Joy Isi Bewaji

Joy Isi Bewaji is a Nigerian essayist, screenwriter, playwright, new media entrepreneur and social affairs activist. Her writings and plays have been centered on cultural inappropriateness and religious anomalies. Although she does not identify as a feminist, her viewpoint on public issues have made her to be described as a "modern-day fearless feminist" by the media.

Joy Isi Bewaji
Born (1977-06-08) June 8, 1977 (age 43)
NationalityNigerian
Children2

Early life and educationEdit

Bewaji had her high school education at Lagos State Model College, Kankon Badagry. She studied Mass Communication in The Polytechnic, Ibadan. She went on to forge a career in the media.[1]

She is divorced with kids. In a 2016 interview, she stated that "she functions better alone".[2]

CareerEdit

Bewaji was Managing Director at Happenings radio, and was editor at Happenings magazine. She was previously the managing editor for Genevieve magazine. She is also the initiator of The Conversation that is centered around feminism, sexism and misogyny in the Nigerian society. In 2016, she addressed United Nations on issues around the girl-child.[2][3] Bewaji is a critic of popularity of religious practices among Nigerians, she describes the end result as creating "vulnerable, self-centred and clearly delusional" citizens. She went further to espouse that religion was a mere instrument to provide temporary satisfaction in an imaginary setting. Her comments were criticized by many including Mark Anthony Osuchukwu from YNaija, who stated that she should mind her business in an article titled, Hallelujah Challenge vs the Joy Isi Bewaji Challenge.[4][5][6]

In 2014, she unveiled Tina’s Shoes & Love Issues, which is an audio series made for women. During a 2014 interview, she revealed that she is close to publishing some of her books.[7]

In 2016, she organized and moderated a session titled Gender Equality And The Funk of Feminism, where the discussants raised issues that affects women in achieving their full potentials.[8] Speaking on the motivation for her play, Story of my Vagina (2016), Bewaji explained that "women have refused to evolve beyond the traditional stereotypes society has imposed on them". The theatrical performance span through gender discrimination, domestic violence, religious segmentation and cultural oppression towards women.[9]

At the 2016 UN International Youth Day, Bewaji identified religion, culture and patriarchy as the main cause poverty in Nigeria, she advised youths to disregard all they've learnt from the older generations, stating that they wouldn't go far in life if they continue to dwell in them.[10] Bewaji has been described as a modern-day feminist.[11][12] Bellanaija went further to explain that she seeks a philosophical position in reinventing how women view themselves in the society.[13][2] She also spoke concerning feminism in Harvard University.[1]

Bewaji is also a vocal critic of the lyrical content of top Nigerian musicians, who she claimed reduced women to a commodity that can be bought with resources to gain sexual satisfaction. She went further to explain that this circle makes it inevitable for the society to see women as materialistic.[14]

In 2017, Bewaji advised Nigerian married women to stand their ground against any man that doesn't value them, specifically narrating why their marital vows should not be of a higher priority than their safety and happiness.[15][16]

According to Guardian, her play Marriage Onions In Wedding Blues (2017) is a provided theatrical answer to several inert challenges and questions faced by married Nigerian women, including the influence of the husband's family in the marriage and the stereotypical duties of a Nigerian wife.[17] The play was performed at Freedom Park, Lagos State on March 5, with several Nollywood actors including Osas Ighodaro and Damilola Adegbite in major roles.[12]

In 2019, Bewaji released "Las Las, We'll be Alright", a handbook which is a documentation of her thoughts as a social and cultural critic on the idiosyncrasies of Nigerians, the lives, lies and beliefs of the citizens.[18]

The controversial nature of the topics she addresses and her understanding on feminism have caused her to be criticized by many stakeholders including, Adegoke Adeola, a media personality with Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation, fellow feminist, Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo, Uchegbu Ndubuisi, a lecturer at University of Nigeria amongst others.[19][20][21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Ehonwa, Joy (February 23, 2017). "10 Questions for Joy Isi Bewaji, MD Happening Radio". Connect Nigeria. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  2. ^ a b c admin (September 10, 2016). "I got on social media to find my voice and liberty – Joy Isi-Bewaji". The Punch. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  3. ^ Adebayo, Bolatito (October 15, 2017). "My mum became a millionaire as a seamstress – Joy Isi Bewaji". Sunnewsonline.com. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  4. ^ Tayo, Ayomide (June 14, 2017). "Joy Isi Bewaji questions Christians over online prayer session". Pulse. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  5. ^ Osuchukwu, Mark (June 16, 2017). "THE HALLELUJAH CHALLENGE VS THE JOY ISI BEWAJI CHALLENGE". YNaija. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  6. ^ Jo, Daniel (June 13, 2017). "Media Mogul, Joy Isi Bewaji Comes For Nathaniel Bassey's 'hallelujah Challenge' | Read What She Said". Information Nigeria. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  7. ^ Ajose, Kehinde (January 26, 2014). "Nothing limits the woman — Joy Isi Bewaji,Media entrepreneur/author". Vanguard. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  8. ^ Utor, Florence (November 20, 2016). "Talking gender equality and the funk of feminism". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  9. ^ MWANTOK, MARGARET (January 4, 2017). "Smashing Anti-Female Stereotypes In Joy Bewaji's Story Of My Vagina". Guardian. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  10. ^ admin (August 23, 2016). "No Country Can Develop By Prayers Alone – Lessons from Rise Networks /UN International Youth Day 2016". bellanaija. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  11. ^ admin (February 2, 2017). "Nigeria: Emecheta - the 'Old School' and Feminist Literature". Vanguard. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  12. ^ a b admin. "Bewaji's Wedding Blues hits the stage at Freedom Park". Guardian. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  13. ^ admin (March 13, 2017). "See Gbenga Artsmith's Beautiful Traditional Wedding Inspired Shoot featuring Author Joy Isi Bewaji". BellaNaija. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  14. ^ addmin (July 28, 2014). "Dear Nigerian Bros: Why University Girls are Materialistic by Joy Isi Bewaji". Herald.ng. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  15. ^ Ikeji, Linda. ""I am here to tell you not to place a man or a marriage above commonsense"- Beautiful article written by Joy Bewaji". Linda Ikeji. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  16. ^ admin (October 27, 2017). "Joy Isi Bewaji Joins the List of those Slaming Timi Dakolo, Calls him a Foetus on a Scale of Intelligence". Nigeria Today. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  17. ^ AJELUOROU, ANOTE (March 12, 2017). "Joy Bewaji Peels Marriage Onions In Wedding Blues". Guardian. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  18. ^ "Log into Facebook | Facebook". m.facebook.com. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  19. ^ UCHEGBU, NDUBUISI (September 3, 2015). "Feminism: A wrong perception of equality – Uchegbu Ndubuisi". Herald.ng. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  20. ^ admin (June 1, 2017). "Facebook on fire as Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo eviscerates Joy Isi Bewaji with sub post". Feminine.com.ng. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  21. ^ Omoniyi, Sylvanus (October 9, 2016). "The Moving Train: An Open Letter to Joy Isi Bewaji : By Sylvanus Omoniyi". veepoint.com. Retrieved 2017-11-10.