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Winifred Njoaguani: Growing up was a mixture of discipline, family love and leadership

By Esther Ijewere
19 March 2022   |   3:11 am
Multi-talented Winifred Njoaguani is an experienced customer relations officer, a communication media creative, an audio, visual and text content creator.

Winifred Njoaguani

Multi-talented Winifred Njoaguani is an experienced customer relations officer, a communication media creative, an audio, visual and text content creator. Host of The Word of Wini Podcast, she is passionate about equity for females all over the world, creating content for female-based platforms like The Girl Power media. Wini, who has attended several global leadership training sessions, shares her inspiring story in this interview. 

Childhood Influence
I had an amazing childhood, I must say. I’m the first child of four kids, so I have always had the responsibility of looking out for and taking care of my younger ones. I grew up in a Christian home that upholds values and morals; my mother is a disciplinarian and she would never allow anything to go wrong under her watch or give room for any of her kids misbehaving.

However, as strict as my mother was, she taught me to always talk to her about everything, even though I was going to get in trouble for it. I shared a close-knitted bond with my family, including my cousins, and we have maintained that till date.

At school, my siblings and I have always excelled and made our parents proud. I was always the one selected to handle several leadership positions; class prefect, head girl, social prefect even being leader of cultural dance groups, school choir, etc. Growing up was a mixture of discipline, education, family love and leadership for me.

My Passion For Gender Equality 
In my family, we always represent fairness in every situation and regardless of things like gender, age, tribe, etc. I’ve always been passionate about females, people who know me well know that you cannot come near my sisters or my female friends; I will bite you

I remember one time in Secondary School when my class teacher made me class prefect and then someone made a side comment that it should have been a boy. I didn’t understand why and it didn’t make sense to me. One time, a male classmate hit me, I hit him back and we broke into a fight. My class teacher gave reasons I shouldn’t be fighting in school; it was morally wrong, I agreed to that, I was a Prefect, I agreed to that, I was a girl, now this confused me. He said a guy could hit back, because he’s supposed to man up, but a girl should run crying to the staff room. It didn’t make sense.

One other time, during sports activities, we were playing tug of war, girls vs boys and girls won, a teacher said to the boys, “You’re not ashamed, you let girls win you.” that didn’t make sense as well. So, yes, I had always known.

What Most Organisations And Institutions Lack And How They Can Improve
I think that would be the speed at which they attend to even the smallest of issues and some unnecessary protocols I see in some places. It’s easy, as much as you can, reduce the difference in time between when a customer laid an issue to when that issue is being resolved and make the entire experience less stressful and more simplified for customers.

Also, there are times when customer service personnel are helpless; maybe it’s a management policy that they really cannot do anything about asides from trying to pacify the customer. As much as feedback from external customers matters, institutions should take feedback from their internal customers (staff, etc) seriously as well, listen to them and try to make their own service experience better.

Creating Female-Based Contents, Sourcing And Lessons 
My ideas spring from personal experiences, experiences from people around me, societal norms that I’m uncomfortable with and some relatable social media trends. However, one must be very careful not to spill too much personal information or mention names, especially in stories that are sensitive and always seek permission before sharing a person’s experience.

Inspiration Behind The Word Of Wini Podcast
My Podcast was birthed out of my love for radio and I think the media generally. When I was in Secondary School, I started a magazine project; I can’t remember what I wanted to name the magazine, but it was female and child based. It wasn’t published, because I couldn’t get anyone to sponsor it financially. I also tried out a YouTube channel in 2017, La Déesse TV, La Déesse is French for The Goddess and it was really promising.

In fact, I recently ran into a proposal I put together for my first guest on the channel and I was so impressed; I wish I had gone ahead with that project. In my University days, I waltzed into the radio life and I enjoyed talking on air, I always looked forward to going into the studio for my radio shows, coming out and hearing people talk about how good I was.

I couldn’t continue with radio, because of my 9-5 job but a lot of people kept encouraging me to go back to being creative and sharing my views, so in 2020, I created The Word of Wini Podcast and it is slowly becoming my identity.

My Perception Of Feminism
I don’t like it when people refer to me as a feminist, because of the controversies surrounding that term and how people have been defining it recently. Regardless of your gender, you should be humble and take cognisance of the next person’s feelings at all times. I really don’t like the way they use that word submission ‘na so so submission, shey we get assignment?’ Feminism for me is, what is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose. Feminism is absolute respect for the rights of a female, fairness and equity and not placing her below the radar.

So, if you’re telling a woman to be submissive to her husband, be sure to tell a man to be submissive to his wife. Now, if you have a problem with that school of thought, then it means you think that being submissive is a sign of weakness and it’s for women alone.

Feminism is acknowledging that if a woman wants, she can remain unmarried till she attains a certain age; she can aspire to build a house before getting married if that’s what she desires. Her favorite colour can be black and she doesn’t have to learn to cook just because she is female; she should learn to cook because it’s a survival skill. Thankfully, this conversation has been had and embraced almost everywhere.

Random Fact About Me That Is Oblivious To Many
Somehow, I always manage to have a slightly different opinion on things, so people may think I’m controversial and like to argue. On the contrary, I love peace and I detest when I’m just trying to air my view on something and hear out the other person so that we can both learn and people turn it into an argument. I would walk away and almost never talk about anything to that person; I love peace.

Changes I Would Implement If I Were President Of Nigeria
This is hard honestly, because positive change is relatable. But I think some of the things I would most definitely try to put in place would be affordable quality education and a country where basic amenities are accessible and available to all. I mean, not everyone should live a life of luxury, there must always be a margin between the rich and the not-so-rich and I get it, but you see basic amenities like water, food, electricity, health care and good roads, every human living in the country should have a lifetime access to them.

Three Women Who Inspire Me And Why
There’s an entire list, in no particular order, there’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for very obvious reasons; that woman is so intelligent, she speaks and writes admirably. She’s well known and yet managed to maintain a life of privacy.

I admire the creative power of the likes of Kemi Adetiba and Mo Abudu, I see myself in every female character that they have put on screen who exude so much power and class. My mother also inspires me, like I said earlier; she’s a core disciplinarian yet very amiable. Only my mother would tell you to go to hell in such a way that you’d be looking forward to that trip.

Wini The Next 5 Years
It is always hard to answer this whenever I’m asked; I’m really not in charge of my life. I do hope God takes me to really high places in career, wealth and pursuing my dreams.

To Young Girls 5 Years Younger Than Me 
Five years younger than I am meaning they should be about 19/20 in age, that’s a really sensitive time of their lives. Your life starts now, not when you are done with school, now! And you need to start putting things in place, the way you speak, the things you do and the choices you make now play a huge role in shaping the next stage of your life.

Oh and also, a health worker told me something about the rate at which 19/20 year olds get pregnant, so, no matter what you do, if you are not ready to train a child, do not have unprotected sex. Acquire as many skills as you can; tech skills, financial skills, etc, it’s not too early to be the best version of yourself.

Being A Woman Of Rubies And Why We Need To #Breakthebias
I cannot count how many times I’ve heard people say ‘Why you dey drive like woman’ when someone drives slowly or ‘Don’t cry like a woman’ or ‘There’s a limit to what a woman can do.’ The bias is everywhere; it’s in the workplace where men do not like to have female bosses, it’s in the bus garages where men do not want to board buses that are driven by women, it’s in the family where a man (or his family) will put his wife through a lot of pressure and pain to bear him a male child after seven girls and not minding that it could be risky. That is the kind of bias I hope to break someday as a Woman of Rubies.

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