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Hafsat Abiola, Willem Dafoe and Bianca Jagger at the Dropping Knowledge project's Table of Free Voices in Berlin, September 2006

Hafsat Abiola (born 1974 in Lagos) is a Nigerian human rights, civil rights and democracy activist, founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which seeks to strengthen civil society and promote democracy in Nigeria.

She was the seventh child of Nigeria's uninaugurated (June 12, 1993) President-elect, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, who was put in prison by the dictator, Gen, Sani Abacha for treason after declaring himself president. He later died under detention in 1998. Her mother, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, was murdered during a demonstration for the release of her husband in 1996.

Abiola graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, in 1992 and Harvard College in 1996. She received an honorary doctorate from Haverford College.

In 2000, Abiola was honored as one of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2003, she was elected as a Fellow of the Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in recognition of her international status as a social entrepreneur. In 2006 she was nominated to be a founding councilor at the World Future Council.

In 2006 she raised funds by organizing performances of The Vagina Monologues in Nigeria. [1][2] Since May 2008 she is also a Councilor at the World Future Council among 49 other well known personalities.

In 2008, the Europe-based A Different View chose Abiola to be one of the 15 Champions of World Democracy. Other champions include Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Corazon Aquino, and Sima Samar.[3]

Awards

  • Youth Peace and Justice Award of the Cambridge Peace Commission, 1997
  • State of the World Forum Changemaker Award, 1998
  • Woman to Watch for Award, 1999
  • Global Leader of Tomorrow Award, World Economic Forum, 2000
  • Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Global Award, 2001

Notes

  1. ^ Allure : Hasfat's new war, Vanguard, Feb 19, 2006
  2. ^ KIND brings back Vagina Monologues to Nigeria, Business Day, Feb 22, 2007
  3. ^ A Different View, Issue 19, January 2008.

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.

Hafsat Abiola (born 1980) is a Nigerian human rights, civil rights and democracy activist, founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which seeks to strengthen civil society and promote democracy in Nigeria.

Sourced

Hafsat Abiola, Willem Dafoe and Bianca Jagger at the Dropping Knowledge project's Table of Free Voices in Berlin, September 2006

Architects of Peace (2000)

Architects of Peace : Visions of Hope in Words and Images (2000)
edited by Michael Collopy
  • In much of precolonial Nigeria, and indeed Africa, ethnic nations organized people within communities into peer groups and trained them, from babyhood to old age, to serve their communities. When successful, this system provided all members of a community not only with a sense of belonging but also with a vehicle for helping to shape the community's direction and pace of change. In this system, people knew they were entitled to help resolve any issue that affected the community.
    This sense of entitlement grows out of a series of rituals that begin the day a child is born. When a baby is born, after the first few seconds, it lets out a yelp, which announces its arrival, and which is met by expressions of joy. Among the Yoruba, the arrival is acknowledged with a naming ceremony where parents give names that express rich meaning and hopes for the baby. When I arrived, my parents named me Hafsat Olaronke, which means the treasured one and honor is being cared for. For my parents, they saw in me one who would be cherished and who would bring honor to her community. Many in other parts of the world are impressed when they discover my name's meanings, but the truth is that most African names have beautiful meanings.
  • Unlike the small community, where every person lives in the illusion of having the same ideals, beliefs, and values as everyone else, in the larger context of plural communities-be it in country, continent, or globe — we live in the illusion of absolute difference. So, fearing the possibility that the interaction will change us, we magnify the threat involved in engaging with that which differs from us. Change is stressful, and costly, because it requires learning to navigate the unfamiliar. In the end, you cannot work with anyone who is different, and problems that could be resolved if we allowed everyone to contribute the best of themselves begin to look intractable.
  • Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone.
    But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.

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