Resources for Teachers and Students on Hafsat Abiola
Prepare: Hafsat Abiola founded and directs an organization
called the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, KIND, named
for her mother, which seeks to promote and strengthen democracy
in Nigeria. Her father, who had won Nigeria's first presidential
election in a decade, was incarcerated by the military before
he could take office, and died in prison. Her mother, Kudirat
Abiola, another democracy advocate, was assassinated a few
years later in the streets of Lagos. Hafsat's biography
can be found on the KIND
Hafsat Abiola wrote an
original essay for the Architects of Peace project.
A delightful combination of folk wisdom and anecdote, this
essay equates peace with the affirmation of a supportive
Explore: The Kudirat Initiative for Democracy operates
under the assumption that women offer a strong impetus for
change. It is not just a leadership development program,
but a program that highlights and celebrates the role of
women in an emerging democracy. As part of this approach,
KIND is also invested in youth empowerment, especially via
a youth employment campaign. The approach seems to be generating
results in a situation many regarded as hopeless. For more
information on the strategies of the Kundirat
Initiative please visit their website.
Write: In her Architects of Peace essay, Hafsat
Abiola claims that her father, through his stories, taught
her "the lesson that peace comes from contributing
the best we have, and, often, all that we are, toward creating
a world that supports everyone." Her implicit definition
of peace, throughout the article, while heavily invested
in pre-colonial Nigerian values, also seems to have a feminist
component. Is there a distinctly feminine approach to peacemaking?
Write a three-to-five page reflective essay that speculates
on how traditional male and female approaches to the process
of making peace might differ, and how they might have elements
Extend: Storytelling is a revered tradition in Nigeria,
as one can tell while reading any of Hafsat Abiola's essays.
The Geography Department of the University of Northern Iowa
has put together lesson plans on Nigerian storytelling,
and their website contains not only bibliographies of stories,
but a handful of transcriptions
of representative stories.
Additional Resource: A sub-project of the Kudirat
Initiative for Democracy is an organization called the Friends
of Nigeria, FON, which is an affiliate of the National
Peace Corps Association. FON is a community of almost 2,000
returned Peace Corps Volunteers whose mission is to educate
the American public about Nigeria.
Biography of Hafsat