NIGERIA: To The Future Female

Anita Nwokoji smiles at the camera with her hand framing her face. The image is close up and black and white. Anita had dark long hair and dark eyes. She's wearing a long-sleeved shirt.

Photo Credit: Anita Nwokoji

Anita Nwokoji

Anita Nwokoji shares how she has shattered cultural conventions, ignited her purpose, and lit the way for future women

Nurture yourself, value who you are, and never be afraid to stand alone.

I am an African girl from the western part of the continent. I grew up in a community where I saw women as full-time housewives, nursing babies, and nurturing the home. I was a beautiful young girl and heard people tell my parents they should prepare for suitors. Here, women are asked to do just the minimum. At least we go to school, but not to find a purpose – to find a great man and get married. I grew up fine with this until I turned 15 and wanted something more. I didn’t want what the average girl wanted; I didn’t like the bare minimum. If it wasn’t the best, I wasn’t settling for it. 

There is this societal cycle, a system that governs where I come from – a measuring yard of a woman’s life. There is a mental brainwashing that keeps women in fear. The fear of time being against us and nature not standing at our side as we mature. So we must learn fast how to be a girl, cook and clean, and become the woman who cares for the house. Learn how to forget about yourself and put other people first. Learn how to read and write, graduate from school, get married, and continue the cycle.

I didn’t have a problem with this, but I found it a boring routine. I was raised to fit into society and not to discover my own interests and desires. A woman is not created to cook and clean and bear children alone. A woman is created with a unique purpose to serve humanity. I started intentionally developing myself to be the woman God intended me to be, not what society thought I should be. 

Many young girls worry they will chase men away if they do too much. Society asks us to subdue ourselves, settle for less, pray, and wait for the right man to come. I don’t know if there are many girls like me out there, but here, where I am, it seems like I am alone in this world, advocating for everybody to see the truth and genuine purpose of being female. We birth ideas, not just children, and nurture innovation, not just the family. 

I have decided to champion this change within and around me. I’m teaching girls my age and older to find themselves in the light of their purpose. True success is a journey that starts with discovering your identity and purpose. So it begins with you and not your family, not your society. It starts when you dream of going to school, graduating, and making the change you want to see in your community. It starts when you pick up creativity in your craft and strive to follow the CASPER method (Clarity, Align, Strategy, Plan, Execute, Result). 

You start by finding clarity and aligning it with your purpose; you develop strategies and plans to accomplish each goal. Then, you gradually execute them without rushing. When you are fulfilling your purpose, time will never be against you. You stay positive as you await your results, your small or big wins.

This Casper approach is what I implement in my day-to-day life journey to success. I believe I will be a woman who will inspire many young girls, so I am not sad to take on the challenge. Trying to say no to a society's ways and methods because I want to stand for what is true will not be easy. I have heard people call me a feminist and all sorts of names, but I believe in my feminine power and am determined to bring out the best of it. Society has misinterpreted women as emotional and weak vessels. I have the strength I need to co-create a dynasty to help humanity.

So, to future females like me, let’s continue reading and renewing. Take that course, learn that skill, and make that money. Decorate yourself with lots of love and care. Be beautiful for you and not just to attract romantic partners. Nurture yourself, value who you are, and never be afraid to stand alone. 

Until I see you somewhere beautiful and bright, let’s take the mountains together, not waiting for the sun to set but riding together as the sun rises, for we are queens. 


This story was published as part of World Pulse's Story Awards program. We believe every woman has a story to share, and that the world will be a better place when women are heard. Share your story with us, and you could receive added visibility, or even be our next Featured Storyteller! Learn more.

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