Popular
Patrick Hertzog/Getty Images

Nigeria is Re-introducing a New Bill on Sexual Harassment

The bill comes after the BBC exposé on professors demanding sex from university students in West Africa.

A few days ago, BBC Africa Eye premiered an undercover exposé called Sex for Grades. A team of female reporters, led by Kiki Mordi, verified claims made by multiple female university students in Ghana and Nigeria that their male lecturers have long been engaging in sexual misconduct and extortion. Since the documentary was released to the public, there has been widespread outrage which has led to one of the alleged perpetrators Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu being suspended from his post at the University of Lagos. Another of the alleged perpetrators, Ghanaian Professor Ransford Gyampo, recently dismissed the documentary as "neocolonial" and swore to file a lawsuit. In light of these revelations, the Nigerian Senate has responded swiftly and proposed a bill that aims to prevent the sexual harassment of university students by criminalizing any sexual advances made by lecturers towards students.


The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Ageg, has urged Nigerians to support the bill being enacted into the law. The politician released a statement which said that:

"I applaud the First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari; the First Lady of Ekiti, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; the Academic Staff Union of Universities and all those who stoutly rose in support of the BBC's commendable journalistic endeavor that is effectively beaming light on a hidden menace...It must therefore be extremely offensive to a reasonable mind where an educator treats students as 'perquisites' of his office...As a father, it is an issue that I cannot just accept. It is a shame on our conscience as a people. We will stop it."

However, this is not the first time that the sexual harassment bill has been proposed. Back in 2016, the bill was rejected by the two houses of parliament because it reportedly did not cover sexual harassment in the workplace and also included a defense for consent, according to the BBC. The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, claimed that the bill was targeting men specifically and said that, "That bill was too restricted. What the lawmakers did was to narrow down on lecturers." He also added that, "Laws should be made open; not saying lecturers, male lecturers, who are in tertiary institutions harassing female students."

Popular
Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

Freddie Harrel Is Building Conscious Beauty For and With the African Diaspora

Formerly known as "Big Hair Don't Care", creator Freddie Harrel and her team have released 3 new wig shapes called the "RadShapes" available now.


Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


The normalising of Black and brown women in wigs of various styles has certainly been welcomed by the community, as it has opened up so many creative avenues for Black women to take on leadership roles and make room for themselves in the industry.

Radswan (formerly known as Big Hair Don't Care), is a lifestyle brand "bringing a new perspective on Blackness through hair, by disrupting the synthetic market with innovative and sustainable products." Through their rebrand, Radswan aims to, "upscale the direct-to-consumer experience holistically, by having connected conversations around culture and identity, in order to remove the roots of stigma."

The latest from French-Cameroonian founder and creator Freddie Harrel - who was featured on our list of 100 women of 2020 - has built her career in digital marketing and reputation as an outspoken advocate for women's empowerment. On top of her business ventures, the 2018 'Cosmopolitan Influencer of the Year' uses her platform to advocate for women's empowerment with 'SHE Unleashed,' a workshop series where women of all ages come together to discuss the issues that impact the female experience, including the feeling of otherness, identity politics, unconscious bias, racism and sexism.

And hair is clearly one of her many passions, as Freddie says, "Hair embodies my freest and earliest form of self expression, and as a shapeshifter, I'm never done. I get to forever reintroduce my various angles, tell all my stories to this world that often feels constrained and biased."

Armed with a committee of Black women, Freddie has cultivated Radswan and the aesthetic that comes with the synthetic but luxurious wigs. The wigs are designed to look like as though the hair is growing out of her own head, with matching lace that compliments your own skin colour.

By being the first brand to use recycled fibres, Radswan is truly here to change the game. The team has somehow figured out how to make their products look and feel like the real thing, while using 0% human hair and not negotiating on the price, quality or persona.

In 2019, the company secured £1.5m of investment led by BBG Ventures with Female Founders Fund and Pritzker Private Capital participating, along with angelic contributions from Hannah Bronfman, Nashilu Mouen Makoua, and Sonja Perkins.

On the importance of representation and telling Black stories through the products we create, Freddie says, "Hair to me is Sundays kneeling between your mothers or aunties legs, it's your cousin or newly made friend combing lovingly through your hair, whilst you detangle your life out loud. Our constant shapeshifting teaches us to see ourselves in each other, the hands braiding always intimately touching our head more often than not laying someone's lap."

"Big Hair No Care took off in ways we couldn't keep up with," she continues, "RadSwan is our comeback.It's a lifestyle brand, it's the hair game getting an upgrade, becoming fairer and cleaner. It's the platform that recognises and celebrates your identity as a shapeshifter, your individuality and your right to be black like you."


Check out your next hairstyle from Radswan here.

Radswan's RadShape 01Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 02Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 03Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: Reekado Banks Is Coming For Everything

We talk to the Nigerian star about 2020, his latest Off the Record EP, and what his aims are for the future.