Welcome to another fabulous episode of Unclassified Woman. Today I’m delighted to share my conversation with Adebisi Adewusi, based in Nigeria.
How much courage does it take to REALLY go against what society deems the norm? As far as women’s rights and feminism have come, we sometimes forget that there are places in the world where women don’t have independence and are truly stigmatised for making ‘unusual’ choices. Today’s show is about someone who walks her own path and shares her own truth with immense courage.
What was even more humbling is how modest she is about her choices. I truly hope you enjoy today’s conversation with the inspiring Adebisi.
Adebisi Adewusi of Nigeria is a rockstar photographer, writer, and content consultant from startups in Israel to multi-million dollar companies in America. She’s helped various companies across the world improve their content strategy and marketing. Besides helping businesses succeed, Adebisi uses her skills to bust myths about women and bring issues that African women face to the forefront.
Through her writing, she explores issues connected to feminism, gender, and other topics with strong social and political context. Adebisi’s written about child marriage in Uganda, ending sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, gender stereotypes at work, and other spaces. She’s been featured on numerous international platforms, including the Huffington Post, She Thinks, BBC’s Why Factor, African Feminism, and many others.
Adebisi also runs a gender advocacy blog, The Female Orator, where she educates non-profits on how to get funding and interviews subject experts in the non-profit sector. She’s a feminist raised by women who climbed trees and spoke their minds when it wasn’t fashionable to do so. Adebisi’s feminism is shaped by the past and sustained by the present.
“African tradition teaches that if someone doesn’t have a lineage to pass on then their life has no meaning or purpose.”
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- How Adebisi made the choice to be a writer and do her work–without being a mother.
Adebisi’s path is VERY unusual for a Nigerian woman and some of her family think it’s odd to not have children.
- Breaking through traditional boundaries and creating her own path–and being at peace with it.
- How she handled the topic of children with her boyfriend, who was fine with the decision (even though men are expected to pass on their lineage).
- How African society’s attitudes dictate that marriage and having children is normal and not having them is not.
- How people believe that a childless women may be a witch.
- The connection between religion and African tradition in having children.
- If you speak openly about not wanting a child, people just assume you must be crazy. It is just not acceptable.
- Not having children is taboo and like placing a curse on yourself.
- The pressure for women of colour compared to a white woman–”It’s a grievous offence.”
- Being a role model for other young African women.
- Women in African culture are bound to the husband to do what he wants, so it takes an open-minded man to be OK with not having children.
- Adebisi is from an open-minded, educated family who understand her choices.
- Women who can’t have children will even buy them on the black market to avoid the stigma of being childless. Even though this is officially illegal, the buying and selling of babies happens more frequently than many realise.
- Adebisi is a strong voice who writes what she wants to, even about taboo topics, and she doesn’t care what other people think.
- How Adebisi is fulfilled by her writing, mentoring young women, and telling stories through photography.
Adebisi’s words of encouragement: “It’s OK not to have children and to make choices about your own body. It doesn’t make you less of a woman. You can nurture other people and there are other women who will support you on your journey. It’s also important financially support yourself, so you are not dependent on a man and can make your own decisions.”
Find about more about Adebisi and her work here
Find her on Twitter: @biswag
Email Adebisi: firstname.lastname@example.org
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