We can learn a lot from the Aba Women Revolt. I will try to point out some of them. The first thing I can pick out from the story of these amazing women is that we must not compare ourselves with others. If we do this, we limit ourselves may never be able to fully realise our full potentials. The truth is that though we may even feel we have achieved much because we have matched up to the accomplishments of other people, we may never realise that we could have done more if we looked inside ourselves. I believe every individual is unique and we should not measure our capacity based on what others have done, instead we should measure our capacity against the resources on the inside of us. We are not bound to fail because others before us or around us failed. These women could have compared themselves to the men who had accepted the tax system and concluded that the policy could not be changed. Thank God they didn’t. Instead, these refused to back down. They teamed up and fought the system until it changed to favour them.
Like them, we must not give up until we achieve the things we desire. Nothing good comes easy, as clichéd as that is it is true. These women were willing to risk arrest and some even lost their lives. We must ask ourselves “What are we willing to give up to get what we want?”
These lessons are crucial for Nigeria right now. We have gotten to a point of hopelessness as a people. We say things like--- “well this is the way things have always been” ,"our leaders are all the same” or “this country cannot change” . Things can be really depressing in this nation and o yes many efforts made to change Nigeria for good have not yielded the desired results. However, we must keep in mind that although many things that have been done did not work, it does not mean there is nothing that can be done that would work. We must also be ready to pay the price for the future that we want. That is one area where I think Nigerians pull back. We are not willing to risk anything for the future of the nation. If we don’t risk anything, the vicious cycle of bad governance continues.... something has to give, more on this later.
The next post will be about a similar revolt, this time in Abeokuta, again we will learn about amazing women standing up for their rights.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to International Women's Day 2010: Women Can Build the Bridges of Social Change.