Veteran Nollywood actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde has urged Africans to stand up and avoid playing the second wheel to Western Countries in all fields of endeavors.
She spoke in an interview with Doreen Avio at the Women of Valour event, organized by award-winning journalist, Nana Aba Anamoah, to bring resilient and zealous women to share their experiences and feats to encourage the younger generation. The event which came off on March 7, 2023, saw UN International Elections Commissioner and former Electoral Commission Chairperson Charlotte Osei, Ghanaian entrepreneur Eugenia Baffour Bankoh and business executive and communication professional, Obuobia Darko-Opoku among others tell their stories under the theme “Untold stories of courage”.
According to Omotola, Africans should not settle for less but rather up the standards to create a competitive and thriving space for themselves in the world.
“We are not trying to be mediocre; we don’t want to be pitied because we are Africans…. We want to earn our place, we want to show that we are storytellers, we want to show that we are intelligent and as good as every other industry in the world and the time is now.”
Omotola also urged society to respect women and appreciate them for their good work and every quota they contribute to ensure development in the society. She advised women to not be intimidated by derogatory remarks made about their progress.
“A lot of women do not understand their strength because a lot of people continue to beat them down.
Women must be respected for the hard work they bring to the table and let her get what is due for what she does. I implore a lot of women to stop being embarrassed by it, there is no strong woman that has not been called names,” she noted.
Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, popularly known as ‘Omo Sexy’ has used her platform as an actress to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment in Nigeria. In 2005, she founded the Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme, which aims to empower young people, especially girls, through education, skills training, and mentorship.
She has also involved in several initiatives to promote gender equality in Nigeria. In 2013, she became a United Nations WFP Ambassador, where she supports the organization’s efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, especially among women and children. She has also been involved in several campaigns to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault in Nigeria.
Story by: Fafa Melody Kportufe | univers.ug.edu.gh