A Monochromatic Image of Nwaanyị Ogbete: A woman sitting by her display of foodstuff for retail.
“I have since read quite a few of the seminal feminist texts, but for a long time I didn’t. And I like to think I learned a lot about gender and power by watching local women in Nigeria, particularly women who are sort of lower down on the class hierarchy because I kind of felt that so much was against them that sometimes they exhibit a kind of strength that I didn’t find in more educated and privileged women”
Amanda makes words powerful and subtle in her own unique way. Amanda is one of the many young women changing narratives, telling feminine stories, asking questions, giving answers, becoming, living, being…just being.
Amanda Madumere documents everyday stories in Eastern Nigeria using black and white pictures. What she does is simply amazing, the stories that come with these pictures melts the heart.
For the International Women’s Day Celebration , she captured Nwaanyi Ogbete and wrote;
I personally find the single image of strength in women troubling. The bourgeoisie image. The very privileged image. The educated higher-middle class and upper class image.
Troubling because as a person who is very interested in the everydayness of people, I’ve learned that strength defies social class.
I should tell you about the female commercial Okada rider I met at Okigwe and how she unflinchingly told this particularly annoying man off after he had told her that she wasn’t fit to be patronized simply ‘because she’s a woman’. Or this woman in a bus I boarded sometime last year. How she talked about her husband who had lost his job, and how he joined her in working at her restaurant. How he did the dishes and served customers since his cooking wasn’t really good. I remember how she flatly responded saying that they both have to because they both need to eat and survive and it isn’t really that deep after some passengers had eulogized her husband for ‘helping’ his wife to wash plates.
I should also tell you about a friend’s mother who single-handedly runs one of the biggest soft drinks deport in Enugu, despite always being reminded how it’s a ‘business for men’.
Or this particular meat market at Colliery Road with female butchers.
I particularly want to celebrate all the ordinary women who do extraordinary things every day. Women who still hold their own with little or no formal education. Women that are never in the news. Women with few privileges that still embody strength. Everyday women.
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