4th February 2023
  • 9:11 pm Through the Eyes of Ides Ofune – Women Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Motherhood and Higher Education
  • 11:32 am Meet the 2022 shortlisted authors for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing.
  • 5:13 am 6 African startups among World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2022 cohort
  • 1:01 pm Canadian Based NGO GoldenKes Foundation holds First Empowerment Program in Nigeria 
  • 5:38 am Meet the 6 Africans shortlisted for 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize
  • 7:49 am Facebook invests in fibre optic cables to improve internet access in Edo State
politics and life

One thing I find very interesting is political discussions. Now, I know some people may say politics is divisive and don’t like talking about it. In Nigeria, we say politics is too dirty. But politics is everything! Politics is what determines the kind of education available to your children, the type of jobs you work in and whether you are going to have freedom of speech or association. Politics affects our lives in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine. And if you are from a developing country, then it is even more critical that you get involved due to the lack of basic necessities. The question then is “can we really afford not to be interested or not participate in politics?”

How do we get people to be interested enough to participate? For example, how do we encourage people to vote during elections and make informed choices? How do we get people to participate in the policy decisions of government and not only during election period? If we don’t make a habit of getting involved, we risk leaving politics to charlatans who will end up destroying the country. However, getting involved must be constructive not negative and not just for the sake of it. In order to make it meaningful and progressive, it has to start not only from school but from the family unit. Like we already know, families are the bedrocks of society. As children get to learn the art of decision making, negotiation and responsibility, they take this skill to the wider society. In addition, elders in the society who are currently in charge of running the running affairs in Africa will learn to receive feedback not as negative or shaming but as a way of improving the society for the better good.

I found this TED Talk delivered by activist Hajer Sharief very enlightening and helpful. She shares inspiring insights on how to encourage politics at home. She says introduces a simple yet transformative idea: that parents can teach their children about political agency by giving them a say in how their households are run, in the form of candid family meetings where everyone can express their opinions, negotiate and compromise. “We need to teach people that political, national and global affairs are as relevant to them as personal and family affairs.”

Watch the video and tell us what you think.

Ides Ofune

Ides Ofune is currently a PhD Student at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on civil society and accountability in improving the quality of education. She is the founder of Desert Bloom Initiative and editor of Desert Bloom Advisory. Ides is very passionate about education and creating an inclusive society. She speaks French and English fluently. She can be reached at info@desertbloomadvisory.com