By Anote Ajeluorou
Ever wondered why the only female presidential candidate Sarah Jubril in the last presidential primary in 2011 in the Peoples Democratic Party had just one vote despite having hundreds of women that cast their votes? Why do women always fail to stand together in communion with their kind to achieve a common purpose? What could women not achieve should they chose to stand together and work in collaborative partnership rather than bicker over silly issues? What specific strength can women display for working together?
These are some of the salient issues a new book on female power has strongly lent credence. Sista Power by lifestyle coach and motivational speaker, Bidemi Mark-Mordi, deals with the positive power women wield and how collaboration like minds could help achieve great things for the greater good of society. The book was launched last weekend in Lagos amongst a close circle of friends and associates. The author Mark-Mordi is also the publisher of a female magazine, Effectual, modeled after the once famous Digest.
In order for the audience at the presentation to gain better insight into the book, a panel of four discussed the book. The moderator, Mr. Tunde Fagbohunlu remarked that the book stresses the importance of collaboration, which could be viewed against the background of the twin collaborative evils - corruption and violence -threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria. He wondered whether there wasn’t more collaboration amongst anti-social elements, those that stand for evil than those that stand for good “for the kind of society we now have in Nigeria”.
Fagbohunlu decried the “insularity among those who stand for good in society. The author is urging for less insularity among good people for the good of society. The book is about collaboration among women so they could play greater roles that uphold social values; it’s about step by step ways of achieving effective collaboration among women. Importantly, the author uses the metaphor of the midwife”.
A panelist, Mrs. Unyime-Ivy King commended the author for giving women a weapon that is capable of uniting their otherwise divisive tendency. She noted, “We can do much more together than we will alone. This is a generation where people want to belong without really being themselves”. King stated that relationships had never been in more dire circumstances than now and that Sista Power would help a majority of people understand God’s purpose for relationships and their collaborative influences on society generally.
She noted, “How can we relate in meaningful ways and be truly ourselves, even amongst Christians? This is a powerful book. Collaboration is really for everybody – men and women alike. People are so fake these days, which is sad.”
For feminist, girl empowerment campaigner, Iheoma Obibisaid the book spoke to me about what we do every day. It’s an opportunity for older women to work with younger women, the opportunity to think outside the box and offer another paradigm is something I came away with reading the book. Younger women out there need to learn the virtues of collaboration; girls need to be given the confidence to dream, to aspire to anything in life”.
Also Mr. Kayode Akomolafe, a pastor and panelist, stressed the different paradigms Sista Power offers makes it a fantastic book. He also commended the midwife metaphor the author employs, and said the intervention of the midwife in the life of individuals was crucial in weathering the peculiar storms of life. He gave two instances of interventions he’d made in the lives of people, of a man who attempted suicide because he couldn’t afford a simple surgical solution for his son’s cleft lip and pay his school fees and offering help to a woman who had a medical condition.
In each of these instances, Akomolafe said there were a lot more wealthier Nigerians than he, but who did not feel compelled enough to help the man who attempted suicide, noting, “The use of the concept of a midwife is profound and it runs through the book. So, it’s not just collaboration among women but it’s about the webmaster (God) who weaves intricately the webs of our lives. We all have roles to play in life and there is the danger that failing in that role results in the death of someone”.
Also present was President, Christian Booksellers Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Modupe Ehirim, who, while commending the author, also asked buyers to make a gift of the book to three people they know and constantly remind them to read the book by insisting on feedback on it. She said that that way the proper import of the book in people’s lives could be fully realised.
While responding, the author Mark-Mordi said she used to think that only smart people wrote books until she tried her it only to discover that “it is the working of the holy spirit. It’s God displaying his huge sense of humour. It’s about the message God planted in my heart. I didn’t set out to write about collaboration but God put it in my heart”.
The author further urged Nigerians to read the book and apply the principles in it “for our nation to be better. I’m determined that Nigeria be greater and we must do our bit”.