Beacons Of Hope And Not Hashtags.
Although their names have become known after death, their stories told after death, the world awake after death, Uwaila, Barakat, Azeezat, Faith Jude and many others who were robbed of their lives were full of life and aspirations before they became hashtags and topics of necessary discussions that should have happened ages ago.
Their lives were canvasses of brightness, love, dreams, and even struggles before they became memories. In the midst of the chaos, they have left behind family, friends, and a community of people that will like to remember them as living, breathing beacons of hope.
Now and forever we remember:
Uwaila was a 22-year-old girl from Edo state, Nigeria. She was in her first year at the University of Benin where she studied Microbiology. Uwaila had dreams of becoming a nurse to enable her to give back to her family and community. She was studying at the Redeemed Church of God in Benin where she was raped and killed by men possibly still on the run. Her sisters, friends, and acquaintances described her as a mentor, quiet, loving, and hardworking.
Barakat was an 18-year-old girl from Ibadan, Oyo State. Like Uwaila, she was a first-year student at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production (FCAHPT), Ibadan with dreams and aspirations. She was found raped and stabbed to death at the back of her home. Her parents and friends described her as a nice, easy-going, and respectful person.
Farishina is a 12-year-old girl from Duste, Jigawa, and one of eight siblings. She was hawking in the market when she was lured away by a 57-year-old man to be raped. This led to the discovery that she had this same encounter with 11 other men.
Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje
Elizabeth was a 13-year-old junior student of the FGGC Gboko, Benue State who had spent 2days in a sick-bay without any improvement only for a discovery to be made that she was being sexually molested by her cousin and uncle from the age of eight. Her father described her as a brave, intelligent child and only wanted a quality education.
Azeezat was a graduate of the University of Ilorin and a postgraduate student of The University of Ibadan at the time of her untimely and undeserved death.
Peace was a 17-year-old sales representative in Benin City, Edo State. She was raped and killed inside her shop at Uwasota Junction, Ugbowo, Benin City. She was described as outgoing and kind by people who knew her. The police are yet to catch the perpetrators of the crime.
These women were human beings like every one of us with hopes, dreams, and aspirations. We’d like to remember them as they were before their lives were stolen from them, before they were snatched from their families and before they were hijacked from the world.
In our journey to justice for these brilliant women and many others, let’s establish and maintain a promise to break down the pillars of rape culture, to demand and get justice for them and other survivors, to desist from supporting even the smallest element of rape culture and to completely put an end to the dastardly act. Let’s foster a world that Uwaila, Barakat, Peace, Faith Jude, and others who were robbed of their lives would have been happy in.
Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll be seeing content from us addressing myths and facts, and talking about some of the hard discussions that propagate rape culture today. Please follow us across our social media platforms. @ConsentWorkshop on Twitter, @TheConsentWorkshop on Instagram and follow the hashtag #TCW21DaysOfConsent