The Life and Pride of Great Edo - African Women in History (Edo Women Professionals)

(1) Sandra Aguebor- Ekperuoh, Robert Kokoma, a native of Benin city, Edo state. The First Lady Mechanic in Nigeria (Sandra Aguebor) was born in the 70s into the family of late Mr. &Mrs. R.A Aguebor. She attended Ivbiotor Primary School, St Maria Goretti Grammar School in Benin, later to Benin Technical College for further technical skills and finally a graduate from Auchi Polytechnic, all in Edo state. She also had a degree from The GOETHE INSTITUTE, a German school based in Lagos State. Currently Sandra is acquiring a part time degree course in Mechanical Engineering. This young Lady Sandra is also the CEO/MD of Sandex Car Care, (specialist in maintenance, servicing of mostly used cars and sales of spare parts for commonly used cars), she maintains and services fleet of cars for MTN Communications, KAKAWA Discount house, Transocean, Alandick, Zenith Bank, Ikoyi Club, CNN News, BCC News, Games Shopping Complex, AIICO Insurance, WHO, United Nations and lots of notable individuals.

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(2) Stella Obasanjo was from Iruekpen, Esan West, Edo State. Stella Abebe obtained her BSc at the University of Ife in English 1967 to 1969. In 1969 she was transferred to the UK to complete her studies, this time round, in insurance, in London and Edinburgh, Scotland, from

Dialog Between OKN and Ademola Iyi-Eweka on the Dutch geographer Dapper’s Illusion of the history and people of Edo.

You may wish to read this early European characterization of the people of Benin City. The Dutch geographer Dapper wrote of the people of Benin as follows:

"The king every year 'goes twice out of his court and visits the town, at which times he shows all his power and magnificence and all the bravery he can, and then is conveyed and accompanied by all his wives which are about 600 in number, but they are not all his wedded wives."

"These negroes are much more civilized than others on this coast. They are people who have good laws and a well-organized police; who live on good terms with the Dutch and other foreigners who come to trade among them, and showed them a thousand marks of friendship. Deceiving and drunkenness are not their principal faults but rather lechery."

Dapper, Description of Africa, Amsterdam 1686 quoted in Schwartz (1968) Nigeria. London: Praeger Publishers page 67.

Prince Eweka, There is a problem. The problem is prostitution. Not just prostitution but the selling of our young girls into international prostitution by people who should be protecting them. Ascribing the origins of the prostitution in Edo land to another ethnic group is a cop out. Most societies in Nigeria were not monetized and could therefore not have a word describing "sex-for-money". But they had words for promiscuity, for women who slept around.

It is possible that there were prostitutes from Nsukka. I am sure that coal mining activities must be one of the explanations for the emergence of sex-for-money in that part of the world.

There is no profit in relapsing into a defensive crouch. Rather, what we should do is to call attention to this scourge and campaign for policies to stem the trade in flesh.
You know very well that I seldom respond to mails which miss the essential point in my original postings. You missed the point and I thought over it before attempting to respond to you. I never said that women or men do not sleep around. I gave a name. I called them FLIRTS. Did you really read my posting thoroughly or you are just pulling my legs again as I tried to run back to my shelf?

Thanks for the quote from the Dutch geographer Dapper. But I hope you are not alluding to the last line of the quote:- " but they are not all his wedded wives? " If that is what you are alluding to, well, I have this to say: “Ehen OKN, you have a problem. You need to study a little bit of Edo culture with specific reference to how the Obas of Benin get married to so many women." No free 100 course on Edo culture this time Okn.

Besides I can still remember that you were bestowed Edo citizenship a long time ago by me. You were close to being made achief . Do you want me to cross out your name? Do not forget that you can become the Iyase of Benin someday if you behave well. Bolaji Aluko is still in the running INSPITE OF IT ALL. He is an Edo man no matter how hard he runs away from it.. There is no way that I too can also deny my own YORUBA HERITAGE. Even a rat has two families-the father and the mother.
Ademola Iyi-Eweka.
Prince Iyi-Iweka:
Here is the point I tried to make. The Dutch thought Bini people were lecherous. I reproduce the quote:

"These negroes are much more civilized than others on this coast. They are people who have good laws and a well-organized police; who live on good terms with the Dutch and other foreigners who come to trade among them, and showed them a thousand marks of friendship. Deceiving and drunkenness are not their principal faults but rather lechery."

The dictionary explains lechery as "unrestrained and promiscuous sexuality." The Dutch described the Edo as lecherous.
Nigeria: Car Line
I do not believe that you are not uncomfortable with such a characterization of the Edo. If that is so, you should not make the assertion that the presence of women allegedly from Nsukka explains the monetization of sexual intercourse in Edo land. By the way, what is the Edo attitude towards sex? A recreational activity? A sacred activity? A solely procreative activity? What is the Edo attitude towards a woman's body? As a temple? An object of play and fun and enjoyment? It is by asking and answering some of these uncomfortable questions that we can begin to seriously tackle the social problem of prostitution.
From me to you,
Best wishes.
okn .
Dear OKN,

What the Whiteman described as lechery was nothing but POLIGAMY. OKN, you are smart enough to have known that the Edos are a polyginous ( poligamous) society. The Oba had over 600 wives and some were not his “wedded wives." Your friend saw a train of women and he was told they were the Oba's wives. But he did not tell you, how the Oba came to be marrying about 600 wives or why those who were not his “wedded wives" got there. When you know how the Obas of Benin got wives then and now, then you would have discovered that your friend used a wrong term to describe what he saw in Benin hundreds of years ago.. It seems you need some clarification or lessons about Edos way of life. Dapper's 600 wives/polygamy and lechery are joined at the hip. Dapper was using his Judeo/Christian values of Europe of his day, to describe what he saw in Benin-POLIGAMY. I will oblige you this time only.

When an Oba of Benin is on the move, the royal court is on the move. As he moves from one community to another, gifts of various kinds including human beings are given to him as pages or slaves (when slavery was practiced) These of course included women. Parents give out their daughters as a would-be wife to the king. These women are handed over to the chiefs who are in charge of the Oba’s harem. The train of human beings grows larger and larger as the Oba moves around. These chiefs actually go out on a recruiting drive to procure wives for the Obas of Benin since the Obas do not leave the palace grounds.

Many of these women never go to bed with the King or even see his bed chamber until he passes to great beyond. Many of these women, the Obas may never see face to face are put in POOL, to be given out as wives to loyal chiefs, loyal palace servants, military generals, princes and newly installed ENIGIES/OBIS/OVIES. To make sure that these women were not defiled, EUNUCHS were placed in charge of this pool of women. How on earth could the Oba so described have had sexual relationship with all these “600 wives "? According to the British, Oba Ovonramwen had about 80 wives when Benin City fell in 1897. Tell the Whiteman to keep counting.

OKN, you owe me a lot of money for this course 101 on Edo culture and Tradition. I can understand your problem about Dapper's quote, since you grew up in the Eastern part of Nigeria, which had no tradition of kingship. That is why I want you back to Benin City as a chief. That is the only way you will understand why the Edos do things the way they do it.

Ademola Iyi Eweka.
Compile By William Edia

Africanwomenculture: Gender and Theology (GENDER)

Gender in current parlance signifies the power relation between masculine and feminine. The gender ideology presupposes that the masculine encompasses the female, or takes priority in relation to the female and is entitled to expect subordination and submissiveness and self-abasement of the female. The gender ideology is not limited to biology. It is also social and appears in relations among men as among women and among nations. It functions, as a pecking order colonies were females in relations to the colonizing nations. Men slaves are females in relations to women in the master's household. White women are gendered males in relation to black women, a realization that was among the reasons for a specific women's theology in the USA named womanist by black women of the USA. Let me illustrate this with a story.

The Circle planned a Pan-African Conference for its members in 1996. When word got out, several non-Circle members asked if they could come. The answer was, "no" for the Circle was created to enable African women to say their own word. We had worked in a process over seven years and were meeting to decide on what the future should be. We did not need spectators.

A British woman wrote asked whether she could come and deliver a paper on the conference, which was "Transforming Power - African Women in Religion and Culture", I, as the organizer of the conference wrote to say she could not come, as it was not an open forum. I arrived at Methodist Guesthouse in Nairobi to find her already installed and with a chalkboard at the front desk welcoming the Circle members. It is a nasty story. She imposed herself on the meeting, interviewed the women, collected their papers, ignored all my protests and out of the meeting got what she needed to get her PhD thesis completed and also published. She is gendered masculine, with power to act, the Circle is gendered female, to be used or ignored.

I confronted her with the disrespect she had shown in ignoring the fact that she was told she was not welcome. She had assumed being British that a Ghanaian woman is a colonial subject who should work to raise funds to bring African women together to facilitate her research. She had the power of money on her side; she could get to Nairobi without a ticket from conference funds. She could pay for her stay of the Methodist Guesthouse, there were other guests there but they did not get crash our conference. She was white and many were the black people conditioned to give in to the whims of white people. She had power and I was powerless to prevent her from doing what she had planned to do. She was gendered male and I was gendered female in this instance. She is entitled to my labour and does not have to listen to me or respect my feelings and views. Such is the phenomenon of gender that we are looking at. Though gender refers to hierarchy associated with roles based on biological sex, it transcends it. In this paper however it is gender as male superiority, patriarchy, androcentrism and kyriocentrism. This offering is about the hegemony of men and androcentrism in African theology. Gender relates to the patriarchal phenomenon that structures relationships in hierarchies and pyramids.

When women's voices were heard on how women experienced life, words like sexism, sexist, patriarchy, androcentric, misogyny, feminist, feminism, androcracy on the tongues of women begun to jar men's ears and to make "the good women nervous". As women began to narrate and to substantiate how language, tradition, culture, religion, legal codes, household arrangements stifle their humanity, the word began to go round "women are their own worst enemies".

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