When there is a slaughter and abuse of young women within any given area, something is horrendously wrong. It means that hatred of a feminine reflection is not only alive, but that it has been supported. An energy that the feminine presence is “not needed,” or can be sacrificed, has clearly taken place. Something is wrong. And, quite frankly it has been wrong, for a long time.
First it was Boko Haram, and the kidnapping and rape of the Chibok school girls. Now, it has come to this. Who knows the number of other Nigerian girls, and young women, who have been slaughtered, abused, and raped? Who knows? Clearly, Nigeria has had, enough! Clearly, the women of Nigeria have had enough. And yet, there is still more.
The recent rape and murder of University student, Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, was clearly a targeted one. Violated and abused in a Church-based setting means that the perpetrator was spiritually disconnected from anything related to Heaven’s Divine. This person did not know the Creator. Had no understanding of life, and woman’s connection to it. What is more painful is that the Church, as a holistic and spiritual place, could not serve as a safe haven for this young woman. Even the most notorious and criminal minds, have their limits when it comes to holistic spaces. Some of the most vile and murderous men (and women) have limited the extension of their deeds away from Church spacing. And yet, that clearly was not the case for this young, Edo woman, of the Benin State. Something is psychologically wrong. The perpetrator had no true awareness of God. No comprehension of what it meant to fully immerse in the life-giving rays of the Divine. More than imbalance has taken place. In fact, as I write this article, I don’t even have the words, which could truly convey such an atrocity. It wasn’t enough to bring violence against her area of reproduction-a physical component, which allows her womanhood to birth life’s fruition. No. The person was not satisfied, and had to end her very life. What world are we living in? What has humanity come to?
What is happening right now in Nigeria, regarding the vigilance of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa is more than a phenomenon. Yes, there was the international spotlight of the Chibok girls and Boko Haram. Nigerian women feminists, and allies, have brought awareness to women’s rights in Nigeria, prior to this current incident. However, something is different. There is a shaking in the Earth, which cannot be made invisible. Something is happening, and Nigerian men are also being part of the conversation. They are demanding that what was done to this Nigerian, maiden be known. It will not go away quickly. Like certain Black American men, who are standing with their Black American maidens for justice of Breonna Taylor, (and other Black American women gunned down by police forces) there is a shifting taking place, in gender dynamics.
Reading particular articles and news outlets on this young woman, my mind wonders on her life. She was a microbiology student, studying at the University of Benin. According to sources I have read, she was murdered inside of the Redeemed Christian Church Of God for Ikpoba Hill, located in Edo state of Nigeria. They said she wanted to teach the very same word, which inspired her in the Church. That may never happen in her physical form. Yet, it is sure to happen in the spiritual. This 22-year old woman’s death is inspiring, and shaking up, in ways that we could not imagine to happen, in the nation of Nigeria. Who would ever know that maidens are doing just that? Like the Breonna Taylors, the Sandra Blands, and countless other Black American women, who have been murdered (inside and outside of the community), they are moving barriers, in ways that societies could not comprehend.
Looking at the pictures of her precious face, I see an illumination within her eyes. Clearly, she embodied the Spirit of love. Sometimes, you don’t have to be personally acquainted with someone, in order to sense their light. For certain individuals, that light is so magnanimous, that you can feel Divine love. Its radiates near, and it radiates from, afar. Her eyes are telling, and that smile is inviting. That smile that only loving maidens (of any community) can display.
We were not there to know what happened. It was just her, and the person who decided to take her life, away. I don’t want to imagine the level of brutality committed against her. I don’t want to imagine the pain and agony; the suffering before her transitioning. However, what I do wonder is if she called on Creation’s name. In her desire to survive and fight, did Uwa cry out to her father and mother? Did she cry out in prayer, asking the Creator to “forgive him Father, for he knows not what he does?” Did she pray out to Heaven for the ending of repeated suffering, as she knew that a better place, awaited her? Again, I can only imagine. Many can only wonder what her final words may have been.
As issues of Nigerian women are now being placed for examination, other conversations must come to the table, as it pertains to how the masses of women interpret womanhood and femininity. Are the vast numbers of Nigerian mothers teaching their sons the proper way to respect and love Nigerian women? And, of course, I can ask this very same question as it pertains to Black American mothers’ upbringing for how their sons are to treat, and care for young, Black American maidens and mothers. To what extent are Nigerian mothers, and young maidens, forming alliances in supporting womanhood from the ground up? Forget about viewing a fellow Nigerian woman as competition. Rather, has she been viewed as a fellow Sister, an ally, in navigating Nigerian landscapes? Cultivating their nation so that peace reigns, and future generations are able to taste the richness of Nigeria’s terrain. The questions continue to linger, as it relates to this feminine matter. It is something to think about. In fact, many things are to be addressed. We can articulate that because women are fragmented, divided, and separated in harnessing their femininity, together, violence against their very Being is encouraged.
I do not know her. I never met nor heard of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, prior to the media attention she is given. Yet, what is hopeful is that it has not gone quietly. There is a quick and strong reaction by Nigerian people. And, when a reaction is quick and immediate-especially, in the context of a woman-it means that the feminine of a nation is re-connecting herself, together. Just as with Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland, people are re-aligning themselves with the feminine of their culture and communities. And, its a beautiful thing!
When maidens have passed on, cultural and national gardens are enriched. In the case of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, her faith in love and the Divine is nourishing the nation of Nigeria. Even in her family’s grief, it is doing that work. She may not have gotten to teach on Earth, but she is definitely educating Nigeria, and the world, on a greater scale ever imagined. So teach on young maiden of Nigerian soiling, and let the Divine be the greatest lesson, ever known!