An exclusive interview conducted in Blackface studio by Mr Olusola Olaniyan on the program tagged ‘’An hour with Wikipedia’’. Mr Olusola Olaniyan is the head and representative of Wikipedia in Nigeria. He was joined in the studio by three guests, Hauwa Oseifo, Femi Adeniyi and Ayo Oyekanmi to speak on issues bothering on mental illness.Excerps;
Olusola: You are welcome to Wikipedia. My name is Olusola Olaniyan and i have here with me 2 guests. Hauwa Oseifo the founder of ‘She writes woman’- an organisation based in Nigeria that focuses on advocacy for women. She will be taking time out to discuss her impact so far in the country. I also have with me. Femi Adeniyi the head of logistics Wikipedia and also Ayo Oyekanmi the director photography. It is time right for my guest the special woman in the studio to introduce herself So that we all know who she is
Hauwa Ojeifo: Hi everyone, my name is Hauwa Ojeifo . I am the founder of she writes Woman. It is a movement of love, hope and support for women living with mental disorder. We give women voice in Nigeria by letting them know that mental illness is real. We launched the first private mental health crisis help line in July 2016 to help people know basic things about mental illness in Nigeria. It is a 24-7 health line. it is about mental health, depression, bipolar and schizophrenia people and people call when they are on the brink of suicide, for friends and family, because they need someone who they feel would understand them and believe them because we live in a society where it is hard to tell people your problems especially when it has to do with mental illness because somehow we believe that mental illness is not a valid illness or it is a spiritual illness
In October, we launched the first ever support group in Nigeria and it is a woman only support group. Also we started an initiative on January 1st 2017 called HOPE VISITS. We visited neuropsychiatric hospital at yaba left annex. We let them know that there is hope to keep going and love and support for them.
Olushola Olaniyan: Speaking about mental disorder, Wikipedia defined mental illness as a mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a diagnosis by a mental health professional of a behavioral or mental pattern that may cause suffering or a poor ability to function in life. Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitting, or occur as a single episode. Many disorders have been described, with signs and symptoms that vary widely between specific disorders. Do you agree with this definition as per Wikipedia?
HAUWA: It actually hit the nail on the head.It has actually explained everything on mental disorder especially that it is diagnosed by a professional. It is important that people understand that seeking help is part of the process and you need to be diagnosed and it also said that it has the power to alter someone’s life and productivity. That is very true so Wikipedia got it
Olushola Olaniyan: Good, I like the way you approached the question. We were together at the institute to celebrate women at the platform of wiki loves women. What are the testimonies as per the event?
Hauwa Ojeifo: It Is really lovely, very informative and it was eye opening. To look at it from the inside, . i am very happy that we had a couple of people that were there to witness and see for themselves. People tweeted about even yesterday
Olusola Olaniyan: This is still blackface radio. i have Hauwa Ojeifo founder of she writes women. Back to the question. Where do you think Wikipedia can come in for women advocacy in Nigeria?
Hauwa: By partnering organisations to do some sort of awareness. So i think Wikipedia should do something in terms of partnerships, donations, grants.
Ayokanmi: How do you think we can leverage on the use of Wikipedia?
Hauwa: That is a fantastic question and that was one of the things we used to wrap up the workshop yesterday. The significant lack of local contents on so many platfoms. Not enough research is being done. So it is very important that we need to start putting it on Wikipedia. There is a part that talks about different continents like Europe and Asia. Why not Africa, Why not Nigeria. Nigeria is missing. And then you see arears that talk about Art. We have art here as well, dance drama and other ways of expressing oneself. You can put them there also. There are two aspects that struck me too. There was culture, there was religion. These are two aspects that are big issues too.
Olusola: I said can we get pictures of women showcasing themselves in your campaign as a way of advocacy in Nigeria and your reply was that you don’t really oblige the use of camera because of stigmatisation. Now to the issue of stigmatisation, for Wikipedia to come in, something about you must have been written on an independent platform that is verifiable and reliable and mental disorder must have been added to the person’s profile. How do you go about that.
Hauwa: The truth is that by keeping quiet, you are actually increasing the stigma because someone else is hijacking it and fuelling it up. You come out to say you are living with mental disorder and they stigmatise you. The truth is that you are actually reducing the stigma. Coming out to say you have mental disorder has given a lot of women confidence because they feel that if someone else has come to say she has disorder then they can too. A lot of people that sign up to our campaigns are asked to tick if they would like their details to be put up, we have to gain their trust. People need to be comfortable enough to say ohh, I have considered suicide.
Olusola: is the movement self funded
Hauwa: We throw it out to the public to make donations. Prior to that, we are self funded. We wouldn’t like to run with the general mentality of an N G O. There is a lot that needs to be done, so we are really open to donations.
Olusola:I am sure people would like to reach out to you and know the voice behind the mic.
Hauwa: oh very easy, you can just send us an.email on shewriteswoman.com and on +234817491332