The NYSC: An Outdated Scheme failing Nigeria’s Youth

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was established during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon in 1973 – three years after the Nigerian Civil War. The programme enlists about 300000 graduates in two batches every year. It aimed to reconcile and rebuild the country after the civil war, bridge ethnic and religious divisions in the country and foster the spirit of nationalism. Participation in this one-year scheme is mandatory for all graduates of tertiary institutions with the age capp

‘It’s Painful What's Going On’: The Doctors Battling COVID Without Being Paid

Nigeria has one of the lowest doctor to patient ratios in the world, with an estimated one doctor for every 2,755 people. A World Health Organisation study reported last year that Nigeria had one of the highest rates of COVID infection among health workers on the continent. With a hazard allowance of just NGN5,000 (£10) a month for healthcare workers, many have been unable to afford their own treatment, with some resorting to crowdfunding. “Nurses have not been paid in over four months in our c

Nigerian women at the forefront of protests over police brutality

Ever since protests calling for an end to police violence and justice for victims began sweeping Nigeria, women have been helping organise and fundraise the movement. Thousands of people have been taking to the streets of Lagos over the past week to protest against police brutality – and Irianele Virtuous has always been there, always working behind the scenes. Her mission? To support her fellow demonstrators. “My focus is making sure people in these large gatherings don’t get dehydrated,” sa

The Gendered Nature of Mental Illness in Nigeria.

An estimated 20-30% of Nigeria’s 205 million-strong population currently lives with some form of mental illness; this pandemic is reported to affect six out of ten women. Depression and anxiety disorders are more common in women, occurring twice as often as they do in men. Postpartum depression and eating disorders are almost exclusively women’s health issues, yet there is an overwhelming lack of awareness of these conditions. Gender proves to be a critical determinant of health, influencing the

Afua Osei: The Motherland Mogul Training Future Black Female Entrepreneurs

Over the past decade, Africa has been leading the world in the rates of female entrepreneurship. According to page eight of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s 2016/2017 Women’s Entrepreneurship Report, participation is highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 37% in Senegal, as opposed to just 3% in European countries like Germany, Italy, and France. On the surface, these figures look promising, but when we assess the long-term outcomes of these businesses, we see a more gloomy picture. Tradition

#EveryDayFeminism Nigerian Feminist, Amarachi Nickabugu, Tweets a Misogynistic Law Every Day for Nearly a Year and Counting

Since the 23rd of May 2020, Nigerian law student Amarachi Nickabugu, has tweeted one law that discriminates against Women, compiling a mega-thread of (currently) 355 anti-Women legal restrictions. As we approach its first anniversary, we sit down with Nickabugu to discover why there’s no clear end in sight. Known as @cannonball on Twitter, Nickabugu, says her foray into feminism was influenced by personal experiences and conversations with her sister. Like many young feminists in Nigeria, Chima

#BringBackOurGirls, #SayHerName, and the Limits of Social Media Activism

On Tuesday, the 15th of April, 2014, Nigeria awakened to the news that 276 girls had been kidnapped from their secondary school in Chibok, Benue State, by the terrorist group Boko Haram. The organisation started its insurgency in 2009, attacking police offices and government buildings, ransacking villages, and abducting people in many parts of northeast Nigeria. It wasn’t until the abduction of hundreds of innocent schoolgirls, however, that the nation and world alike were jolted into shock, lau

lnstagram Filters and Their Effect on Body Image

With US culture at the epicentre of contemporary globalisation, backed by an extensive history of Western imperialism across the world, Eurocentrism has shaped our perceptions of beauty in every crevice of the globe. Lightening and bleaching creams are very common in African and Asian countries, with about 40% of African women using them. Beauty products ads in Africa often make use of white and fair skinned models even though the target audience is predominantly dark skinned. The Eurocentric id

I Became a Literary Arts Activist in Ilorin

In 2018, I went all the way from Ilorin to Lagos—almost 300km—to attend an open mic event. I had only an inkling of what to expect; I’d gone on an impulse, largely to escape the hole of sadness that had engulfed me in my toughest year in medical school. In journeying into the bustling city of Lagos, I passed the ancient town of Oyo, and even Ibadan, the town where my parents lived, without a stop. My parents, God bless their souls, had no idea I was traveling, nor of my depression. In fact, only

The Decree | Mariam Adetona

This has been the prevailing question in my life ever since I wrote the common entrance exam. My parents asked it, over dinner of ‘Lafun and Gbegiri, my mother’s eyes peering into mine as if to will out the answer that would set the course for their future actions. ‘Are you sure he didn’t?’, my sister asked over the phone when she got the news of his lynching. Even Zainab – the girl who sat next to me in class – did when I went to school for my results. It was almost like this singular question