For a while now in Nigeria, rape has been the foremost conversation on social media.
The rape and murder of Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, Barakat Bello, Mrs Queen Igbinevbo, and so many others has sparked outrage and intensified the conversation about rape. Unfortunately, this conversation has been going on for years and very little will change if we do not change tactics – if we do not act.
To eradicate rape, a zero tolerance policy and stiffer punishment for rapists must be introduced, but what should this punishment be?
The publishers of Hello, Vagina, have decided to engage LIBers and the reading public on this endemic problem through the Read and Act campaign. Feed back from YOU will be seriously evaluated, collated and presented to the relevant law making authorities as a proposal.
Selected comments will receive N10,000.00 each. This is to encourage the public to join the conversation and momentum towards a rape free society, a society where no girl or woman (or anybody for that matter) has to do any other thing but be themselves anywhere, at anytime, without the fear and risk of sexual assault or rape.
All you have to do is drop your suggestion as a comment on this post. Begin your suggestion with #HelloVagina and remember to add your email address in case you win, for easier identification.
Whatever you do, SAY SOMETHING!
Hello, Vagina is a book dedicated to the memory of rape victims Miss Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje (2005-2018), who for more than three years was allegedly raped by her uncle and his son until she developed VVF and died, and Lindsay Armstrong (1985-2002), who committed suicide after her ordeal in court with her rapist.
Below is a short review of Hello, Vagina from an impressed reader, Lilian Chidiogo Ezejelue:
‘One thing I loved about Odega Shawa ‘s Hello Vagina is that, though it was written by a man, it was able to express what most girls and women have felt at some point in their lives. it’s like he went into our heads.
He captured the reality and frustrations that females of all ages must have faced at some point in their lives.
Some of the questions Kelechi asked, the frustrations she expressed, are things I’ve asked too many times. I could relate with Kelechi’s anger.
I also love how he was able to use different people’s stories to touch on the different facets of injustice that is gender-based violence.
With Miss Ijeoma’s story, we saw how women are blamed for men’s indiscretion while the men get away with sexual abuse.
With Basirat’s story we saw how girls are forced into silence out of fear.
Moses’ attempt to call out the injustice against Miss Ijeoma and how he was shut down by all, including women, shows why the few men who want to challenge the status quo end up choosing to mind their business.
Mgbeonyejiteta and Ofonime’s relationship is your typical mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship. Better communication would have made things better.
Ofonime’s response to Kelechi’s questions about gender equality is a typical example of women being gate-keepers of patriarchy and also of religion and how it ensures compliance.
Mgbeonyejiteta’s response to same question tells of a woman who has attained wisdom with age and picks her words wisely.
The book also shows how poverty exposes women to abuse and makes it harder (if not impossible) to get justice.
The final poem at the end titled “Hello, Vagina” brought tears to my eyes.
I recently picked up the book again to read the poem and I found myself flipping through the whole book.
It is dedicated to 13-year-old Ochanya Ogbanje who died after being raped multiple times by her uncle and his son.’
Are you interested in getting the book? Go to:
To get a copy of Hello, Vagina in Nigeria, please go to:
Hell, Vagina is also available on amazon: