Adeola | Writer | Poet | Performer | Gender and Sexual Health Rights Advocate | Law | Freetown, Sierra Leone
1) THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
I won a grant from Purposeful Organisation! I had to apply twice and wait for twelve long months but in January, 2021 I received an email to resend my application for re-evaluation. I had already given up on hearing from them at that point so it was such a joy to learn that my organisation SAFE SPACE had been granted funds to run a video series on sexual health rights and a community girl circle program.
2) THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
COVID-19 and the government’s ban on social gatherings and entertainment events really hit me hard. There’s nothing I enjoy more than being on stage so there has been an emptiness in my heart, an ache for the adrenaline performing brings. Passion aside, it has also been tough on my finances. Great gigs are few and far between and mostly virtual.
3) YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
I pray daily for this global epidemic to be over so i can kick-off my projects in earnest. I’ve been contemplating hosting a national sexual health seminar. But before that the SAFE SPACE SHOW has to start as well as the COMMUNITY GIRLS CIRCLE SCHOOL TOUR. The ideal formats for these are very interactive and interpersonal so I wish we wouldn’t have to worry about COVID when we start.
4) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
I worry about execution a lot. The work can be overwhelming as well as frustrating. Sometimes passion and drive isn’t enough to see me through the day. Hence, I’m always on the lookout for like minded individuals or organisations to partner with nationally and internationally because I believe the work I do is both a civic duty and a collective responsibility.
5) A CONTEMPORARY WOMAN YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE
Lena Waithe has been a beacon of hope to me. Something of a lighthouse in my darkness filled with battling Imposter Syndrome and the nay-sayers. She’s proof that a black woman can live their truth authentically while getting much deserved recognition in the global arena for her brilliant work telling black stories.
6) A ONE-SENTENCE MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN?
“...those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music” ..so keep dancing anyway.
THE WORLD HAS BEEN CHANGING DRAMATICALLY IN RECENT MONTHS:
WHICH CHANGE/ EVENT HAS AFFECTED YOU THE MOST / HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOU PERSONALLY AND WHAT ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE MOST?
The #JusticeForKadija #BlackLivesMatter #MeToo #EndSars #SaveMyanmar #FreePalestine etc Movements and Protests on social media have shown the power of civil inclusion and human rights education. This fuels me to believe that one day Sierra Leoneans will realise that true power lies with the people and not the oligarchs who maintain institutionalized corruption and violate all the principles of human rights and the rule of law