I was in a lecture on Gender issues a few days ago; we broke out into smaller groups and had a series of discussions. One of it had to do with the expectations of both the Man and the Woman in different countries. It was quite an interesting session with lots of debates; some people said culturally the woman should stay at home and take care of the children and even if she has to work, it has to be flexible enough. Well some women in Nigeria are doing just that. I wrote a post a while ago on an OXFAM Nigeria project which was aimed at empowering women through Agriculture, the entire details can be found in the post HERE.
The Female Food Hero Award 2014 held last week in Lagos; It was a weeklong activity with all the 12 finalists. They had some training from various captains of industry, from daily morning exercises to keep fit, health checks complimentary of the Livewell initiative who served as sponsors of the event. The women learnt the importance of stress management and the need to rest always (as most of them tend to work throughout the day without giving attention to their well being). They also had the opportunity to go out on an excursion to a soap factory (Dudu Osun makers) and a fishery farm. This was done to give them an insight on how to start fishery and the procedure the products they farm are being processed such as the use of shea butter in the making of soap and body cream plus.
The finalists also had the privilege of learning from experience from the past FFH’s Gloria Caleb(2013) and and Susan Godwin(1st FFH 2012). They also had the chance to compete in groups on a cooking competition and also had time to play games for leisure. At the end of the competition three (3) winners emerged. Below is a brief introduction of them
- 1st Place Mrs Marian Balafama Buhari : – A resident of Ilorin, Kwara State. She is married with five (5) children. Her occupation is Farming; maize, cassava, melon, tomato, cucumber, cabbage and fish.
- 2nd Place Mrs Monica Joshua Maigari : – A resident of Madakiya, Kaduna State. She is married with four (4) children. Her occupation is Teaching, Farming of maize, soybean, guinea corn, rice, broilers, layers and goat.
- 3rd Place Mrs Chinasa Earnestina Asonye : – A resident of Ikorodu, Lagos State. She is married with three (3) children. Her occupation is Farming; rice cultivation and processing, cat fish.
The FFH initiative which was born in 2012 is aimed at recognising and celebrating small scale women farmers whom have been tagged in Nigeria as Ogbonge Woman, the pidgin translation for FFH which signifies a strong, industrious and dependable woman. FFH seeks to use innovative communication tools to campaign for a shift in the way decision makers and the public view women farmers and farming. First runner up, Monica J. Maigari described the one week stay as most rewarding; as they gained a lot from the experience, also in getting to know some other farmers from other geopolitical zones and learning some skill from them. Kudos to all the participants and the winners.