Growing up as a girl child to me was sweet and soar. I grew up as the 5th and last girl amidst 6 children and was a senior to the remaining desired five boys of the family. It was really not easy to suffer rejections in your own family just because of the position of your birth not because of any fault of yours.
As a little girl growing up, I was tiny and portable, very obedient, cheerful, humorous, smart, friendly, etc. I was loved by virtually everybody I can think of from our extended family members and beyond. Majority of them gave me pet names. They always wanted me around them than other little girls of my age. I was mostly loved by women traders who claimed that I always bring good luck to them whenever I greet them in the morning before they go to market. Every market day, before they carried their wares to market, they would call me and asked me to touch their goods and wish them well, they believed and trusted that my touching their wares and wishing them well, brought fortune to them. As they carried their goods, with my tiny voice I will echo, "longwa ooo", "owuwa gbara gi ooo", meaning, "good bye ooo", may you have good luck ooo" and they would respond, "ooooo". With these wishes they confidently departed for the market. They would indeed sell their goods well and in good times too. That prompted their buying things for me as they happily came back home. This happened every four and eight market days of my community. On that aspect of my growing up, I was a desired happy girl, full of confidence and hope, full of love.
Back home, I am the last girl, who came when even my father was tired of having a girl child, that he abandoned my mother and I in the hospital on hearing that she had a female child again. Growing up as a girl, I saw myself an elder to a younger boy child. The boy was most preferred and whatever he did was taken in good faith, but as for me any slightest thing I did attracted either serious scolding or beating. I was not allowed a free hand growing up. My younger brother was always looking and talking down on me and he would be supported. I dared not lay hands on him, otherwise it would be very hot on me. In fact, his preference over me was so glaring. Sometimes I would ask myself if I were born of the family or was adopted. That was the situation till it was time to start secondary school.
Luckily for me I made the best result in my school that year for the common entrance examination into secondary school. Within me and all over me I was full of joy and happiness, having made it to secondary school, hardly did I know that I would be treated as a girl child again. I was asked to abandon secondary school and my best result to a Commercial School as a 'Day Student' (lower carder), while my younger brother was sent to a Missionary Secondary School as a 'Burden Student', (very high standard). I sobbed and cried so bitterly for days, yet to no avail. I picked myself up again and consoled myself, I said, 'I know will be a great woman in this life'. While in the commercial school, I was the best student all through. After the commercial school, as they were preparing my younger brother for University, without any attention to me, with the support of my mother, I left for my uncle's house. From my uncle's house, I left for the city where I got job that enabled me to attend a Federal Polytechnic where I merited Upper Credit in Higher National Diploma (HND). Today, by the grace of God, I am happy I am a graduate like every other person in my family. I am aspiring for my Masters Degree. I know I can make it one day. Being a girl child, immediate elder to a boy child, can never be a barrier to my progress.
In my passion I have been identifying with those rejected women in my community. Encouraging them, making them build confidence in themselves, inspiring hope and determination in them. Those that needed shelter, I went all out sensitized people who joined me and provided shelter for them. We provided them with clothing, food and other needs. Those that need education, I encourage them to forge ahead without despair, and sometimes give financial support. I will need supporters so as to enable me continue the care for these women.
I am hopeful when I see young girls in my life today especially those of them that are focused, determined, and confident in themselves. I encourage them to see themselves capable of being whom they think they can be without minding the distractions on their ways. They should not allow the partial treatment given to the male counterparts to discourage them rather it be a ladder they should climb to attain higher in their carriers. Let them aspire higher and be self motivated, definitely they will succeed and together we will change the world for good.