You know your office understands you when they give you the best farewell gift. Isn't she beautiful? 😍😍😍

So...yesterday (June 30, 2021) was my last day as the Digital Media Officer of the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs - CCP Family Planning Portfolio in Nigeria. It has been such a learning and growing 33 months for me.

I got to work with a team of exceptional women who continued to reinforce my beliefs that when women are an equal part of development, society is the better for it.

Some of my personal achievements include:

1. Growing the digital media…


Image Credit: UK Construction Online.

Originally posted on my blog, Shades of Us.

When I moved to my current neighborhood, one of the things that convinced me to take the house was the road. Oh! The road was bad but I saw that the potholes were being filled up with sand so I assumed the roads would be repaired in time.

I should never have assumed that.

You see, as the days went by and nothing more was done to fix the roads, I knew I had roped myself into something terrible.

Then the rains came. The air became fresher and cleaner, and I was…


Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

I woke up, went to my wardrobe, opened it and stared at my clothes, wondering what to wear for the day. I have dresses on the right side, shirts in the middle and sweaters on the left. I looked at the dresses, most of which I had not worn since I bought them, and said yet again, ‘maybe some time in the future’. Then I went through my shirts and as I touched each one, I knew just what trousers would go with them and what shoes would be perfect for each look.

Shoes.

This was another thing to worry…


Boundaries

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

Originally posted on Shades of Us.

I have been thinking about boundaries a lot.

As a people, and by that I mean Africans and black people in general, we seem to be have a poor understanding of boundaries. In a way, it can be blamed on our socio-cultural style of community living. You see, our cultures promote relationships where it is okay for everyone to be in your space: expected even.

Parents believe that since they birthed a child, they have exclusive rights to all aspects of their lives. Siblings and friends think their relationship guarantee them unfettered access…


Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash

This was originally posted on my blog, Shades of Us.

‘Remember the family from which you are from and be careful the things you do.’

These words from my mother were playing in my head as I walked to the chemist to buy contraceptives.

You see, I had not been thinking of my parents when I had sex, and I had definitely not been thinking of my family when I had sex without protection. So here I was, 17 years old, feeling my heart constrict as I thought, ‘Was I pregnant? Could I be pregnant from having done it once?’


A young boy leaning on a corrugated Zinc fence.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

This was originally posted on my blog, Shades of Us.

Every time I think of poverty in many African communities, I can’t help but mull over how this poverty is experienced on various levels. Thankfully, there is a term that effectively explains this: multidimensional poverty.

According to the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), “Multidimensional poverty encompasses the various deprivations experienced by poor people in their daily lives — such as poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standards, disempowerment, poor quality of work, the threat of violence, and living in areas that are environmentally hazardous, among others.”

This…


Shades of Us is supporting Girls Virtual Summit 2020, an event hosted by SWAG Initiative to commemorate International Day of the Girl. Here is what you need to know about the event.

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; it is also called the Day of the Girl. October 11, 2012 was the first day of the Girl Child.

The observation supports more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal…


Ramatu Ada Ochekliye presented this paper at the 7th Nigerian Annual Population Lecture Series that happened in Abuja in 2019. The theme of the series was ‘Nigeria’s Population Issues: Harnessing 21st Century Innovations to Achieve Demographic Dividends’. This article was originally posted on Shades of Us.

***

In 1758 when Carl Linnaeus introduced the term, Homo sapiens, and the rest of the world accepted it as the only human species still in existence, the ‘most advanced of the lot’, the ‘wise man’, he probably didn’t know that a new species of humans were on their way to becoming the extant…


Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Originally posted on my blog, Shades of Us.

For some reason, the thought of a colleague I used to have came into my head. And it was followed by such immense disgust that I had to take long, deep breaths to calm myself.

He — of course it was a man — was the definition of classless. I want to call him ‘dumb dumb’ but I am learning to be nicer to people. So, I will settle with Mr. O.

Mr. O believed that he could say whatever he wanted to me and for the life of me, I couldn’t…


Photo by Gantas Vaičiulėnas from Pexels

This article was first posted on my blog, Shades of Us. Read more articles like this by visiting my blog.

As long as I can remember, I have always cared about the issues that affect Africa, Africans and people of African dissent, with special focus on how these issues affect women and children. Even as a child in primary school, I can remember expressing anger at people who treated women and children poorly and standing up for the girls in my class. …

Ramatu Ada Ochekliye

Ramatu Ada Ochekliye is a freelance content creator. She has a blog called ‘Shades of Us’ (http://www.shadesofus.co.uk/)

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