Why She Rocks: Adeshola risks her life to deliver aid materials to those impacted by terrorism.
After experiencing an abusive childhood, Adeshola found herself pregnant after “looking for love in the wrong places”, as she describes it. Her family saw it fit to marry the father but Adeshola refused.
“My mom would say things like I’m going to kill you and when I kill you, nobody will look for you. The way she beat me, there were times I questioned if she was really the one who gave birth to me. Not to speak badly about my mom, she is a loving mother but her way of training me to be a better woman was challenging. When I got pregnant, they expected me to marry the father but I refused. I was looking for love in the wrong places because of my upbringing and I knew he wasn’t the right man.”
“I was looking for love in the wrong places because of my upbringing and I knew he wasn’t the right man.”
Adeshola prepared herself to become a single mom despite the heavy stigma attached to single motherhood in her African community.
“In Nigeria, if you’re not married, you’re not allowed to live alone. I know a woman who tried to rent a place to live for herself and her children after her husband left her and the landlord told her to come back with a man. People don’t respect women who live by themselves but at that time the communication with my mom was so horrible that all I wanted to do was to run away from home. When I got pregnant, looking at the baby’s father and his lifestyle; it wasn’t what I wanted for me. I had dreams as a young woman and I knew if I got married to this guy it would be the end of my dreams. So the relationship ended.
The hardest thing in making that decision is that our society is not encouraging. Back in Nigeria, people see single moms as people who will never do well. If you’re a single mom, guys will say they’re doing you a favor by dating you. If there’s a guy who really likes you and he finds out you’re a single mom, that would be the end of your relationship. There are exceptional cases yes, but mostly not. I still get pressure from my mom to get married because of all the challenges and intense social stigma against single motherhood –you are basically an outcast when you are a single mom. But I don’t think I want to get married. It’s been hard since I had my child but I made the right decision.”
Back in Nigeria, people see single moms as people who will never do well. If you’re a single mom, guys will say they’re doing you a favor by dating you.
Despite her many adversities, Adeshola has courageously volunteered her time to the Adopt a Camp foundation to help those in areas impacted by terrorism.
“I’m involved in a foundation that takes materials to the northern part of Nigeria where the terrorism happens. Last year, we went to deliver some aid materials to an Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp and was attacked by the Boko Haram terrorist group. The first and second days went fine, but it was on the third day when the attack happened. We were settled in the for the night when one of the leaders of the camp rushed to us and told us we need to start moving—that Boko Haram has invaded the camp. Only God knows how they found out we were there. They (Boko Haram) are against western education—that’s their motto. Lots of people lost their lives that night but by the grace of god, I was one that escaped. I was so scared and thought I would never see my family and my child again. Boko Haram is not a group to toy with. They’ve been following my moves so I move around because of them. But even with the danger involved, it’s rewarding to be able to help people in need. There are pictures of children starving and because of our intervention they made it through. The joy on their faces when they see us makes it all worth it. It’s like we are giving them hope for a better future. It’s a gift from God. Many have lost their children, husbands, and wives. It is courage that takes us there because we are not supposed to venture into those areas. But you have to bold and you have to be fearless.”
Inspired by her own experiences as a single mom, Adeshola has now started her own organization to support single moms in Nigeria.
“When I started Exceptional Mums, it was like child’s play. I did in my spare time but before you know it, people supported it and it’s been growing. It’s a community of women who support each other and talk about issues we have as a single parent in Africa. We have events, we rant, we rave, we cry, we laugh, we help each other.”
We cry, we laugh, we help each other.
Adeshola, you are courageous! You are brave! You are a MomWhoRocks! #Inspired.