MTV Shuga Naija Queens - May We Be Them


By Adebola Aduwo


Adebola Aduwo takes a moment to pay tribute to the queens who held families and friends together on the previous season of #MTVShugaNaija

 “…the older I get, the more I see how women are described as having gone mad when what they’ve actually become is knowledgeable and powerful and fucking furious.” – Sophie Heawood

Today, we celebrate our MTV Shuga Naija queens. These women are definitely not your regular Nigerian aunties, no. They were brave enough to defy the norm by shunning Nigeria’s faux morality. Yes, they did all this to pave the way for more girls and women to see the light.

We live in a society that somewhat celebrates the old school African ideology of confining women to the kitchen and the ‘other room’. A society that shames victims and allows abusers the freedom to stifle the joy out of their victims and even prey on more people. So yes, it is always a big deal for me when I see women being vocal about their displeasures and actually putting in the work to break this dangerous cycle. We do not have to accept societal norms.

Look, it is not every day that you see a woman fight for the rights of the girl child without criticism from all angles and it is absolutely rare in this part of the world to have the birds and the bees talk with an older female without drowning in judgment. Despite these challenges, our very own Yasmin and Uju went above and beyond to make sure the girls that looked up to them were taken care of. 

It may or may not surprise you to know that some women still thrive on the safety of male approval and believe me, there are others who are actually encouraging patriarchal and misogynistic systems. Their target is the vulnerable percentage of young women who are yet to find their bearing. I hear them preach submission and silence as a means of survival, I see them policing other women, forcing them to play second fiddle to men, and I feel their anger as they judge my audacity to have strong opinions about these issues. I mean, who ultimately benefits when you shrink yourself? Think about it.

Yasmin was keen on making sure sex education was taught in the right way and even went further to protect her students by fighting for their right to proper education. She made life more bearable for a lot of people turned a blind eye to the critics who attacked her. Without her input, I don’t think Hadiza would have scaled through all that pressure.

Uju was also very open to discussing safe sex, consent and contraceptive methods with her niece, Leila. How many Nigerian women can boast of being defiant in this regard?

Yasmin and Uju could have decided to shut up and turn a blind eye but here’s the thing – these days, many women have taken it upon themselves to make life easier for their female counterparts by becoming a voice for the voiceless. More women are standing tall and changing the narrative that describes us as being our biggest enemies. This generation of women proving to the world that we did not inherit our mothers’ silence gives me so much hope!

So here’s to our MTV Shuga Naija queens who are shattering glass ceilings – may we be them, may we know them and may we raise them.



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