Permission to bleed happily

Happy to Bleed is a slogan I came across today, originated from India as a way to challenge deep-rooted myths about women.

Sabarimala temple in Kerala is a famous Indian temple where women of reproductive age are not allowed to enter just because they might be on their period. The only way to preserve purity of the temple and the worshipers is the outright ban of women entering the temple. Hmnnn

The head of the temple Prayar Gopalakrihnan thought women can only be allowed to enter the temple if there is a machine to confirm their purity.

“These days there are machines that can scan bodies and check for weapons. There will be a day when a machine is invented to scan if it is the ‘right time’ for a woman to enter the temple. When that machine is invented, we will talk about letting women inside,” Prayar Gopalakrishnan

Kudos to the Indian women who decorated the internet with their colourful reactions to the misogyny.

Now that is what I called Feminism.

It is part of the same bigger problem.

Coming home to Nigeria. While from my part of the country women are not explicitly prevented to enter church or mosque when on period, similar attitude of shame, unclean is still attached to menstruation, hence it is a topic we seldom talk about in public even though half of the population is affected.

See the pattern – the more patriarchal a nation is, the less sensitive they tend to be to environmental sanitation and personal hygiene. No surprises there.

Take for example in Nigeria where the need to improve on public toilet facilities and environmental sanitation stare in our faces. To be clear, I see Nigeria from the perspective of the majority, issues affecting most of the citizens demand attention.

When we talk about lack of toilet in public places, focus is usually on faces and urine but the one that mostly affect women is left out because it is considered to be dirty topic not meant to be discussed openly. This is the same reason some public places with toilet facilities would not even think of the need for sanitary disposal.

An interesting article from 2012 by UNICEF Nigeria is very revealing of our attitude.

“The modified latrines for adolescent girls have been provided in 150 schools across the country.”

Reading this article poses more questions: Why do we need to have special toilets for adolescent girls in schools just because they are on their period? What happens to having only gender based toilet? And only 150 across the country? Oh well, at least they recognise the need for toilets serve other purposes than piss and shit.

Hard to see any reasoning in some of the decisions our government end up wasting money on. Schools should be a place where one goes to be enlightened but to further teach girls they must use separate toilet from their mates (girls) while on period is just awkward.

Being a Nigeria feminist should also be about demanding for simple luxury of life – permission to bleed with dignity. Workplace, religious places, schools etc to have facilities that can afford everyone a bit of privacy to tend to the most natural thing that affects half of the population.

Once again, thumb up for the initiator and the supporters of #HappytoBleed

Memory loss in ageing parents

The story of Mr Rahmon Lawal is a reminder that we will all grow old one day, but for some people it comes with heavy price of dementia.

Mr Lawal went to mosque on the evening of 24th November and failed to return home. He is 76 years old suffering from memory loss, the family are aware of his condition and are said to be helping him cope. They are still searching for him around Egbeda, Lagos with his photos printed so people can help in the search.

I hope Mr Lawal is reunited with his family soon.

It is encouraging to read that Pa Lawal’s children knew about their father’s disease especially in a society such as ours that understanding of dementia in elderly is not a common knowledge.

I dare say, Pa Lawal is lucky to be a man, at least the chance of finding him in one piece is higher than if she were to be a woman.

Twice last year alone, two old woman were stripped naked, both in Lagos.  One was half burnt by ignorant crowd, the other must have been in her 80s but was lucky as children showed up just in time – both were accused of being in witchcraft flying in broad day light simply because they looked old and could not recollect anything traceable about their lives.

Stupidity of humanity is indeed infinite.

On a more positive note, I found out that there was a recent event in Ibadan whereby Memory Cafe promoting dementia awareness was lunched. Not that Nigerians are new to Alzheimer’s patients, it is just that we have always associated it with something completely unrelated.

The hope is that the message will keep spreading to educate more people on the need to be more understanding to elder folks suffering from memory loss.

Getting more interesting, I also found out about Rossetti Care home in Ibadan where elderly people can be looked after especially for those who need extra hand coping with day to day activities. I thought this is a step forward at least a good choice for children who are away from home and could afford to put their elderly where they will be looked after.

I really do hope that Pa Lawal’s family is able to locate him in the end.

It is comforting to know that despite the resistance to change from old beliefs, folks are learning the reality that sometimes come with growing old, the more we understand, the kinder our world will be.

Letting go of fear means freedom

I am most happy when I read true stories that we are supposed to be too ashamed or too anxious to share.

Reading Sugarbelly’s story on how she was gang raped was the most fascinating story I have read in a while. Emotions running all over the place from folks but the only thing I feel was relief, I am happy that she shared her story of what she had being through. It doesn’t matter how many ways you flipped it, rape of any kind should be condemned, it is devastating to the victims and most depressingly is that victims are supposed to keep the secret with them for as long as they live.

Sugarbelly rape story goes that she was raped by someone she had a relationship with and from there escalated to gang rape whereby her body became come and chop your own for a group.

Why did she not sort help? She tells the story better here. Victims of rape in Nigeria don’t get justice so if you were gang raped, you are on your own. Sad but true.

I wrote about my friend’s sister here a while ago, who was humiliated at the school assembly after 5 boys from her school ganged up on her. She had to leave the school after the incidence and the five boys stayed at the school to finish. Most people of my age do not remember any of these boys’ names today but we remember the victim as she was  shameful one.

Another example here is a recent rape case at LAUTECH whereby students were raped overnight. Here’s what one of the victims had to say:

“They cramped all of us in one of the rooms upstairs and we were all frightened. My parents are not yet aware of this incident and I don’t wish to share it with anyone again. I only agreed to speak to you because my friend here encouraged me to and I feel something should be done by the authorities concerned to stop this barbarism. I know I’ll be fine soon.”

A friend at LAUTECH said to date, nothing has been done to fish out the rapists.

What makes Sugarbelly gang rape case special? History has to be made from one person who is courageous enough to lay bare for others to get a glimpse into how damaging rape is to the victims.

Why is it so difficult to talk about rape in Nigeria?

We have long history of celebrated rape, it is called Àgbaàgbá meaning to kidnap women against their will purposely to marry. This happens when a woman strongly opposes to idea of going out with a certain suitor. The idea behind Àgbaàgbá was that once the forced union is consummated, then it is shameful for the woman not to agree to stay in the union she loathed.

Àgbaàgbá was rape. It is obsolete practice now. Now we know better. People have devised civilised ways of communicating their interests to one another.

However, what has not changed is the way in which perpetrators still get the pat in the back as back in the day with no iota of guilt.

We may have countless number of laws against rape but it’s no use if enforcement is nil.

We all should be Sugarbelly. As a woman, support to put end to gender based crime is important not only because rape is a criminal offence, it is also one of the contributing factors for how women in our society are disrespected for their opinions.

Should we not hear the other side before rallying support for Sugarbelly? That is the job of our judiciary. To investigate.

Knowing my dear country nothing ever comes out high profile crime but I am a believer that change can happen, maybe this time women can see this case for what it is – gender based crime that should bother all of us.

Orange the world

I like orange colour, it is one of my favourite colours to wear. And more importantly is that the colour is a slogan used to raise awareness about gender based violence. While women all around the world are more likely to suffer from physical violence than male counterparts, what is also true is that countries where physical violence is used to settle any disagreement are at higher risk. I may not have data to prove it but our streets give some clue.

Just out of secondary school, my best friend and I went to a small town 30miles away from our town to retake some WAEC papers. With us were two boys we knew from home. They were in town ahead of us and were very nice during our first week in town, also helpful as we searched for a room to rent.

Few months down the line, one day we were all together having lunch, my friend and I teased the boys about their lifestyle specifically on them having girlfriends. My friend and I were 18 and the boys were 20 and 21. No one makes us the police of them but it was fun teasing them doing things they would not dare do at home.

One of the guys loved the tease so told more stories so to give us more to talk about. The other guy who I later realised was trying hard to make good impression with a popular girl in school was way too serious, so got offended by our tease so we stopped.

The day after the event on our way to school, he joined us to talk about what happened the previous day, he was particularly offended by what my friend had said about his girlfriend. Nothing that makes sense but for a 21 year old in love, it means the world even though the girl was not there, one thing led to another, he slapped my friend twice across the face, it hurts so bad that *Florence screamed loudly.

We did not fight back, they continued their journey to school while my friend and I made a U-turn back to our room.

How did my friend and I make the boy pay?

Across Florence face were thick finger prints, so we decided to go back to our town since there is really no one to talk to about this. Also since the incidence happened outside of the school compound we were not confident the school would take us seriously.

By the time we got to town, Florence’s parents were not at home neither were mine. In the end we turned to a neighbourhood doctor who we thought might listen and help – he did. My friend was given a bed to sleep at the clinic for the night while she was being looked after as a decent human being with hot food so the boy’s mother could have enough bill.

I went to the boys’ house to inform his mother that her son had a gift waiting for her at the local clinic.

I genuinely pitied the mother as I knew she was the only one raising 6 children, father works away at the time but I knew our boy friend must be thought a lesson – there is a better way to resolve conflict.

The embarrassment was more than the one night clinic bill, the real shame to the boy and his mother was that the quiet choir boy hits a friend where they went to study so much that the girl had to be hospitalised. Well, nobody bother to ask details of the clinic stay.

Out of the blue the few years ago, the boy of years ago called to say hello. It was a nice chat. Afterwards, I remembered the incidence – I was so pleased we made him pay, he’s likely going to remember before lifting hands on either his wife or neighbour.

It is never cool to raise hand on another person. Men who raised their hands on their wives or friends will never stop unless women stop feeling ashamed about it and find ways to shame the bully.

 

 

*Not her real name

Sexual abuse: When participants were minors

Baba Ijebu: What’s our policy on sexual abuse involving minors?

Me: It depends. If the perpetrators were older, jungle justice or a brief visit to police station followed by a bail, just like the case of these two toddler sisters

Here both participants were minors. Baba Ijebu heard the story from his househelp followed by a short video clip. As a father of a teenage boy, he felt compelled to share the story to other parents.

The little boy looked like 7 years old and the girl about 12 years old. The environment in which the film was shot looks like any of our city slums – buildings all crammed into tiny area with dark alley in the back. One could hear two adults chatting in the background – likely to be the one that took the video.

They did nothing to stop these children.

The scene was set as if the girl was going to give her little brother a shower but what happened was pretty much the fear of any parents – it was beyond believe. Sickening as it leaves nothing to imagination.

Me: What do you think will happen to these kids? I asked Baba Ijebu.

Neither of us knew answer to this but there is a likelihood that their parents had no idea of their mental state. Obviously something is wrong at home – beyond poverty.

So young, so broken.

How did these children even know so much? Are they siblings or neighbours? I asked Baba Ijebu.

He did not know what the relationship between these children were. My suspicion was that they are siblings. A family who could afford a preteen as househelp likely would have enough money to not to live in a slum.

There are many possible explanations for how these children got to this stage, one thing that I have witnessed and often point out to friends and family is the importance of age appropriate film especially when children are around. If a film says PG – it means just that and I tend to stick to it.

Also I realised getting hands on any film is very easy on our streets, they are mostly pirated and as cheap as 100 naira.  I once was at a newspaper stand in Lagos (it could have been anywhere) and was gobsmacked that I could easily pick up adult film – this is by the way on what one will assume a decent street.

Easy access to internet has broadened our knowledge immensely, but before the internet child sex abuse has been around, internet in my view can not be blamed for all.

While incest is frowned upon, it is hardly surprising given the way family settings are for most Nigerians. It is very common practice to have teenage children of mix genders sleeping in the same room, for some reason the assumption is that family relation is enough of a deterrent for teenagers to nurture any attraction, this is true but not for everyone.

My sister’s neighbour years ago was a man in his mid 40s. He had 3 wives and five children – Four grown adults and five children lived in a room and a parlour – things can not get insane than that.  The drama in this particular family is enough to keep anyone amused daily and yet their lives to them was okay as they lived in Lagos. After I left my sister said the last wife had one more child making 10 people in two rooms – toilet, bathroom, hallway are all communal.

I think we need some reality check here.

While the story of these children is sad, it is hard to see anything improve if we don’t talk about prevalence of incest caused by overcrowded family and possible damage to children.

On minister of education

Speaking of the new ministers, it is fascinating seeing how quickly we choose to forget just about anything. Many of the appointed ministers were criticised not for any other reasons than their paper qualifications in the area they were appointed to lead.

In the last decade alone, we have had many public officials with fine degrees from both Nigeria and all around the world, the only thing that is common across board is the ability to drain the nation of all its limited resources. I am sure there were competent handfuls that went in to do their jobs diligently but those were in the minority.

My favourite ministry for a long time is education, I have never understood what the job of a Minister of Education was and neither did I understand the job of the Commissioner for Education at the state level. Reason being that since I was in secondary school the most exciting news about schools from primary to tertiary levels had been about teachers’ salary or strike actions.

Is Mallam Adamu Adamu an Accountant turned journalist the best for the job of Minister of Education? I don’t know but given that since 1958, Nigeria has gone through 45 different ministers with different credentials befitting the office and yet same story, I don’t think Adamu Adamu can be any worse.

Several years ago, my boss took me along to visit someone he intended to partner with in town, the man was a medical doctor who was interested in investing in entrepreneurship. As we sat down talking, he called his daughter to get us some drinks, then introduced her, my boss and the man’s daughter exchanged greetings.

She turned out to be my mate in secondary school that I have not seen since our convocation seven years prior, we exchanged greetings and chatted a bit. She was still at Med School and I just finished College of Education and had started working.

On the way back my boss was surprised I knew the family. I told him I did not know them at all but the girl and I spent six years of our lives in the same secondary school.

This was not so long ago, it was not one of our grandparents stories. What was unique in our public schools in the mid 1980s was that wealthy and educated parents send their children to the same schools children of farmers and less well off – it was an incredible diverse mix of talents and class.

How did I managed to get into the same secondary school as children of the wealthy and university professors in town?

It started from primary school.

Trying to remember one thing that was different at the time and had eroded due to lack of funding or outright mismanagement of limited resources. I remember that in my first two years of school, our reading books were carefully selected and were given to each child at the beginning of the term to take home for homework, so children whose parents can not afford buy books are not left out, the books were returned at the end of the term.

The same primary school today despite the location on a busy main road has not seeing any maintenance in 30 years.

My secondary school was a formal missionary school and at the time still enjoys government maintenance funding and school developmental levy pent on intended purposes – that is what attracted children from varied background.

The same school today is a shell of its old self.

And yet we have always had departments for Ministry of Education at the federal level and Commissioners at the state levels.

Mallam Adamu Adamu is from NE where 52.4% male and 62.1% female are not educated. To put this into context SW has 11.6% Male and 17% female lacking basic education. 

What is obvious is that NE will be attracting lots of attention in all areas given Boko Haram presence, but the question we should be concerned with is how he is going to balance his official assignment to the nation so that the rest the country where public education had been neglected for decades get needed attention both from him and at the state levels.

Maybe rather than “hitting the ground running” the first assignment should be to make unannounced visits to random public schools to know the extent of rot he had to deal with.

 

Movement of the people

I listened to my cousin sharing what he knew about Pro – Biafra group. He is a dedicated audience of the group, very convincing in his reports, he didn’t have any particular opinion about the whole idea of Biafra separating from Nigeria but thought Nigeria government needs to pay attention and find a way to have dialogues with the aggrieved group.

Everyone has something they wished could be different but threatening with violence is not one of the ways to get it, not in Nigeria. From experience, the only losers are the same group of people whose family are going to be ‘sacrificed’ during the unrest so why not think about this vulnerable group before hand?

Can we even afford to have another war when the country is still struggling to contain Boko Haram?

Cousin was disappointed last week by the needless waste of lives. He thought the group was more ‘organised’ than that. I, on the  other hand was surprised he didn’t see that coming, how could anyone have such a massive controversial protest in a country like ours without anticipating things getting out of hand?

I found it is beneficial to learn from those who have gone through similar struggle for lessons on the likelihood of aftermaths. I received my copy of a graphic war book the other day, such a delightful read, tells  a story of war whereby ordinary citizens were thrown into state of despair. It was an easy read that puts things in perspective for those who think violence is the only answer to all of our grievances.

Below is an except from the book something that the group needs to be aware of because it is inevitable.

“How can a group that calls itself ‘the movement for the liberation of Congo’ burn down our schools, steal our medicine and attack our people?”  (Humphreys & Chikwanine, pg 33).

Schools that were burnt close to 20 years ago in Nigeria due to mindless crisis around the country are still there in their empty shells – it is the same story, the losers are always the ones with very little resources to begin with.

We more or less suffer the same fate across the country, what would be great is to have unshaken united front – best movement of the people (MOP) ever to fight social injustice together.

Thankfully, the government is paying attention now, something that should have happened two years ago, not too late I think, if only to stop another massacre of innocent people.

World shalanga day

I see this picture every time I walk through my hallway, it was taken at a beach a few years ago. Today, I took a closer look as if I was looking at it for the first time then it occurred to me that the problem of open defecation goes beyond the surface – to effectively deal with it, mindset has to change.

peeing in the seaHow can one explain a grown man peeing in the open with total disregard to people around him? I have seeing a grown man defecating same way at a Lagos beach with little left for imagination and a few minutes later brought some gigantic prawns for sale – all I could imagine was fresh poop in the guts of those prawns – I prefer not to have preconceived image of what might be so I declined.

Additionally, how can one explain a school with 600 pupils having 2 pit toilets to share between them? One can not be too quick to blame children defecating in the open as most likely teachers do the same thing. Teachers in such a school are comfortable with the state of toilet because that is definitely not the priority for the school otherwise they would have found a way to increase the number of toilets or at least keep the ones they have in good order – that goes for public primary school in Abuja, if that is the state of a school toilet in the federal capital, it tells a bigger story about others around the country. The newspaper says it was a shame, I call it enlightenment.

I have come to realise that some old habits can be harder to shift so for lack of toilet facilities in public places and homes, may be the best way to go about it in Nigeria is to have a rule that all must follow, we already have plenty of rules that aren’t enforced nor followed, we might as well add a beneficial one to the pile. For example say to have a toilet and wash hand basin for every 1 to 30 people, (number much lower in developed world) and enforced without exceptions. My preferred starting points no doubt would be places of worship, schools, markets etc. Who knows wishes may come true.

 

** Shalanga = toilet

Honest conversation on eroding culture

There was a time not long ago as early as the 80s that culture is still well celebrated especially in our small towns. I witnessed this in my town, most people who participated belonged to one religion or the other but yet there was a space to celebrate what we all had in common, the language, different art forms from dance, poetry to street festivals. I used to enjoy this before everything became skataskata. 

Beautiful masks became an idol, people go into frenzy of selling them out or destroyed outright. Oh well, great time to be alive and knowing there are lots of people out there bothered by this is pleasing.

 Ms Shoneyin’s interview here about the importance of culture sums it up for me. I particularly liked what she said in 3:30 in relations to how religion has affected Nigerians profoundly in the way that we see culture today.

“…with religion and how much it sort of permeated the Nigerian people for instance you find that everything that has to do with the indigenous culture is sort of put in the same dustbin that some would put all those fetish practices…”

Beaten to a pulp

One evening over dinner, when we often share stories about how the day had been. Yeye had news to share inspired by her friend at school. Her friend was curious about something she was told is common in African households, my daughter is the only one in the class of 18 children that remotely looked black so she is the perfect person to answer the question.

“Do your parents beat you?” the six years old *Curious Clara asked.

“I hope you told her the truth” I said.

“Yes, I did” Yeye responded.

“Great, did you remember to add the time I had to shove you down the chimney to clean it up because you asked for a second?” I joked.

Yeye gives a ‘stop the joke’ look

Because Yeye was as curious as Clara so she asked her friend the same question and wanted to know why Clara came about parents beating children of all questions.

Curious Clara has a nanny who is originally from somewhere in Africa, she was the one who told Clara how lucky she was to be born into her type of household where child abuse i.e beating is a no, no unlike black people who beat their children.

Clara’s nanny was not entirely wrong, I don’t get upset for this kind of generalisation anymore because it is something we brag about openly on TV drama as the way to impact discipline into children.

While Curious Clara believed Yeye’s side of the story, stories of child abuse is all over the internet now, how do we stop this if not from home?

The latest I read is about three-year old Peter whose parents out of the goodness of their heart (or not) let him live with his Aunty. Monday, Peter’s Aunty is said to have been married for 7 years but is yet to have a child of her own so made arrangement with Peter’s parents to look after him and in turn keep her company in Lagos.

This kind of arrangement is very common, many people in the city live with their relatives. There are lots of success stories whereby a relative from the village moved to the city or even out of the country to help out with childcare and household chores and in return Uncle/Aunty pays to take care the child’s primary needs and education.

Peter’s case  isn’t one of the successful stories, he was only 3 years old and his Aunty thinks he was pooping on himself so she is determined to beat Peter until the ‘spirit of pooping’ leaves him.

Here is what the DPO, Badmos Dolapo, Isokoko Police Division, had to say when she saw the scars on the toddler’s body:

“In all my years in the police force, I have never cried. But seeing the damage that had been done to this child, I could not hold back tears; I wept like a baby. She had been brutalised. We will not leave any stone unturned in this case,”

We can excuse Mrs Monday for not knowing that a three year old boy still needed help with potty training but what is certain is that she was once a child herself so where is the sensibility here?

It is promising that cases of child abuse is coming out in the open, and that people are encouraged to report extreme cases around them to the police. Maybe case such as this will push the government to do something about child abuse offences  in the way that children are protected in future.

 

*Not her real name

Ruling by force

If there’s one thing I would love to change about how parents or adults in care discipline children in Nigeria, it would be to stop beating. Adults inflicting physical pains on their children or students is sad and often not in the right proportion to offence committed.

Inflicting physical pains on children is something that comes up in conversations a lot when we talk about childhood memories. From my experience, often the reason for this needless act has little or no connection to why the child is beating mercilessly, it is just an avenue to vent unrelated frustration on anyone too young to fight back.

I don’t believe in corporal punishment as I have never learnt a thing as a result, the only reason I changed my behaviour was so I don’t get beating up again, I always thought that the adult who inflicted the pains is the one needing help.

What happened a few days ago in Lagos is one of the main reasons I disagree with adults transferring their frustrations to anyone they have authority over.  Mr Ajebughobi’s case is a perfect example but not uncommon. He was consumed with anger and beat his son leading the poor boy to have ruptured intestine.

What was the offence of a 13 year old Somtochukwu? He went to visit an aunty to collect his birthday gift, the problem here was that his father has instructed him against visiting this particular family member.

I know about our parents many instructions about a particular family member, often times no reason given to justify the warnings, we are just meant to listen and not question.

According to Somtochukwu: “When my daddy saw me with the slippers and knew she bought the slippers for me, he started beating me. He locked me up in a room and beat me. He kicked me in the stomach many times before he left me there.”

I have seen similar cases like these too many times and it is sad to do such a thing to a child you claim to love.

After the poor child ended up in the hospital, the doctor realised his was a case of child abuse.

Here’s what the father had to say to defend his action:

I did not expect he would be injured that much. What happened was a big mistake on my part. I blame myself for whatever has happened. He is very troublesome but I know nobody wants to hear that now.”

It is clear who the ‘troublesome’ fela is now.

If one had to get a child needing medical attending to show their dislike for a certain family member, then the problem is really not about discipline the child. There are better ways to talk to a child about not relating to someone parents disapproved of – how about giving him convincing reasons why he is not allowed to visit such a family member?

The case of corporal punishment is very common in our country, in homes, schools and anywhere where adults have upper hands. Many swear this is the only thing that lead them to being a disciplined adult, what they are not talking about is how this inappropriate transfer of anger to unconnected entity has contributed to decreasing mental health.

Glad to see the Child Rights Foundation responded favourably to Somtochukwu’s case. I hope he gets better soon.

As for Mr Ajebughobi, maybe one day there will be a law that punishes psycho parents.

Worthy trail

West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song exhibition at the British Library is on until Feb 2016. It is fascinating to learn about Nigeria, West Africa in connection to the rest of the black world especially during the slave trade. Also how since then culture fusion has evolved.

A section for Fela Kuti that shows an insight to his Christian upbringing and how being a choir boy inspired his music interest – important fact that is usually left out when talking about his legacy.

One of the most interesting parts of this exhibition I found was the recordings of Nanny of the Maroons.

On the wall was a short video clip showing how revered Queen Nanny was amongst her people. I thought it was interesting that people were prostrating for Queen Nanny when greeting her. In Yoruba it is the male that prostrate while female knee down to touch the floor when greeting elders.

Is this tradition from Ashanti region of Ghana where Queen Nanny was originally from? Or people decided to prostrate because of her amazing leadership skill that are sometimes attributed to only menfolk?

I was thinking about this when I heard giggle sounds behind me. A group of children were taking turns listening to the audio about different tales that were made up to decipher the secret behind Queen Nanny’s leadership success.

The audio was about how the Queen Nanny fought really hard to resist British invasion of her community. She was very wise and managed to strategically device ways to teach her people to disguise as well as set up rules to follow to avoid invaders. Her dedication contributed to preserving African culture and knowledge in today’s Jamaica.

The narrator ended by talking about how the British soldiers initially were confused about Queen Nanny’s ability to have resisted invasion for so long. One story was that the mystery of Queen Nanny’s courage was because she twerks during the battle so much so that her behind emitted bullets killing the soldiers – this was the part that got everyone laughing.

What an incredible way to get children learn about history? This group did not believe it is possible for any backside to shoot bullets, but it sure got them interested to learn more about Queen Nanny.

We now know through hand down oral narrative that Queen Nanny was a great leader with formidable courage – her legacy lives on.

Reading a bit more about Queen Nanny, I loved that Jamaican government  recognises her heroism, duly honoured with her portraits on the country $500 bill.