Category: Business & Politics
In most medical schools in Nigeria, there is a common saying, that girls make the better students and boys the better doctors. As sexist as this statement seems, it is the reality for most.The cultural landscape of the country often limits women from reaching the peak of their careers. The average Nigerian woman, albeit educated, is expected to prepare for family and place the needs of the family ahead of hers. This extra pressure to be the main carer in the family, to cater to her husband and children impacts her opportunity to pursue her career and hone her skills. Although, some women manage to balance this cultural pressure with their educational and career goals it is an obstacle for many.
Can you picture a life constantly thinking about what to wear out in public? Not because you’re obsessed with looking trendy but because your outfit might invite unsolicited catcalling or being followed by strangers? Or a life where you cannot take a jog outside during the day with your phone listening to music – god forbid you’re wearing tights and a crop top. Or how about going to a seemingly safe place like a post office? You can’t possibly get killed in a post office, right? Our president called the Gender Based Violence crisis in South Africa a second pandemic. He’s not wrong. If only our crisis was as simple as taking a vaccine and being free of this constant paralyzing fear. Let me paint you a picture of the last few years in SA.
When it comes to workplace diversity and inclusion, we need to cut the ‘Well I have a daughter and I want her see herself on our Board someday’ or the ‘I want to raise my son to see women at the same table that he is’ clichés. Typically these foreshadow an emotional segment with ‘insert platitudes about general compassion’ and some cherry picked anecdotes for a feel-good, pat on the back. This often comes from a good place, and in some cases the first time people have truly considered diversity is when it was going to hit their loved ones. But what is there, above a moral duty for equality, to actually makes a candidate feel like their diversity actually benefits the bottom line… because it does.
On Tuesday 16th March 2021 UK Parliament saw a bill pass it’s second reading, extending the power of the police and criminalising the act of protest. This reaction against public protest is not isolated to the UK. In a global context this is just one step amongst many, and serves to disempower the populace by removing their right to raise red flags on injustices they face. The context in which these changes come is harrowing, with governments twisting topical narratives to ostensibly validate their actions. In this we can see a growing trend to be found between people calling out for change, and governments trying harder to not be able to listen.
Black Business: Award Winning Fund Manager Justin Onuekwusi talks about getting into the Finance industry and the importance of diversity.
Justin is an award winning Fund Manager in the investment and savings industry for Legal and General Investment Management. He is also the co-founder of the cutting edge #TalkAboutBlack which aims encourage greater representation of black leaders in Financial Services. By normalising conversations about ethnicity and race, #TalkaboutBlack has become one of the strongest movements in professional services in the UK.
118 women. That’s the number of names read out on International Women’s Day. The number of women killed last year and the reality of women’s safety and gender based violence in the UK. There are many things that made Sarah’s case above so many of those named stand out. Her race? Her class? Her education? An amalgamation of all these factors most likely but for now I want to address that number.Why? Because the cases of Sarah and Nicole and Bibaa are outliers. They were killed by strangers, and though like many women, I have been harrassed on the streets and women’s safety in public spaces is a genuine concern, that isn’t where the biggest danger lies.
Bami is the founder of Twerk After Work a fitness company that offers a wide range of twerking classes, from twerk after work- fitting fun and fitness around the average 9-5, to classes that teach twerk technique (great for women like me who resemble a chicken when they attempt to get down), and self love and confidence boosting twerk classes. It’s clear that feeling confident and empowered is at the heart of Bami’s business. Which is Dope Black Thought wanted to sit down with her for an interview. Bam Bam Boogie isn’t just a series of fun fitness classes, it’s a successful business, one that has not only survived the Covid pandemic but thrived. After all, Bami is a shrewd business woman, landing a job at Google as a Digital Marketing Specialist straight out of graduating university, before using her position there as springboard to her new role as a successful entrepreneur.
I decided to try and tackle the term blackness in South Africa in my first contribution for Dope Black Thought because its much more complex here than elsewhere in the world. To start, I am a coloured woman and colouredness is an identity of blackness in South Africa…
Since the murder of George Floyd, conversations around antiracism and what it means to be an ally have reached an all-time high.
As is so often the case in our fast-paced and social media driven society, people are and were quick to catch on to terms and make them ‘trendy’. ‘Allyship’ has certainly been tweeted and shared more in the last year than ever before.
But what does ‘being an ally’ really mean? What does ‘being an ally’ have to do with doing the work of antiracism, unravelling our bias and elevating marginalised voices?