By Mallory Curran
Nigerian feminist and educator Ngozi Udoye’s new book was the topic of a recent discussion at a special event held in Mundelein Auditorium at Loyola University Chicago.
An audience of about 100 listened as Udoye spoke about her new book titled, The Woman in Me: The Struggles of an African Woman to Discover Her Identity. The book shares inspiring stories of her own and other African American women’s experiences.
Udoye, more commonly known as Mama Sophia, is a Nigerian educator, feminist, activist, mother, and most importantly, a truth teller.
“I always like to tell people I am a missionary of love to African women,” Udoye said.
Udoye, a Loyola alumna, was empowered by her own life experiences to create a company called African Women in America (AfWiAm).
AfWiAm is a human rights awareness program for African American women. It focuses on teaching women empowerment and freedom from oppression such as prostitution, human trafficking, and domestic abuse.
“I want to tell my story, and the ways the women speak it out through their mouths and hearts,” Udoye said.
Udoye emphasized that women in countries such as Africa don’t have many of the freedoms as do women in the United States. She is committed to liberating and educating women in countries such as Africa who are overcome by cultural practices in their societies.
Udoye’s words proved to make an impact on those listening.
“Tonight was quite the moving experience,” said Kevin Rojas, a freshman criminal justice major at Loyola. “I can see that there is a lot of oppression and it proves how blind we really are. Mama Sophia opened my eyes tonight to a whole new world.”
A co-worker of Udoye agreed.
“After tonight, I got to know her more in depth. She gives a new meaning to life,” said recent Loyola graduate Alecia Baxter.
The night closed out with a special song performance and some final comments from Udoye.
“The woman in me is beginning to speak and feel no more shame, and now I am starting to think that these women must be taken care of,” said Udoye. Although I may be powerful, I will never be liberated until women in Africa are free.”
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