About a week ago, young Nigerians took to social media platforms, primarily Twitter, with alarming stories of assault and rape; it made it clear that the problem was prominent and widespread, but largely ignored. This motivated the setting up of a programme, We Will Not Be Silent Lagos, which was founded by Tamilore Bamidele.
Their Instagram, gives us an idea of what the team are hoping to achieve:
"Our mission is to push forward educating both boys and girls, inside and outside of schools on the topic of consent and other areas to do with sexual assault. We are starting with trying to reach out to schools to allow us come in and give talks and seminars and then hopefully it will become a matter of urgency to them and they will implement it into the school system and give regular classes on these areas.
We can not do anything without public support so we please urge every single one of you to spread awareness as much as you can. We will be posting regular updates on events and other things happening so stay tuned!"
We Will Not Be Silent Lagos is aiming to tackle the problem at the root. As a society, we need to take responsibility for ensuring that boys and girls are educated from a young age about sex and consent. Many men that grow up in Nigerian society have been allowed to grow up believing that they are entitled to women's bodies, and schools and parents do not tell them otherwise. Instead of sex being a taboo topic, it should be something that we are able to openly discuss, in order to avoid the frequency of these assaults. This is by no means solely a Nigerian problem, but it is refreshing to see the youth standing up to say that they will not keep silent about these issues that are very relevant in society.
Tamilore Bamidele told Konbini her vision for the programme:
"WWNBS is a programme dedicated to spreading awareness and deconstructing rape culture in Nigeria. Our aim is to educate the youth through seminars, workshops and a varied number of activities. Progressively, we aim to reach out to the wider population of Nigeria at large."
You can show support for the programme and the movement by participating in the peaceful awareness walk WWNBS is hosting this weekend. The walk will start at 8 am on Saturday, July 14 at St. Saviour's School Ikoyi, Alexander Avenue.