Tuesday 21 November 2023

Celebrating Diversity: A Call for Unity

Photo by cottonbro studio by Pexels

By Ruth Ajawu

As the world collectively observed the International Day of Tolerance, the significance of embracing diversity and fostering understanding takes centre stage. This day, marked on November 16 each year, serves as an important reminder of the need for tolerance in our global community. 

Nurturing Minds: The Integral Link Between Education and Mental Health

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels

By Ruth Ajawu

It is quite easy to overlook the profound connection between education and mental health. Yet, the truth is that the two are inseparable, each influencing and shaping the other in a delicate dance.

Monday 13 November 2023

Better Days

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels

By Marire Adebanjo

I opened my eyes to see the spirogyra decorated white ceiling of my room. It was not intended to be that way. It was usually just white but rain drops from the leaking roof has prompted this.

Empowering Healthcare: Private Sector's Role in Nigeria's Future of Health

By Cynthia Umeh

On October 12, 2023, Shades of Us attended the 9th edition of the Future of Health Conference, presented by Nigeria Health Watch. The theme of the conference was ‘The Private Sector as a Catalyst for a Resilient Health Systems’. The necessity of public-private partnerships in reforming Nigeria's healthcare system, bridging financial gaps for Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and addressing key health concerns such as endemic infectious disease outbreak and maternal mortality was emphasized at the event.

Sunday 12 November 2023

The Sunshine Series Mental Health Symposium: Advocating for Mental Health Rights in Nigeria

Shades of Us at The Sunshine Series Mental Health Symposium in Abuja

By Cynthia Umeh

The Sunshine Series hosted its Annual Mental Health Symposium, ‘Mental Health as a Universal Human Right: A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective’ on October 26, 2023, to raise awareness of mental health as a universal right and foster mental health education in Nigeria. 

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Revolutionizing Equality, Freedom, and Justice

Photo by Ilyass SEDDOUG on Unsplash

By Cynthia Umeh

The world frequently feels divided. Therefore the ideas of equality, freedom, and justice for all have evolved from buzzwords to crucial cornerstones of a just and fair society. For centuries, these values have served as the guiding lights of democracies and human rights movements around the world. 

Monday 23 October 2023

African Diaspora: Navigating Identity and Enlightenment Across Continents

Photo by Monstera Production on Pexels

By Adetayo Adetokun

In a distant era, a ship gently rocked upon the boundless waves of the Atlantic Ocean, its timeworn wooden hull whispering the secrets of the odyssey that lay ahead. Aboard this vessel, an assembly of people from diverse backgrounds found themselves united by a shared history, embarking on a journey riddled with uncertainty. These souls comprised the African diaspora, and their voyage epitomized both profound struggle and remarkable enlightenment.

How to Achieve Zero Hunger in Africa by 2030

Photo by Marcos quinteiro on Pexels

By Atinuke Adeosun

Hunger is a global challenge that affects millions of people around the world, especially in Africa. According to the latest report by the United Nations, the number of undernourished people in Africa rose to 282 million in 2020, which is 21% of its population. This is more than double that of any other region. The report also concluded that the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030 will be missed by a margin of nearly 660 million people.

Saturday 21 October 2023

Code-Switching and Linguistic Plurality in Art

By Adetayo Adetokun

At the Abuja Literary and Arts Festival, a panel  was convened to explore a compelling question that has long intrigued enthusiasts and scholars of Nigerian culture: 'How significant is the role of code-switching and linguistic plurality in shaping the vibrancy of modern Nigerian music and storytelling?'. Guided by the moderation of Eddie Madaki, a marketing communications specialist, this discussion brought together a diverse group of luminaries.

A Do or Die Affair

Photo by Moses Londo on Pexels

By Adetayo Adetokun

The Shadow of Despair

Beneath the relentless African sun somewhere in Senegal, my story unfolds against a backdrop of stark contradictions. Senegal, a nation brimming with natural beauty and cultural richness, paradoxically harbored a grim underbelly—a pervasive economic depression that ensnared its youth in a cruel vice. As I, Amadou, embarked on my tumultuous journey, I could feel the weight of despair bearing down upon me like the sweltering heat of the sun overhead.


Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels

By Atinuke Adeosun

It is a rainy Saturday afternoon. The breakfast of akara and pap has been had. The tedious, back breaking and unnecessary slew of Saturday house chores have been done. 

Friday 20 October 2023

With and for Adolescents: Their Future is Now

Presentation at the Global Forum for Adolescents

By Ruth Ajawu

On October 5, 2023, Shades of Us attended the 2023 Global Forum for Adolescents (GFA) organised by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in collaboration with Education as a Vaccine, Stand With A Girl (SWAG) Initiative, PLAN International, World Health Organization (WHO), and other United Nations (UN) Agencies.

Saturday 14 October 2023

Strategies to Reduce Waste and Increase Renewable Energy Adoption

By Ruth Ajawu

During our Forum Friday with Tonny Silas Dauda (a Development Practitioner and Youth Activist) and Chizoba Nzeakor (an Award winning Climate champion, Innovator, Researcher, Advocate and Entrepreneur) on September 29, 2023, we delved into the depths of waste management and renewable energy, and discovered how we can make a difference.

Celebrating Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery

Photo by Katerina Holmes by Pexels

By Ruth Ajawu

Hey there, fellow education enthusiasts! Every year, we throw a virtual confetti party for World Teachers' Day!

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Invest in Girls' Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being

Photo by Fatima Yusuf on Pexels

By Cynthia Umeh

Every year, on October 11, the world celebrates International Day of the Girl Child. This day is not just an occasion for festivities: it is a powerful reminder that our time is now—the time to uphold the rights and secure the future of every girl around the world. This blog post is dedicated to understanding the significance of this day and the urgent need to empower girls. As we delve into the issues girls face, we will explore the importance of education, gender equality, and how we can collectively make a difference. Join us in this enlightening journey as we celebrate the potential and resilience of the girl child.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Lessons from the 2023 HeForShe Summit

By Adetayo Adetokun

The world today is  characterized by the disheartening erosion of rights and opportunities for women and girls, compounded by the looming challenges of climate change, conflict, and natural disasters. Mitigating these issues were key discussion points at the 2023 the HeForShe Summit, an event which happened on September 21, 2023, and of which Shades of Us Storytelling Initiative for African People (Shades of Us) was glad to attend.

Decolonizing Education: Nurturing Critical Thinking in African Youth

Photo by Monstera Production on Pexels

By Adetayo Adetokun

Education stands as a powerful catalyst for transformation, both at the individual and societal levels. In Africa, the path to progress is intimately linked with the decolonization of education. This journey is about more than just revising textbooks: it is a fundamental shift in perspective, a quest to unleash the innate critical thinking abilities of African youth.

Saturday 30 September 2023

Tourism and Green Investment: Embracing Sustainable Travel

Photo by Ramatu Ada Ochekliye

By Cynthia Umeh

It is critical to consider the importance of sustainable tourism and how it intersects with green investment. Travel has the ability to inspire, educate, and unite individuals from all over the world. However, with increased worries about climate change and environmental protection, it is critical that we modify our approach to tourism. In this blog article, we'll look at the theme of "Tourism and Green Investment" and why Shades of Us Storytelling Initiative for African People (Shades of Us) is so passionate about it.

Wednesday 27 September 2023

For We Will Never Walk Alone

Photo by Oluwaseyi Johnson on Unsplash

By Adetayo Adetokun

In the stories of human existence, where the threads of life intertwine with delicate grace, we discover a myriad of colors, textures, and the enduring spirit of resilience. The black community emerges as a striking and unwavering thread, steadfast through centuries of trials and tribulations. It is within this delicate mosaic that we embark on an voyage, an anthology that seeks to unravel the profound significance of these strong black communities, to unveil the intricate dance of justice, to traverse the path of equality, and to illuminate the blazing strength that courses through their collective spirit.

Monday 25 September 2023

Breaking the Silence: Empowering Black Women in Reproductive Health

Photo by Mariana Montrazi on Pexels

By Adetayo Adetokun

Reproductive health, a deeply intimate facet of existence, resides at the core of our identities. Yet, it remains swathed in veils of discretion. 

Beneath the Veil

Photo by Kreative Kwame on Pexels

By Atinuke Adeosun

Cradled by rolling hills and cloaked in lush greenery, Umu Oma rests in tranquil beauty. Umu Oma, where the sun's warmth permeates deep into the soul and those with dark complexions thrive, Adaeze emerges with a complexion as pale as the moonlight and hair as white as calabash chalk. Her birth fills her family with immense joy, but it also sparks curiosity—a child born to parents with brown hair and skin as dark as the loamy soil where the bananas are planted. In a society where likeness binds, Adaeze is born with albinism, a condition that renders her skin pallid and her hair like creamy milk.

Advancing Towards Universal Health Care (UHC) by 2030 in Africa:

Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels

A Comprehensive Exploration of Progress Evaluation, Barriers, and Innovative Solutions

By Adetayo Adetokun

In the pursuit of equitable healthcare access, the global community has set forth an ambitious goal: achieving Universal Health Care (UHC) across the African continent by the year 2030. This commitment carries profound significance for Africa, where long standing health disparities and insufficient medical services have posed formidable challenges to both social progress and economic development. In this extensive blog post, we embark on a comprehensive exploration of the progress made toward realizing UHC in Africa. This journey will shine a light on the barriers that have slowed its advancement, while also spotlighting the innovative solutions that hold the promise of revolutionizing healthcare systems throughout the region. By delving into the intricacies of measuring progress, identifying obstacles, and showcasing groundbreaking innovations, we will gain a deep understanding of the multifaceted path Africa is traversing towards achieving the noble objective of UHC by 2030.

Power to the People

Photo by Eiseke Bolaji on Unsplash

By Adetayo Adetokun

Africa's political landscape is a canvas painted with a troubling array of hues – stolen mandates, rigged elections, embezzlement of public funds, waves of protests, and a disregard for human rights. Within this complex portrait, power often eclipses the needs of the very people it should serve. This blog embarks on a comprehensive exploration of Africa's intricate political challenges, peeling back the layers of deceit and injustice that have seeped into the continent's governance. The reverberations of these fraudulent practices are profound, eroding trust in institutions and perpetuating cycles of instability.

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Partnering Beyond Limits

Photo by Edmond Dant├Ęs on Pexels

By Cynthia Umeh

The importance of collaboration in today’s world cannot be overstated. From tackling global issues to achieving personal milestones, partnerships play a pivotal role in our journey. One arena where partnerships are particularly vital is working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals, ranging from eradicating poverty to promoting climate action, are a universal call to action to make the world a better place by 2030. And the secret ingredient to accomplishing them? Partnerships!

The Business of Filmmaking

By Jeremiah Samuel Sunday and Ruth Ajawu

Africa No Filter organized a masterclass on The Business of Film. It was a deep dive into the world of movies presented by director, producer and founder of the Republic of Story, Victoria Thomas.

It covered various aspects like what it takes to create a compelling film that resonates with audiences, peers, mentors and funders, and what it takes to make it in the global film industry.


Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

By Cynthia Umeh

Tima lived in a charming small town. Her blindness may have impaired her eyesight, but she knew in her spirit that her town was charming. 

Saturday 16 September 2023

Sanitation Superheroes

Photo by zibik on Unsplash

By Ruth Ajawu

There exists a unique league of heroes we are going to call the 'Sanitation Superheroes'. These extraordinary individuals don't wear capes or possess superhuman strength, but they play a vital role in safeguarding our health, our communities, and our environment through their unwavering commitment to sanitation and cleanliness. 

Power Series: Exploring the Impact of Power Outages on Innovation and Education in Africa

Photo by LED Supermarket on Pexels
by Adetayo Adetokun

In a world increasingly defined by technological advancements and rapid information dissemination, access to a reliable power supply is often taken for granted. However, in many parts of Africa, power outages remain a pervasive challenge, casting a shadow over both innovation and education.  Let us look into an intricate relationship between power outages, innovation, and education, highlighting the multifaceted implications that arise when darkness descends upon progress.

A Love Letter to the Struggling Black child

Photo by Thomas Chauke on Pexels

By Adetayo Adetokun

Dearest Black Child,

I write to you today with a heart overflowing with love, admiration, and a deep-rooted belief in your inherent strength and resilience. In a world that often tries to dim your light, I want you to know that your blackness is a radiant beacon of beauty, power, and immeasurable worth. This letter is a tribute to your struggles, a testament to your triumphs, and a reminder that you are never alone in your journey.

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Finding Joy Amidst the Shadows of Grief

Photo by Alex Green on Pexels

By Adetayo Adetokun

In the labyrinth of life, grief is an inevitable companion. Its weight is like an anchor, tugging at the heart with a force that threatens to drown us in a sea of darkness. Yet, even within this abyss, there exists a sliver of light—the light of joy. This dichotomy might seem paradoxical, but it is in embracing this delicate balance that we learn to cope with grief and find the elusive joy that persists.