAfrica was curious to know how she manages all these aspects of her life and she told us about the support, encouragement and assistance she gets from her family, particularly her children.
Also discussing some challenges she has faced in the course of keeping the movement going, she discussed three challenges; first, being the disparity in the way we, as a people, view the abduction of the Chibok Girls, as some believe no abduction took place in the first place which makes collective and solitary support of a large majority difficult to obtain; second bothers on the motive, as some believe advocating is believed to be for an interest as she still gets attacks that her standing for the Chibok girls movement is in anticipation for position, money or fame; third, that expectation has stretched with no result and some have moved on because of this.
Bukky Shonibare was patient to give a detailed response when we asked about the way women are treated in Africa. “It’s hard to find a family system where the man fully backs, supports and assists his woman without being threatened and intimidated”, states Bukky, who also believes that an average woman who dares to be extraordinary suffers “reputational stigmatization” from most societies.
To wrap things up, WeldoneAfrica asked if she sincerely believes the girls will return. Her response was as expected, “It is hard for anyone to believe the Chibok girls can still return considering time and changing dynamics, but she relies on three factors; current situation, past examples and the God factor.”
The one-hour long chat with Bukky Shonibare was expository and fact-filled, and as usual, WeldoneAfrica promises more in the coming episodes of WAVI.
Happy International Women’s Day 2016.