Tributes, As Nigerian Feminist Forum Remembers Sindi Medar-Gould

July 7, 2013

L- R (FRONT ROW): Executive Director, Gender and Development Action, Ms. Ada Agina; Executive Director, Alliance for Africa, Ms. Iheoma Obibi; Wife of Governor of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Actress, Kate Henshaw; Special Adviser to Ekiti State Governor on MDGs and Development Relations, Mrs. Bunmi Dipo-Salami (1st right) and other members of the Nigerian Feminist Forum, during an evening of tributes for the late feminist and activist, Sindi Medar-Gould, at Terra Kulture, Lagos.

It was an afternoon of tributes as members of the Nigerian Feminist Forum converged on the iconic cultural centre, Terra Kulture, Lagos, in remembrance of one of their own, Sindi Medar-Gould.

The event tagged ‘Celebration of life’ brought together members of the NFF, women activists and civil society organizations across the country.

The deceased was born in the Castries District of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean in 1944 and died in a New York hospital on April 9, 2013.

Sindi, as she was fondly called by fellow feminists, worked passionately to represent Nigeria as a gender expert to the United Nations.

In her 25 years sojourn in Nigeria, she worked as Executive Director of BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights and was until her death a Senior Consultant and Global Trainer for the Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights Development and Peace, Maryland, USA.

She is reputed to be a great facilitator, researcher and activist for women’s human rights in Nigeria and globally and was renowned for her contributions to the emancipation and empowerment of women and girl children.

Sindi also worked with various women human rights organizations and movement and was said to have touched many lives and helped to give women a reason to live a life with hope for a better tomorrow. With teary eyes, colleagues and friends showered encomium on the late activists for transforming women into vocal entity across the world.

Sindi spent her years in Nigeria training women in capacity building, self-sufficiency, economic empowerment and advancing the course of feminism.

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who is also a foremost feminist and women activist, reminisced on her almost 17-year relationship with Sindi. She described the deceased as an unashamed feminist who was very passionate and committed to her beliefs as she confronted oppression with all her vigour.

As a traditionalist, the governor’s wife said Sindi belonged to a generation of brave people and was able to make women’s movement her intellectual home.

She used the opportunity to advise women all over the world to reflect on their roles in history on the task facing their generation.

Stressing the need to remember notable people who died while working for women’s emancipation, Erelu Fayemi said that it was equally important to celebrate women activists and advocates while still alive.

The governor’s wife read a poem titled “Still I rise” written by Dr. Maya Angelou in honour of the deceased.

The Special Adviser to the Ekiti State Governor on Millennium Development Goals and Development Relations, Mrs Bunmi Dipo-Salami, could not hold back tears as she paid tributes to the deceased.

She described the late Sindi as a dogged fighter and a woman of great intellect, who was never silent, but very dogged in her fight against women oppression. Dipo-Salami said Sindi was a lifelong feminist who came to Nigeria and worked hard till she died.

She used the opportunity to advise women to turn their weaknesses into strength.

A member of the Steering Committee of the Nigerian Feminist Forum, Ms Iheoma Obibi, said Sindi never considered age when it comes to friendship as she was always at home with people of all ages.

She urged women in high places to treat each other nicely, and to always have it at the back of their minds that death would not give an opportunity to say goodbye.

Obibi also read a poem titled “Phenomenal Woman,” which was also written by Angelou in honour of Sindi.

Also, the Executive Director of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), Mrs. Amy Oyekunle said Sindi was one of the real and remarkable women she had ever encountered. Oyekunle stressed the need for people to grab every opportunity that comes their way. She said she would miss her honesty and warm companionship.

Reciting one of the popular quotes of the deceased foremost feminist, she said, “I call myself a feminist because I passionately believe and work for the liberation of women from patriarchy and patriarchal inequalities.

“In all my works, I encourage young women to stand up for their rights with the understanding that their rights are non-negotiable.”

Sindi has since been cremated in New York, USA.

Last modified: July 7, 2013

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