Bibi Bakere Yusuf

Individual African feminists

I was born in Lagos and spent my early childhood there. I left Nigeria to attend boarding school in England when I was 13, and from there, I went on to study Anthropology and Communications at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. I then did an MA in Gender Studies at the University of Warwick, followed […]

I was born in Lagos and spent my early childhood there. I left Nigeria to attend boarding school in England when I was 13, and from there, I went on to study Anthropology and Communications at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. I then did an MA in Gender Studies at the University of Warwick, followed by a PhD. In 2003, I returned to Nigeria to take up a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) at the Centre for Gender Studies. Following on from this, I began to work as a consultant for various private organisations and development agencies.

In 2005, I co-founded Cassava Republic Press, a company focused on publishing the best in African writing. We publish fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and children. We are about to launch Ankara Press, a new imprint devoted to romance with African characters, as well as a “Cassava Crime” series. I am very excited about these new imprints.

If there is sufficient dedication, publishing – like any of the other creative industries – has the potential to influence and change ideas and expectations and shape how the next generation think. It is a potentially transformative industry. This potential for social transformation informs our selection of materials to publish.

I call myself a feminist because when I think of who I am today, my strength and my passions, my joy and pain, my desire and restlessness, they are the result of the women who have come before me, the women whose words have become my own, the women who have refused to sit quietly in a little corner or kneel to serve their men; the women who have fought and continue to fight against the tyranny of patriarchy; the women that I want my children to be and the women I pray all women will want to be. I am a feminist because I am angry. I am angry at the inequality, the continued violence, silencing and repression of women’s voices and will to power. I am a feminist because I love to be in the community of women even when they sometimes cause me great anguish! I am a feminist because I believe that things can be different and feminism in all its imperfection is the only movement for change that has successfully integrated all the different issues that affects us for the benefit of all humanity. But the journey ahead is still long.

 


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