Wehnam means my brother/ sister; the term originates from the Yotti (also known as Bali or Chamba in Cameroon ) people of Middle-Belt Nigeria, we are of Bantu origin. The Yottis are amongst Nigeria’s 500 plus ethnic groups. I chose to call this blog Wehnam as homage to every man who sees a woman as partner, capable human being who could achieve her goals in life when given: a chance, support she desires, but this is also particularly to one of my older brothers, whose name is Wehnam, he is amongst the potent energies behind my accomplishments,Wehnam is the brother that every woman needs in her life, he empowers despite the fact that his actions are against the “standard” model that investing in a woman is like pouring water into a basket, worthless effort, he believes in me subsequently willing to grant me moral, and intellectual support whenever I am tempted to divert from my set goals for my education and life in general, he connects me with friends who could offer helping hands when he is unable to help, when I was younger he spoke for me when I lack words to convey my desires and or predicaments to others, and he enabled me to become a dependent, yet independent member of not only our family but also global.
Many a times my formal and informal education would be evident in my writing. I have had the privilege to befriend people from diverse ethnicities, “race”, religion, social class, age, nationalities, these encounters aided my personal, interpersonal relationships, and linguistic potentials thus far I am able in: Bali/Yotti my ethnic language, Hausa, Gullah/Geechee, Nigerian pidgin, Sierra Leonean Creole, Jamaican Patois/Patwa, Nigerian, American and British English, and travelled to name a few: China, Mexico, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, South Korea, United States of America, Guinea Conakry, Brazil, and Ghana. Amongst these countries I spent most of my educational formative years in: Nigeria I was taught indigenous/ village knowledge of the Yotti/Bali people, Sierra Leone, there I attended Harfort School for Girls, Moyamba and Bishop Johnson Memorial High school in Freetown. And the United States of America there I earned three higher degrees and currently on the move for my PhD.Upon the completion of my studies, I anticipate serving in global south to be precise back home and being a Pan-Africanist anywhere on the continent of Africa.
It is my aspiration to work at the grass-root level as research, professor, cultural critic and activists working beside rural women like myself to regain their rights which has always being there since the beginning of time. Until then, I will use this blog to write about issues related to rural and diasporic Africans. I will also use other platforms giving lectures to diverse organizations promoting African unity and educating non-Africans about the continent to the best of my knowledge, thus far I presented to numurous groups such as : World Affairs Council in Texas, Duke University in Durham, Winston Salem State University in North Carolina, High and Middle School in the United States of America and Mexico. I served as board member for Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) Fort Worth Texas, International Studies committee at Texas Wesleyan and Duke University, participated on social reform organizations, attended Academic conferences to present papers, and also to learn from other intellectuals.
I believe human beings are inter-linked for this reason and as a Pan-Africanist I call every persons related to any issue discussed Wehnam, my brother/sister. This blog will draw to our attention issues of: religion, post/colonialism, sexuality, womanism , Africana Womanism, politics, fashion, relationships, health, and human rights as they relate primarily to African woman, rural and those in the diaspora. The blog aims to serve as a discoursing, sharing, enabling, empowering, nourishing, and networking forum to connect folks in Africa and around the world.
I can not claim to speak for every woman since African reality is multi-folds, however, I will attempt to draw out our attentions to those events that are pervasive in most parts of the continent. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Yoknyam Dabale’s blog Wehnam. I encourage folks to refer to me by my birth name Yoknyam, Yok or Nyam in short.
Notice: Please do not quote or duplicate anything from this blog without crediting the author. And do understand that this blog is named after my brother ( Wehnam ) BUT I am responsible for every piece written. To contact me for lecture at Schools, Mosque, Church, Shrine, hall meeting and consulting on Africa, which I have been doing for the past 10 years email me at email@example.com. Asante Sana,Tenki (Thank you).
The picture above was taken at Peking University in Beijing entrance to the third largest library in China, few days after I presented my paper at World History Conference. Sight seeing and doing independent research on Chinese culture esp as it relates to gender relations ( side note: skirt is made in Ghana. Shout out to AfroChi http://www.afrochiconline.com/ )
Above I was greeting an elder who I spent time with at Ba Gon ( House on the mountain in Yotti) gaining indigenous knowledge of the Bali/Yotti people of Middle Belt Nigeria. I believe one of the best way to learn about our culture/ identity is by spending time with wise elders in our community.
The picture above show case African clothing : head piece is made in Ghana ( Kente cloth), earrings made in Mali,and the dress made in Senegal.
Map of Africa, learn it. Africans are one people despite the artificial borders that were created by our oppressors at Berlin Conference of 1884-85 and we are still trying to make sense of them.We have more in common than we think…as the god father of the continent Kwame Nkrumah says “Africa must unite or parish”!
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