A feminist is a person who supports feminism. Female feminists are often seen by others as rebellious in Nigeria. A feminist is someone who supports equal rights for women. If your brother objects strongly to women being paid less than men for doing the same job, he’s probably a feminist. If you believe that women should have the same political, social, and economic rights as men, you are a feminist.
Dasola B’oluwatife Tewogbade is a feminist popularly known as Sisí Afrika. She loves activism and is currently studying Psychology at the University. InterviewStories got in touch with her and she explained what feminism is about, how and why she redefined the type of feminism she supports and preaches and how she hopes to continue being a strong supporter of this ideology. Enjoy the interview we had with her on InterviewStories
Who is Sisí Afrika ?
My name is Dasola B’oluwatife Tewogbade popularly known as Sisí Afrika. I’m a student of Obafemi Awolowo University in the Department of Psychology. I am a feminist (gender equality advocate), a pastry maker, model, and actress and fashion enthusiast. Oh, I love activism too, (I think that’s evident in my adopted name “Afrika.” He was a young activist who got murdered in cold blood by powers that be).
Feminism meaning to you?
It’s a doctrine/movement that advocates for equal rights for women. It says there shouldn’t be social inequalities between the male and female gender because of the various biological inequalities between the two.
Have you experienced inequality before? Does this have anything to do with your nick Sisí Afrika?
Yes, I have. The first event I’d remember being when I was in JSS2. A brilliant students was to be made the class captain. My class teacher wanted to make me the class captain but couldn’t because I was a girl, only boys could become class captains. So she had to pick a boy (Adekunle Tosin) to be the class captain in my stead then proceeded to make me the class monitoress. Why would she not make me a class captain all because I was a girl? I thought.
I adopted the name because of its link with activism and yeah, feminism is a form of activism for the female gender. Activism to get the see-saw balanced between the male and the female gender…
Why study Psychology?
Well? I survived many traumatic experiences including rape. Psychology helped me a lot in getting to this stage where I can freely talk about those experiences, psychology helped me heal. I’d like to help other people out there heal emotionally through whatever they’re passing through.
And then, isn’t it fun “reading” people and predicting them? I’ve been doing that a lot. Humans are very complex beings, I’d like to understand how and why people behave in certain ways.
Why use the name Sisí Afrika?
I adopted the name “Afrika” after getting to know about a young activist who was murdered in cold blood by cultists sponsored by the then OAU management. He was a force to reckon with when it came to activism. Do you know he dragged OAU to the court concerning the black and white choir uniform law students have been mandated to wear?
He won the court case and was allowed to wear whatever he wanted to class (I was told he’d usually wear Ankara 😄). No other law student would even dare sue his/her school let alone win.
His Aluta spirit amazed me, he took activism to a whole new level. They killed him but his spirit lives on in some of us. I adopted his name and feminized mine by adding “Sisí”.
What will you like to be known for?
Feminism and philanthropy.
How are you promoting these agenda?
On the former: I consistently write on issues on feminism, educating and raising people’s consciousness on feminism. Thorough education on feminism is needed as there are so many misconceptions about this wonderful movement. Gender equality cannot be achieved without the society being united for the cause, how can they be united for something they do not understand?
I’ve been trying my best to educate, and yeah, they’re finally listening to me. I also have a platform I named GESFFRI (Gender Equality, Sexual Freedom and Feminine Rights Initiative). Various people in that group come together contributing whatever they can towards feminism. We’ve started working on getting it registered as an NGO.
I’m presently studying psychology to handle/treat people (especially women) who need psychological help because of whatever they may have gone through. On the latter: I’m presently on a “ka shaa ma dupe” level but we will get there. When there’s life, there’s hope. I work hard. I believe someday, the cash won’t stop rolling in and then, I can help in lifting other people up.
What makes you money and how?
I get contracts to make pastries, mainly cake, minced pies and chin chin. I’m also currently learning fashion designing. I act and model too (but I haven’t really exploited these).
Why learn fashion designing?
I love fashionable clothes, I’d like to design for myself clothes that reveal my personality. In the course of promoting feminism online through my writings, I’ve raised and come across many debates centring on how indecent dressing was one of the causes of rape.
That was when I actually decided and acted on getting someone to teach me. I’m gonna create different styles, teaching many people through my creative designs that the way anybody (irrespective of the gender) is dressed is not a reason to rape. I’ll give out some of my styled clothes for free. Indecent dressings don’t cause rape, rapists do. People need to understand that.
Do you support indecent dressing?
There’s nothing like indecent dressing. The word ‘indecent’ is relative, what may be indecent to me may not be to you. I believe and will always defend that anybody has the right to wear anything, to even go nude. Anybody should have the freedom to express himself/herself through their dressings. Telling me you’ll rape someone because of the way they’re dressed means you’re insane. You don’t want to control your mind but you want to control how someone else dresses?
We have nudist beaches dominant amongst the whites. You’d see them, both males and females, enjoying themselves stark naked, why don’t they go on a raping spree? Because they’re more evolved than we are and we’re still lower animals with more animalistic instincts? (For those people who’ll say that’s oyinbo culture/mentality).
If someone is dressed ‘indecently’ and because of that you’ll rape them, why haven’t you ever tried doing that shit to people who’ve got ‘mad’ training in self-defence skills? Or go rape mad naked people roaming the streets? Can you ever use that stupid argument of “you’re dressed indecently hence you deserve to be raped” with folks like Rhonda Rousey or Nicki Bella who are professional wrestlers? You’ll see that people who use this excuse are (potential) rapists and are just looking for any excuse to rape.
There’s always been an obsession with how females dress. Females are being subjugated in every way possible, religions and (African) cultures hammer on it but some of us know and have started preaching it that there should be freedom of expression for any gender through their dressings.
Have you had to redefine your idea of feminism over time?
Yes. When I was way much younger (like 16), I was the “what a man can do, a woman can do BETTER” kind of feminist. But as time went on (before I started being vocal about feminism), I metamorphosed into “anybody can do IT better, irrespective of the gender” kind of feminist.
Feminism isn’t about competition between the male and female gender. It’s about finding a balance and harmony, eradicating patriarchy and successfully taking that gender division tool away from the system.
What do you have to say regarding the sex for grades documentary by BBC?
Sex for grades has always been here for decades. BBC just came to expose the corruption we’ve always been hiding. Apart from sex for grades, there’s sex for jobs, sex for promotion at work, sex for appointments, even sex for food!
I hope this documentary, has in a way, emboldened victims of sexual harassments to speak up. It is not YOUR fault so you don’t have to feel ashamed. You’re the PREY, not the PREDATOR.
Do you think this will reduce STDs (Sexually Transmitted Degree)?
Corruption is systemic, the fact that a means of corruption is blocked does not mean other means will not be invented.
Without solving the basic problems that cause corruption like poverty and inaccessibility to a proper education by EVERYONE which accounts for the competition in the education sector that makes grades necessary.
Have you ever thought that any of the affected lecturers may be innocent?
There are two courts of justice in society: the court of public opinion and the court of law. According to pieces of evidence released to the court of public opinion, they are evidently guilty. And for that reason, they are guilty in the court of public opinion so I do not think any of them can be innocent based on those pieces of evidence.
Your advice to people
It’s very simple, make sure to guard your soul. Let nothing stain it. Your level of humanity will determine how much you can survive in a corrupt without participating in the exploitation of your fellow human being. Feminism is human, it’s not just feminine. It seeks to protect the humanity of the male from being scarred and the humanity of the female form being debased.
How can one get in touch with you?
Instagram: Sisi_Afrika. Twitter: Sisí Afrika (Two twitter profiles have this name, mine has a profile picture and the second “I” in “Sisí” is marked. WhatsApp number: 07036082093. Location: OAU, ILE-IFE. Please contact me on anything related to feminism and pastry business ONLY. Thank you very much.
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