“I wish I have More Than 24hours In A Day!”– Judith Audu

By Ikenga Chronicles February 14, 2016

“I wish I have More Than 24hours In A Day!”– Judith Audu

Judith

“I wish I have More Than 24hours In A Day!” Internationally acclaimed movie producer, blogger, presenter, actress and Foodie Judith Audu Foight talks about Violence Against Women and Girls; her short film “Not Right”; and how young women can avoid abuses and achieve their dreams.

 

 

 Ikenga:  Judith, it is amazing how much you have been able to achieve within such a short time. One could say that your CV is like a mile long! How were you able to sustain the drive to be a great achiever despite the fact that you are from a society where many have complained that the opportunities available to women are limited?
Judith Audu: Thank you very much, I don’t call myself a ‘great achiever’ as I know there is a lot I wish I can do and maybe I am lucky to be born now because I believe there is an equal playground for both women and men. The world has opened up in a way that even if you find limitations somewhere there must be another way to go about it. The only limitation that still exists is ourselves and our penchant for always looking for excuses and who to blame when we are not making the desired progress. That being said, I know some women don’t have the liberty and freedom like me as they are told to remain in the kitchen and drop any thoughts of chasing a career.

Ikenga:  Do you think that some of the ‘limitations’ to women’s progress are real? Some have argued that they are imaginary.
Judith Audu: I really can’t say if it’s real or imaginary because I am not in these women’s shoes and don’t know what they may have experienced. Like I said earlier maybe it’s the time I was born in; maybe it was a lot difficult earlier. I have read about it and I have watched movies about it and till now I believe in some cultures women are still limited and told they are to be in the kitchen and at home. They are not allowed to even go to school as it is seen as a waste of money since they will end up in the kitchen. So I guess it’s not imaginary. I am just fortunate to have been born in an environment that doesn’t limit me.

Ikenga:  In your opinion, how can some of the challenges faced by women be surmounted?

Judith Audu: I will answer this question with 3 words: Education, Empowerment and Exposure/Enlightenment. If they are educated, empowered with a skill and get the right exposure they will be enlightened and know how to go about whatever challenges they experience.

Ikenga. We know about your short film– “Not Right”. What was the motivation for it, and how effective has it been as a tool for fighting Violence Against Women and Girls in our societies?

Judith Audu: The inspiration for ‘Not Right’ came due to provocation from what was happening in the world at the time. A couple of my friends were experiencing it, and after  witnessing some of it, I couldn’t stop asking why anyone will subject themselves to such. It really weighed me down and I decided to pour it down in a script and then made the short film. It was a highly acclaimed movie and it got several Best Short film nominations and was screened both locally and internationally. It is being used in some NGOs and Government organizations for talks, workshops, seminars, e.t.c for matters relating to the subject. It has been a preferred movie for campaigns against VAWGs because of the length and direct message.

Ikenga: From my experiences, people tend to provide religious and cultural justifications for acts of Violence Against Women and Girls. How can we navigate through this path to a more progressive thinking society?

Judith Audu: I would say the same thing I said earlier; if people get proper education, if women are empowered, if they get the right exposure, the enlightenment will gradually eradicate  it. In the olden days women stay home to raise children and take care of the home while the men go out to hunt and provide for the family but all that has changed now. Life gets tougher everyday that both spouses need to work to take proper care of the home. But some men still believe the woman’s place is at home and that they can cater for them and the children forgetting that these women have dreams too and they have the right to decide what they want and not be silenced. Using religion as basis for justification is so shocking too because I don’t think any religion gives a man the go ahead to beat his wife to comatose. We can only eradicate this if we change our mindset as it begins with us.

Ikenga: Do you think there are special roles that the media, and celebrities like yourself can play in addressing the issues of Gender-Based Violence? (if yes, please enumerate).

Judith Audu: The media is a major tool in shaping the society these days. They can have shows about this and broadcast on stations that can be viewed by everyone, both on print, screens and radios. They should take a stand and let people know they need to stop solving issues with violence. Celebrities usually have a following, some have millions of fans everywhere that listen and trust their judgments so when they say it is wrong to resolve issues through violence, people will listen. That is why a lot of them take it upon themselves to give back to the society by means of making a film about it, staging a play, recording a radio drama or doing a road show and trying to reach a lot of people.

Ikenga: So basically, if you are to make recommendations on unique ways to tackle gender imbalance and Gender-Based Violence, what would be your recommendations?

Judith Audu: The recommendations I have are not unique because they have been spoken about severally and I have mentioned them several times while answering questions here. Education is the key. While I lay a lot of emphasis on education, I am also aware that there are some very highly educated people that still engage in Violence Against Women and Girls and if you trace the origin you will see it is something that started from their home as kids. So counselling will be perfect here. I know that we don’t really believe in paying someone to come and talk to us on how to solve family problems like they do in the western world but counselling will be very good in such a situation.

Empowerment is another solution. Often times, poverty, frustration and lack of means to take care of their home is what leads to violence. So I believe it will be drastically reduced if the women are empowered so they can also assist in maintaining the home.

Thirdly, a policy should be implemented to punish anyone that engages in it and the victims should know that if they keep on accepting being used as punching bags one day they may be beaten to death. They should also know that they are not helping their children psychologically as the trauma will register in the brains of their children and 90% of the time they will do the same as they will think it is the right way to show love.

Ikenga: You are a woman who somehow has turned her passion to massive career options. For instance, you are a foodie, and you run a blog that proffers recipes! You love acting, and you are now an actor. In fact, you run two blogs, an online radio, act, you also use your passion to fight against social ills, as seen in “Not Right”. Could you please explain to younger girls how you managed to do all these because obviously, there is no way you would have above 24hours in your own day! Perhaps explaining this will serve as motivation to them.

Judith Audu: I definitely don’t have above 24 hours in a day although sometimes I wish I could have more time! Everything has to do with knowing how to prioritize and use one’s time wisely–find a balance on how to make things work. The good thing is everything I am doing is on the same path so they rub off on each other. Well, everything except the food aspect! The others are all entertainment that has to do with acting and actors. The trick like I said earlier is to know what is important to you, if you prioritize right you will find time and of course I can’t over emphasize how important it is to do what you love.

Ikenga: “Not Right” is obviously a solid effort at addressing issues that relate to women. What other projects should we look forward to?

Judith Audu: We are working on the feature for “Not Right” so we can identify the various types of Domestic Violence so that women can recognize them fast. The end plan is to take it to schools across the nation in other to not just educate the youths about these ills but to speak to the young men and women about how important communication can be in solving issues. They need to know that communication is way better, easier and more efficient than violence. We are also working on a radio drama to make sure we can get the information across to as many people as possible.

Ikenga: You are really a very committed person! Thank you so much for having us.

Judith Audu: Thank you!

 

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