Saratu Abiola is a writer based in Abuja. She moved back to Nigeria in 2011 after living in North Carolina and Washington, DC, and has worked in civil society focusing on gender, youth, agriculture and regional development ever since. Her interests include: governance, media, literature and socio-political issues.
Articles by Saratu Abiola
Social media and facing tragedy
When horrific news like that of the aid worker and mid-wife Hauwa Leman’s abduction and eventual death at the hands of Boko Haram surface, many of us feel helpless but often retreat to our online and offline spaces where we can build community.
Early thoughts on Osun elections and Nigerian political parties
Osun elections gives a lot to think about. A big chunk of the vote was indeed split between APC and PDP as expected, but more interesting was the influence of other parties. Having captured key influential politicians, ADP and SDP were both able to capture 24% of votes cast. While they did not win, it was a key factor in us now having one of the closest state governor elections we have had, making it a game of margins.
The great political transfer window
Every four years, football plays a most wonderful game of What If. What if you have Luka Modric, who plays for Real Madrid, and Ivan Rakitic, who plays for Barcelona, marshalling the same midfield? Can Mo Salah be Mo Salah without Firmino and Sadio Mane? There are other tournaments, of course, but the World Cup…
Democracy and optimism for Nigeria’s future
“No one leaves home,” the poet Warsan Shire once famously wrote, “unless home is the mouth of a shark.” That certainly seems the case for the many Nigerians who trekked the Sahara...
Falz’s “This Is Nigeria” and the business of distraction
Giving it some thought, Glover having created something that Falz found resonant enough to build on is not surprising. The most obvious similarity is that both artists have an evolving oeuvre built from their work in comedy, and have had to work to be taken seriously as rappers. Falz’s comedy is often standard Nigerian fare,…
What is your vote worth?
It is always amusing when people balk at transactional relationships when we are confronted with them in all their glory. Many people, men and women alike, clutched their pearls in offense when Christiane Amanpour interviewed a young Ghanaian woman named Moesha who frankly discussed the particulars of her relationship....
About the Emir of Kano’s comments on polygamy
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is a most interesting man. That is true whether or not you find him arrogant or intelligent; a truth-teller who was saved from a president’s wrath, or an ethnic jingoist who covers his thievery in sanctimony and finely-clipped English. I am not interested in those varying views in this essay; indeed, the…
Dealing with sexual violence in Nigeria
I am not a fan of false equivalences, so I admit to not joining in conversations about why the #MeToo movement that is sweeping Western countries cannot or is not happening here.
Letter to the 26 Nigerian women that drowned in Italy
I would start this letter with a “Dear X”, but I do not know your names. I only know that your stories are familiar to us all by now: young people between your teens and your 30s, weathering storm and abuse, braving torturous paths and racist foreigners.
The torturable class
In one of my favorite novels by British novelist, Graham Greene, called, “Our Man in Havana,” a Cuban policeman, Captain Segura, explains to the British spy Mr. Wormold on who gets to be tortured in his country’s class system.