Thursday, 24 March 2016

AMANDA CHISOM: THE IDEA THAT A MAN HAS TO PROVIDE EVERYTHING IS ALIEN TO ME



Amanda Chisom is a big voice in feminism on the social media. Young, dynamic and focused, she encourages women to be hardworking. 

She is also involved in politics and a youth keen on making a difference in her society.

Her facebook fans adore her as can be seen on the many comments on each of her posts.

I decided to interview her to understand who she was and what her driving force or motivation is.





THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HONOURING OUR INVITATION FOR THIS INTERVIEW. RECENTLY, YOU WROTE ON FACEBOOK ABOUT A RECENT FINANCIAL DISAPPOINTMENT, DO YOU WANT TO TELL US ABOUT IT AND THE LESSONS LEARNT.
I made some bad judgement call with investors that cost me a newly founded company but I really learnt a lot of lessons and the most important lesson I learnt was to always trust my instinct and that people are never what they seems to be but most importantly I learnt to always push harder and not to accept all opportunities offered.


YOUR SENSE OF FASHION IS AWESOME. WHERE DID YOU ACQUIRE IT FROM?
I really don’t know. My mom is a fashion expert so maybe it is genetic but I just love to dress up and look amazing. I also like to look different from every other person so that makes me creative when it comes to dressing up.


FROM YOUR POSTS, ONE WOULD DEDUCE THAT YOU ARE A FEMINIST. FEMINISM AS A MOVEMENT APPEARS TO BE ON THE RISE IN NIGERIA. WHO EXACTLY IS A FEMINIST AND WHAT DO THEY WANT?
A feminist is a woman or man who believes that men and women deserve to be treated the same and given equal opportunities and not discriminated against based on their gender.

To me feminism is humanism and humanism simply means treat all human beings equally. Feminism simply says treat women as equals and give them the same benefits as their male counterparts. Sadly Nigerians still confuse feminism and sexism/misandry but we will surely get there.


IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU THINK WOMEN HAVE BEEN MARGINALIZED IN NIGERIA?
Greatly in so many ways actually and it would take a whole day if I start talking about it but let me concentrate on the basics.

In some parts of the country a girl child is not provided with equal education opportunities, child marriage, offensive widow treatments, binding laws on women by some religions and genital mutilation.

Even across our socio-political environment, women are still assumed to be objects to be seen and not heard. Recently, the National Assembly threw out a bill on gender parity and equal opportunities. That alone screams marginalization like no other case has.


YOU ARE A HARDWORKING YOUNG LADY BUT THAT IS NOT SO FOR ALL LADIES. THERE SEEMS TO BE THIS FEELING THAT A HUSBAND SHOULD MEET THE WIFE’S EVERY NEED. DO YOU SUBSCRIBE TO THIS? IF NOT, HOW DO YOU CREATE A BALANCE?
I come from a family where my father was the major bread winner but my mom could hold the forte comfortably without him so I have not really been taught the idea that a man has to provide everything. It is alien to me as a child. Women in my family have always worked.

Unless you are handicapped or paralysed I really don’t understand why a man should be made to provide a woman’s every need.  There should be balance. If a man is the breadwinner, a good woman will try to reduce the pressure on him by being supportive with the little she can contribute. That is to say, if my husband can provide bread, I should provide our butter or akara to support him.


GIVE US A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY AND YOUR EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION?
I was born in the 80’s into a Christian family that wanted me and I have brothers and sisters, Most of my formative years were in Port-Harcourt city. I had my secondary school education at Nigerian Navy secondary school, Port-Harcourt Rivers State.

I got my first and second degree in Entrepreneurship and Public Administration respectively at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka. I am still running my post graduate studies in Public Relations. I am also a Public Relations Consultant and an Event Planner.


YOU ARE A TOP MEMBER OF FORMER RULING PARTY PDP, HOW DID YOU GET INTO POLITICS IN THE FIRST PLACE? WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE PARTY?
I don’t know about top membership but I am a Youth Advocate and I am adamant about the fact that it is time for the older generation to hand over to the youth. You need to be in the political circles to learn what politics is all about and how it works so that is my major reason of getting into politics in the first place.

I hope to make positive impacts because if we don’t, we will be ruled by people who do not have good intentions or know exactly how to go about making that impact.

PDP is a party I believe in because its grass root structure will have major impact if they youths are prepared by the older generations through positive mentoring.

I actually have a foundation that focuses on youth mentoring as well as other things and I need a platform to works towards improving the lives of my fellow youths so I chose PDP to do that.


HOW DO YOU THINK OUR YOUTHS CAN BE POLITICALLY RELEVANT IN THIS PRESENT DISPENSATION?
I honestly do not have a lot of faith in this particular ruling party because to me it has the highest concentration of recycled politicians who are career politicians and the current situation of the country has made it obvious. The good thing is that the youths on the other hand especially through the use of social media has made themselves formidable opposition and I believe that since not much thought have been given to the youth participation on the side of the ruling party. The opposition will become more powerful and a force to reckon with, if it uses the youth as mouth piece of opposition and prepare them for 2019. Whether we like it or not, no country will progress without the wisdom of the elders and the energy of the youth.


I SEE THAT A LOT OF HURTING PEOPLE MOSTLY WOMEN APPROACH YOU FOR RESOLUTIONS TO THEIR ISSUES AND YOU PUT THEM OUT FOR PEOPLE’S COMMENTS. DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT THIS CAN HELP THE PERSON SINCE WE USUALLY HAVE DIVERGENT VIEWS ON A PARTICULAR ISSUE?
I think it helps because you learn a lot from this people. You are more open to vast and more experienced opinions. We keep learning as nobody knows it all. What I do in some cases is find you an expert or and older person to handle the issue if you don’t find what you are looking for in the comments. I always follow up till a solution is reached. I think everybody picks a lesson or too. We learn, unlearn and relearn from solutions to issues raised and it makes us prepared in case we meet the same issues somewhere. It also helps that you can talk to somebody without being shamed or judged that is why I never divulge names no matter what.


APART FROM READING AND WRITING, WHAT OTHER HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE?
I cook a lot, I am always trying one recipe or the other and I design shoes and clothes. But most times I am reading and writing something that is my essence.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR READERS?
Just be yourself every other person is taken and work hard, work smart, play smart and live happily but most importantly, treat people the way you want them to treat you.


FINALLY, WHO IS AMANDA CHISOM DATING? 
Hahahahahaha. I don’t want to say one thing now the young man will say another thing. So I will leave that one to my Oga at the top to reveal. When it is time to go public, we will let everyone know.


Thank you Amanda. I wish you more success in life.

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