I am not sure at what point the term ‘daughters of Chimamanda’ caught on.
What I am sure of though, is when it caught on, it was like setting fire on dry leaves in Harmattan.
It spread faster than butter on piping hot bread.
But I am not here to discuss your ridiculous (or justified) reasons for hating Chimamanda.
I am here to discuss how Genevieve is the newest ambassador to mainstream feminism in Nigeria.
In the recent past, being called a Feminist has become more of an insult than anything else. And while many have their reasons for loathing the term, I am here to break the exceedingly great news that Genevieve Nnaji, an obvious strong force in Nollywood, is a Feminist not only by mouth.
In a period where B-list Actresses insist they do not want to be associated with the term, citing reasons that not only take us all the way back but makes the conversation seemingly harder to have with young impressionable minds, it is most definitely a water in the desert feeling to have someone of her calibre not only publicly claim her feminist status but also infuse it in her works.
Late 2018, when asked about her favorite woman directed movie, Ms Nnaji had mentioned the American blockbuster, Wonder Woman, quickly adding;
I’m a proud feminist who embraces her femininity. I feel sometimes women are made to feel self-conscious and ashamed of their womanhood. Perhaps like “Wonder Woman,” we may wake up one day to discover that it is our superpower, and then we would be unstoppable.
If you have seen Lionheart, you will understand that not only has she chosen to be a feminist, her works will duly reflect them.
I always say, my favorite Nollywood movie in three years, is Jade Osiberu’s Isoken.
And not only because it tells a love story without feeling the need to complicate simple scenarios, it tells its beautiful love story through what I like to call, ‘fiercely feminist eyes.’
It is the exact thing Lionheart does – the story of a young, driven woman who races against time to save her father’s ailing business.
A woman, who though is surrounded by strong men, is undaunted by everything thrown in her way and ensures she, grabs the reins of her company, doing everything in her power to bring peace back into an empire her father built.
It is not a brand new story. In fact, I have watched movies like this in the past.
However, the story to learn here, is for years, Chimamanda has said the same things the theme(s) in this movie handled; the strong female who has no fears being vulnerable, the woman who makes her own bread, the woman who is not afraid to be weak, one not afraid to take a chance with love.
One not afraid to lead.
These are some of the things Chimamanda has spoken about before.
Issues that Nigerians need to take seriously so that one day, gender equality in Nigeria will be normalized.
Yet, as many times she has said it, we have found a way to look away, branding her angry while at it.
Maybe now that Genevieve has started on that same path, we would listen?
Baby steps, they say.
Because now that Ms Nnaji has helped produce a movie that will no doubt put a bigger spotlight on Nollywood, does it not say that one day those lessons you missed from Chimamanda would be surely taught by Genny?