Spotlighting Exceptional Female Personalities in OOU - OOU Campus Mirror

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Wednesday 15 March 2023

Spotlighting Exceptional Female Personalities in OOU

An Interview with Falilat

On March 8, 1857, when female textile workers marched in New York City to protest the unfair working conditions and unequal rights they faced, it was to demand reduced working hours and decent wages for their productive effort. One hundred and sixty-five years later, the day women all over the world remember not just the heroic deeds of those female textile workers but use it as a day to demand, protest, and sensitize the world population about female-related issues. This year's International Women's Day( IWF) campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity. 

The political landscape of Olabisi Onabanjo University has witnessed a decent increase in the number of female students engaging, contesting, and winning political posts in the school. Despite the patriarchal nature of Nigeria's culture, religion, and politics which has also found its way into school politics, these women, in their limited forces, are changing the patriarchial narrative by breaking the biases. In light of this, Campus Mirror is running this series of interviews with female students in the school's history who have done inspiring activities both politically, academically, and business-wise. 

In this exclusive interview with  Bakare Falilat Olayinka( PKA Her Excellency) the only female aspirant for the position of Student Union Government President in the recently-concluded SUG election. Her Excellency spoke about her political journey, the restriction of women in politics,  and how women have been breaking societal barriers. 

Can we meet you - your name,  course, and a short note about yourself?

 My name is Bakare Falilat Olayinka and I am studying Nursing. I’m a friendly, caring, and disciplined person. I’m responsive, empathetic, and yearn for a drastic, realistic upgrade in the present state of the union.

 It's a pleasure meeting you. Who inspired your political interest? And In the history of OOU, has there been a female SUG President? What inspired you to aspire for the post of President?

I’ve always liked leadership positions because of the opportunity to serve seamlessly. I was the senior prefect girl at mayflower school before I gained admission into you. A female union( SUG) President in OOU before? No. But I know of several attempts by females before now. My foremost inspiration is the urge to serve and be thoroughly involved in delivering exemplary leadership to many.  I can’t but mention the knowledge of Lymar’s aspiration as a vital part of my inspiration for the post of OOUSUG PRESIDENT, too.

Yes, Lymar.  Truthfully, it was Lamar's story that led to why I am documenting the names of female Presidential aspirants in OOU. I am amazed by her level of selflessness. 

 Awesome! It’s great to have someone who takes this as a big deal.

It seems female students are often restricted from aspiring for a post that is male-dominated. What is your opinion of that 'restriction'? And, you are continuing the history of other female presidential aspirants in OOU, what is the challenge you have been facing since you declared the post you want to run for?

Restrictions? Perhaps by history. However, I’m aware of the demands of the constitution( OOUSUG Constitution)  and there are no such restrictions on gender. While I admit that the political terrain of the Union( SUG) might not be so welcoming to the female gender, I’ve yet enjoyed a relatively good reception on my road as I consult with different quarters. The support from both genders—male, and female— is overwhelming and of course, I hope for more of it to come.  I perceive that the populace is interested in a change in outlook concerning gender preference and discrimination and as it’s often said, “change is the only constant phenomenon.” 

Besides, Nelson Mandela said: it always seems impossible until someone does it!

I admire your use of words and punctuation. Not only literature students have a command of words. This year's International Women's Day celebration was weaved around the hashtag: #breakingthebiases. How have female students been breaking the biases in OOU - both in politics and other areas?

Breaking biases!

Female achievements in our politics and other areas. To start with, the most recent administrations across faculties and departments experienced the highest presence of female Presidents. Female Presidents in biochemistry, history, and diplomatic studies, anatomy departments. Adeyiga Bukola, a former OOUSUG Vice President, and presently in the Nigerian law school, holds a national leadership position representing Nigerian females. I’d also surely mention Lymar and how she paved the way for many ladies to vie boldly for leadership positions. Finally, I’d mention Ebony, the only female president to emerge in my faculty (basic medical sciences) some tenures ago. I can only think of these at the moment.

 This is quite a list. We had Marvie and Ifeoluwa emerging as the first female Gen Sec and also Welfare director respectively. Women are breaking the biases in OOU! The essence of this interview is to ensure the documentation of your political history in OOU. Can you give us a detailed story about your political journey in OOU?

I was a Senator for the 2019- 2020 and 2020- 2021 academic sessions. I was also the Gen. Secretary Rotaract Club, OACHS. ( Basic Medical Science Students Association) 2020. In 2021, I was the Electoral Committee Chairperson of NUNSA.

Lastly, what is your advice to every female aspirant and female student in OOU?

“Be bold and continue to shatter the biases.” Don’t dim your light for anyone or any reason, or feel less of yourself because of your gender; you’re bigger than your breasts and mightier than your curves!! Finally, “If you think you can do it, that’s confidence; If you do it, that's competence.”

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