Thursday, June 30, 2011

"The Heritage Within" - Ode to Nigeria Women

On July 3, 2011, "The Heritage Within" event will be held in Lagos, Nigeria, at the city's prestigious Civic Center, honoring 50 Nigerian women who have helped and shaped Nigeria since its independence 50 years ago. The upcoming event is named after the poem (Ode) below and a painting by famed Nigerian artistic icon, Nike Davies Okundaye (an honoree at the event herself). "The Heritage Within" Ode is reprinted below in honor of the event on July 3, 2011, which will feature Essence Magazine's former Editor-in-Chief Susan Taylor, Bennett College President Dr. Julianne Malveaux, and former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Robin Renee Sanders in addition to the incredible and history-making 50 Nigerian women being honored at the event and in the book entitled "50 @ 50 -- The Journey So Far":

Ode to the Nigerian Woman

Written By Dr. Robin Renee Sanders

“The Heritage Within”

Walk with me today, together down the ancestral path to see who we are as women

There is a spirit we cannot touch but always know is there – It is the "Heritage Within"

Our role is the foundation of life; our role is the foundation of change

We see our strength in the eyes of our mothers as they too have journeyed down the same ancestral path

The journey is about traditions, like 3-legged wedding pots, Uli signs, adire and ashoke cloth, henna designs, life, and certainly about long talks into the night as deep as indigo blue.

But, just like us, their lives made a difference, their contributions made an impact; their dedication to their nation allows you to stand on their shoulders today

Thus as Women for Change you will continue your journey down the ancestral path to your future, to Nigeria’s future

Remember you have a responsibility to the next generation to make a difference, to leave a mark, to make a change …just as your mothers did before you …and your grandmothers before…

Life is a journey and you have come so far, let’s walk the rest of the way together, hand-in-hand, spirit-connected-to-spirit, so that the changes we all seek come from….

The Heritage Within!

original work by Dr. Robin Renee Sanders first published - August 25, 2010