I recalled my paternal grandmother's saying that if you had seven female children, you had not given birth to any child. And my mother had eight of us. Thus in her own case she had only one child because she could only give birth to just one son. I could also recall seeing my mother so depressed in those days as people laughed at her because her case is not the preferred one in a marriage where the other women are the ' boys borners". She was certainly not the favourite wife. So my mother had to work hard on her girls by encouraging us as her children, mothers and friends. It was in the early 1980s when must girls drop out of school because of teenage pregnancy. “Your education should be uppermost in your minds" she would say! Each day we are been reminded that very soon, you would all become pregnant and fall by the wayside. The miracle today is that we are the ones feeding the men in the family because all the seven daughters are made. My younger sister is a medical consultant in the Teaching Hospital, the other one is about backing a PHD in Biochemistry. Also, one has an MPA, and the youngest of these girls is working on a master’s degree in Manchester University. I am a lecturer in the university and will be starting a PHD programme next year. There is no one of us that dropped out of school or eloped with a man. We all did our mother proud. My mother confessed that if there is a second life after this one, she would like to have us as her children all over again!

I looked back at the stress and pains of those days and I know it’s a miracle indeed!

Gerty Nnamso. Lagos, Nigeria.

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Thank you so much for encouraging mother of girls like me....... This is a story my family members must read!

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre 512 Road F Close Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria https:

Thank you for finding encouragement in my life's story. You have bundles of joy in your girls. They will do you proud.

Thanks for your comment.

Gerty Nnamso

thanks for sharing your story...Im an Indian and in India too such nonsense is taught to the mothers of girl children......and just like in your case, most daughters turn out to be better than the men of the family!

Thank you for your comment. The girl child needs alot of determination to suceed in Africa.With education the confidence is built and the zeal to forge ahead becomes paramount.

God bless you.

Gerty Nnamso

Gerty, you, your sisters, and especially your mother are such wonderful examples of strong, empowered women. Your value for education should be celebrated, as you have certainly proved your grandmother wrong and made your mother so very proud by being able to provide for your family. Thank you for sharing your story!

When a woman talks in Nigeria, she is often interrupted to keep quiet because her voice is not suppose to be heard. Keep quiet who is that talking? dont you know that you are a woman! is often the response that greets the woman whenever she is to air her feelings about the issue that concerns her and her children. I remember an incidence my female lecturer once recounted in class about how the family travelled home during the Christmas holiday and the entire male family member gathered in a meeting to dicuss how the family landed properties were to be shared among her children and their cousins.She insisted that she must attend the meeting because the issues to be discussed concerns her children and as such the decisions to be taken affects her as well. But the family declined despite her level of education.Being a professor in the university did not even gualify her to participate in the meeting.Butshe was bent on disrupting that meeting if not for the intervention of the other women who pleadwd with her to please allow peace to reign. Thus must African women have accepted the fate of not being heard and some have even given up hope of trying to convince the men to listen. After an hour or so, her action led to the family calling on all the other women to attend the meeting.Women should continually stand up and resist the the oppression from the male counterparts.Let us stand up with one force and together say no to gender inequality. We have suffered for so long. Many parents still trade the girl child's education to pay for the boys. The girl child is given into early marriage just to raise fund to send the boys to school who they say will bear their name forever. This is injustice done to the woman.If a woman who has attained the higest academic standard can be so treated, what happens to the naive, ignorant uneducated woman, who does not know her right from her left. All women must be given equal opportunity to access education because this is the only way to enhance the voice of the woman. No wonder my professor was able to make that noise that led to the invitation of the other wives to attend the meeting that determines the future of their children.Woman, you need education for your voice to be heard.

Most parents give so much attention and preference to the male child that the boy begins to see the sister as inferior, while he is the superior and most cherished child.I went home to Benin some few years ago to collect my result in school.This time I was already marriad and expecting a baby. Some how I could not finish all that is required within one week and had to stay longer at home instead of travelling up and down. Since I was heavily Pregnant, I usually will sit outside to get enough fresh air. I got the shock of my life when one of my younger brothers walked dowm to me to say that since I came, I have been seating out to monitor his movement and that he wonders why iam around in the first place instead of being with my husband and that I should rememberthat I no longer belong to this family. This is a common picture in Nigeria and you see most girls grow up to believe that the only thing they are good for is marriage. Some of them do not even see any reason why they should take their studies seriously. I have four children with one girl and I ensure that my boys partakes in all form of domenstic chores including washing of dishes and sweeping the floor. These they take turn to do with my daughter. No child is more special than the other. Once the woman is educationally empowered, she has been given a voice, we will continue to sound it and blow our trumpet and the more educated we are in number, the more we will shout until we will make our impact felt.

Dear Gerty,

Your story is a testament to the true miracle of a mother's love! And of the great things that children can do (daughters and sons alike) when we are buoyed by that love.

Thank you for sharing,


resolved this year to think twice and to smile twice before doing anything

Thank you Kati. There is somuch indeed that children can do if given the right direction and encouragement. I appreciate your comment, thanks alot.