Welcome to this week’s ‘#WomenWeLove’ – our weekly column where we celebrate women doing amazing things in their areas of influence. From tech to fashion, social activism to politics, these women, are definitely crush-worthy. Catch up on all our crushes here!
Today, our focus is on Hanan Buhari
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Passionate, Calm and Sincere.
What’s something about you that no one knows or that is not common knowledge? When did you discover it?
I’m an equestrian, I used to participate in horse jumping competitions since secondary but not many people are aware of my love for horses. Only family, I think.
We would like you to please speak to the exact moment that triggered your decision to set up this foundation. We wonder if it was an aha!/light bulb moment, or if it crept up on you.
Hearing of the statistics of rape cases in Nigeria leaves one in a state of worry but because we only see or hear numbers, it’s a matter of time till we forget. I was tired of seeing stories of children being raped by people who should be protecting them. I personally got motivated to start this foundation because I believe we have so many NGOs talking about empowerment, education and so on but not many focus on Sexual violence because of its sensitivity.
Some may say it is the luxury of being the president’s daughter that allows you to dream this big, and would you agree with that? If not, why?
First off, I had this dream before I became the president’s daughter. However, it’s obvious being the daughter of the president comes with certain privileges, having access to stakeholders that’ll bring the desired attention to this menace. I decided to use my platform as the daughter of the president to speak for the voiceless, create more awareness and advocate for amendments of bills that address the issues of rape.
You are a creative and some of your works were on exhibition at the launch of the foundation. How easy was it convincing your parents of your course of study, (Photography), and how do you think this will help the cause of the foundation?
Like most parents, my father wanted me to try medicine but he was still open to his children deciding what career path they wanted to take. I actually wanted to be a pilot cause I loved physics but my mum didn’t want to be having heart attacks every time I’m flying, basically, she wanted a safe career if I should say.
In terms of how art or photography can help the cause of the foundation. One of our thematic areas focuses on creating support systems for survivors of sexual violence through mediums such as art and psychological therapy. I love giving back to society in every way I can, so with what I’ve learnt, I’m more than willing to help people feel better with art. At the same time, proceeds from my portraits will be donated to my foundation.
Now tell us how the Hanan Buhari foundation will operate and what people can do to support it.
I earlier mentioned one of the thematic areas that the foundation has which are art and psychological therapy, in total, we have four. The foundation will support domestication and the implementation of laws that help the survivors.
The statistics about rape and domestic violence are dire, what do you believe is the most critical thing that needs to be done, if we are to make significant progress to address it.
There are quite a few things that are critical in order to mitigate rape. The law matters because punishment can serve as a deterrence, stigmatization of survivors by communities forces victims to stay silent, and then perpetrators continue with their heinous acts. Lastly, our mindset, we need to stop thinking that this will never happen to us, or someone close to us like our family members and so on. As the famous proverb says prevention is better than cure. We all need to embark on a massive campaign to create more awareness.
If you were to describe yourself as a colour, which would it be and why?
I think I can say black because with black what you see is what you get. It’s powerful, daunting, firm and unwavering. When you put black with other colours it overpowers and at the same time, it can give a balance in the disarray of colours.
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