When we say a woman is #StrongEnough, look no further than 30 year old Blessing Timidi Digha, our #SEGoftheMonth for November! Blessing is a passionate and no-holds-barred advocate for the health and wellbeing of girls and women. A resident of Akure in Ondo State, Nigeria, she is the Founder of African Girl Child Development and Support Initiative/(and) SRHRHub. Blessing’s story reminds us that every girl is as strong as she determines in her mind to be; no circumstance can stop you from becoming who God has created you to be.
This is Blessing’s #StrongEnough story:
- Tell us about (describe) yourself.
A lot of people call me a confused Nigerian; My father is Ijaw from Bayelsa, My dad is Kabba from Kogi state, my mom is efik from Cross Rivers State while I was born, bred and buttered 🙂 in Kaduna State. I am a Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights advocate with a focus on health and rights. I talk about those issues that affect the sexual reproductive health and rights of girls and women such as lack/inadequate access to SRHR information and services, Violation of SRHR, Unsafe abortion, Rape, Female Genital Mutilation, Family Planning, Breast Ironing, SOGI to mention a few. I am a feminist and I am married with three kids (I like to keep my family life as private as I can with occasional shows of PDAs). I had a child as a teenager and that launched me fully into advocacy (was already volunteering here and there); my eyes were opened to the plight of girls. I used to be strictly abstinence based till a girl asked me on one of my outreaches if there was hope for they who were already sexually active but wanted more from life.
- What are your hobbies (things you enjoy doing)?
Writing, Painting, speaking, Teaching, Cooking, Travelling, Exercising, Playing with my kids
- What activities are you involved with in your community?
I am into advocacy, service delivery, sensitization, lobbying and interventions in my community. I work with girls, parents, traditional leaders, policy makers, different associations, boys etc.
- Who or what inspires you?
Girls inspire me in all of their heterogeneity, different experiences, realities and needs which are all very valid irrespective of their strata, religion, zip code etc
- What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and the rights of girls especially in the African/Nigerian context because of the blurred lines between our rights, cultures and religions.
- What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced? How did you get through it?
The biggest challenge I have faced is being mocked or judged or having to forfeit opportunities for having a child as a teenager. It was tough going through it but one thing that really helped me was owning up to it. I guess when people got used to hearing me say, Hi My name is Blessing, I am 18 years old and I have a beautiful daughter, they realized that I had accepted my position and they didn’t have a choice too. I also stopped regretting it or whatever opportunities I missed. Also, once in a while I cried to declutter all the judgment and negative energy people were heaping on me.
- What is the biggest challenge that you see facing girls/young women in your community?
SRHR Friendly spaces that will cater for information, services and safe spaces generally.
- What advice would you like to share with girls/young women in your community?
Your Gender should never hold you down. You can be whoever and whatever you want to be, If only you believe and work at it. There are no glass ceilings that can hold you down.
- Who is your favorite female leader/role model, and why?
This is a very tough one because I have many female leaders and role models that I look up to. Please don’t make me choose one of them. I can only say that I am inspired by women who push against all odds to be the best, who blaze the trails wherever they find themselves and who give all of themselves to improve the lives of others.
- What do the words “Strong Enough” mean to you?
Strong and Enough are two different words that have a lot of encouraging meanings to me. I always say that I am enough, I always say that I am strong. So Strong Enough means that the strength I have is enough, I am enough the way I am, and I can do anything I set my mind to.
- Do you have a favorite quote/verse/song lyric?
This is another tough one. I have lots of quotes, verses and song lyrics I love but the lyrics of the song “Dream Big” by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband can pass off as my favorite.
You’re an outstanding ambassador for girls worldwide, Blessing. We feel honored and inspired to know you, and we celebrate you as our #SEGoftheMonth! Stay encouraged, and never stop believing in your strength and wholeness.
Follow Blessing’s advocacy work via her website: www.blessingtimidi.com and on Twitter @SuperGirlTimidi.
LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!!!
Do you have a question for Blessing? How has her story inspired you? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.