Monday, 1 August 2022

Allow Us to Re-Introduce Ourselves

Shades of Us Storytelling Initiative for African People (‘Shades of Us’) is a non-profit organization using storytelling to address the socio-economic issues affecting Africa, Africans and people of African descent. This is with a view to facilitating open and honest conversations that lead to introspection, analysis and perspective change towards the greater goal of a redefined continent and people.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Volunteer Roles at Shades of Us

Photo by Jep Gambardella

On May 13, 2022, we got our certificate of incorporation as a non-profit organization from the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission. Since then, we have been looking to expand our operations and impact lives across Africa and with people of African descent. As a direct result, we are hiring volunteers to help us chart the course of our organization's direction and growth. 

Thursday, 14 October 2021


Photo by Tope A. Asokere from Pexels

By Ojonugwa Yahaya.


When you continually tell even the most beautiful creature... hmm maybe even more beautiful than Agbani Darego🤔...that she is ugly, in no time she may start believing and even start looking ugly... that is how dynamic nature and human psychology works.

Sunday, 5 September 2021


Photo by from Pexels

by Vanessa Oyiwodu Audu




1. the inability to read or write.

2. lack of knowledge in a particular subject; ignorance.


Photo by Dayvison de Oliveira Silva from Pexels

by Emono Bwacha

A citizen of a country is basically someone who has legal ties to that country. One of the most common definitions of citizenship is that it is “the sum total of rights and duties ensuing for a given person by reason of his legal affiliation to a certain State”[1] The concept of citizenship legally ties an individual to a particular region or country. As a direct result, the individual has obligations to said region or country and in return, the region or country grants the individual rights to enjoy as a citizen.

Monday, 16 August 2021

Partnering for the Health and Wellbeing Young People

Practical session during the 'Data Made Simple' Training-of-Trainers Capacity Building Session for SWAG Initiative

One of the global goals that Shades of Us has adopted is Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals. 

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Patching Things Up

Fixing Potholes.
Credit: City of Ekurhuleni

When I moved to my current neighborhood, one of the things that convinced me to take the house was the road. Oh! The road was bad but I saw that the potholes were being filled up with sand so I assumed the roads would be repaired in time.

I should never have assumed that.

Monday, 8 February 2021

The Stress of Being A 'Tomboy'

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

I woke up, went to my wardrobe, opened it and stared at my clothes, wondering what to wear for the day. I have dresses on the right side, shirts in the middle and sweaters on the left. I looked at the dresses, most of which I had not worn since I bought them, and said yet again, ‘maybe some time in the future’. Then I went through my shirts and as I touched each one, I knew just what trousers would go with them and what shoes would be perfect for each look. 

Monday, 16 November 2020


Photo by Tucker Tangeman on Unsplash



Located in an atmosphere of serenity and decorated with the rich savannah vegetation, the communal life and practice of trade by barter is still held with great prestige in the community of Ojokpachi-Odo. 

Monday, 2 November 2020

Ripple Effects of Poverty: Hunger

A young boy leaning on a corrugated Zinc fence.
Photo by 
Ben White on Unsplash

Every time I think of poverty in many African communities, I can’t help but mull over how this poverty is experienced on various levels. Thankfully, there is a term that effectively explains this: multidimensional poverty. 

Monday, 26 October 2020


Old woman showing her makeshift toilet.
Credit: UN News

By Ojonugwa Yahaya from HipCity Innovation Centre

Among human communities, there are some behaviours which have negative impact the people and endangers the health of the entire population. Most times, the people ignore the consequences because they believe it is an age-old practice and their forebears were not affected by it, or because of a fear of change. Also, when these people weigh their options and feel the cost of behavioural change outweighs their usual behaviour, they are usually unwilling to change. 

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Join Us to Commemorate International Day of the Girl

Shades of Us is supporting Girls Virtual Summit 2020, an event hosted by SWAG Initiative to commemorate International Day of the Girl. Here is what you need to know about the event. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Demographic Dividends Through Communication

Ramatu Ada Ochekliye presented this paper at the 7th Nigerian Annual Population Lecture Series that happened in Abuja in 2019. The theme of the series was ‘Nigeria’s Population Issues: Harnessing 21st Century Innovations to Achieve Demographic Dividends’.


Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Bad Roads and their Connection to Poverty: A CASE OF LELEYI GWARI COMMUNITY IN ABUJA

Bad roads
Cars struggling on very bad road.
Image Credit: Guardian Nigeria Newspaper

By Ojonugwa Yahaya from HipCity Innovation Centre

In every given geographical area occupied by a population of people, either large or small, the first thing that indicates the presence of said people is an access road. Road is very important to human development and the importance of it cannot be over-emphasized.

Monday, 14 September 2020

Addressing Workplace Harassment

Photo of Lady at her desk
Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

For some reason, the thought of a colleague I used to have came into my head. And it was followed by such immense disgust that I had to take long, deep breaths to calm myself.

Monday, 17 August 2020

When No One Is Looking

Picture of a woman holding a moon
Photo by Gantas Vaičiulėnas from Pexels

As long as I can remember, I have always cared about the issues that affect Africa, Africans and people of African dissent, with special focus on how these issues affect women and children. Even as a child in primary school, I can remember expressing anger at people who treated women and children poorly and standing up for the girls in my class. It would not be far-fetched to assume I was born this way, having what can be described as a gnawing need to lend my voice to women and children’s issues.

Monday, 10 August 2020

The God Complex of the Old

Old Man surrounded by young people
Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma'aji from Pexels

In many African countries, young people are raised to have respect for their elders. However, the kind of respect that is expected borders on complete deference, creating a situation where, by default, older people are almost always assumed to be right on all issues, while younger people are expected to acquiesce their views, choices and decision in favor of the more ‘mature’ ones of the old.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Bleeding Trees

Tree lined road
Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

There is this lane that leads to my office in Abuja. It is serene, with a canopy of trees from the sidewalks and road divider joining together to cover the road. It is beautiful but beyond that, it gives me so much pleasure – and dare I say, calmness – whenever I pass the road. To see those trees shading the roads and pavements and knowing that they provide succor to people, animals, birds and other living organisms just fills my lung with goodness…or just clean oxygen.

Monday, 6 July 2020


Plastic littering a beach
Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash

For some reason, Nehemiah’s Wall – a biblical story where cup bearer to King Artaxerxes embarked on the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls – has been hovering in the recesses of my mind. The story may not readily come to mind, so for those who do not read the Bible, it would be great to read the book of Nehemiah.  

Monday, 22 June 2020

Wife-to-be Auditions

Black women cooking


It is 2020 and many families across Africa are still auditioning women for the 'opportunity' to become a slave wife in their family.


What does this mean?

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

A Rookie's Mistake

From the moment I finished my film directing course at the Royal Arts Academy in Lagos, Nigeria, I have been introducing myself as a filmmaker…along with the other titles I like to describe myself as. Yet, four years since I earned that certificate, I do not have any film — short or feature — to my name.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Flip The Switch

Image Credit: Men's Health
Edikan felt Ama turn in her sleep as she gained consciousness. He had listened to her troubled sleep – marked by her slight snoring – for the past hour; even though his back remained turned to her. Their fight last night had been the worst in the six months they had been dating. And for the first time since he moved into her apartment, they had slept on each end of the bed.

Monday, 27 April 2020


Picture of man and woman not speaking to each other.
Image Credit: The Independent
When discussing communication with people, there is almost a general consensus by discussants that the best way to solve a problem is by talking about it. It is believed to be the mark of emotional maturity to verbally resolve issues as amicably as possible. When someone is unable to talk about issues of discontent in the approved manner – calmly, without anger or rancor, or immediately – they are classified as either emotionally immature, abusive, controlling or a combination of all.

Monday, 20 April 2020


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
If you have been using social media for any length of time, it is quite possible that you have heard (or used) the term, Cancel Culture’. Like ‘misogyny’, ‘patriarchy’, ‘feminism’, ‘human rights’, this phrase is one of the buzz words of this generation that gets thrown around when heated socio-cultural issues are being debated – or fought over – on social media. It has become so predominant that many dictionaries now carry a definition for the phrase.

So, what is cancel culture? has one of the more encompassing definitions.

Monday, 30 March 2020


Photo by ATC Comm Photo from Pexels

I remember walking into a radio station in Abuja for an interview. When I got to the green – or waiting – room, I was pleasantly surprised by the surrounding wall that had pictures of many icons on it; Martin Luther King, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Fela and a host of others. As I basked in memories of the work each person had contributed to humanity, I began to notice something that gradually dropped the smile from my face; there was hardly any woman on that wall.

Monday, 11 November 2019


Arunsi Othniel Fortune, better known as Othy, has put out a collage of poems called Cherry Blossom.

Monday, 28 October 2019


Image: The Guardian Nigeria

I am constantly seeing people rant on social media about the debtors in their lives. It is so common place that I don’t think one week goes by without one person or the other getting called out for owing money.